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Windows 8 Switch List Helps Navigate Between Running Applications

Windows 8 comes with a lot of changes; apart from the Metro Start Screen, there is also a Desktop work space (accessible from the Desktop tile) to enable you to work like you used to in previous versions of Windows. Apparently, the Windows 8 Desktop looks a lot similar to that of Windows 7, but it has some important and very useful new features included. These features are aimed at making the Windows 8 experience seem both futuristic, as well as user-friendly. The most significant UI change related to application navigation in Windows 8 includes the Switch List. In this post, we will talk about the new Switch List and how it works.

Today, with the release of Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview, we are bringing you extensive coverage of all the new features in Microsoft’s latest operating system. This post is a part of our Windows 8 Week. To learn more, check out our complete coverage of Windows 8 Consumer Preview.


In the previous versions of Windows, the only way to switch between running applications and Windows has been through the Alt + Tab hotkey. Windows 8 has totally revamped (and improved) the way we interact with applications. Since the Metro UI does not deal with applications in the same way as the previous versions of Windows, the way we switch between them has also been polished. Now, instead of closing an application, the system simply sends them to the background. These applications running in the background can be maximized at any time through the Switch List feature.

Windows 8 Switch List

The Switch List can be accessed by either pointing the mouse cursor in the upper left corner of your computer screen or through the Windows + Tab hotkey. Taking the mouse cursor to the left top corner works in two ways. If you keep your cursor in the corner and click, it will automatically switch to the most recently accessed application, but, if you take your mouse cursor to the top left and then move it downwards without clicking, you are able to view the complete list of previously accessed applications. Just click any application to bring the corresponding application up.

Considering the lack of navigation options in the native Start Screen apps of Windows 8 (such as minimize and maximize), Switch List will prove to be a very useful for quickly navigating between running applications in Windows 8.


That’s pretty much it for Windows 8 Switch Lists. Stay tuned for more of our Windows 8 coverage.



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