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.

4 Answers 4


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.


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).


I've recently came across a lightweight and minimalistic Switcheroo on GitHub, the latest development of it, as done by Regin Larsen, and immediately switched to it as the Alt+Tab replacement.

Switcheroo Screenshot

As seen in the screenshot above taken from its page on GitHub, the tasks are listed in a simple format by title and the executable starting the task.

Tab navgiates and enter switches, Ctrl+W closes the window.

The switching is mapped to Alt+Space by default but can be changed in settings,

more specifically in the XML configuration file located inside its installation folder,

that is in %programfiles% (%programfiles(x86)% if you're on 64-bit edition of Windows)`

inside switcheroo.exe.config file by setting AltTabHook's value to True as shown below:

<setting name="AltTabHook" serializeAs="String">

It's the most efficient replacement I've ever tried, and am very happy to get rid of Window's default Task Switcher Application use it.

Added screenshots to aid with locating:

Inside the folder

Inside the XML file


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

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