Windows is a popular OS on the desktop, this is well known. This popularity has given the platform some advantages such as defining keyboard shortcuts for any other platform that looks to replace Windows. The Alt-Tab shortcut is a prime example of this. Although, Windows has been pretty dull for quite some time while the competition has caught up and in ways even went past. This is changing, and perhaps at a good pace too. There are still some things that remain to be improved though. One of them is Alt-Tab itself and this is why you may want to try Alt-Tab Terminator.
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about the shortcut keys, that is perfectly fine. But the Alt-Tab view, the task switcher, has gotten a little boring don’t you think? Any average Windows user who uses his machine for more than just browsing the web probably uses this shortcut dozens of times a day. A little refresh to how it looks probably won’t hurt. And Alt-Tab Terminator gives you just that but a bit more.
Alt-Tab Terminator is an elegant and powerful task management utility for Windows 7/8/10. It replaces the default Alt-Tab with an interface of its own and adds a layer of extra functionality. The app is more intuitive than the default Task Switcher currently is on Windows 10. It can also replace the Windows 10 Timeline shortcut which in Win-Tab, and it does so by default. If you do find the Timeline useful you can disable this. The application is a direct successor of the tab programs VistaSwitcher and TaskSwitchXP.
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Alt-Tab Terminator Interface
When you’ve downloaded and installed the app, you can quickly preview it, by pressing Alt-Tab. What you’ll be presented with is an interface that doesn’t look out of place because it goes along quite well with the Windows 10 aesthetics. Instead of a thumbnail, Alt-Tab Terminator shows you a live preview of an app as it appears on your desktop. The apps are all displayed in a spacious list on the left with the live preview of the selected app on the right.
Further left of the task list is the hamburger menu icon on the top, which allows you to change a few things about the interface. You can switch from the default dark to a light theme which looks quite Windows 10-ish too. If you have a higher resolution display you’ll probably want to leave the Large Icons option as it is. This menu also lets you decide the size of the Alt-Tab interface if the default Medium size doesn’t suit you. This menu is where you can also decide the keyboard shortcuts the app should be triggered with.
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In the Settings, accessible via the hamburger menu or the cog wheel icon, you can choose whether to start the program on boot and whether it should check for updates. You can also define your own custom Hotkeys.
Alt-Tab Terminator Functions
The refreshing interface might just be enough for people who are bored with the default Task Switcher view and need a change. Alt-Tab Terminator sweetens the deal by adding a bit of functionality to this. As you can see in the screenshot above, with a right-click you can Close, Minimize, Maximize, Restore, Terminate or Run a program. In case you’re a little confused, Close will close the program normally. It might end up in your system tray then like some music players tend to do. Terminate will make sure the program is completely killed from the background.
Similarly, the Run function might seem futile given that the program is already running. But let’s say you want to open another instance of the same app, Run can come in handy. All this functionality does come at a cost though. Because this is not an integrated system interface, you’ll need it to run in the background all the time. To be fair though the app hardly takes up any resources. On my Windows 10 laptop, it takes around 3MB-4MB of RAM at its worst.
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