I have the exact same issue discussed at this Superuser thread, but the solution is not satisfactory to me.

To recap the problem, I hate the new fancy Alt+Tab interface introduced in Windows 7, and prefer the Windows XP/2000 style. There is a registry hack to get the old Alt+Tab menu to appear in Windows 7, but the menu includes some "phantom" applications (e.g., Search Pane, see pic in thread linked above). I found a way to revert the Alt+Tab behavior on a Windows 7 laptop, AND get those phantom apps to not appear, but that laptop died and I don't remember what I did now. I have a new laptop, but it is Windows 8, and I can make the registry setting to make the old Alt+Tab menu appear, but it includes those "phantom" application windows and I can't get rid of them, like I did before.

Any clues?

  • 1
    possible duplicate of Windows 8.1 Alt-Tab bug in specific programs
    – Jon
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 2:35
  • 1
    @chipperyman, it is not a duplicate. i even linked to it myself, as a reference. the solution for it does not apply to me, b/c I want a different Alt+Tab behavior than the poster of that question does.
    – atreyu
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 4:25

1 Answer 1


In windows 8, go to "performance options" and uncheck "Enable Peek" (That's what I see it called in Windows 8.1) I did this, now when I alt-tab through my apps, the alt tab box stays up as do all the windows as I alt-tab (and shift-alt-tab) my way around.

Hope this solves it for you.

  • @ subs, that sounded promising...but to no avail. i still get the "Search Pane" ghost, plus 3 other un-named ghost apps in the Alt+Tab menu. I have not logged out and logged back in though. will try that when I can.
    – atreyu
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 18:39
  • Any success after the reboot/log-out? I hate that people always say, "reboot".... What worked for me was to kill explorer in task manager and then start it up again. Safer to log out and in, but I was lazy. :) Pls. upvote me if you found the post useful.
    – subs
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 20:24
  • @ subs, sry so slow, got busy then forgot to get back to you. i rebooted (well, Windows Update rebooted me, or i would have logged out/in) and I still see the Search Pane app...but I don't see the other 3-4 ghost apps yet. That was just on a quick look this a.m. though - not even sure if it was done "booting". will be back to confirm my status.
    – atreyu
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 12:29
  • @ subs, okay, i double-checked, and unfortunately, there is no change. I unchecked Aero Peek, rebooted, and the search pane is still there, along with 3 un-named ghost apps. Arggg!
    – atreyu
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 23:05
  • Sorry that didn't work for you. :| Remember- If you can't change it in Windows, Microsoft calls it a feature! :)
    – subs
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 13:21

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