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In windows 7 when browsing through the alt+tab thumbnails, lingering on one thumbnail for a second will engage the Aero-Peek effect causing every window to be transparent except for the chosen window.
This effect is slightly delayed before starting for the first time of each alt+tab “session”, and afterwards will be applied quicker as you browse through the thumbnails.

Is there a way to change the value of that initial delay?
And maybe even that of the subsequent faster delays?

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6 Answers 6

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Okay I've found the answer. Someone was kind to share some knowledge on my post at the Microsoft forum:

Open Registry Editor and create the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AltTab.

In that key, create the following DWORD value: LivePreview_ms and set it to the delay (in milliseconds) of the first live preview.

Restart Explorer to see the changes.

Other Aero-peek related registry entries that I've found on the net are:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  • DesktopLivePreviewHoverTime
  • ThumbnailLivePreviewHoverTime
  • ExtendedUIHoverTime

These control the delay of other components of Aero-peek.

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  • 1
    This doesn't work for me. :( Feb 24, 2012 at 22:05
  • In Windows 7, simply turning off "Enable Aero Peek" in the "System" / "Advanced System Settings" / "Performance Options" dialog works well, and doesn't require you to restart Explorer. Feb 22, 2014 at 16:24
  • I must warn this doesn't work with zero - that disables it totally. I set mine to 1ms. Sure helps me figure out which terminal window I'm switching into.
    – kavisiegel
    Jul 15, 2014 at 4:32
  • Is it just me, or does this seem to have an internal maximum of 3 seconds or so? I tried setting to 5, then 8 (registry + reboot), but the delay seems to max out.
    – Marc L.
    Oct 20, 2017 at 14:07
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This free product might solve your problem : Desktop Peek Tweak. I quote:

This is a quick utility to adjust Desktop Peek delay time when you hover the mouse over the appropriate button on the desktop

image

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  • 3
    No, it only changes the delay of the "show desktop" button (as advertised), but not of the alt+tab, thanks anyway.
    – Eran
    Sep 22, 2009 at 19:33
  • Do you mean there are multiple Aero-Peek effects with multiple delays?
    – harrymc
    Sep 22, 2009 at 20:30
  • It would seem so.
    – Eran
    Sep 23, 2009 at 3:19
  • 2
    Bravo, Microsoft.
    – harrymc
    Sep 23, 2009 at 6:33
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You can turn off via windows config menus:

Windows 7 ALT-TAB - How to turn off previewing the window

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This shows multiple methods on how to do it:

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/20337-aero-peek-change-delay-time-preview-desktop.html

It provides a zip with a .reg file to modify the registry and also a manual method of setting it in the registry, but I suspect it does exactly the same thing as Desktop Peek Tweak.

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    No, like the other answer, it only changes the delay for the show desktop button, but doesn't affect the delay in the alt+tab.
    – Eran
    Sep 23, 2009 at 3:19
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    I was at work so I couldn't test it, I'm actually keen to get what you're asking for as well. Sep 23, 2009 at 5:23
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if you press ALT + CTRL + tab you can freeze the dialog up till you click out or select a window.

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  • This isn't really relevant to what is asked. But moreover a long time ago this [question] was already answered and the accepted answer is good, there is no need to add answers such as yours (no offence, I hope).
    – Eran
    Apr 29, 2011 at 17:03
  • its just a way to increase the time the window will stay up...not the exact answer and none taken.
    – mjrider
    Apr 29, 2011 at 17:07
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    Interesting, I never knew this before! I agree with @Xenorose that the answer doesn't quite fit the question, but that is a good tip.
    – nhinkle
    Apr 29, 2011 at 18:17
  • it works the same way with windows key + ctrl + tab too
    – mjrider
    Apr 29, 2011 at 19:31
  • @Xenorose - Although the question is answered for the original party, these answers are very helpful for others visiting this page. Even if the question was old - the answers are new - topic resurrection is despised amongst message board users because it brings the post back to the top of the activity list - but it's a genuinely good practice on sites like SO and SU to provide updates as the information changes or to fill in gaps in the overall picture. It's ok to ease up on policing this behavior. Jun 1, 2011 at 16:49
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Simple solution:

;; Disable Aero-ALT-TAB, use Old-XP-Style.
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]
"AltTabSettings"=dword:00000001

;; Set how many rows are shown in task switcher (ALT-TAB).  Default seems to be 3x7.
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
"CoolSwitchColumns"=6
"CoolSwitchRows"=5

These settings bring back the old XP-Syle for the task switcher. Used them for few years now on many Windows 7 installations.

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    Don't understand the downvote. This worked very nicely on at least a dozen Windows 7 installations. Oct 29, 2014 at 16:12
  • Maybe because the question was about changing the delay, not disabling the feature entirely.
    – Marc L.
    Oct 20, 2017 at 13:25

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