When I do an Alt-Tab, I get a preview of all the programs I have open. I like this, but I would like the preview windows to be a bit smaller. At the moment I can only fit 5 preview windows in a single line under alt-tab, once I add a sixth it splits into two lines of three. And now the six preview windows are actually bigger than the five were, having grown because now they are only three wide (by two high) instead of five wide (by one high).

I do NOT want to go back to the old XP alt-tab style, where you had icons and no preview windows when you hit alt-tab. I LIKE preview windows, I just would prefer them to be smaller and uniformly sized no matter how many I have open.

There used to be a utility that could control the previews when you Alt-tab under Windows 7 and 8, but it seems that Windows 10 is a very different kind of beast.

How can I have smaller and/or uniformly sized previews (not icons) in Windows 10 when I use Alt-tab?


  • 2
    You don't the size isn't configurable. – Ramhound Aug 20 '15 at 23:44
  • You might be able to do so in regedit, but that is just a hypothesis so don't go around scolding me if you can't. – RookieTEC9 Sep 30 '15 at 21:02
  • Benn, have you found a solution? – Ekonoval Jul 14 '16 at 7:20

Found this answer on the net. I'll quote the registry key and values that relate to the actual alt-tab window (the post also has the key and values for similar windows - desktop switcher (?) and window-snap-window-previewer thingy (i think)):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Of these the most interesting are Thumbnail_min_width, Thumbnail_min_height_percent and Thumbnail_max_height_percent - reduce these values to drastically decrease miniature size. The Grid_* values can also be reduced to pack the alt-tab grid tighter. I am currently using:


I would like to take this opportunity to suggest that Thumbnail_icon_size should be increased to hex 0x20 (decimal 32), as this is the standard icon size (in absence of a real 30x30 icon, Windows scales the 32x32 down 30x30, which slightly blurs more sharp-edged icons).

The post linked above claims that you do not need to reboot or restart Explorer for changes to these values to apply, and i can confirm that this is so.

  • You're my personal hero! Thank you so much! I didn't wanted to go back to the old only-icon alt-tab yet I was very annoyed by the limit of the shown open windows (i have a lot). Finally I can get the best from both worlds – SeriousM Nov 13 '18 at 14:32
  • Works well. I bumped Thumbnail_min_height_percent to 5. Thanks. – melds Jan 8 at 2:00
  1. Press and hold left Alt key
  2. Press and release right Alt key
  3. While holding left Alt key press the Tab key

This will give you the old icons-based Alt-TAB view of Windows XP. It works for this one showing, no permanent setting is made.

  • 4
    "I do NOT want to go back to the old XP alt-tab style, where you had icons and no preview windows when you hit alt-tab." - which is what this does , Kinda suprised they hid it there too. – Journeyman Geek Feb 27 '17 at 11:38
  • This will make the above behaviour permanent winaero.com/blog/… – cottsak Apr 17 '18 at 6:58
  • Rather frustratingly, the arrow keys do not work to navigate within the XP-style view. – Dan Jan 7 at 18:20

Have you looked at WinAero? This seems to be where Alt Tab Tuner VIII moved on to.

  • nice tool, but the size of the preview images is not configurable. personal +1 for nice try and karma though :) – akira Jul 31 '16 at 16:19

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