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Windows 7: Alt-Tab icon list does not stay on top

05 May 2010   #11

Windows 7 Ultimate x86

After trying every possible option without success (getting the latest drivers, enabling and disabling aero and creating a new user profile), I ended up doing a clean install of the OS. The funny thing is that after booting up for the first time and running all windows updates and Lenovo's System Update, the bug showed up again!

I did another run at the clean install, this time I let windows update take care of all the drivers it could and after windows update was done I installed only a few of the Lenovo System Updates (Drivers for hardware that were still missing from device manager and some Thinkvantage Tools) but one at the time. The alt tab is working fine now, staying on top of the peeks.

The key this time was that I did not install the following drivers and updates from the Lenovo System Update:
  • All windows update modules downloadable via Lenovo System Update
  • Thinkvantage communications utility
  • Intel Wireless Wifi for Windows 7 32 bit
  • Lenovo integrated camera device driver for Windows
  • Thinkvantage Access Connections for Windows 7
  • Conexant audio features for Windows 7
  • Access help for Thinkpad x200 Tablet
  • ThinkPad BIOS update for windows xp/vista/7 32 bit
For some reason I believe the BIOS update is the culprit but I did not have the patience to do a third clean install in case I was right!

There is certainly something wrong with one of those updates. A friend of mine just upgraded to Windows 7 (clen install) with a Lenovo Thinkpad X200 Tablet just like mine and installed everything from the Lenovo System Update and sure enough it started showing the same alt tab behavior.

Hope this helps anyone with the same issue.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2010   #12

Windows 7

I did a clean install and installed all the Lenovo System Updates one by one, and it turned out to be the Thinkvantage communications utility that was the problem. Not to sure why, I would have never guessed that would have an affect on the display features.

I installed everything else, including the BIOS and all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2010   #13

Windows 7


you don't have to do a clean install to get it to work. Just uninstall the Thinkvantage Communications utility from Programs and Features.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Oct 2010   #14

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

I don't have ThinkVantage Communications installed, yet I have the same problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #15

Windows 7

Just to be sure, there is a difference between the ThinkVantage Communications Utility and ThinkVantage Communications program. The ThinkVantage Communications Utility is the program that launches when you press Fn+F6, the ThinkVantage Communications program is the one that is used to connect to wireless networks and stuff. Look at your Programs and Features installed to be sure that there isn't the Utility installed. A quick test to see if the utility is installed is by pressing Fn+F6, if something pops up, then you have it installed, if not then you don't :)

If you don't have it installed, then I don't know. Try what I did, uninstall all the Lenovo drivers and programs and just install the Lenovo drivers one by one and test to see which one causes this issue.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2011   #16

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Many causes for Alt+Tab bug

There are many programs that can cause the Alt+Tab depth-inversion bug (where the list of Alt+Tab icons goes behind the active window). The two that I have found that can cause it are ipoint.exe (Microsoft Intellipoint driver) and sidebar.exe (the desktop gadget host process). You can often fix this problem by killing these processes with task manager, or by configuring windows so that they do not run.

Since the causes may be different on other machines it is worth experimenting with task manager to see what processes trigger the bug on *your* machine.

See Alt+Tab Depth Inversion Bug | Random ASCII for more details.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2012   #17

Seven Home Premium x64 / Vista Home Premium x86

sorry, no help on a solution but I am having the same problem. I don't use alt+tab unless I'm getting out of a full-screen app so I didn't notice until I saw this but yeah, mine's doing the same.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2012   #18

Windows 7 Pro x64
Has anybody solved the “alt tab not on the top problem”?

I see that this is an old thread, however, this happened to me a few days back. Googling I found that if one kills the sidebar.exe the problem disappears. Trying this I figured and it does solve the problem.
Wondering, however, why this has happened after years of using windows 7 I realized that this issue may be related with IE9. Installing IE9 a few days ago I come to believe that this is the case.

Has anybody found a cure?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2014   #19


On my system I was able to fix it by taking each window out of "full screen" then back again. (actually while they were all in non-full screen I did a bunch of alt-tabs, then I switch them all back to full screen).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2015   #20

Windows 7 Professional x32

Hello Gentlemen,

I inform you that I am the same problems every time I run the Alt + Tab the computer screen lock, getting dead. Once you grasp the "Alt" key or "Alt Gr" the computer back to normal. This ends up becoming a boring process, if anyone can figure out a solution and can pass me. I will be grateful.

S.O. used: Windows 7 Professional x86 EN

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Alt-Tab icon list does not stay on top

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