How to customize Alt-Tab in Windows 10

You can use the keyboard shortcut Alt-Tab on modern Windows devices to display and switch between all open program windows.

While you have other options to switch to other programs, Alt-Tab may be faster than those. One reason for that is that it displays previews of those open windows on the desktop so that identification of the right one may be easier.

You can switch to any of the open windows using the mouse — b

y clicking on the window — or keyboard — by tapping on the Tab-key to flip through the windows.

The only other option provided is to close any open program window by hovering the mouse cursor over the representation, and a click on the x-icon that appears when you do so.

Customize Alt-Tab in Windows 10

alt-tab windows

You can customize the Alt-Tab feature in Windows in several ways. Please note that this requires editing values in the Windows Registry, or using a third-party program that provides you with the options.

The three core options that you have in this regard are the following ones:

  1. Change the transparency level of the Alt-Tab interface border.
  2. Hide open Windows that may be displayed behind Alt-Tab.
  3. Dim the background of the desktop.

Change the transparency level of the Alt-Tab interface border

alt-tab-transparency

Do the following if you want to change the transparency of the Alt-Tab interface border.:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type regedit.exe, and hit the Enter-key.
  2. Confirm the UAC prompt.
  3. Navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorer
  4. Right-click on Explorer, and select New > Key.
  5. Name that key MultitaskingView.
  6. Right-click on MultitaskingView, and select New > Key.
  7. Name that key AltTabViewHost.
  8. Right-click on AltTabViewHost, and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
  9. Name that value Grid_backgroundPercent.
  10. Set the value in percent. 0 means 100% transparency and 100% no transparency.

Hide open Windows that may be displayed behind Alt-Tab

alt tab page wallpaper

  1. Use the instructions above to open the Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the Registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerMultitaskingViewAltTabViewHost
  3. Right-click on AltTabViewHost, and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
  4. Name the value Wallpaper.
  5. Set the value to 0 to display windows behind Alt-Tab.
  6. Set the value to 1 to hide windows behind Alt-Tab.

Dim the background of the desktop

background dim

Do the following to dim the desktop background when you use Alt-Tab.

  1. Check the instructions above to open the Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the key: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerMultitaskingViewAltTabViewHost
  3. Right-click on AltTabViewHost, and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
  4. Name it BackgroundDimmingLayer_percent.
  5. Set the value in percent, 100% is full dimming.

Use AltPlusTab for Windows

alt plus tab

If you don’t like editing the Registry, or prefer a fast solution, then you may use the free Windows program AltPlusTab instead. It supports all three features described above, but is less flexible when it comes to the values that you can set.

Still, it offers a quick solution to change the Alt-Tab transparency, and background behavior.

So how does it look like if you enable all three features? It could look something like this

tab switching

I have created a Registry script that you can run to make the changes with a single double-click. You can download the script with a click on the following link: alt-tab-registry.zip

Make sure you edit the values in the Registry file using a plain text editor such as Notepad before you run it.

Here is the full script:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; Set transparency of Alt-Tab interface between 00000000 (full transparency) and 000000100 (no transparency)

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerMultitaskingViewAltTabViewHost]
“Grid_backgroundPercent”=dword:00000100

; Set whether windows are shown behind the Alt-Tab interface. 00000000 is no, 00000001 is yes

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerMultitaskingViewAltTabViewHost]
“Wallpaper”=dword:00000001

; Sets the dim percentage of the background, 00000000 is no dimming, 00000100 is full dimming

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerMultitaskingViewAltTabViewHost]
“BackgroundDimmingLayer_percent”=dword:000000100

Now You: How do you switch between windows in Windows? (thanks Deskmodder)

Summary

Article Name

How to customize Alt-Tab in Windows 10

Description

The guide explains how you can customize the Alt-Tab switching interface of the Windows operating system by changing its transparency, dim value, or background window displays.

Author

Martin Brinkmann

Publisher

Ghacks Technology News

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About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand.You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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