When Alt-Tab'ing in Windows 7, the size of the application thumbnails is quite small on higher resolutions. Especially with many applications running, imo it is hard to discern from the thumbnail which application it is.

Is it possible to increase the size of these thumbnails? There is certainly enough screen space to accommodate larger thumbnails.


It's possible to increase the thumbnail size in the ALT-Tab window without a 3rd party tool.

See instructions here. They give a registry file that adds several entries to the Registry that control the behavior of the ALT-Tab windows and thumbnails.

I guess you're interested in changing the MaxThumbSizePx entry.

Play a bit with the settings to find what you like. No need to restart, they're picked up on-the-fly.

If you want to change the number of rows or columns displayed in the ALT-Tab window, see the settings CoolSwitchColumns and CoolSwitchRows, explained here by Microsoft. Restart needed when changing these 2 values.

Be very cautious of course when changing the Registry !!!!

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Try vistaswitcher. It gives large thumbnails and a bunch of other functions. Screenshots are on the linked page.

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  • Someone has been reading the How-to Geek ;) howtogeek.com/howto/5037/… – Gnoupi Oct 16 '09 at 12:26
  • So, the correct answer in your opinion is: "No, you cannot. Use 3rd party tool"....? – Peter Lillevold Oct 16 '09 at 12:32
  • Gnoupi: he he. Think I got it from Lifehacker maybe. – outsideblasts Oct 16 '09 at 12:40
  • +1 for nice tool... though you are not answering my question ;) – Peter Lillevold Oct 16 '09 at 12:41
  • Peter: I guess that's a fair conclusion yes. I've never heard about a way to change the size natively. – outsideblasts Oct 16 '09 at 12:41

Just to recap Snark's answer, the registry key is:


Values (the first one controls the thumbnail width):

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