- Alt Tab key not working is a common issue Windows users experience. And this has increased with Windows 10 and Windows 11.
- If you happen to face this issue, thankfully, there are several proven ways to fix it.
- In this article, we are going to discuss the 11 best ways to fix Alt Tab keys not working on Windows 11 and 10.
PC users have the ability to perform various functions on their computers using keyboard shortcuts. Alt Tab is one of the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts, which is used to switch between tabs and can be very useful when multitasking.
However, many users have complained that the Alt Tab key sometimes doesn’t work in Windows 11/10 when playing games or running important programs.
We’ve found that this problem is primarily due to incorrect or inconsistent settings that have been manually changed or created by a third-party application on your computer.
Fortunately, there are a number of solutions that have helped Windows 11/10 users fix the Alt Tab not working issue, and we’ll go through them in this article.
Table of Contents
Why is Alt Tab Not Working in Windows 11/10?
Alt+Tab not working in Windows 11/10 could be caused by several variables. Fixing and preventing this issue can be made easier by knowing these potential causes. These are some common causes of this problem on a Windows 11 or 10 computer:
- Hardware failure: If you are having issues with the Alt-Tab keys, it’s likely that your keyboard is damaged by dirt or has broken down. To verify whether the problem is really coming from your keyboard or not, you may simply test the Alt-Tab shortcut on another keyboard connected to your computer to see if it works.
- Third-party app: Some third-party keyboard apps have the ability to interfere with the functionality of your keyboard, and that could be the reason why Alt-Tab is not working in Windows 11.
- Driver issue: When you encounter the Alt Tab not working issue, you should be aware that most issues you may get on your Windows computer are frequently the result of outdated drivers.
- Conflicting settings: This issue may potentially be caused by conflicting keyboard settings brought on by a third-party app effect or a human alteration.
How to Fix Alt Tab Not Working in Windows 11/10
Here are some proven solutions to the Alt-Tab problem in Windows 11/10, and you may have to try several of them before you find the one that fixes the problem. However, you should restart your computer before trying any of these solutions, as this sometimes helps to solve the problem.
Fix 1: Try using another keyboard
If some keystrokes on your keyboard aren’t functioning, it may be the root of the Alt Tab not working on Windows PC. You can rule out this possibility by trying a different keyboard. This could be caused by a number of things.
Additionally, you could also try pressing the other Alt key on your keyboard. If the problem doesn’t surface when using the other keyboard, you’ll either need to get a new keyboard or have an expert technician fix your current one.
Fix 2: Refresh Windows Explorer
People have claimed that they were able to resolve this Alt Tab not working on Windows 11/10 issue by doing a refresh of Windows Explorer. Therefore, you should try it too by following these instructions:
- Right-click on the Start menu and select Task Manager.
- Find Windows Explorer under the Processes tab, right-click it and tap on Restart.
Fix 3: Make Changes to Keyboard Registry Settings
Another thing you can try doing to fix this issue is to make a tweak on the keyboard setting through Windows Registry. Here is how to do it:
- Press Windows + R to launch the Run Command Box.
- Type regedit and hit Enter.
- On the Registry window, navigate to the path below:
Look for AltTabSettings under the Explorer menu.
- If you can’t find the AltTabSettings option, right-click on Explorer, select New on the resulting drop-down menu, and tap on DWORD (32-bit) Value. If AltTabSettings is already under Explorer, jump to step 7.
- Double-click on the newly created path and set the Value name as AltTabSettings, Base as Hexadecimal, and Value data as 1.
- Double-click on AltTabSettings and set Base as Hexadecimal and Value data as 1.
Fix 4: Disable Sticky Keys
Sticky keys is a useful feature on Windows computers that makes keyboard shortcuts easier. On the other hand, it may cause issues sometimes and may be why this Alt Tab is not working. Hence, you should disable the function and see if the issue is resolved.
- Press Windows + I to open Settings on your computer.
- Select Accessibility on the left pane and tap on Keyboard.
- Navigate to the Sticky keys option and toggle its slider.
Fix 5: Update Keyboard Driver
It’s important to know that keyboard drivers should be regularly updated because failing to do so can sometimes result in keyboard failures.
- Go to your keyboard manufacturer’s site and download the latest version of your keyboard driver.
- Search Device Manager in Windows Search Box and open it.
- Navigate to the Keyboards option and double-click it.
- Right-click your keyboard driver from the devices under the Keyboards category.
- Select the Update driver and tap on Browse my computer for driver software.
- Now select the driver you downloaded earlier and reinstall it.
Fix 6: Enable Peek
Having the Peek feature enabled makes it possible to have a peek at windows by simply hovering over them on the taskbar. However, some individuals who didn’t have this feature enabled and were facing the Alt Tab not working issue have claimed that the issue got fixed when they enabled it. So if you don’t have it enabled, you should by following these steps:
- Press Windows + R to open the Run Box.
- Type sysdm.cpl in the box and hit Enter.
- On the resulting dialogue box, switch to the Advanced tab and select Settings under Performance.
- Check the Enable Peek box, select Apply, and hit OK.
Fix 7: Enable Hotkeys
If hotkeys are disabled on your computer, the Alt Tab key won’t work. Most times, it could be malware or a third-party app you’ve installed on your PC that disabled this function. Thus, you have to make sure it is enabled.
- Right-click on a space on the desktop page.
- On the resulting menu, navigate to Graphics option and select Hot Keys.
- Then select Enable.
If it was enabled before, you can also disable and enable it again.
Fix 8: Perform Clean Boot
If you cannot resolve this issue, performing a clean boot can help you identify the program or process causing this issue.
- Press Windows + R to open the Run command.
- Type msconfig in the box and press Enter.
- On the System Configuration, switch to the Boot option.
- Check the boxes for Safe boot and Network, then click OK.
Now restart your computer to enter Safe Mode.
Fix 9: Run Keyboard Troubleshooter
Running keyboard troubleshooting is another way to fix keyboard issues like this one. The troubleshooter will help you identify as well as provide a solution to the issue if it’s something it can relate to. Here is how to run a keyboard troubleshooter on Windows PC:
- Press Windows + I to open Settings on your computer.
- Select Update & Security, then click on Troubleshoot.
- Navigate down on the right pane and tap on the Keyboard option.
- Select Run the troubleshooter and wait a few minutes for the troubleshooter to run, and try using your keyboard again.
Also Read: Windows 11 Keyboard Shortcuts: The Ultimate List
Fix 10: Disconnect Peripherals
The peripherals you connect to your computer may also cause this issue, so it is recommended that you disconnect them and restart your computer afterward.
Fix 11: Uninstall Recently Added Software
This issue can be caused by keyboard-related software that you just installed on your computer since they can alter your keyboard settings. So that you can resolve this issue, uninstall any program you recently installed that has access to your keyboard settings.
Alt Tab is a keyboard shortcut that makes it easy to switch between open tabs on your computer. As we discussed in this article, you’ve got a few solutions to consider if the Alt Tab key isn’t working.
FAQs: Alt Tab Not Working
How do I activate Alt-Tab?
To activate Alt-Tab, on Windows 11's Start menu, click Settings. Choose the System category. On the left side of Settings, select Multitasking. Then click the Alt + Tab drop-down menu there to view its options.
What keys work for switching tabs on Windows 11?
On Windows computers, many shortcuts make it simpler for users to complete certain tasks. One of these keyboard shortcuts, Alt + Tab, allows you to switch between tabs without having to drag your mouse across the taskbar.
Can malware cause the Alt tab shortcut not to work?
Changes in your keyboard settings typically cause alt-tab keys not to function on Windows computers. Moreover, malware may have altered these keyboard settings, thereby leading to the Alt Tab keys not working.
How do I get the old Alt-Tab in Windows 11?
Follow these steps to enable the Classic Alt+Tab Dialog in Windows 11.
- Run the Registry Editor by pressing Win + R, typing
regeditinto the Run box, and pressing Enter.
- Navigate to the following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer. You can simply copy and paste this path into the address bar of regedit.
- Choose New > 32-bit DWORD from the menu when you right-click anywhere in the right pane.
- Rename the new value to
- Double-click it and change its value data to 1.
- Right-click the Start button and select Shut down or sign out > Sign out.
How do I reset the keyboard settings on my Windows PC?
If you want to reset the keyboard settings on your Windows computer, follow the steps below:
- Press Windows + I to open Settings on your computer
- Select Time & language option and tap on Language & region.
- Click on Add a language in front of Preferred languages.
- Choose English (Canada) and tap on Next. Now click on Install and wait for the language to download.
- Right-click on the three-dot in front of the new language and tap on Move up.
- Afterward, right-click the three-dot in front of your previous language and select Move up.
Doing this will reset your keyboard setting to default.
Why is my PC keyboard not working?
A PC keyboard may not function for various reasons, but the most common ones are hardware failure, an issue with the keyboard's settings, or a driver issue.
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