Originally posted on November 1, 2020 @ 3:26 pm
I frequently use the Alt + Tab combination to switch between tabs. It could be switching between the file explorer tabs or web browser tabs or anything for that. Lately, I encountered that the Alt-Tab combination was not working on my Windows 10 laptop. And, for someone who depends so much on this functionality, it came as a bolt from a blue.
Instead of just harping over the issue or even making terms with it, I decided to look for every possible way to deal with the issue. So, here’s how I went about Alt-Tab not working on my Windows 10 PC. I am going to enlist every measure I took and even tell what worked out for me.
What Can Be Done? (All The Measures That I Undertook)
1. A sneak peek into steps that can be taken
2. A Detailed Look At The Measures Taken
3. What I Recommend
A Sneak Peek Into Steps That Can Be Taken
- Check if your keyboard keys are working fine
- Have You Enabled The App Switch Feature
- Modify Registry Values
- Reinstall Your Keyboard Driver
- Restart Windows Explorer
- Enable Peek In Settings
A Detailed Look At The Measures Taken
1. First Thing’s First, Ensure That Your Keyboard’s Getting It All Right
Even the strongest of the keyboards have very fragile and vulnerable keys. So, the first thing that you should consider checking is whether or not the keys on your keyboard are working fine or not. It could also be a possibility that you are not pressing the Alt-Tab combination correctly and might have to press it a little harder.
Note: Various websites let you test keyboard keys free of charge. I used KeyboardTester.com, which highlighted every key I pressed on the keyboard.
2. Have You Enabled The App Switch Feature
You might be or might not be aware of this feature. While in most cases this feature is already enabled but in case you are a fan of multiple monitors and are using several monitors, you may have If you are not, don’t worry! Follow the steps mentioned below, and you’ll be able to fix this issue in no time.
- Go to Settings and click on System
- Choose Multitasking from the right-hand column
- Scroll down and look for Virtual desktops and click on the dropdown that says Pressing Alt + Tab shows windows that are open on
3. Modify Registry Values
Here’s how you can modify registry values –
- Open the Run command by pressing the Windows + R keys.
- Type regedit and press enter or click on
- Follow this path –
HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer
- Search for AltTabSettings DWORD. If you don’t find these settings, you will have to create new settings. For that, right-click on the right pane, click on New and then choose
DWORD (32-bit). Rename this to AltTabSettings
- Double click on this AltTabSettings DWORD and change the value to 1. Now, click on OK
If you already have AltTabSettings, right-click on it and press Delete from the menu. Click on Yes. This should resolve the issue of Alt-Tab not working in Windows 10.
4. Reinstall Keyboard Driver
The importance of drivers cannot be stressed upon enough. They communicate with the peripherals of your system and make them work. Needless to say, if a significant driver is missing, malfunctions can soon start to surface and Windows 10 Alt-Tab not working is one such malfunction.
Now, there are two ways you can resolve the issue. You could either update your driver manually or more conveniently, use a driver updater software to do the same.
To update the driver manually follow these simple steps –
- Press Windows +R keys and type msc which will open up the device manager for you
- Locate Keyboards and expand the arrow button
- Right-click on your keyboard and select Update driver
- Select the option that says search automatically for updated driver software
- Once you have installed the driver, restart your computer and check if the Alt-Tab combo has started to function once again or not?
You can download a driver updater software like Advanced Driver Updater from Systweak Software. It resolves hardware errors just like Windows 10 Alt-Tab not working which may have occurred because of faulty keyboard drivers.
- Scans for outdated drivers
- Download updated drivers
- You can even choose to create a backup of old drivers
As you can see from the screenshot below, my keyboard driver was outdated. I clicked on the Update driver button and was able to update the keyboard driver because of which the Alt+Tab combination started to work again.
5. Restart Your Windows Explorer
One of the ways to resolve the Alt-tab not working in Windows 10 issue is to restart the Windows Explorer using the Task Manager. Here’s how this can be done –
- Open the Task Manager. This can be done in various ways. The easiest way is to press Ctrl+Shift+Escape.
- Locate Windows Explorer > right-click on it > choose Restart
Windows Explorer will restart again, and your Alt-Tab combination should work just fine.
6. Enable Peek In Settings
Just by merely enabling peek option, you can fix Alt-Tab Not working in Windows – 10 issues. For this –
- Start by typing advanced .. and then click open advanced system settings
- Click on the Advanced tab. Then, under the Performance section click on Settings
- Click on Enable Peek and then click on OK
What I Recommend?
Based on my experience, before I had updated the keyboard driver, solution number 6 worked just fine for me, at least for once.
But, then after having downloaded the driver, I was able to resolve the Alt-Tab not working issue permanently. So, if you are facing the same issue, do let us know what has worked for you? You could also bookmark our troubleshooting section that caters to most common Windows 10 issues.
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