I was showing a friend the neat effect of Win-Tab on Windows 7, but when he tried it, it didn't work! All it does is bring up the Start menu! What could be causing this?

  • Some time ago I installed vista on a laptop with a pretty puny video card - a 64MB ATI - and while aero worked and remained enabled, windows automatically disabled some of the more resource intensive effects, including flip3d. I recall a message being shown shortly after I installed the OS indicating that the graphics card was a "highly contentious resource", and some effects were being disabled as a result (or something to that effect). Unfortunately I do not know how to check whether or not this aero is in this degraded state. – Fopedush Dec 15 '09 at 17:48

Check that Desktop Composition (i.e. Aero) is enabled:

Control Panel -> System and Maintenance -> System
Advanced system settings
Advanced tab
Performance -> Settings

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Does he have Aero enabled?

Windows Flag+Tab does not work when Aero is disabled.

I think due to this, it does not work on Vista Home Basic or Windows 7 starter either.

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  • If your tweaking custom settings, I found I had to apply new settings then toggle "desktop compostion off/on" to get WIN + TAB to work again. (Historical note, and tested on Vista Business SP2) – Scott R Oct 10 at 7:10

Is your friend holding down Win when hitting Tab?

Even on my XP work machine, holding Win and pressing any other key doesn't pop up the Start menu; the start menu only pops up if you press Win and then release it without pressing anything else.

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Mouse over something in the taskbar. If no image appears above it, either Aero is disabled or — as stated earlier — you have Vista Home Basic. You can confirm this by right-clicking on computer and selecting properties. Aero Glass isn't available in this version of Vista.

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