Disable Switching Between Metro Apps (Switch List) In Windows 8 [Tip]


The Alt + Tab shortcut in Windows for switching between open applications and other windows has been in use since a long time. Albeit, Microsoft introduced Win + Alt with Aero interface for switching between apps, Alt + Tab is still found to be more convenient by many people. However, Windows 8 comes with a lot of changes. Apart from the Metro Start Screen (which has seen both love and hatred from people all over the world), a Desktop work space is also included enabling you to work just as you used to do in the previous versions of Windows. At the first glance, the Windows 8 Desktop looks quite similar to that of Windows 7, but it comes with some new, fancy and useful added features that you probably haven’t seen yet. One of the most significant UI change is related to application switching. Apart from the Alt + Tab shortcut for switching between desktop apps, Windows 8 provides a Switch List, which appears on the left of the screen and allows users to switch between all active Metro applications (including Desktop). Although Switch List is a useful feature, it can, at times, become a nuisance. The reason being that whenever you take your mouse to the lower or upper left corner of the screen, the Switch List pops up, blocking your view of the desktop Should you have a small screen (Notebook user?), it can create some serious problem, taking away that already limited screen real estate. In this post, we will demonstrate how to disable the Switch List in Windows 8. Just read on.

The following method does not involve tweaking Windows Registry, Local Group Policy Settings or modifying other system utilities. But rather the changes you make will only affect your own user account, and other PC users will not have to deal with the disabled Switch List.

To disable the switch list feature, first press Win + I and click More PC Settings.


Then, in the left pane, select the General tab.

How to Disable Application Switching in Windows 8 - How-To Geek - Mozilla Firefo_2012-05-14_18-52-44

Look for App switching and use the On/Off toggle below it to disable switching between recent apps.

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Now, the Switch List will not appear on your screen whenever you move your mouse to the lower or upper left corner of your desktop.

  • With this and the Charms Bar ‘hint’ disabled, Windows 8 is a bit more enjoyable. Thank you for the article.