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How to fix the Alt+Tab is not working problem

Here you will find out:

  • what to do when Alt-Tab is not working
  • how to fix this issue
  • how DiskInternals can help you

Are you ready? Let's read!

When Alt-Tab is not working

If your mouse goes bad, you can still operate the computer using keyboard shortcuts. The most common keyboard shortcut used is Alt + Tab, which is the shortcut to toggle between active applications that are running on the computer. But when this keyboard shortcut stops working and your mouse won't work too, what should you do? Well, there are other shortcuts for toggling between active apps; have you tried, for example, Windows key + Tab? But let's see how to fix the "Alt+Tab not working" problem.

Method 1: Check the keyboard

If you’re using an external keyboard that’s connected to the computer using a USB cable, check if the cable is connected to the right port on your computer.

Also, check if the Alt and Tab keys are actually working: open a document editor, and try to use the Tab key to shift the cursor. If it works, then your Tab key is working. For the Alt key, press it and check if some letters appear on the menu bar. If so, then the Tab key also works. The problem, then, may be due to something else.

Method 2: Change Alt-Tab Settings

This method is advanced; you should be careful when handling Windows Registry files. Follow the guide below to launch the Registry Editor and change Alt-Tab settings.

  • Launch the “Run” box (Windows key + R).
  • Type “Regedit” (without quotes) and hit “Enter”.
  • Go to this file path: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Explorer.
  • Look for the AltTabSettings entry; if you can’t find it, create a new file (right-click an empty space and select New → DWORD (32-bit) Value) and save it as “AltTabSettings”.
  • Open the file and change “Value Data” to “1”.
  • Click OK to save.
  • Restart the computer and check if Alt-Tab is now working.

Method 3: Restart Windows Explorer

Other users have fixed the "Alt-Tab doesn't work" issue by simply restarting Windows Explorer from the "Processes" tab.

  • Right-click on Start and choose "Task Manager" (click on "More Details" if Task Manager opens in minimal view)
  • In the “Processes” tab, scroll down and look for Windows Explorer.
  • Right-click on it and click on “Restart”.

Recover deleted files with efficient software

Hopefully, the methods above will help to get your Alt-Tab shortcuts working as expected. However, if you have ever lost a file saved on your PC and you wish to get it back, irrespective of how the file was lost (malware attack, deletion, or corrupted files), DiskInternals Uneraser will help you do that.

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