Why PC Games Struggle With Alt+Tab and How to Fix it

Last Updated: Jan 30, 2024 by

If you’re a PC gamer, you’ve likely experienced the frustration of trying to switch between your game and other applications using the Alt+Tab shortcut. In many cases, this results in the game crashing or freezing, forcing you to restart and lose progress.

But why do PC games struggle with Alt+Tab, and is there a way to fix it? In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind this issue and provide some solutions to help you enjoy uninterrupted gaming.

Why Do PC Games Struggle With Alt+Tab?

Resource Allocation

One of the main reasons PC games struggle with Alt+Tab is due to resource allocation. When you switch to another application, your game is no longer the primary focus, and the computer may allocate resources to the other application, causing the game to freeze or crash.

This is especially true for newer, more resource-intensive games that require a lot of processing power. When you switch to another application, the game may not have enough resources to continue running smoothly, resulting in issues.

Incompatibility with Graphics Drivers

Another common reason for Alt+Tab issues in PC games is incompatibility with graphics drivers. Graphics drivers are responsible for rendering the graphics in your game, and if they are not compatible with the game or other applications, it can cause problems when switching between them.

Fullscreen Mode

Many PC games are designed to be played in fullscreen mode, which can also contribute to Alt+Tab issues. When you switch to another application, the game may not be able to adjust to the new resolution or display settings, causing it to crash or freeze.

How to Fix Alt+Tab Issues in PC Games

Now that we understand the reasons behind Alt+Tab issues in PC games, let’s explore some solutions to help you fix them.

Use Windowed or Borderless Windowed Mode

One of the easiest ways to avoid Alt+Tab issues in PC games is to play in windowed or borderless windowed mode. This allows you to switch between applications without the game losing focus or crashing.

While this may not be the ideal gaming experience for some, it can help prevent frustration and interruptions during gameplay.

Update Your Graphics Drivers

As mentioned earlier, incompatibility with graphics drivers can cause Alt+Tab issues in PC games. To fix this, make sure you have the latest drivers installed for your graphics card.

You can usually find and download the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s website or through your computer’s device manager.

Use a Virtual Desktop

Another solution to Alt+Tab issues is to use a virtual desktop. This allows you to switch between applications without affecting the resources allocated to your game.

You can create a virtual desktop by pressing Windows + Tab on your keyboard and then clicking on the “New Desktop” button in the top right corner. This will create a new desktop where you can switch to other applications without affecting your game.

Use Third-Party Software

If the above solutions do not work for you, there are also third-party software options that can help with Alt+Tab issues in PC games.

One popular option is the “Borderless Gaming” software, which allows you to play games in borderless windowed mode, even if the game does not have that option built-in. This can help prevent Alt+Tab issues and provide a smoother gaming experience.

Use Multiple Monitors

If you have multiple monitors, you can also use this to your advantage when dealing with Alt+Tab issues. By setting your game to play on one monitor and having other applications open on the other, you can easily switch between them without affecting the game.

This can be especially useful for games that require a lot of resources and may struggle with Alt+Tab in fullscreen mode.

Top PC Games for 2023

Now that we’ve covered some solutions for Alt+Tab issues in PC games, let’s take a look at some of the top PC games to look out for in 2023.

Cyberpunk 2077

One of the most highly anticipated games of 2023, Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world action RPG set in a dystopian future. With stunning graphics and immersive gameplay, this game is sure to be a hit among PC gamers.

Diablo IV

The fourth installment in the popular Diablo series, Diablo IV promises to deliver an even more intense and dark gaming experience. With improved graphics and new gameplay features, this game is sure to be a hit among fans of the series.

Starfield

From the creators of the popular Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, Starfield is a highly anticipated space-themed RPG. With a vast open world and immersive gameplay, this game is sure to be a hit among PC gamers.

Conclusion

Alt+Tab issues in PC games can be frustrating, but with the right solutions, you can enjoy uninterrupted gaming. By using windowed or borderless windowed mode, updating your graphics drivers, or using third-party software, you can prevent crashes and freezes when switching between applications.

And with the release of highly anticipated games like Cyberpunk 2077, Diablo IV, and Starfield, it’s important to have a smooth gaming experience without interruptions. So try out these solutions and get ready for an epic gaming experience on your PC.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.