Fix Alt Tab Not Working

Alt Tab Not Working

Are Alt-Tab keys on your keyboard not responding while pressing them? Are you unable to switch the opened windows speedily using this keyboard shortcut? You have landed in the right place.

Many Windows PC users have complained that the Alt + Tab keys are not working on their keyboards. To help them, we have come up with workable methods that solve the issue.

Generally, the Alt + Tab are one of the most-used keyboard shortcuts while working on our Windows PCs. By using these keys at a time, we can navigate to different windows that are active.

Sometimes, the Alt-Tab keys will not function on our keyboards. If that happens, then you won’t switch the windows faster and easier. It consumes a little more time to open other windows on our system.

That’s the reason why most users search for troubleshooting steps to fix this Alt-Tab Not Working problem. Scroll down this article until the end to know everything about this issue.


Alt Tab Not Working: Problem Overview

There are several keyboard shortcuts with the combination of multiple keys. For example, to open Task Manager on our Windows PC, we can use Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys at the same time.

Like this, we can open several applications and perform a variety of actions while working on the computer. One such essential keyboard shortcut is Alt-Tab.

We open a huge number of windows, such as browser, file explorer, and others, to do our tasks. If you are surfing on your web browser and suddenly want to open the file explorer, then we can use the Alt-Tab keys to open it.

Instead of opening the windows through the mouse, we can navigate to multiple windows using Alt+Tab keys. But in some cases, it stops working even after pressing multiple times.

There are a few reasons for causing this Alt-Tab Not Working issue, and they are:

  • Keyboard drivers are missing, outdated, and incompatible on your Windows PC.
  • Alt & Tab keys are not working on your keyboard.
  • Other hardware peripherals, such as a mouse, pen drive, and others, might be causing this issue.
  • The functioning of the Alt+Tab keys may be changed due to the installation of any corrupted application.
  • Registry changes
  • Your keyboard is entirely damaged
  • In case if your PC is infected with the virus, then the Alt-Tab keys will not work.
  • Corrupted Windows System Files
  • Outdated Video Card drivers

You need to find which one from the above list is causing the Alt-Tab Not Working issue. After that, select the best-suitable method that fixes the problem.


Alt Tab Not Working: Related Problems

In this post, we are also listing a few errors (with their solutions) that you can face with this Alt-Tab keyboard shortcut.


Basic Troubleshooting Steps

Firstly, let’s use the basic methods listed below in order to fix the Alt-Tab Not Working on your Windows PC.

  • Check for Hardware Issues

Mainly, the problem occurs when there are simple hardware issues. By fixing them, you can use the Alt+Tab keyboard shortcut without any issues.

On our keyboards, the Alt key is placed on the left side and the right side of the space bar. If one side of the Alt key is not working, try using another Alt key, along with the Tab key.

If your keyboard is older, then it stops functioning improperly. So, if you face this error, then connect it to another computer and check the Alt-Tab keyboard shortcut is working or not.

If there are no such hardware failures, then move to the next methods to fix it.

  • Run Antivirus Scan

These kinds of issues are very common if your computer is totally infected with viruses. Until and unless you run the virus scanner and clear the virus-infected items from your PC, you won’t fix the Alt-Tab Not Working issue.

We suggest BullGuard Antivirus to perform a full system scan. Once you complete the virus scanning, restart your computer and check the Alt + Tab keyboard shortcut is working or not.


Also Read:- Fix Enter Key Not Working [Quick Troubleshooting Guide]


  • Run System File Checker

Some users have also suggested that running the System File Checker can fix the keyboard issues. Since it repairs the corrupted system files, it makes the keyboard shortcuts to work without errors.

  1. Press Windows + X to open the menu -> Click Command Prompt (Admin).
    Choose the Command Prompt (admin) option
  2. Now, you have to type the sfc /scannow command and hit Enter.
    In The Command Prompt Type sfc scannow. (1)
  3. It will thoroughly scan the entire computer and finds the corrupted files to repair them with the correct ones.

Within a few minutes, it will finish the verification process. After that, check the Alt-Tab Not Working error is disappeared or still persists.


Steps To Fix Alt Tab Not Working Issue

You have some more troubleshooting methods to resolve the Alt-Tab Not Working and switch to the opened windows easily & quickly.


  • Step 1

Update Keyboard Drivers

Didn’t you upgrade the keyboard drivers on your Windows computer? Then we blame you when your keyboard is not functioning correctly. Until you update the keyboard drivers, the Alt + Tab keys will not work at all.

  1. Press Windows + R -> Type devmgmt.msc -> Click OK.
    Enter devmgmt.msc in the Run box
  2. Expand Keyboards -> Right-click the Standard PS/2 Keyboard -> Click Update Driver.
    Right-click on your keyboard and select the Update Drivers option (1)
  3. After that, you will see a new window on your desktop screen. In that, click Search automatically for the updated driver software.
  4. Now, follow the on-screen steps to finish the update process of your keyboard drivers.

If you think this entire task is a time-consuming one, then use IObit Driver Booster to update the keyboard drivers automatically.


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  • Step 2

Restart File Explorer

In addition to the above, restarting Windows Explorer will make the Alt-Tab functioning correctly on our systems. You can restart the file explorer by executing the below steps.

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard to open the Task Manager.
    Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc buttons
  2. After that, click More Options placed at the bottom of the window.
  3. Now, right-click the Windows Explorer and choose Restart.
  4. You have to wait until the Windows Explorer restarts on your computer.

Finally, test the Alt-Tab shortcut is working error-freely or not.


  • Step 3

Enable Peek on your Windows

If the Peek feature on your Windows PC is disabled, then the chances of occurring the Alt-Tab Not Working error is more. So, enable the Peek option and overcome this problem on your system.

  1. Press Windows + R -> Type sysdm.cpl -> Hit Enter.
  2. Under the System Properties window, go to the Advanced tab.
  3. After that, click the Settings button under the Performance.
  4. Find the Enable Peek option. If this option is unticked, then tick the checkbox to turn on the Peek feature.

Now, use the Alt + Tab keys to open other windows. If you still face the same error, then use other tricks given below.


  • Step 4

Uninstall Third-party Keyboard Apps

Have you installed any third-party keyboard applications on your Windows 10? If your answer is yes, then these programs might be conflicting with your keyboard device.

We recommend you uninstall all those third-party apps and check the Alt-Tab Not Working error is solved or not.


Also Read:- eyboard Keeps Disconnecting: ISSUE FIXED (All Makes & Model Fix)


  • Step 5

Modify AltTabSettings Registry Value

By modifying the registry values, we can make various changes to your system, applications, and others. You can resolve the Alt-Tab Not Working issue by changing the AltTabSettings registry values.

  1. Press Windows logo -> Type registry editor -> Hit Enter.
    Type regedit in the run box
  2. Once the Registry Editor is opened on your PC, copy & paste the below path in the address bar.
    1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
  3. Find the AltTabSettings value on the right-side panel. If you didn’t see any such registry item,
  4. Then create it. For that, right-click the empty space -> choose New -> select DWORD (32-bit) Value -> Rename it as AltTabSettings.
  5. After that, double-click the AltTabSettings to change its registry value.
  6. Under the value data section, type 1 -> Click OK.

After closing the Registry Editor, test the Alt-Tab keyboard shortcut is working finely or not.


  • Step 6

Unplug Removable Devices

We connect various hardware peripherals, such as mice, external hard drives, printers, scanners, etc. Some users get rid of this issue simply by unplugging the removable devices.

We want you to try your luck in fixing the Alt-Tab Not Working by removing the external components connected to your Windows computer.

If you failed to solve the issue, then reconnect the unplugged devices and move to the next method.


  • Step 7

Update Windows 10

Expired Windows OS becomes the reason for most of the issues on our systems. If we upgrade the operating system, then those errors will vanish completely.

If you are using an older Windows version even though Microsoft released the new updates, perform the update process now. For that,

  1. Press Windows + I to open the Settings window.
  2. From the list of settings, click Update & Security.
    Choose The ‘Update And Security’ Option
  3. Under the Windows Update tab, go with the Check for Updates button.
  4. Wait until Windows will check for the latest updates by connecting to the Microsoft servers.
    Check For Update
  5. If there are any such new Windows updates, then it will automatically install them on your PC.

Once the Windows update gets finished, test the Alt-Tab keyboard shortcut is functioning rightly or not.


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Tips To Avoid Alt Tab Not Working

  • Clean your keyboard regularly with a soft cloth to remove the dust that is underneath the keys so that we won’t come across these issues.
  • Plug the USB cable of your keyboard tightly into the USB port of your PC.
  • If you find the keyboard cable damaged, then replace it with a new one to work without any errors.
  • Regularly scan the PC with antivirus software to keep your Windows virus-free.
  • Check for the latest Windows updates and install them in order to use the keyboard shortcuts error-freely.


Contact Official Support

Most of the time, the Alt + Tab keyboard shortcut stops functioning due to hardware failure. If you come across this issue, then the above methods will surely resolve it.

When none of them helps you, then unplug your current keyboard and replace it with a new one. Before that, you can try contacting the manufacturer of your keyboard.

If it is a Dell keyboard, then ask for help from the support team of Dell. They will reach you quickly with the best solutions that can fix the error.

As this is a simple problem, almost all people can overcome this issue with our tricks.


Final Words: Conclusion

To sum up everything, Windows users can solve the problems with one or other methods. We know the importance of using Alt + Tab keys in navigating to multiple windows quickly and easily.

Since it is very handy to open the active windows on our desktop, we are listing these methods to fix the issue whenever occurs. Even we welcome the users who have resolved the Alt-Tab Not Working issue with other techniques.

For any doubts or clarifications, simply leave the message in the following comment box. To get in touch with other troubleshooting guides, you can subscribe to our blog.

  • Post last modified:September 21, 2021
  • Post category:Windows
  • Post comments:0 Comments

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