System Use Classic Icons or Thumbnails on Alt+Tab in Windows 11

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Alt+Tab_banner.png

You can press the Alt + Tab or Ctrl + Alt + Tab keys to switch between open windows in Windows 11.

Pressing Alt+Tab will show open windows as thumbnails by default.

You can also press and hold the right Alt key, press and release the left Alt key, and press Tab to have Alt+Tab show open windows as classic icons instead of thumbnails.

This tutorial will show you how to always show classic icons or thumbnails on Alt+Tab by default for your account in Windows 10 and Windows 11.


EXAMPLE: ALT+TAB showing classic icons and thumbnails (default)

Alt+Tab_thumbnails.jpg


Alt+Tab_classic_icons.jpg



Here's How:

1 Do step 2 (classic icons) or step 3 (thumbnails) below for what you want.


2 Use Classic Icons on Alt+Tab

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the BAT file below, and go to step 4 below.​

Use_classic_icons_on_Alt+Tab.bat


(Contents of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

REG ADD "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer" /V AltTabSettings /T REG_DWORD /D 1 /F

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

3 Use Thumbnails on Alt+Tab

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the BAT file below, and go to step 4 below.​

Use_thumbnails_on_Alt+Tab.bat


(Contents of BAT file for reference)
Code:
@echo off

REG ADD "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer" /V AltTabSettings /T REG_DWORD /D 0 /F

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

4 Save the .bat file to your desktop.

5 Unblock the .bat file.

6 Run the .bat file.

7 You will now notice your screen flicker and a command prompt quickly open and close as the explorer process is restarted to apply the registry changes.

8 When finished, you can delete the downloaded .bat file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • Alt+Tab.png
    Alt+Tab.png
    15.6 KB · Views: 4
  • Use_classic_icons_on_Alt+Tab.bat
    340 bytes · Views: 13
  • Use_thumbnails_on_Alt+Tab.bat
    340 bytes · Views: 14
Last edited:
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