Sorry about the tongue twister title, but I guess this is very common usage. I use windowsKey + num to switch between apps a lot. When an app hasn't been open or only has one window, this is great, but if an app has multiple windows open, it becomes horrible experience.

I have windows+1 for my chrome, and I usually open a lot of windows. When I try to switch to chrome from another app, if I press 1 twice then release windows, it'll give me second chrome window, works great. 3 tabs gives me third window. But this is not the case if I want to open the first window of the app, when I simply do windows+1, the screen always stuck there like a preview if I release windows key too fast, then change back to old app with any click. So going to the first window becomes much slower and error-prone than going to other windows.

I feel I only get bugged by this recent weeks, so probably due to a recent update? Any settings I can do to fix this?

EDIT: add key html tag for better reading experience.

  • Finally found someone with the same issue, I thought I was the only one. Its a hard problem to google for. I have the exact same issue on Windows 11, though I never made the connection that it only happens with multiple windows for the same executable (but now that I think about it, its exactly right). It definitely is related to speed of pressing the keys, if I pay attention it works, but the automatic switching breaks ~30% of the time. Jan 13, 2023 at 18:13
  • I did some further debugging: It really is about releasing the windows key to fast. If I turn on sticky keys (i.e. to press a hotkey you press the keys in sequence instead of in parallel) I can reproduce this bug 100% of the time. Without sticky keys I can only reproduce it intermittently. I think this might be good enough for a bug report Jan 14, 2023 at 10:55
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    – spioter
    Apr 5 at 13:17

4 Answers 4


This is/was a bug in Windows that should be fixed in builds >= Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25236

Fixed an issue that was causing the taskbar previews to freeze or show as blank and not open when using Windows key + (#) key commands to try and switch between windows.



Not 100% sure I get your problem, but does this help?

You can cycle through the open windows the other direction if you hold Shift, e.g. Win+Shift+1. So if you overshoot the window you want just hold down Shift and hit Win+1 again.

FYI, Alt+Tab works the same way. Holding down shift will cycle backwards.

  • Thanks for the answer, but this doesn't help in my case. What I desire is to quickly switch to a window without looking, and I think a quick press of <kbd>Win</kbd>+<kbd>1</kbd> should by default give me the first window. I think it's a system bug, as <kbd>Win</kbd> + 2 tabs of <kbd>1</kbd> will quickly give me second window, <kbd>Win</kbd> + 3 tabs of <kbd>1</kbd> will give me third. But just one tab kind of stuck for me.
    – Derek
    Feb 23, 2017 at 23:17
  • What happens when you tap Win+1 once, what gets "stuck"?
    – wysiwyg
    Feb 23, 2017 at 23:18
  • Instead of going directly to first window, it'll stuck in a kind of preview of the window status, like the window switch is not finished, but my key has already been released. Then if I try to do anything it'll pop back directly to old window before switching.
    – Derek
    Feb 23, 2017 at 23:23
  • Actually reminded by this, I think this is exactly the issue. Feels to me the system ignores the release of the key, it's the exact behavior as if I didn't release the key yet. I first doubt this might be an issue of my keyboard's response time, but weird thing is like I said, if I quickly press 1 twice then release it's not a problem at all.
    – Derek
    Feb 23, 2017 at 23:25
  • That is strange. Have you tried it with a different keyboard? Maybe the key is getting worn. Can't think what else would be causing it.
    – wysiwyg
    Feb 23, 2017 at 23:26

I would suggest using Win + Tab or Alt + Tab to mouse select or tab through open Apps and Shift will help go backwards, otherwise if we use the suggested Win + # it opens the window of the Apps in the tray if nothing is open or I press twice it opens a new Window of that App. If you get a new window even if only key-pressed once this could be a sticky # key especially if you use it often.

This is just my thoughts but Win + # should just be used for opening new windows of the same App as it is not so reliable for going through open tabs as it easily opens Apps that were not open before adding to the mess of tabs.

  • What about Win + Tab + #? This worked for me just now. Feb 23, 2017 at 23:46

Try this one time: CTRL +WIN + 1

For me, this seems to reset things to get WIN + 1 working again as desired.

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