Stupid geek tricks how to switch windows 7 to the xp style alt-tab switcher

Lowell Heddings
Stupid geek tricks how to switch windows 7 to the xp style alt-tab switcherLowell Heddings
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Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work. Read more.

This is one of those completely pointless tricks that has no useful application whatsoever, but it’s still fun to figure out how to do. It turns out that there’s a bug in Windows 7 that launches the old XP-style Alt-Tab switcher under certain conditions.

Here’s Windows 7, with the XP Alt-Tab!

Stupid geek tricks how to switch windows 7 to the xp style alt-tab switcher

Just in case you aren’t using Windows 7 yet, the normal Alt-Tab window in Win7 is big, transparent, and really a big improvement on that ugly XP version.

Stupid geek tricks how to switch windows 7 to the xp style alt-tab switcher

To trigger the old XP style one, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Hold down the Left (or Right) Alt key.
  • Press and release the other Alt key.
  • Keep holding down that first Alt key, and then press Tab.

And Voila! The ugly old XP-style one will show up.

Stupid geek tricks how to switch windows 7 to the xp style alt-tab switcher

See, I told you it was completely and totally pointless!

We should note that this trick comes to us courtesy of Alexander from NTWind, who is the same guy that made the not-pointless-at-all VistaSwitcher Alt-Tab replacement application that we’re quite fond of.

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Stupid geek tricks how to switch windows 7 to the xp style alt-tab switcher Lowell Heddings
Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work.
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A while back, we showed a fun Easter egg in Windows 7 that shows the old XP-Style Alt-Tab switcher if you use a certain combination of keys, and today we’re going to show you how to switch to the old style permanently—not that we’d actually recommend it.

For example, here’s the Windows XP style Alt-Tab being used in Windows 7, which doesn’t use thumbnails like the Windows 7 version does. What we’ll do is use a registry hack courtesy of reader Benjamin. Thanks!

Stupid geek tricks how to switch windows 7 to the xp style alt-tab switcher

Note: we’re not actually recommending this or saying that it’s better than Windows 7, but it’s an extra option in case you like the old way better. What we do recommend, however, is taking a look at the awesome VistaSwitcher Alt-Tab replacement application. It’s great.

Manual Registry Hack to Enable XP Alt-Tab

Open up regedit.exe through the Start Menu search or run box, and then browse down to the following registry key:

Once you’re there, create a new 32-bit DWORD on the right-hand side, give it the name AltTabSettings, and assign the value as 1.

Stupid geek tricks how to switch windows 7 to the xp style alt-tab switcher

Once you’ve done so, the Alt-Tab prompt should immediately change to the XP style. To remove and get back to the Windows 7 style, you’ll need to delete the registry key and then log out and back in.

Downloadable Registry Hack

You can simply download, extract, and then double-click on the XPAltTab.reg file to enter the information into the registry. To remove, use the Windows7AltTab.reg file, and then log out and back in.

Download XPStyle Alt-Tab Registry Hack from howtogeek.com

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This is one of those completely pointless tricks that has no useful application whatsoever, but it’s still fun to figure out how to do. It turns out that there’s a bug in Windows 7 that launches the old XP-style Alt-Tab switcher under certain conditions.

Here’s Windows 7, with the XP Alt-Tab!

Stupid geek tricks how to switch windows 7 to the xp style alt-tab switcher

Just in case you aren’t using Windows 7 yet, the normal Alt-Tab window in Win7 is big, transparent, and really a big improvement on that ugly XP version.

Stupid geek tricks how to switch windows 7 to the xp style alt-tab switcher

To trigger the old XP style one, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Hold down the Left (or Right) Alt key.
  • Press and release the other Alt key.
  • Keep holding down that first Alt key, and then press Tab.

And Voila! The ugly old XP-style one will show up.

Stupid geek tricks how to switch windows 7 to the xp style alt-tab switcher

See, I told you it was completely and totally pointless!

We should note that this trick comes to us courtesy of Alexander from NTWind, who is the same guy that made the not-pointless-at-all VistaSwitcher Alt-Tab replacement application that we’re quite fond of.

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In less than two months, Windows 7 will enter end of life. Here’s why you might want to replace it with Linux.

Stupid geek tricks how to switch windows 7 to the xp style alt-tab switcher

To be clear, your computer will continue to work but your machine (and your data) will be exposed to new viruses and security threats. Some have even suggested that there will be an increase in viruses targeting Windows 7 users specifically.

It’s hard to estimate how many people out there are pondering their next move but a recent report from Netmarketshare estimates that Windows 7 is still being used on 27% of all PCs . At Vivaldi, around 15% of all users are on Windows 7. That’s a lot of users.

For many people, the simplest option would be to upgrade to Windows 10.

However, that won’t work for everyone.

Your Windows 7 is likely running on an older machine that might struggle with a resource hungry operating system like Windows 10.

To run Windows 10, you need a 1 GHz processor, 1 GB for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit RAM, 16 GB for 32-bit OS or 20 GB for 64-bit OS, and a 800 x 600 resolution display. And that’s just a bare minimum.

For many machines, the answer will not be Windows 10.

What you need instead is a lightweight, efficient OS that is – of course – resistant to viruses.

Why replace Windows 7 with Linux

Enter Linux. Linux is an open-source operating system that’s completely free to use. 14% of Vivaldi users are already on it since our browser has pretty awesome support for Linux. And as if that wasn’t enough, a good chunk of the devs here use Linux as their daily driver.

Replacing your Windows 7 with Linux is one of your smartest options yet.

Almost any computer running Linux will operate faster and be more secure than the same computer running Windows.

Linux’s architecture is so lightweight it’s the OS of choice for embedded systems, smart home devices, and IoT. The Android OS is also based on Linux.

In addition, there are a number of versions of Linux (known as distributions or distros) that are specifically designed to run on older hardware. These distros will give your hardware a new lease of life as the Linux OS is lighter and frees up resources for the applications that run underneath.

While the sheer number of distros can be overwhelming at first, it also means it’s easy to find something that’s right for you.

On the security front, since Linux is open-source it benefits from having a community of enthusiastic developers regularly updating its code. Assuming your chosen distro has a good reputation for security, you can use it safe in the knowledge that it has all the necessary security patches applied. Some of the smaller distros are not great at applying patches in a timely manner though, so do your research.

How to replace Windows 7 with Linux

Here’s a quick checklist for those about to replace Windows 7 with Linux.

✔️Pick a Linux distribution

One of the most popular Linux distros is Ubuntu and it’s great for anyone looking to replace Windows 7 with Linux. It’s easy to use and is supported by a lot of apps.

If you’d like an innovative Linux distro with a modern interface, take a look at Solus . Most of the tools you are likely to need are included at installation.

If you can’t decide at first, many Linux distributions have a “Live” option which allows you to boot from a USB stick and see if it works well on your machine. Once you are happy (and have backed up), you can install the distro of your choice.

✔️Install Linux

Installing Linux is fast. It takes a few minutes from start to finish. With most distributions, you can opt out of data collection at installation.

✔️Install a browser and other software

If you’re already using Vivaldi, you’ll need to install it on your Linux machine. Just download it from vivaldi.com . You can transfer your bookmarks, passwords, notes, etc from your Vivaldi on Windows 7 to your new Linux OS with Sync. Set up Sync on two devices – on your Windows 7 and a second computer (if you have access to one) or Android phone. Upload all data from Vivaldi on Windows 7 and download it on the second device. Once you’ve installed it on Linux, log into your account in Settings > Sync and download the data.

Stupid geek tricks how to switch windows 7 to the xp style alt-tab switcher

For most other software, you won’t need to go to multiple websites. For example, from the Ubuntu Store, you can install a bunch of useful software with one click: Discord, Spotify, Telegram, Slack, GIMP and much more. Updating apps on Linux is also a breeze.

Some standard Windows apps such as Word aren’t available on Linux but there are usually solid (and best of all free) alternatives – for example, LibreOffice and OpenOffice are a popular open-source alternative to Microsoft Office.

And if you use Photoshop or any Windows-only application you will need to replace it with a Linux equivalent, e.g. GIMP which does come with a learning curve.

Replacing Windows 7 with Linux: Linux usability

Until recently, for the average Windows user, replacing Windows with Linux was a no-go. In fact, you might still be thinking of Linux as that OS that requires you to write a lot of command lines in Terminal and is not suitable for those with zero programming skills. But rest assured that things have moved on in the Linux world. It has become much more accessible to the average user. If like most average users, you use your computer to browse the internet, watch movies and work on some documents, then you will be just fine. Install and enjoy!

Any other advice for users who wish to replace Windows 7 with Linux? Have you recently replaced Windows with Linux? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments.

This excellent site has now released the latest in a great line of guides. You can either download the regular copy for free or get the Deluxe edition for a small price.

cybercore

New Member
  • Dec 9, 2009
  • #2

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cybercore

New Member
  • Feb 11, 2010
  • #3

Windows 7 How-To Articles, Tips, and Guides :: How-To Geek

  • Windows 7

Disabling Features and Annoyances

Learning Windows 7

Networking and Sharing

Privacy and Security

Shortcuts and Hotkeys

Windows 7 Tips

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yulistana

Senior Member
  • Feb 15, 2010
  • #4

cybercore

New Member
  • Mar 18, 2010
  • #5

Windows Access Panel for Windows 7 & Vista

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Access Panel for Windows 7 & Vista, x86 and x64. While you can use Control Panel to change settings which control nearly everything about how Windows looks and works, in some cases to access these very controls , or the in-built Windows programs, requires you to engage in multiple clicks or know their names.

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Windows Access Panel is meant to minimize your trouble in accessing such programs. It has been tested on Windows 7 & Windows Vista. It can simply be downloaded and used as a portable application. Place it in your Programs Files and Pin its shortcut to your Start menu and you are all set to a faster way of accessing the “hidden” Windows system utilities.

For instance, WAP will save you a couple of clicks if you want to open any program, like maybe the Disk Defragmentation utility. Or maybe you don’t know that to open the Backup or Restore Usernames & Passwords Wizard you need to type credwiz in the start search and hit Enter! 48 such programs have been included in WAP v 1.0.

With this program, you have all, or atleast most of such programs at your fingertips. The present download works for 32-bit as well as 64-bit version.

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To a novice, this program will expose him to the many Windows utilities & programs he probably never knew existed on his PC! For a geek, this program hopes to help him access all such, from a convenient single place, easily!

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