How to put a tkinter window on top of the others?


I’m using Python 2 with Tkinter and PyObjC, and then I’m using py2app.

The program is working fine, but the window starts as hidden whenever I open the program, so it doesn’t appear until I click on the icon on the dock to bring it up.

Is there any way to control this, make the window to be on top of other windows that were open when the application is starting?

Just to clarify, it doesn’t have to be on the top for the whole time the application is running. I just need it to be on top of other windows when it starts.

Asked By: Dennis



If I take the code you give and add the first and last line you get:

from tkinter import *

root = Tk() 
screen_width = root.winfo_screenwidth()
screen_height = root.winfo_screenheight()
root.geometry("550x250+%d+%d" % (screen_width/2-275, screen_height/2-125))


Test it. I get the window as expected. Do you get something else? If this works then somewhere in the code you are telling it to do that. If it does the same thing as your real program then your window manager is doing it. This is the best I can do without more information.


On OSX (espicially versions using aqua) tkinter’s windows may be displayed behind those that are already open (this has a bug report here: but has been closed as will not fix). The addition of the root.lift() command has been included to bring the window to the front of the stack in those cases and is harmless in all others.

Answered By: vdbuilder

I got into same issue today. OSX LION 10.7.2. Add this code before mainloop() solves the issue.'wm', 'attributes', '.', '-topmost', '1')

but the window always remains on top of the others until you close it. For real solve, we need to make it an app bundle, with py2app.

Answered By: Sarim

I modified the above solution and these 2 lines work for me on OSX. It brings the window to the front, but without making the window behave as Always on Top.'wm', 'attributes', '.', '-topmost', True)
root.after_idle(, 'wm', 'attributes', '.', '-topmost', False)
Answered By: yiotix

For OS X 10.8.3, the combination of the answers provided by vdbuilder and user2435139 did the trick for me, i.e.

self.root.lift()'wm', 'attributes', '.', '-topmost', True)
self.root.after_idle(, 'wm', 'attributes', '.', '-topmost', False)

called before

Answered By: jjaderberg

More for mac OS users. Although the above solutions seem to display correctly, the app is still put at “the end of the stack” from the Finder’s point of view. As can be seen with the Cmd+Tab switcher, or simply observing that python doesn’t get the focus.

Solution from username fixing it all (again, for mac OS):

import os
os.system('''/usr/bin/osascript -e 'tell app "Finder" to set frontmost of process "Python" to true' ''')

Maybe surround that with something like

import platform
if "Darwin" in platform.system():
    # apply fix
Answered By: Arnaud P

The osascript trick Arnaud P could have problems, if there is more than one process with the application title ‘Python’; additionally, it will not work for Python 3 processes (needs to be called ‘Python3’ then.

However, I found another trick that can solve the problem by using the process id.

import os
script = 'tell application "System Events" 
  to set frontmost of the first process whose unix id is {pid} to true'.format(pid=os.getpid())
os.system("/usr/bin/osascript -e '{script}'".format(script=script))
Answered By: Debilski

I know this is an old question but I found it weird that no one came up with the simple solution I had,

app = SampleApp()

app.attributes('-topmost', True)
app.attributes('-topmost', False)

Answered By: Jake

In my case, if there was no update() call, the window would not pop above the terminal. This is what ended up working:

def raise_above_all(window):
    window.attributes('-topmost', True)
    window.attributes('-topmost', False)
Answered By: ubershmekel

About ms-windows we dont need to extra code (for go to top window) just need to :

Answered By: Mohammad Javidi