How to get the old Alt Tab dialog in Windows 10

In Windows 10, there is an updated Alt+Tab user interface. It tries to show window thumbnails proportionally when you switch between windows. Depending on how many windows you have open, the preview size of windows is scaled up in size or made smaller. Not every Windows 10 user is happy with this change. Many users would like to get the old Alt Tab view back in Windows 10. If you want it back, here is what you can do.


While it is not possible to get the Alt + Tab UI which was available in Windows 8 and Windows 7, it is possible to get the classic Alt + Tab UI which was available in Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows. This is possible with a simple Registry tweak.
To get the old Alt Tab dialog in Windows 10 and disable the Task View-like new Alt+Tab dialog, you need to do the following:

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

    Tip: You can access any desired Registry key with one click.
    If you do not have such a Registry key, then just create it.

  3. Create a new 32-bit DWORD value named AltTabSettings and set it to 1. alt tab
  4. Sign out from your Windows 10 session and sign in again.

Now, press the Alt + Tab shortcut keys together on the keyboard.
Before:

windows 10 alt tab before

After:

windows 10 classic alt tab Alternatively, you can use Winaero Tweaker. Download Winaero Tweaker and go to Appearance\Alt+Tab appearance:

Winaero Tweaker alt tab 10 There, you can enable the option "Enable classic Alt+Tab dialog" and avoid Registry editing.

You are done. To revert everything back, delete the earlier mentioned AltTabSettings Registry value. This tweak will not entirely disable the Task View feature. The taskbar button and Win + Tab will continue to show Task View.

49 thoughts on “How to get the old Alt Tab dialog in Windows 10

  1. tabletmodesucks

    Do you know how to get the old Windows 8.1 start screen back? I want horizontal scrolling and more than 4 columns.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      I don’t know yet.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
      1. tabletmodesucks

        Ok, Thank you. :( I have to downgrade to 8.1 because of this. Tablet mode is unusable on tablets.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

        Reply
        1. Expenzor

          Hey, you can access the old Start screen by clicking on the Notification icon in the taskbar which is near the clock. Then you’ll see a slide-in menu on the right. Below you’ll find multiple toggle switches, one among them is called Tablet mode, that’s probably what you’re looking for.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          Reply
      2. tazmo8448

        I have also found that Disable Hot Keys also restores the Alt>Tab function in W10

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        Reply
  2. EBIN

    Ah no 7/8 one. New one looks like some weird Linux distro try-hard.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

    Reply
  3. ngyikp

    You can also temporarily get the classic Alt-Tab by holding down the left Alt key, quickly tapping the right Alt key, and then press Tab :)

    Unfixed since Vista to 10 :P

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      I know. I covered this in the following article
      http://winaero.com/blog/two-secrets-of-alt-tab-dialog-in-windows-10-you-might-not-be-aware-of/

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      Reply
  4. euranion

    Is it possible to resize the alt-tab window? I want the same looks but smaller.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      i found no tweak for this yet.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  5. Kelly Rose

    I really don’t get all this point of making new features revert back to Windows 8 features. Why even install Windows 10 in the 1st place? Just revert back to Windows 8.1 if you don’t want the new features or stay in old retro area.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 13

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Kelly, it is not a Win8 feature.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      Reply
    2. KMB

      I really don’t get the point of people that presume to know everyone else’s workflow and/or what’s best for them … or people telling other people what they should or should not want. That’s pretty funny.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  6. Nicolas Cossio

    Hello, I follow all the steps you say in this post but nothing changes. I create a new 32-bit DWORD put 1 then i restart but its same.

    Please help because this new Alt + Tab sucks

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      This is strange because it works for me.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
    2. Justin Lee

      Are you using 64X windows?
      As far as I know, in some cases, registries are located differently in 32X and 64X version.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  7. Bala R

    Outstanding and up to the point solution to the problem. Thanks a lot. ALT+TAB works now.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  8. Olivier

    Hi,

    In my case, alt-tab interface does not appear anymore, alt tab key just changes process.

    Olivier

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  9. Wasim

    Try this easy fix: Microsoft Fixit 50801 from Microsoft KB KB2636670
    Each Excel file will be opened in separete windows (separate process) and Alt+Tab combination in Windows 10 will work correctly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Wasim

      Type in google “Microsoft Fixit 50801”

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  10. kyuzhai

    Hey..It’s worked, simple tweaks yet very usefull for me
    thanks !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Don’t mention it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  11. marcello

    I tried this tweak some time ago and it worked fine, but last Win update reverted it, and now it doesn’t work any more!
    Windows 10 sucks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  12. Nathan

    Thanks for this registry edit. It worked for my boss. It’s always a good thing to keep the boss happy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      heh, you are welcome.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  13. cyln

    Thank you so much!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  14. Mikhail

    I was searching for a solution to get back the old Alt-Tab functionality when working with Microsoft Excel under Windows 10. By default, if you wish to switch between two separate Excel files with Alt-Tab you need to Press Alt and then twice Tab. This new feature was a pain for me.

    The first solution is to use the Registry workaround described above in this articel. That does the job.

    However, I found a more elagant solution if you would like to keep the new look of Alt-Tab (i.e. visual previews of the open programs). Create the following easy Autohotkey script:

    SetTitleMatchMode, 2
    #IfWinActive, Microsoft Excel
    {
    LAlt & Tab::
    Send, {Alt Down}{Tab}{Tab}{Alt Up}
    Return
    }
    #IfWinActive

    Put it in the Windows autostart and it works like a charm!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  15. robs.rectangle@gmail.com

    Will this solution add back the DESKTOP option when pressing Alt-Tab? This is the only element I miss from the current Alt-Tab..
    Thanks!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Jungle

      Yeah, I would like to have that back too. Its a pain switching from full screen programs to the desktop now.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  16. Pete I

    I write with tears of joy. The one thing I’ve hated about Windows 10 since I upgraded from 7 was the loss of the icons-only option of the display of open applications with ALT-TAB. It was taking my eyes about three times as long to find the one I wanted, even if I attempted not to look at the previews, than with icons only. I’ve searched and searched, but only just found this solution. Thank you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      I am happy that this trick has resolved your issue.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
    2. Bob

      Well if that gives you tears of joy, you will cry buckets of water if you try VistaSwitcher: http://winaero.com/blog/review-vistaswitcher-best-alttab-replacement-that-also-works-with-modern-apps/

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  17. adnan

    thanks dear its working… and i got rid off this Alt+Tab useless new feature

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  18. Xav

    Thanks a lot ! It worked perfectly for me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      you are welcome

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  19. pigeon

    Thanks man! Old alt tab is the best, i’m used to this since Win95 I think and I keep overriding the new windows functionality. Mac has similar functionality where you see small intuitive icons. So much easier to quickly find what you’re looking for. The new previews are so annoying and takes forever to figure out what is what.

    This is more like tabs in your notebook, quick and easy and find.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  20. Mano

    I am using windows 10 pro and i had done the setting in registry key but after restarting when i press alt-tab nothing is showing up. Please suggest what to do now?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Avthar

      Try Deleting the Key, may be you have wrong typed the registry key name….

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  21. Jaydeep

    Thanks a lot ! It worked for me.

    but after doing this start menu button is not working.!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      It is not related to this trick.
      Windows 10 has the extremely buggy start menu.
      It stops working for no reason.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  22. Fahim

    Thanks Bro

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  23. Pablo

    I had same problem with Alt+Tab working under Windows 10.
    Through your post, I could solve the problem clearly.
    Thanks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  24. Errera Alfred

    It was very helpful and this awful problem is now solved. Thanks a lot

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply
  25. Nikita

    THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BIG THANKS!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You are welcome.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply

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