How can I make the Windows app switcher work for something other than ALT+TAB, for example I would like it to work for CTRL+TAB.

  • Hello, OP! If you still care about this question and answer being the most useful for people many years down the line, please change the accepted best answer to the new one, about PowerToys. It's 100% the best answer in 2020! Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 0:28

2 Answers 2


You can use AutoHotkey for this purpose:

Please note that Ctrl-Tab is interpreted by many programs to change tabs or Application-internal windows. These programs won't receive the key presses anymore if you follow the steps below.

AutoHotkey is a script interpreter, therefore you need to

  1. Install AutoHotkey
  2. Write your own script file (.ahk extension). In your case it just needs to contain one line:
    LControl & Tab::AltTab
    It tells AutoHotkey that you want to hold down left-control then press tab.
  3. Start your own script. It will show up as a small green icon at the lower left corner and wait for you to press keys.
  4. Optionally start your script at every Windows reboot. One way to do this is the Autostart folder. Press Windows + R and run this: shell:startup. In the folder window, place a shortcut to your script file from step 2.
  • Is there another solution like a registry hack that doesn't require the installation of a 3rd party software?
    – Void
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 15:16
  • I vaguely recall seeing a virtual key translation table in the Windows registry, but I could not find anything in Google or the registry. What it would do though is just to remap keys entirely, instead of just remapping the key combination you want to change.
    – Gogowitsch
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 0:40
  • Thank you, it seems that this is the best method after all, it doesn't even require admin access.
    – Void
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 11:48
  • 1
    Downvoted only because the next answer down below, the one about PowerToys, is 100% the best and easiest approach in 2020! Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 0:27
  • adding shift to cycle backwards proves to be problematic
    – br4nnigan
    Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 8:39

If you use Windows 10 version 1903 or higher, you can use PowerToys by Microsoft for this task. Its user interface is simple. It has a lot of functionalities, one of which is it allows us to remap keys and shortcuts to other keys/shortcuts.

You can download the installer from release page > "Latest Release" > Scroll to Assests > download PowerToysSetup EXE file

I switched from Mac to Windows and missed how comfortable it was to use Command key for both, to switch between apps and for other shortcuts(Undo/Copy/Paste :D). Now my thumb rests on the Alt key(remapped to Ctrl) and I can perform all shortcuts easily. I used this tool to remap my keyboard shortcuts. Here's a screenshot of my settings: enter image description here

  • 1
    Thank you for this answer! The remapping of shortcuts works extremely well and as someone switching from Mac to Windows it's very handy
    – tanc
    Commented Oct 23, 2020 at 18:57
  • 5
    Dude, for real, thank you SO. FREAKING. MUCH! As a longtime Mac user who recently started using Windows, I am almost literally going crazy with how unfriendly this godforsaken OS is. I was banging my head against AHK scripts, I was considering buying software out of Microsoft Store to correct some parts of the system, but PowerToys has saved so much of my sanity right now. And I owe it to you. Thank you! Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 0:26
  • +1 Perfect. As a AutoHotKey user myself with active scripts going as I type, this is still the preferred solution over the accepted answer. AHK is great but always a pain to deal with, while this just works.
    – Nate
    Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 5:43
  • very good answer! I remapped Left-Win to Win-Tab (like it works in GNOME)
    – zentrunix
    Commented Jan 24, 2021 at 23:22
  • Can this be used to stop super keys? Like CTRL-SHIFT-WIN-ALT-... ? Microsoft claimed quite a few for their office suite, even if you don't have office installed, which is a pain in the butt.... Would love to somehow disable that.
    – LPChip
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 16:46

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