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    ALT+TAB - Show Windows Open on Desktops in Windows 10

    ALT+TAB - Show Windows Open on Desktops in Windows 10

    How to Select Desktops to Show Open Windows in ALT+TAB in Windows 10
    Published by
    2015-03-19
    Designer Media Ltd

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    Brink's Avatar
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    Posts: 17,432

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    How to Select Desktops to Show Open Windows in ALT+TAB in Windows 10

    information   Information
    Windows 10 introduces a new feature called Task View. Task View is a virtual desktop manager that allows you to quickly switch between all of your open apps on multiple desktops. Create custom additional desktops to group apps for productivity, entertainment, or whatever you choose. This makes multitasking and organizing your opened apps much easier.

    You can select to show windows that are open on either all desktops or only the desktop you are currently using when you press ALT+TAB or CTRL+ALT+TAB to switch between windows.

    This tutorial will show you how to select to show windows in ALT+TAB or CTRL+ALT+TAB when open on all desktops or only the desktop you're using for your account in Windows 10.

    Note   Note
    ALT+TAB = Press and hold the ALT key, press the TAB key, then either keep tapping the TAB key, press the left or right arrow keys, or roll mouse scroll wheel to scroll through all your open windows. Select the open window you want to view, and release the ALT key to make it the active window.

    CTRL+ALT+TAB = Press the CTRL+ALT+TAB keys, then either keep tapping the TAB key, press the left or right arrow keys, or roll mouse scroll wheel to scroll through all your open windows. Select the open window you want to view, and press Enter to make it the active window again. You can also click/tap on a window to make it the active window.


    All desktops = Windows that are open on all desktops will show in all desktops when pressing ALT+TAB or CTRL+ALT+TAB. You will be able to quickly switch between any windows that are open on any desktop. If the window is open on a desktop other than the desktop you are using, you will be switched to the desktop the window is open on.

    Only the desktop I'm using = Windows that are open on other additional desktops than the desktop you are using will not show when pressing ALT+TAB or CTRL+ALT+TAB. You will need to use Task View to switch between windows that are open on the other desktops.


    CONTENTS:
    • Option One: Select Desktops to Show Open windows in ALT+TAB in Settings app
    • Option Two: Select Desktops to Show Open windows in ALT+TAB using BAT file



    EXAMPLE: "ALT+TAB" or "CTLR+ALT+TAB" to switch between windows
    Click image for larger version. 

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    ALT+TAB - Show Windows Open on Desktops in Windows 10 OPTION ONE ALT+TAB - Show Windows Open on Desktops in Windows 10
    Select Desktops to Show Open windows in ALT+TAB in Settings app

    1. Open Settings, and click/tap on the System icon.

    2. Do step 3 or step 4 for what you would like to do.


     3. Pressing Alt+Tab shows windows that are open on all desktops

    NOTE: This is the default setting.

    A) Click/tap on Multitasking on the left side, and select All desktops for "Pressing Alt+Tab shows windows that are open on" on the right side under Additional desktops. (see screenshot below)


     4. Pressing Alt+Tab shows windows that are open on only the desktop I'm using

    A) Click/tap on Multitasking on the left side, and select Only the desktop I'm using for "Pressing Alt+Tab shows windows that are open on" on the right side under Additional desktops. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    ALT+TAB - Show Windows Open on Desktops in Windows 10 OPTION TWO ALT+TAB - Show Windows Open on Desktops in Windows 10
    Select Desktops to Show Open windows in ALT+TAB using BAT file

    Note   Note
    The .bat files below are to change the registry DWORD values in the key below.

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

    VirtualDesktopAltTabFilter DWORD

    0 = All desktops
    1 = Only the desktop I'm using


    1. Do step 2 or step 3 below for what you would like to do.


     2. Pressing Alt+Tab shows windows that are open on all desktops

    NOTE: This is the default setting.

    A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the .bat file below, and go to step 4 below.

    ALT+TAB_Show_open_windows_on_all_desktops.bat

    download


     3. Pressing Alt+Tab shows windows that are open on only the desktop I'm using

    A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the .bat file below, and go to step 4 below.

    ALT+TAB_Show_open_windows_on_only_desktop_using.bat

    download

    4. Save the .bat file to your desktop, and run it.

    5. If prompted, click/tap on Run.
    NOTE: If you like, you can stop getting the Run prompt by unblocking the downloaded .bat file.

    6. You will now notice a command prompt quickly open and close, and your screen flash while applying the changes to your registry and to restart explorer.

    7. When finished, you can delete the downloaded .bat file(s) if you like.





    That's it,
    Shawn



  1. Joined : Oct 2014
    Posts : 14
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit
       2015-08-10 #1

    Am I missing something. In 10 Alt+Tab no longer switches between the desktop and open applications. You need to perform an extra step to get to the desktop
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Joined : Oct 2013
    Posts : 17,432
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 15014
       2015-08-10 #2

    Hello cjb4,

    Pressing ALT+TAB or CTRL+ALT+TAB no longer show the desktop. However, you can press Win+D to go to the desktop at anytime.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Joined : Oct 2015
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10
       2015-10-13 #3

    Hi ! Thanks for your tutorial. I have a small problem though, regarding the info you provided in your "note". The scroll wheel doesn't seem to work for me in the Alt-Tab menu. I can switch between apps by clicking on them or clicking Tab, but the scrolling, which I used a lot on Windows 7 and 8, does not work anymore in this menu. Any idea what may cause the problem ? Is there an option to check in the parameters ?

    Thanks in advance !
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : Oct 2013
    Posts : 17,432
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 15014
       2015-10-13 #4

    Hello Loukana, and welcome to Ten Forums.

    The scroll wheel is not doing anything for either anymore. Microsoft may have made a change, but I'll look into it more to see if I may be able to figure out what happened.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. Joined : Oct 2015
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10
       2015-10-13 #5

    Okay, so that's not only me... Thank you for your help, I hope we'll find a solution !
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Joined : Jan 2016
    Posts : 2
    Windows 10
       2016-01-01 #6

    Additional Options?


    Brink said: View Post
    Hello cjb4,

    Pressing ALT+TAB or CTRL+ALT+TAB no longer show the desktop. However, you can press Win+D to go to the desktop at anytime.
    Is there any way to restore the previous function as it was? (so that Alt tab includes the desktop as one of its windows). Many gamers such as myself use the alt tab functionality religiously. As well as disabling the function of the Windows key to prevent the possibility of accidentally minimizing our game during an important moment. The hand placement is also quite awkward on a standard keyboard or older keyboard that do not include a windows key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Joined : Oct 2013
    Posts : 17,432
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 15014
       2016-01-01 #7

    Hello Pete, and welcome to Ten Forums.

    Not that I'm aware of, but if you like, you could use the "Show Desktop" shortcut below, and assign a keyboard shortcut to it to use.

    Show Desktop Shortcut - Create in Windows 10
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  8. Joined : Jan 2016
    Posts : 2
    Windows 10
       2016-01-02 #8

    Workaround


    Brink said: View Post
    Hello Pete, and welcome to Ten Forums.

    Not that I'm aware of, but if you like, you could use the "Show Desktop" shortcut below, and assign a keyboard shortcut to it to use.

    Show Desktop Shortcut - Create in Windows 10
    Thanks for your quick response! I was playing with it last night for a while. It seems there is a somewhat of a workaround. If you do your normal alt-tab, hold it, then let go of tab, and press esc it will bring you to the desktop if you only have a full screen open. Seems to work for me, hopefully someone else will find a use until they restore the old functionality.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  9. Joined : Oct 2013
    Posts : 17,432
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 15014
       2016-01-02 #9

    I'm glad it could help for now.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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