The Alt+Tab is a keyboard shortcut that allows you to switch between multiple application-level windows. Sometimes, the Alt+Tab not working due to several malfunctions in your computer. Experts suggest that restarting the hotkeys feature might resolve the issue, but according to few users, it doesn’t work all the time.
Now, the possible reasons might be — the switching feature is turned off, missing or corrupted registry values, frozen Windows Explorer and more. Therefore, opting for effective solutions is an obvious option to resolve the issue.
Enabling the Application Switching Feature
In Windows 7 (Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate & Vista) there is no such feature. You just have to press the Alt+Tab key to switch between the windows. When you are using Windows 10, you might have to enable this application switching feature. Otherwise, you can face the situation where Alt+Tab not working.
From the Settings, navigate to the System and activate the Virtual Desktop mode. As the drop-down menu shows up, choose “Only the desktop I’m using”. Save the changes and open a few windows. After that, press Alt-Tab and check whether you can switch between windows or not.
Alternate Solution via Third-party Software
When you open multiple windows, it is shown in the clipboard as history. The system clipboard actually rearranges and organizes its contents for you. To make use of the clipboard and resolve Alt+Tab not working, you need to use a third-party clipboard tool. Search on the internet to find the application. After the successful download, install the application in your system and follow the on-screen instructions. Hopefully, you can eliminate the issue without much effort.
Alternatives in the Registry Value
The “regedit” command in the search bar will help you to reach the Registry Editor. Select the Explorer folder to right-click on it to gain access to the value settings. Make sure you select 32 or 64 bit depending upon your OS. Whatever be the value is, change it to 1 by deleting the existing value. Close the Editor and try to switch between the windows, with Alt+Tab keys.
Restart the Windows Explorer
One of the easiest ways to resolve the Alt+Tab not working is to refresh or restart the Windows Explorer. Pressing the Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys simultaneously from the keyboard will do the job. Other than that, you can also access the list of apps in File Explorer, right-click on Windows Explorer and select Restart.
Enable the Aero Peek Function
The Peek function is present in the Advanced System Settings. In the Performance Options window, choose the Custom radio button and find out “Enable peek”. Check the box and hit on OK to finish. Enabling the Peek function might help you to resolve the Alt+Tab not working issue.
Remove the Additional Peripherals
Any kind of storage, input and output devices are some of the additional peripherals that are generally attached to the computer. Let’s say you have two external hard drives attached. You have opened the File Explorer while both the drives are still active. On pressing the Alt+Tab, sometimes you cannot switch between the multiple windows.
This might happen because the storage devices and also some peripherals are in conflict. If you have 2 storage devices for copying or moving files from one device to another, keep one device connected and remove others.
Turn Off/On the Hot Keys
When you are facing an Alt+Tab not working situation, most of the tech experts suggest this resolving process. You can try out this method by typing gpedit. msc in the search box. This command will initiate the hotkeys panel on the computer screen. Now, there are three options present – “Not configured”, “Enables” and “Disabled”.
If the Enabled option is already selected, then click on the Disabled radio button. After a few seconds, click on the enabled radio button. This process will restart the hotkeys function and your problem might resolve.
Points to Remember
Apart from trying all the above solutions, you must concentrate on some important points as well. Go through them very carefully. In addition to that, it will also help you to choose the correct troubleshooting process.
The registry of your OS is actually the record of all the activities that you are doing on your system. When the Alt+Tab not working, it also gets recorded in the registry. Several conflicts in the registry can not only lead to this issue.
Furthermore, never attach too many additional peripherals to your computer. Always make sure that your system has all the updated drivers installed. If not, do it as soon as possible.