Corel Update Helper focus stealing

For the last few months, every now and then my foreground window will “blip” out of focus momentarily. This is slightly annoying whenever it happens, since that means that whatever I was doing gets disrupted. If I’m drawing a line, the line gets hecked up. If I’m typing text, letters get dropped. If I’m recording in Logic, my audio drops out for a couple seconds. You know, annoying.

I was searching high and low for what it might be, and in doing so I noticed that Karabiner-Elements (which I use to remap some of the keys on my non-remappable keyboards) has a window focus log (from the Karabiner menu choose Event Viewer then Frontmost application), which is intended to make it easier to tell the bundle name for per-app layout overrides.

Well, this is handy!

So I started the focus log running, and then the next time I had a focus bloop, I checked it, and guess what I saw:

Bundle Identifier:  com.corel.CUH
File Path:          /Library/Preferences/com.corel.CUH/

Guess what I installed a few months ago? Corel Painter, which I bought in a Humble Bundle.

Guess what I haven’t used since shortly after I installed it? Also Corel Painter.

Guess what also hasn’t had any updates in that time?

Anyway, now that I knew what this was, I was trying to figure out how to remove it, or at least disable it, and ended up coming across this Apple support thread where someone else had that problem and couldn’t figure out what it was, and nobody had any ideas, but I found the thread on a search for “com.corel.CUH window focus” or the like. So I’m hoping that by posting this, I’ll help someone else with this problem.

In any case, Corel’s own help information is useless, as it only covers the Windows version, and there aren’t equivalent settings in the Mac version as far as I can tell. So, the solution is to open up Terminal as an administrative user, and run the following:

UPDATE: Simply disabling the launchagent wasn’t sufficient to disable it. Instead I’ve ended up just uninstalling Corel Painter entirely, including removing the /Library/Preferences/com.corel.* and /Library/LaunchAgents/com.corel.* files.

It’ll ask you for your password, and after that, Corel Update Helper should no longer be causing these problems.


Dear Corel (and all other software vendors): If you want to automatically update apps, give us the option to turn it off, don’t run an invisible background “helper” app to do that, and definitely don’t have that invisible background app steal window focus every time it does its thing! You’re not making things better, you’re just ensuring that your software is known to be toxic and user-hostile.

(Same rant applies to Adobe for their Flash updater, Microsoft for their Office updater, and Oracle for their Java updater. It is not welcome and is not a good experience. Cut that out, please.)


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