Entire Zwift Screen Disappears at Random Times

I use a laptop to run Zwift. About 2 or 3 times per ride lately the entire screen disappears. Not just the other riders disappearing, but the entire screen. I can get it to come back by clicking the Zwift launch icon in the taskbar at the bottom of my screen. My internet connection is good and I’ve even had the same problem when I’ve run a wired ethernet connection from the laptop to the router. Very weird. It’s never crashed and the screen will always come back after I click the Zwift icon. Anyone had similar issues? Thanks!

It sounds like it is minimizing not crashing, correct? Do you have to log back in and pair sensors again, or do you go right back to where you were? If just minimizing then something on your system is running in the background and causing this to happen.

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No, it never crashes. I just click the Zwift launch icon and it comes right back to where I was in the ride. I did go check and see what apps were running in the background and there were a bunch of them running. I turned most of them off, so hopefully this will solve the problem. I’ll ride later today and post an update. Really appreciate your help!

I had (or perhaps still have) the same problem, only in full screen mode. It never happens in windowed mode, so turning off full screen is the easiest solution.

In programming, this issue has a technical name: Zwift loses focus, or other application(s) steal focus from Zwift. The way to fix it is to identify a program which takes focus away from Zwift and uninstall it or not allow it to start when computer boots. To find such program(s), there are freeware programs (at least two or three). Adminscope has a program “windows focus logger” which runs in the background and add a line to the top of the list in its log when an application takes focus, even for a second. I used it successfully and found that two programs on my computer were becoming active at random and were stealing focus, even though it was not obvious (nothing would appear on the screen to suggest their background activity). Both of these applications are perfectly legitimate. One was an LG Electronics utility for my 38" LG monitor which arranges windows on the screen; I just changed the setting in its configuration, so that it does not start automatically during boot; the second one was a Canon utility for my laser printer which checks toner status and reports when it is low. I had to uninstall it - not a big loss, anyways.

This made Zwift much more stable in full screen mode. I was able to ride for an hour and a half without an issue, in full screen mode. I initially rejoiced that the issue has been fixed, but as it turned out, not quite. The next time, it still minimized without the root cause detected by the logger. It seems that some (possibly internal to windows) events may also be at play and may cause Zwift to go into the taskbar.

There is one more (next) step in this direction, a freeware program which can push any program running on your PC into focus if it loses it for a moment. I did not test it, but that might be the next step. I cannot remember its name, but if you search for “application loses focus in windows”, you will eventually find it.

Since Rouvy or even Chinese parody on Zwift, OneLap, run full screen without losing focus, ever, it appears that their programmers did a better job of elevating the priority of their program when something else is competing for focus… It actually appears to be quite easy to program. But I am not the expert in this area. Just sharing my troubleshooting experience.

I contacted Zwift support, they were of little help (other than a short list of suggestions like checking computer for viruses), what I wrote above I figured on my own.

Having said all that, I run a slightly unusual configuration: the TV which displays Zwift is connected as a second monitor to my home office desktop via HDMI cable. I do not know if the fact that Zwift is not running on the primary monitor can make a difference. Most people, I believe, run Zwift on a laptop on the primary screen.

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Hi Andrei,
I have the same problem - part way through a ride Zwift gets minimized without warning. It’s not great for me as I can’t reach my keyboard from the bike once riding. I have a similar set-up to yours, in that I’m using a 2nd monitor from my laptop and run Zwift in full-screen mode on that monitor. In my case the connection is via a standard VGA cable rather than HDMI, and it’s a monitor rather than a TV.
Are you running the TV as an extended display (“Extend these displays” option in Win 10), or as a duplicated display? I’m using the extended option myself, but I’m wondering if using the duplicate option may get around the problem. It would be a bit of a clunky workaround, I know, but I might try it for my next session.

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Ok - I did a few tests and discovered that, for me anyway, running in full screen mode is the issue. Using either the secondary ‘extended screen’ monitor, the primary ‘extended screen’ monitor, or in ‘duplicated screen’ mode, the random minimizing screen behavior occurs. If running in windowed mode, maximized on the secondary monitor, all seems to be fine. I left it running for nearly 2 hours and the problem didn’t occur.
This looks like the easiest way to go, still utilizing most of the extra size of the second screen. I’m running Windows 10, using a laptop with a second monitor added.

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Mark, missed your reply, no, I do not use a duplicate screen… because my TV is running at 1080p, while my primary screen is a 38" monitor which has a much higher resolution, and I oftentimes work on the same computer when my son is Zwifting. It is definitely that Zwift loses focus and does not claim it back. Rouvy also runs in full screen, but nothing like this happens. Less than perfect programming on Zwift’s side.
Possible workarounds is to chase the programs which steal focus from Zwift and shut them down for the duration of zwifting session, or uninstall them, or duplicate the taskbar on second monitor and, if mouse is nearby, bring Zwift back from the taskbar to which it got minimized.