The other day, while using my Windows 11 PC to prepare an important presentation, the Alt + Tab function stopped working. That is, pressing the Alt + Tab key did not show open apps and windows.
The Alt + Tab issue surprised me, as it was the first time, I encountered the Alt + Tab problem in Windows 11. In fact, I had not experienced this issue even in Windows 10.
What is Alt + Tab?
If you are reading this article, you likely know what the Alt + Tab function is. For those who do not know, the Alt + Tab keyboard shortcut in Windows operating system is used to switch between running applications. When you press Alt and Tab keys simultaneously, Windows shows currently running apps. You can either use the arrow keys or the Tab key to select an app you want to switch to. The Alt + Tab screen can also be used close running apps and windows.
Most PC users prefer switching between running applications by clicking on the app icon on the taskbar. But if you like Alt + Tab but it does not work as expected on your PC, here is how to fix the problem.
Solution 1 of 5
Restart File Explorer to fix Alt + Tab
The easiest way to fix the Alt + Tab feature is to restart the Windows Explorer process. The Alt + Tab is part of Windows Explorer. So, restarting the Windows Explorer process restarts Alt + Tab as well.
Step 1: Open the Task Manager. Use search or Ctrl + Shift + Esc hotkey to launch it.
Step 2: Under the Processes tab, right-click on the Windows Explorer process and click the Restart option to restart File Explorer.
NOTE: If the Windows Explorer process is not showing up, open This PC or any other folder to start the Windows Explorer process.
Step 3: Try the Alt + Tab now. It should start working again.
Solution 2 of 5
Restart your computer
The next troubleshooting method is to restart your Windows 11/10 computer. Save your work and reboot your computer once to check if that solves the problem.
Solution 3 of 5
Update Windows 11/10 to the latest version
Many times, updating Windows to the latest available version resolves issues. If you are not running the newest version, please update Windows.
Go to the Windows Update page in the Settings app and then click the Check for updates button.
Refer to our how-to check and install updates in Windows 11 guide for directions.
Solution 4 of 5
Reset Windows 11/10 without losing data
Resetting Windows 11/10 or reinstalling Windows 11/10 is the last resort. Luckily, it’s possible to reset or reinstall Windows 11/10 without losing data.
Solution 5 of 5
Contact Microsoft support
The built-in Get Help app in Windows 11/10 helps you contact the Windows support team. Use the app to reach Microsoft support. Note that you need to sign in with a Microsoft account to the app to contact the support.