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Most of the time UltraVNC ignores Alt + Tab, and I am able to switch away from UltraVNC to another application. I like this behavior.

However, occasionally it gets into a mode where - for no discernible reason - it passes the Alt+Tab to the remote host which is incredibly annoying as I am used to the other behavior and suddenly I have no keyboard shortcut to switch to a different local windows. Since it appears to exhibit both behaviors, I assume there is some way to control which behavior is in use, but I haven't been able to find it.

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The Scroll Lock key affects this. If scroll lock is on, the Alt+Tab is sent to the remote computer. If it's off, Alt+Tab is handled locally by the client.

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This might be true for UltraVNC, but it has no effect for TightVNC 2.7.10 (TightVNC for both client and server). – Peter Mortensen Jul 20 '15 at 14:07
UltraVNC Viewer Usage, section "Additional Hotkeys", supports the claim about Scroll Lock. But is it still valid for contemporary versions? – Peter Mortensen Jul 20 '15 at 14:16
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Rebooting Windows causes UltraVNC to revert to the default of not passing Alt+Tab to the remote.

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