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A number of different Alt+Tab switcher replacement apps have been developed for XP, such as TaskSwitchXP. I've also written one of my own, which I've used for years. Unfortunately, I've found that on Windows 7 these tools don't work anymore. The problem is that they can no longer register Alt+Tab as a hotkey, because it's already registered (presumably by Explorer). As best I can tell, on XP the default switcher did not use the regular RegisterHotKey API, but now it does.

Does anybody know of a workaround for this, or an Alt+Tab replacement that works on Windows 7? I know they've spiffed up the default one and added the 3D flip switcher (Win+Tab), but I'd still like to be able to replace this with something that works better for me.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I've used Switcher before, and it works pretty well. Requires Aero and is more of a replacement for Flip3D than the traditional Alt+Tab. Does keyboard context searching, too.

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Thanks, this looks like a nice program. It also helps me see how I can fix my own switcher to work again. – Charlie Sep 28 '09 at 0:45
I ended up going with VistaSwitcher, but I like this suggestion as well. – Charlie Oct 8 '09 at 12:46
I'll check out VistaSwitcher - always up for something new. – Nicolas Webb Oct 8 '09 at 13:58
+1 for Switcher. (too bad it requires a vista+ windows.) – n611x007 Nov 4 '12 at 20:44

Another candidate is VistaSwitcher, from the same person that created TaskSwitchXP.

Internally, the trick seems to be that you have to use a low-level keyboard hook to listen for Alt+Tab, instead of registering it as a hotkey (since you won't be able to do so on Win7).

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You should use Dexpot-Virtual Desktop. It does alot of stuff and is free and highly customizable.

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