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Alt+Tab not working: Quick Fix

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  • 4 min read

Over the years, almost all of us have become accustomed to several of Windows’ hotkeys. The Alt-Tab combination is perhaps the most common of these. The shortcut lets you quickly jump between various tabs and programs open on your PC without using the mouse.

However, at times these hotkeys can stop working out of the blue. If your Atl-Tab shortcut isn’t working, here are a few steps you can take to fix that

Check your keyboard

The first thing you should do is check your keyboard for damage or any physical defects like broken switches or cables. If you’ve got multiple keyboards attached to your machine, try all of them to isolate the issue. 

Also read: How to fix File System Error in Windows 10?

Try modifying the registry

You can modify the registry to enable or disable the Alt-Tab toggle. Doing so might get it working again. 

Step 1: Press Windows Key + R to open the Run prompt. Type regedit and hit enter.

Step 2: Navigate to the following directory.


Step 3: Look for the AltTabSettings DWORD. If you can’t find one, right-click the space on the right, click New followed by DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the value AltTabSettings and hit enter. 

Step 4; Make sure the value of the key is set to 1. 

Now restart your computer, and the shortcut should start working again. 

Restart Windows Explorer

Restarting Windows Explorer can also help solve a bunch of issues, including this one.

Step 1: Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.

Step 2: Under the Processes tab, find Windows Explorer. Right-click it and select Restart.

Your shortcut should start working now. 

Also read: Google Play server error: 7 Fixes

Reinstall your keyboard drivers

Misconfigured or corrupt keyboard drivers can also cause such issues. Here’s how to fix them.

Step 1: Press Windows key + R to open the Run prompt. Type devmgmt.msc and hit enter.

Step 2: Find your keyboard, right-click it and select Update driver. Alternatively, you can also select Uninstall device and restart your computer. 

Wait for the driver update/installation to finish, and your keyboard should start working normally. 

Make sure peek is enabled

If the Peek option is disabled, it can at times impact your multi-tasking hotkeys.

Step 1: Press Windows key + R to open the Run prompt. Type sysdm.cpl and hit enter.

Step 2: Head over to the Advanced tab and click the Settings button under Performance.

Step 3: Make sure that the Enable Peek option is checked.

Restart your computer and try again. 

Use the Group Policy Editor

You can enable and disable hotkeys from the Group Policy Editor. Doing so can sometimes get your shortcuts working again. Note that this method will only work on Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise.

Step 1: Press Windows key + R to open the Run prompt. Type gpedit.msc and hit enter.

Step 2: Navigate to the following policy.

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer

Step 3: Double-click the Turn off Windows Key hotkeys option and ensure that the hotkeys are enabled. 

Now restart your PC, and it should be working just fine. 

Also read: How to fix Error 1053 in Windows?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

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