A few days ago, I installed classic shell on my computer but then uninstalled it. However, there is still a problem with the task switcher (alt + tab) as it only shows app icons in an XP-style format. I attempted to locate the configuration option to revert to the default appearance but was unable to find it.
Can you tell me where I can locate this setting?
Understanding the Task Switcher (alt + tab)
Before we dive into the solution to the problem of the task switcher only showing app icons in an XP-style format, let’s first understand what the task switcher is and how it works. The task switcher is a feature in Windows that allows users to switch between open applications quickly. By pressing the alt + tab keys simultaneously, the task switcher is activated, and a window appears displaying all open applications, allowing users to select the one they want to switch to.
The Problem with the Task Switcher (alt + tab)
As mentioned earlier, the problem with the task switcher is that it only shows app icons in an XP-style format. This issue can be frustrating for users who prefer the default appearance or are used to seeing the thumbnails of open applications. This problem usually occurs after installing and uninstalling third-party software, such as classic shell, which modifies the task switcher settings.
Locating the Task Switcher Configuration Option
To fix the issue with the task switcher, users need to locate the configuration option for it. The configuration option is usually located in the Windows Settings app, which can be accessed by clicking on the Start menu and selecting the settings icon. Once the Settings app is open, navigate to the System section and select Multitasking.
Changing the Task Switcher Settings
In the Multitasking section of the Settings app, users can change the settings for the task switcher. To change the task switcher appearance from XP-style to thumbnails, select the dropdown menu under the Alt + Tab heading and select the option that says “Open windows and all tabs in Edge.” This option will show the thumbnails of all open applications in the task switcher window.
Using Third-Party Apps to Customize the Task Switcher
While the built-in task switcher in Windows is functional, some users prefer to use third-party apps to customize it further. These third-party apps offer more customization options, such as changing the size of the thumbnails or adding additional applications to the task switcher.
One such app is AltTab Tuner, which allows users to customize the appearance and behavior of the task switcher. This app is free and can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store. Another app is VistaSwitcher, which offers similar customization options but is not free.
In conclusion, the task switcher is a useful feature in Windows that allows users to switch between open applications quickly. However, sometimes the task switcher settings can be modified by third-party software, causing it to display app icons in an XP-style format. To fix this issue, users need to locate the task switcher configuration option in the Windows Settings app and change the settings to display thumbnails. Additionally, third-party apps can be used to further customize the task switcher.
It sounds like you’re using a version of Windows that includes the option to use the classic Alt+Tab task switcher, which displays only icons for open windows. To switch back to the default Alt+Tab task switcher, which displays a list of open windows as thumbnails, follow these steps:
- Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
- Type “control panel” and press Enter to open the Control Panel.
- In the Control Panel, click on “Appearance and Personalization.”
- Click on “Personalization.”
- In the left pane, click on “Taskbar and Start Menu.”
- In the right pane, click on the “Taskbar” tab.
- Under the “Taskbar appearance” section, click on the “Use Aero Peek to preview the desktop” checkbox to select it.
- Click on the “Apply” button to apply the changes.
This should switch the Alt+Tab task switcher back to the default appearance. If you continue to have problems with the Alt+Tab task switcher, you may need to reset the taskbar settings to their default values. To do this, follow these steps:
- Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
- Type “cmd” and press Enter to open a Command Prompt window.
- Type the following command and press Enter: taskbar settings -reset
- Close the Command Prompt window.
This should reset the taskbar settings to their default values, including the Alt+Tab task switcher.
If you have followed the steps above and the Alt+Tab task switcher is still not displaying the default appearance, you may need to try additional troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue. Some possible things to try include:
- Restarting your computer: Sometimes, restarting your computer can help resolve issues with the Alt+Tab task switcher or other system settings.
- Checking for updates: Make sure that you have the latest updates installed for your operating system. Sometimes, updates can resolve issues with system settings or other features.
- Checking for malware: It’s possible that malware or other malicious software could be causing issues with the Alt+Tab task switcher or other system settings. Run a full scan of your system using your antivirus software to check for malware and remove any that is found.
- Checking for third-party software conflicts: If you have recently installed any third-party software that could be causing issues with the Alt+Tab task switcher or other system settings, try uninstalling the software to see if it resolves the issue.
If you continue to have problems after trying these steps, you may need to seek additional help from a computer technician or the manufacturer of your operating system.
It is possible to achieve this using the Registry Editor, but I do not advise modifying the registry. Nonetheless, if you want to proceed, here are the essential steps you need to follow:
To activate the previous ‘Alt + Tab’ keyboard shortcut style in Windows 10 using the Registry, follow these instructions:
Important Note: Please be aware that modifying the Registry can be dangerous and may lead to permanent damage to your system if not done correctly. It is recommended that you create a complete backup of your PC before proceeding.
- Launch the Start menu.
- Look for “regedit” and click on the first result to launch the Registry Editor.
- Navigate to the following path:
Here’s a useful tip: On Windows 10, you can now quickly navigate to the key destination in the Registry by copying and pasting the path into the address bar.
To enable the legacy Alt + Tab shortcut style, follow these steps:
- Right-click on the Explorer (folder) key and select “New”, then click on “DWORD (32-bit) Value”.
- Name the key “AltTabSettings” and hit “Enter”.
- Double-click on the newly created DWORD and change the value from 0 to 1.
- Click “OK”.
- Restart your computer.
Once you have completed these steps, you can use the Alt + Tab keyboard shortcut to switch between running applications using the legacy interface.
If you want to switch back to the modern task switcher, you can always undo the changes by following the same steps, but on step 8, change the DWORD value from 1 to 0, or delete the AltTabSettings key, and restart your computer.