Make the Windows 10 taskbar switch app windows without clicking on thumbnails

When taskbar button grouping (combining) is on, you can make the taskbar switch to the last active program window in the group with a single click. After doing a simple Registry tweak, you don't need to click once on the app group and then click again on the thumbnail to switch to that app. Switching to the last used app directly by clicking just once is faster compared to the default taskbar behavior. Here's what you need to do.

Before you proceed, it is worth mentioning that you can achieve the same behavior by holding the CTRL key as you click the taskbar button with the app group. When you hold down CTRL, window thumbnails do not get shown, instead the last active window will become focused.
But holding down CTRL is not convenient, so we can do the following tweak:

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key:

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

  3. Create a new 32-bit DWORD value here called LastActiveClick. A DWORD value data of 1 means it will switch to the last active window in the group, 0 means it won't switch to the last active window but will instead show you the list of thumbnails to choose from. So, in our case we need to set it to 1.
  4. Sign out and log in back to your Windows account. Alternatively, you can just restart the Explorer shell and you are done.

To revert to the earlier behavior, just delete the LastActiveClick value and restart Explorer.
This trick works in earlier versions of Windows too including Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and Windows 7. We mentioned it in our article Tweak the taskbar in Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows 7 with hidden secret registry settings.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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