Updated: 10/07/2019 by Computer Hope

Alt+Tab is a shortcut key most often used to switch between open programs in Microsoft Windows and other operating systems.


To switch between open tabs in the active window, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Tab.

How to use the Alt+Tab shortcut key

To use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Tab, press and hold either Alt key on the keyboard and while continuing to hold, press the Tab key with either hand.

Alt+Tab in Microsoft Windows

In Microsoft Word, pressing Alt+Tab moves from left-to-right in the available open windows.


If you press Alt+Shift+Tab, it would move right-to-left in the available open windows.


Use the Alt+Esc keyboard shortcut if you only have two or three windows open to switch between open windows even faster.

Alt+Tab in Linux Mint

In Linux Mint, pressing Alt+Tab cycles through though the open windows.

Below are links to related keyboard key and keyboard shortcut pages.

Alt, End key, Keyboard terms, Shortcut key