Updated: 12/31/2020 by Computer Hope

Alt+Tab is a keyboard shortcut 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 keyboard shortcut

To use this keyboard shortcut, press and hold either Alt key, and while continuing to hold, press the Tab key.

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 moves right-to-left in the available open windows.


If you only have two or three windows open, use the Alt+Esc keyboard shortcut to switch between them even faster.

Alt+Tab in Linux Mint

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

Below are links to related keyboard shortcuts and individual key pages.

Alt, End key, Keyboard shortcut, Keyboard terms