How to Restore the Windows XP Alt + Tab Switcher


This Tech Junkie article told you about some of the alternative Alt + Tab switchers for Windows 10. These enable you to switch between windows by pressing the Alt + Tab hotkey. Windows XP also had an Alt + Tab switcher with icons instead of thumbnail previews. This is how you can restore that in Windows 10.

First, you can do it the quick way with this trick. Press and hold the left Alt button. Then press the right Alt button, but don’t hold the key. Next, press Tab to open the tab switcher shown in the snapshot below.


That’s the Windows XP Alt + Tab switcher restored in Win 10. It works just the same as the default one. Press Tab to cycle through the windows. You can still open the default Alt + Tab switcher much the same.

In addition, you can also edit the registry so that the Windows XP Alt + Tab switcher entirely replaces the default one. Open the Registry Editor window by pressing Win + R and entering ‘regedit.’ Then browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer as below.


Then you should right-click an empty space on right of the window and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Enter ‘AltTabSettings’ as the title for the DWORD. Then double-click it to open the window below.


Now enter 1 into the Value data text box and click OK. Close the Registry Editor window and then sign out of windows. When you’ve logged in again, you should open a few windows and press Alt + Tab. That will open the Windows XP Alt + Tab switcher.

That replaces the default Alt + Tab switcher. You can always restore the default one by deleting the AltTabSettings DWORD. Right-click AltTabSettings in the registry and select Delete to erase it.

So that’s how to restore the Windows XP Alt + Tab switcher for some nostalgia if nothing else. Note that you can also restore the XP Alt + Tab switcher with the Registry Editor in earlier Windows platforms.

Posted by Matthew on September 21, 2016

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