The Alt + Tab key combination is a great way to switch between open program windows on your computer and it enhances your productivity especially when used with the arrow keys.
Despite being useful, some users face issues with this shortcut from time to time. Alt + Tab not working is probably one of them that we have discussed previously. Another issue that many users face is when they see a black screen when pressing Alt + Tab.
The issue is more common when users play games and while switching between open Windows!
Why Does Your Screen Turn Black When You Press Alt + Tab?
“ Sometimes when I try to switch between the game I am playing and applications using Alt + Tab, my screen turns black for a few seconds.”
Here are a few triggers that may lead to a black screen when you press Alt +Tab –
- Display settings are not correctly configured.
- Outdated or corrupt graphics card or video driver
- The app installed on your PC consists of hotkeys that conflict with your keystrokes.
- A virus infection is interfering with your PC’s functionality.
- There are too many background or foreground programs running on your PC.
- Outdated GPU
Best Ways To Fix Alt + Tab Black Screen Issue
Does your screen goes glack when your press Alt-Tab? Learn how to stop it with tried and tested solutions shared below on Windows 11/10 PC.
Solution No. 1 – Check If Your Keyboard Is Working Properly
To begin with, if you are using a USB keyboard, unplug it and plug it back in. Or, check out the various ports for any damage and then try pressing the Alt + Tab shortcut if it’s working fine or not.
Solution No. 2 – Adjust the Refresh Rate
Adjusting the refresh rate in accordance with your display and GPU can help fix the issue. To do that follow the steps mentioned below –
1. Open Settings by pressing Windows + I.
2. Click on System from the left-hand pane.
3. Click on Display from the right.
4. Scroll down and under Related settings, click on Advanced display
5. Click on the dropdown next to Choose a refresh rate.
Here choose a refresh rate that is higher but it should also be something that consumes optimal power.
Solution No. 3 – Uninstall A Problematic Program and Close Background Processes
First, close all unnecessary background processes that might be eating up your PC’s memory and slowing it down. If that doesn’t work, ponder upon an application that you installed recently. Have you started to encounter a black screen when switching between this app and other programs using Alt + Tab? If yes, first, run an Antivirus scan to ensure that this app doesn’t contain a virus. If it does, the best bet is to uninstall it completely and with immediate effect.
Solution No. 4 – Update Graphics Driver
Outdated or corrupt graphics drivers can be the main reason why you are seeing a black screen when switching between two or more programs using the Alt + Tab keys. One way is to manually update drivers. However, an easier and error-free way to update drivers is to use a driver updater tool like Advanced Driver Updater. The steps for using the same are mentioned below –
1. Download, install, and run Advanced Driver Updater.
2. Click on the Start Scan Now button. The application will now look for outdated drivers.
3. From the list of drivers, click on the checkbox, next to your Graphics driver and click on Update driver.
Other Notable Features of Advanced Driver Updater –
- Backup drivers before you choose to update them.
- Restore the driver to a previous version if something goes wrong.
- Include or exclude driver from the scan.
- Schedule driver scans
To know more about these features and all the other aspects of Advanced Driver Updater
Solution No. 5 – Change Graphics Settings
If you are switching between apps and there is a specefic app causing the black screen issue when the ALT + TAB is pressed, the below-mentioned steps can be of help –
1. Right-click on the Windows Start button and select Settings.
2. Click on System from the left.
3. Click on Display from the right.
4. Click on Graphics under Related settings.
5. Click on the Options button under the name of the app creating issues.
6. Select High performance and click on Save
In case, your system is unable to handle a game’s graphics, instead of High performance, select Let Windows decide. It’s an effective trick that has worked out for many users. For more such tricks on how you can up your system’s gaming performance, check this post out.
Solution No. 6 – Run The Game/ App In Windowed/ Borderless Mode
The steps mentioned below is specefically for gamers.
The reason – there are games that might not be compatible with your current display settings. Hence, when you press Alt + Tab keys to switch between the game window and other programs, you may see a black screen. To fix this issue, you may run the game in a Windowed or Borderless mode. There are a few ways to do this –
Way No. 1 –
Some games have a dedicated option in Settings where you can switch between Windowed/ Borderless mode as shown in the screenshot below –
Way No. 2 –
Another way that may/ may not work out is to suffix windowmode in app/ game’s shortcut properties. To don
1. Search for the app in the Windows search bar, right-click on it, and click on Open file location. If the app or game is on your desktop, right-click on it and select Open file location.
2. It is important that the app or the game has a shortcut on the desktop. Once you have done that, move on to the next step.
3. Right-click on the shortcut, click on Show more options
4. Select Properties.
5. Now, in Properties, closely look at the Target field. Add space and type -windowmode at the end of the Target name i.e. after the .exe. So, for example, if the target is “C:\Program Files (x86)\AnyDesk\AnyDesk.exe” , the eventual Target field will be “C:\Program Files (x86)\AnyDesk\AnyDesk.exe” -windowmode
6. Click on Apply
7. Click on Continue when Administrative permissions occur.
8. Click on OK
We Hope Your Screen’s Not Black Anymore!
We hope you aren’t seeing any black screen when switching between programs using the Alt + Tab key combination. If you have been able to fix the issue, do let us know which of the above solutions worked out for you. For more such content, keep reading WeTheGeek.