How To View Classic Alt + Tab In Windows 7 Aero Theme

Here is an interesting thing that I came across in Windows 7 very recently. I have been using the good old Alt + Tab feature in Windows Vista & Windows 7 as well. Last evening, when I was playing with some Windows 7 feature, I came to know that the classic Alt + tab can be viewed in Windows 7 with Aero theme enabled as well.

Windows 7

If you have used Windows 7 Alt + Tab feature, then you might know that how the alt + tab bar looks like with the Windows aero enabled. While Windows 7 Aero displays the default aero enabled Alt + tab bar, one can also view the Alt + Tab in classic style without disabling the Aero feature.

Here is how it works:

1. Open Windows explorer & a few applications so that you can start using Alt + Tab feature.

2. First, press Alt + Tab keys to view the Alt + Tab bar.

alt tab very new

3. Next, to see the classic Alt + Tab bar, hold another Alt key (say the right-side one)& don’t release the first Alt key. Now you will not be able to see the Alt + Tab bar. That’s fine.

4. Again, hold the Alt + Tab bar to see the classic Alt + Tab bar.

class alt tab with aero

5. That’s it.

I know, there is no use with this trick, but it’s good to know that Windows 7 Aero supports classic Alt + Tab!



  1. Cherok says

    Ramin, thnx!!!! It works, instantly! And that with supermodern Win7 🙂 I’m no longer slave of a nanny OS. Wow.

    I use a 64bit version of Win7, but here too, done as Ramin wrote and it works.

  2. Katja says

    Ramin, thaaaaaaaaaaanks a lot. that really help to work much quicker as I have not to watch all the changes in the back.

  3. Ramin says

    To see Classic AlT+TAB like Windows XP to switch between running applications:
    Hold ALT + press and release the other ALT key + TAB

    To permanently change the view, you need to change Registry data.

    To get the classic Alt Tab feature in Windows 7 from registry editor:

    1. Go to start, type regedit and press Enter.
    2. Navigate to the following path HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    3. In right-side pane, create a new DWORD value AltTabSettings and set its value to 1.
    4. Now whenever you’ll press “Alt+Tab” keys together, it’ll show Windows XP styled classic “Alt+Tab” Switcher screen instead of the new screen.
    5. To restore default Aero enabled “Alt+Tab” Switcher screen, simply delete the AltTabSettings DWORD value created in step 3. Log off and login again to take effect.

  4. Greg says

    Good find. You can also see the classic Alt+Tab menu immediately on launch by doing this:

    ALT + (tap the other ALT key) + TAB

    To make it default, see here:

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