When Microsoft released Windows Vista they had a lot of great innovations in it despite the constant complaints people had with the OS. One of the best things that came out of Vista is Aero, which is what powers the Flip 3D (Windows Key + Tab), the Taskbar thumbnails, the blurred border around all the windows, the thumbnails used in Alt+Tab, and more. Those things are all great, but I’ve always felt that the thumbnails in the Alt+Tab popup are sometimes too small to even be useful. I mean if you have multiple Windows Explorer windows open it’s hard to distinguish between them using a thumbnail that’s barely bigger than a postage stamp. That’s why a few years ago we wrote about how you could increase the thumbnail size in Vista with a Registry tweak, but it’s gotten easier since then.
A skilled developer put together a super simple application called Alt+Tab Tuner for changing the size of the thumbnails in Windows 7. Most of the changes seem to take affect immediately after you hit the Apply button, except for the “Thumbs Grid” settings. For this you need to restart Explorer, which can easily be done by checking the “Autorestart Explorer” box in the bottom-left corner. The next time you hit the Apply button it will automatically restart the Explorer process for you.
To add a little perspective to some of the changes here are some before/after screenshots of a few changes I made:
Before (default Windows 7 settings):
After (larger thumbnails, smaller margins):
Not bad, huh? It’s a free and portable app that does exactly what it is designed to do. It’s hard not to love apps like that.
Note: The file will likely fail to download if you are viewing a translation of the download page, which is in Russian. Just look for the red “Download” text and click the link next to it.
Alt+Tab Tuner Homepage (Windows only; Freeware; Portable)