8 Ways to Fix Alt-Tab Shortcut Not Working on Windows

Alt-Tab Shortcut Not Working

Windows 10 comes with appropriate keyboard shortcuts that help you navigate through your system effectively. The Alt-Tab shortcut allows you to conduct a quick overview and easy switch between your open Windows.

However, you may press the Alt +Tab keys combination, and your computer fails to respond. Or else Windows displays the opened applications for a second or two and then disappears. This means that there is an issue with your Alt-Tab.

Here we have established the Alt-Tab failures and remedies to fix the Alt-Tab not working on Windows 10.

Causes of Alt-Tab failure in Windows 10


Before we go to the remedies to solve Alt-Tab issues, let's understand what causes Alt-Tab failure. The Alt-Tab shortcut is affected by mishaps occurring within your system.  The most common Alt-Tab failures include:

1. Shortcut override

Have you installed any applications recently?  Some applications cause an override on your Alt-Tab shortcut. Therefore, manipulating the general functioning of your Alt-Tab shortcut.

2. Registry changes

Some applications conflict with the system registry options with the previous system settings. This makes your system fail to recognize the Alt-Tab shortcut for switching between apps.

3. Peripherals

Your attached peripherals such as the mouse, headsets, or keyboard may lead to the Alt Tabs shortcut failure.

4. Windows explorer error

Windows explorer triggers the core functioning of your system.  In case the Windows explorer encounters an error, the general functioning of your system may be messed up, thus including the systems shortcuts such as the Alt-Tab.

5. Drivers

Drivers are the key operators of your attached peripherals. If your drivers are outdated, incompatible, or missing, your systems shortcuts functionality may fail.

Failure of the Alt-Tab shortcut may arise from other errors within your system. If you have ever experienced this challenge, you know how frustrating and in-efficient it is. Now, let's focus on the procedures to troubleshoot these failures.

1. Ensure that your keyboard works efficiently

Keyboard keys are fragile, and at some point, they may not be pressing down properly. First, conduct a key test to see if the Alt + Tab keys work properly by going to a website that shows and automatically detects the keys you press down.

2. Use the other Alt key on your keyboard

On your keyboard, there are two Alt keys. If one of the Alt keys is not responding, try using the other Alt key. Or else you may try using the Alt+Tab +Esc shortcut. This shortcut may help fix the general Alt + Tab issues.

3. Restart the Windows explorer

Restarting your Windows explorer is known for fixing the failed functionality of the Alt-Tab keys. Restart the Windows explorer by launching the Task Manager:

Step 1: Right-click on space in your taskbar and choose Task Manager. Or else you may use the Ctrl +Shift + Esc

Step 2: Click on More Details.

Step 3: Select and right-click on Windows Explorer.

windows explorer

Step 4: From the Context Menu, choose Restart.


Step 5: Wait as the Windows explorer restarts and check if the Alt-Tab resumes its functionality.

4. Change the Alt-Tab Registry Values Settings

You can also fix the Alt-tab problem by simply changing its registry values. Here is how to do it:

Step 1: To launch Run, Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard.

Step 2: After the window opens, type in Regedit and click on Ok.


Step 3: Click the Arrow Symbol next to a folder's name to expand it as you navigate the Registry Editor.

Step 4: Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER~Software~Microsoft~Windows~CurrentVersion~Explorer.


Step 5: Check if you have a value called AltTabSettings (if not, right-click on the space and select New~DWORD (32-BIT) Value, then name it AltTabSettings.

Step 6: Double click on AltTabSettings and change its value data to 1, then click OK.

Step 7: Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer to see if the Alt-Tab shortcut works.

5. Update your keyboard driver

In case you did check the keyboard and all is okay. Drivers may be the cause of the problem you are experiencing at the moment. To update the keyboard drivers on your Windows 10:

Step 1: To launch Run, Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard.

Step 2: Type in msc and click Ok.

Step 3: The device manager will show all the running and installed drivers.

Step 4: Expand Keyboards by clicking on the Arrow Symbol.


Step 5: Right-click on your Keyboard and choose Update Driver.

update driver

Step 6: Choose “look for a driver online” and let Windows 10 determine the latest driver compatible with your device.

6. Make sure peek is enabled

By Enabling the Peek option, you are also able to fix the Alt-Tab that’s not working. Here is how to do it:

Step 1: Click on the Search icon on the taskbar and type in Advances System Settings.

Step 2: Click on the matching result, therefore, opening a new window on your screen.

Step 3: On the Performance Section, click on Settings.

Step 4: Ensure the Enable Peek has a checkmark; if not, click on the empty box to place one and then click OK.

Step 5: Restart your computer and check if the Alt-Tab works.

7. Uninstall third-party keyboard apps

If you are using any third-party applications for your keyboard, consider disabling or, better yet, uninstalling them. Here is how to go about it:

Step 1: Click on the Windows button and then choose Settings indicated by a gear icon.


Step 2: Click on Apps.


Step 3: Search for any third-party keyboard that may be installed.

Step 4: Click on the third-party keyboard app and click on Uninstall.

Step 5: Follows the on-screen instructions to remove the application.

Step 6: Restart your computer and check if the Alt-Tab works.

8. Disconnect peripherals

Unplug all connected peripherals and test the Alt-Tab shortcut after disconnecting each device. If the Alt-Tab shortcut starts working after you have disconnected any a certain device, then you will have found the reason your Alt-Tab was failing to work properly.


If the Alt-Tab is not working on your PC, there are different methods that you can use to fix it. You can use any of the methods highlighted above to resolve this issue. With that said, we come to the end of this post.

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