Most of use Alt+Tab to switch windows, but what some of us don’t know is that there are a variety of hidden keyboard shortcuts that make the Alt+Tab switcher a lot more powerful and easier to use. You can customise it in many ways and you can also download third party apps with more features.
Most people just press the Alt+Tab to reach the window that we are searching for, thus missing out on many useful tricks .
Arrow Keys: Press the arrow keys while the Alt+Tab switcher is available to easily select the window you want. Selecting a window will make it visible, so you can easily find the window you want. Release the Alt key or press Enter to switch to the selected window.
Alt+Tab in Reverse: If you’re pressing Alt+Tab and accidentally go past the window you want to select, you don’t have to press the Tab key repeatedly to cycle through all open windows. Use the Alt+Shift+Tab keyboard shortcut to select windows in reverse order.
Use The Mouse: The Alt+Tab switcher can also be used with a mouse. Just click one of the thumbnails with your mouse to activate the window. Hovering over a thumbnail will make the window visible.
Use Alt+Tab Without Holding The Alt Key Down: To use Alt+Tab without holding the Alt key down the entire time, press the Alt+Ctrl+Tab keys at the same time. You can then release all the keys and the Alt+Tab switcher will remain visible. Use the arrow keys and Enter key or the mouse to select your desired window.
Close the Alt+Tab Switcher: You can press the Escape key to close the Alt+Tab switcher without switching to another window. This can be more convenient than hunting down the window you started with if you decide you don’t want to switch windows.
Classic Alt+Tab Switcher
If you don’t like Windows 7’s new Alt+Tab switcher and prefer the classic-style Alt+Tab switcher without any transparency or thumbnails, you can still use it on Windows 7.
To activate the old-style Alt+Tab switcher, hold down the left Alt key, press and release the right Alt key while holding the left Alt key down, and then press Tab. The classic Alt+Tab switcher will appear; you can now Alt+Tab like you would on older versions of Windows.
Use a Third-Party Alt+Tab Switcher
You don’t have to use the Alt+Tab switcher Microsoft includes with Windows. You can use a third-party replacement like Vistaswitcher. Don’t let the name fool you – while VistaSwitcher was originally designed for Windows Vista, it also works on Windows 7 and offers a different interface with more configurability than the default Alt+Tab switcher.