How to Make Alt+Tab Background Fully Transparent

On Windows 10, when you use Alt + Tab to switch windows, the grid background is black by default, and the background windows and desktop icons are displayed as shown in this image. This post unveils some hidden registry settings to configure how the Alt+Tab switcher displays.

alt+tab transparent
(Desktop icons shown in the background)

Hidden Registry Settings for Alt + Tab

Hide Desktop Icons and Windows during Alt+Tab

To hide the desktop icons and windows in the background (so that only the Alt+Tab switcher shows up on the screen), here is the registry edit:

  1. Open regedit.exe and go to:
  2. Create a subkey and name it as AltTabViewHost
  3. In the right-pane of AltTabViewHost key, create a REG_DWORD value named Wallpaper
  4. Double-click Wallpaper and set its data to 1

    alt+tab transparent
    Desktop icons and program windows are now hidden

Make Alt+Tab Transparent

In the AltTabViewHost registry key, create a DWORD value named Grid_backgroundPercent

Double-click “Grid_backgroundPercent” value and set its data accordingly. 0 means fully transparent. 100 is fully opaque. You may set something around 5 to 10.

After setting it to 0, here is how it appears.

alt+tab transparent
Grid background set to 0%

If the window titles are not clear, you may want to set the opacity to 10 or more.

alt+tab transparent
Grid background set to 10%

Alternatively, create a value named BackgroundDimmingLayer_percentif you want to dim the background wallpaper (not the grid background) and set the opacity as required. Here I set the BackgroundDimmingLayer_percent to 40% (decimal: 40), and here is how it looks.

alt+tab transparent
Grid Background 0% & Background dim at 40%; you can see the diff from the previous image.

Exit the Registry Editor.

There are plenty of other settings related to Alt +Tab, but most are trivial.

Registry File for the Above Settings

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

That’s it!

(Originally published on 22-Jun-2016, and Last Reviewed on 04-Sep-2022)

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

1 thought on “How to Make Alt+Tab Background Fully Transparent”

  1. Nice. Nice. I’d implement it as soon as I move to Windows 10… (Well, that is, if I ever move. There has been some nasty showstopper bugs.)


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