If you’re having trouble with Alt-Tab not working on your computer, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Windows comes with some amazing keyboard shortcuts, such as Alt-Tab, which is used to switch between open windows. But sometimes, the Alt-Tab shortcut key may not work correctly.
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Fortunately, if you’re in this situation, there are some simple steps you can take to troubleshoot and resolve the issue.
In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps to take to fix the issue.
Why Is Alt-Tab Shortcut Not Working?
There are a few possible reasons why your Alt-Tab shortcut might not be working. Some of the most common causes are:
- Shortcut override: Some applications and programs have the ability to override keyboard shortcuts, including Alt-Tab. If this happens, your shortcut won’t work until you disable it in the program’s settings.
- Conflicting shortcuts: If you’ve installed a third-party utility that uses custom shortcuts, such as AutoHotkey or Shortcut Manager, it can cause conflict with the Alt-Tab shortcut.
- Corruption in system files: Another possible issue is that certain system files might have become corrupted, which prevents Windows from recognizing your keyboard shortcuts.
- Faulty keyboard: Sometimes, a faulty keyboard can cause Alt-Tab not to work. If your keyboard is malfunctioning, you may need to replace it.
- Misconfigured settings: If you’ve changed any of the system settings recently, such as the display or language settings, this could also be causing Alt-Tab to not work.
- Outdated drivers: Outdated drivers can also cause Alt-Tab to not work. Make sure you keep your computer and its components up to date.
How to Fix Alt-Tab Not Working
Fortunately, there are several things you can do if your Alt-Tab not working on your computer.
Check Your Keyboard for Faulty Keys
Sometimes, a key can become stuck or damaged. This could be the reason why Alt-Tab isn’t working on your computer. If this is the case, you’ll need to replace your keyboard. However, if it’s not a hardware issue and only certain keys are affected, you may be able to use software to remap them.
Use Another Alt Key
Your keyboard may have more than one Alt key. Try pressing the other one (usually located on the right side of your keyboard). If that works, you can use it instead of the original Alt key.
Update Your Keyboard Drivers
If your keyboard drivers are out-of-date or corrupted, they could be causing issues with the Alt-Tab shortcut.
Follow these steps to update keyboard drivers:
- Press the Windows key+X and select Device Manager from the list.
- Expand the Keyboards section under Device Manager.
- Under the Keyboards section, right-click on your keyboard device and select Update driver.
- Next, click Search automatically for drivers.
- Follow the instructions to finish updating your driver.
Restart Windows Explorer
Sometimes, restarting the Windows Explorer process can help fix Alt-Tab not working.
To restart Windows Explorer, follow these steps:
- Right-click on the taskbar and click on Task Manager.
- Look for the Windows Explorer
- Right-click on it and select Restart.
Modify or Create Registry Values
You can also modify or create registry values to fix Alt-Tab not working. This involves editing the Windows Registry, so make sure you back up your data and exercise caution when making changes to the registry.
Here is how to do that:
- Launch Registry Editor on your Windows PC.
- Navigate to the following address: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
- Look for the AltTabSettings DWORD on the right pane. If you cannot find it, you need to create one.
- Right-click on the Explorer key, hover your mouse pointer to New, and select DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name it “AltTabSettings.”
- Double-click on the newly created DWORD value and change its Value data to 1.
- Click OK and exit the Registry editor.
Enable the Multitasking Feature
Multitasking is a feature in Windows 10 that allows you to access multiple applications simultaneously. If it’s disabled, Alt-Tab won’t work.
Follow these steps to enable multitasking:
- On your Windows system, launch Settings, and select System.
- Switch to the Multitasking tab on the left, and expand the drop-down menu below the “Pressing Alt + Tab Shows”
- Select an appropriate option according to your preference.
These are some of the most effective ways to fix Alt-Tab not working on your Windows PC. While these methods may not always work, they are worth trying if you’re having trouble with this shortcut. If none of these steps help, it’s likely an issue with the keyboard itself, and you may need to replace it.
Regardless, we hope this article has helped you find a solution to your Alt-Tab woes.
Yes, although it’s not recommended, as it can be quite helpful. You can disable it by editing the registry or using a third-party application.
Yes, you can use the Windows key + Tab to switch between open windows and applications or Alt + Shift + Tab to switch between open windows in reverse order. You can also use the Windows key + D to show the desktop.
If none of these steps have helped you fix Alt-Tab not working, it’s likely an issue with your keyboard itself, and you may need to replace it.
Peter is an Electrical Engineer whose primary interest is tinkering with his computer. He is passionate about Windows 10 Platform and enjoys writing tips and tutorials about it.