Windows 10: Alt + Tab in Windows 10 does not Toggle to Previous Screen
Alt + Tab in Windows 10 does not Toggle to Previous Screen
Since switching to Windows 10, Alt + Tab does not toggle to previous screen in a number of case, i.e. you have to hit Alt + Tab twice to go to the previous screen or go through the thumbnail screens. It sounds small but being able to toggle to the previous screen by hitting Alt + Tab saves me lots of time. I would appreciate any help someone can give me to return to the previous functionality of earlier Windows systems.
This tutorial at the Win 7 Forum from Shawn ("Brink") should provide your answer. It's a Registry edit (actually, adding a dword) that reverts the <alt> <tab> order to earlier Win versions.
ALT+TAB - Use Classic Icons or Default Thumbnails
I added the dword to my Win 7 PC's in 2010 and it's been working great since then.
I have the same problem as the OP, and the solution proposed by Voyager doesn't work for me.
Voyager 1 said:
What I would like to be able to do, and I think the OP would as well, is to be able to flip back and forth between two particular windows (even if more than two are open) simply using Alt+Tab as in Windows 7, without having to hold any buttons down and click a thumbnail or having to hit Tab more than once.
If anyone could help with this, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you in advance.
Are these windows of the same program or windows of different programs?
On my Preview Eval 10547 build running in a VM I have the exact same behavior as I've had in all previous versions of Windows.
I have a Word doc, my email program, Chrome and CCleaner open. Hitting Alt + Tab auto switches from the current in focus program to the next on the list and also holding Alt after the first press of the Tab key shows a thumbnail of all open programs. So I see Word, Chrome, Thunderbird and CCleaner windows as thumbnails. Hitting the Tab key again cycles through those open windows. Once I let go of the Alt key the one I have chosen become the current In Focus window. Hitting Alt + Tab again take me back to the last In Focus window.
I do have Classic Shell installed so that might of changed something from the default of Windows 10.
After some further investigation, it seems that at least in my case the issue is specific to Excel. If I have two Excel spreadsheets open and a third window of another program, and I'm currently viewing the other program, hitting Alt+Tab flips to one of the Excel spreadsheets. But when I hit Alt+Tab again to flip back to the other program, I see a very brief glimpse of the thumbnails of all open windows, but I'm still on the Excel spreadsheet. I have to hold down Alt and hit Tab to fully view the thumbnails and then Tab a second time to get back to the other program.
I have Excel 2010, which I used when my computer had Windows 7 just as recently as yesterday afternoon, and there was no problem with using Alt+Tab at all, even when more than one Excel spreadsheet was open. Although I've installed Windows 10, I'm still using Excel 2010, so I figure it must be some interaction between Windows 10 and Excel.
What you're asking for doesn't make sense from a Windows perspective.
If you have more than two windows open how would Windows know which one you want to switch to? The only possibilities I can see are 1) tab thru all the open windows or 2) show you thumbnails & allow you to choose. Allowing you to choose the direction (e.g. via the registry mod) might help as you'd have to choose the 1st switch then Alt-Tab might return you. But I don't see the same keystroke as a toggle-again, how would Windows know what you wanted to do? Have you tried Alt-Shift-Tab? For me Alt-Tab takes me in one direction while Alt-Shift-Tab takes me the other.
For instance right now I have Firefox, Quicken, and Thunderbird open. Alt-Tab takes me from Firefox to Quicken. After switching back to Firefox (manually) I find that Alt-Shift-Tab takes me to Thunderbird. Therefore to toggle between Firefox & Quicken, starting in Firefox, I Alt-Tab to Quicken then Alt-Shift-Tab to Firefox. By using different keystrokes for different directions I explicitly tell Windows what I want it to do.
Last edited by pchelp; 04 Oct 2015 at 14:40.
Reason: Added thought
I may not have explained it very well. It used to remember the previous window I was on and flip back and forth between that window and the one I'm currently viewing. Having multiple Excel files open didn't matter. To flip from one window to the previous one, I would just briefly hit Alt+Tab and then let both buttons go. Repeat to return to the first window.
I'll be dipped! Alt+Tab does work the way you want, at least for me.
I have 3 browser windows open (Seamonkey) and briefly pressing Alt+Tab swaps between just two windows, never goes to the third. Never noticed that before.
Just tried with Excel and it works there too.
I've always used Alt+Esc to roll through all open windows and Alt+Tab to bring up large icons for all open windows where I could pick the one I wanted.
When I get the chance I will boot up Win 10 again and check how Excel works with multiple windows open. But that might be a problem as I'm running Office 2000 in my VM of Win 10.
With the newer version of Office every time you open another document, spread sheet or Word Doc, it also opens a second instance of that program so the Alt + Tab feature works the same between open office documents and other programs. Use to be to switch between open docs/files of the same program you had to hit Ctrl + Tab.
That's the way it has always worked, and still does AFAIK. A quick Alt + Tab take you back to the last In Focus program/window that you had up. a Alt + Tab + Tab takes you back one more program/window and so on with each press of the Tab key. Then If you quick Alt + Tab it takes you back to the original program/window that was In Focus before the switch.
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