Change Alt+Tab transparency in Windows 10

In Windows 10, there is a hidden secret tweak to customize the appearance and behavior of the Alt+Tab dialog. With a simple Registry tweak you can control the transparency level of its background or make it dim the Desktop wallpaper. Let's see how it can be done.

Change Alt+Tab transparency in Windows 10
To adjust the transparency of the 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: See how to jump to the desired Registry key with one click.

  3. Create here a new subkey here named MultitaskingView.
  4. Under the MultitaskingView subkey, create a new subkey here named AltTabViewHost.
  5. Under the AltTabViewHost subkey, create a new 32-bit DWORD value and name it Grid_backgroundPercent. Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows, you still need to create a 32-bit DWORD value.
    Set its value between 0 and 100 in decimals.
    0 - means a completely transparent Alt+Tab dialog background.
    100 - means a completely opaque Alt+Tab dialog background.
    In the following example, I set it to 50:

The default look of the Alt+Tab dialog's background:

The tweaked appearance of the Alt+Tab dialog background with Grid_backgroundPercent = 50:

The tweaked appearance of the Alt+Tab dialog background with Grid_backgroundPercent = 0:

 

Watch the following video to see this trick in action:

Tip: you can subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Use Winaero Tweaker

If you would like to avoid Registry editing, you can use Winaero Tweaker. It will allow  adjusting all the mentioned settings using a user friendly interface.

Dim Desktop wallpaper with Alt+Tab dialog in Windows 10
Another interesting option of the Alt+Tab dialog in Windows 10 is the ability to dim the Desktop wallpaper when you open the Alt+Tab dialog. You can control how much it will be dimmed with a simple Registry tweak.

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

    Tip: See how to jump to the desired Registry key with one click.

  3. Create here a new subkey here named MultitaskingView.
  4. Under the MultitaskingView subkey, create a new subkey here named AltTabViewHost.
  5. Under the AltTabViewHost subkey, create a new 32-bit DWORD value and name it BackgroundDimmingLayer_percent. Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows, you still need to create a 32-bit DWORD value.
    Set its value data between 0 and 100 in decimals.
    0 - means a non-dimmed desktop background when Alt+Tab is pressed.
    100 - means a completely dimmed desktop image when the Alt+Tab dialog is opened.
    In the following example, I set it to 50:

The default look of the Alt+Tab dialog's background:

Here is how BackgroundDimmingLayer_percent = 50 looks:

The completely dimmed desktop image when the Alt+Tab dialog is opened looks as follows:

Watch the following video to see this trick in action:

Tip: you can subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Use Winaero Tweaker

If you would like to avoid Registry editing, you can use Winaero Tweaker. It will allow  adjusting all the mentioned settings using a user friendly interface.

That's it.

What do you think about these tweaks? Do you like the customized appearance? What is your favorite trick? Tell us in the comments.

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12 thoughts on “Change Alt+Tab transparency in Windows 10

  1. Bob

    Background dimming is nice. I wish my favorite Alt+Tab replacement VistaSwitcher had it. I still use it as I cannot tolerate Alt+Tab. Task View is nice but not as nice as VistaSwitcher.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Because you are in Windows 10.
      The alt tab dialog doesn’t support the “classic” options in this OS.

      Reply
  2. DAVID SMITH

    Mine wasn’t working at all (Windows 7), it only switches between most recent window and current window and never even shows the multi-window switcher, than while going through your tutorial, I discovered that it works when I use Alt + Ctrl + Tab. It still didnt’ work with Alt + Tab even after using your tweaker (and manually applying the key mods in Regedt32, which were not there previously). I guess I have to get used to using a 3-fingered “salute” just to switch apps, what a pain…

    Reply
  3. Aryan

    The classic Alt+Tab Appearance looks cool in my new [© Microsoft Windows 10®™ (“19H1″ 10.18363.1016.0” “1909”)] Laptop! the basic feature about this Classic 2D Flip I like is that it shows any kind of operation running at the background even if it is not showing anywhere! it still works when I’ve opened any Modern Application, whether it’s Task View or Search, or Start Menu, or notification panel, it shows them as an just application icon with no name, except it shows Task View Title when opened task view!
    That good ol’ Settings or any good ol’ immersive app I open, it shows only application icon and it’s normal regular title! Just shows only the Unidentified application icon!

    Reply
  4. Phody

    With the AltTab classic appearance, you can also set the Columns & rows value :

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\CoolSwitchColumns
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\CoolSwitchRows

    that could be cool to add theses settings in Winaero / AltTab setting page ?

    Reply
  5. Shadow

    If you have a multi-monitor setup, the background dimming only works on the primary display; the others stay at full brightness. Is there a way to get the other displays to dim as well? I imagine it should be possible, since opening the Task View/Timeline makes all of the monitors dim.

    Reply
  6. Jude

    How can I enable the Windows 7 Alt+Tab behavior where it hides all open windows and ‘peeks’ at the window focused on by the selection rectangle. This feature was really useful when having several instances open of the same application -e.g. IDE’s and text editors.

    Reply
  7. Elwetana

    I am on Windows 11 and when using Alt+Tab in standard mode (i.e. with thumbnails), the window menu of the application I switched to is always activated (as if I pressed Alt).

    Changing to classic Alt+Tab dialogue solves this problem, so huge thanks! However, does anybody know why this happens in the first place?

    Reply

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