I don't know about you guys but I've always had this beef with Windows 7 and Vista.

When pressing Alt-TAB, with Aero enabled, the Alt-TAB bar appears with a border around the window you're about to switch over to.

The problem is, this border is so subtle and the color is so similar to the Alt-TAB box itself, that oftentimes I just can't tell which window I'm about to switch to. This is especially true if the background of the window is white and on laptop screens when I'm looking at an angle.

Is there a way to make the border more distinct or change its color?

See an example below. The border is around the first window and is barely visible.

alt text

  • I love Total Commander – Gravity Nov 20 '13 at 20:02

In Windows 7 RC1 (don't know if this has changed in RTM) the Alt+Tab highlight colour doesn't change from light blue when you change the Window colour (which sets the background of the Alt+Tab panel).

Your best bet is to change the window colour to something which will give you more contrast with the blue i.e. any colour other than the blue in your screen shot.

(Change colour via 'Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Personalization > Window Colour and Appearance'.)

Alt+Tab panel with some decent contrast

  • I wonder if there's a solution to change the actual border color of the Alt-TAB box. If not, this is the best one can do indeed. – Artem Russakovskii Sep 24 '09 at 5:28
  • You can also try making the color more opaque (same settings location) – Joey Sep 25 '09 at 21:05
  • Yup, that helped too. I played around with the colors and ended up keeping it almost black, which has a good enough contrast with the border. – Artem Russakovskii Sep 26 '09 at 1:54

right click desktop, personalize, click window color. select color, hit ok.

  • 2
    This is to switch the color of all windows borders. Artem is wanting to change the color of the Alt-tab's selection box. – Will Eddins Sep 23 '09 at 17:31
  • Though changing the color of border for all windows will change the border of the alt+tab window, the selection doesn't change color so you can make it much clearer by using a darker color for the windows border. Like so: img180.imageshack.us/img180/2215/36935598.png – Eran Sep 23 '09 at 18:02

Another alternative to Alt+Tab is Win+Tab. This will show a cascaded list of open windows and you can easily switch among them. Use Win+Shift+Tab to move in reverse direction.

You can also press windows key + tab and use mouse wheel or arrow keys to switch between them otherwise you can press ctrl + windows key + tab at same time and 3 D window switcher will remain active and one can use mouse/arrow keys to switch, use escape to exit.

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