July 22, 2020 10:00 am

Multitasking improvements in Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge

By / Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Edge

Web browsing doesn’t happen in isolation, and users frequently multitask between their web browser and other apps using the Taskbar and Alt + Tab. Traditionally, these surfaces have been almost exclusively focused on apps, forcing users to take additional steps to get to the tab they need—until now.

With the latest Insider versions of Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge, your tabs now appear in Alt + Tab, allowing you to quickly switch between both apps and sites. You can also easily access the tabs for your most important sites directly on the Taskbar. The changes are just the first of many designed to make you more productive and save you time while multitasking.

Browser tabs in Alt + Tab

Have you ever tried to use the Alt + Tab keyboard shortcut only to be surprised when it took you to the last app you were using rather than the last thing you were doing? The line between apps and sites has blurred as people spend more and more time in web browsers, but Alt + Tab was still limited to just apps. We’ve heard your feedback about how frustrating this was, so we’ve updated Alt + Tab to show your browser tabs right alongside your apps. This makes switching between open tabs as seamless as switching between open windows.

Animation showing individual Edge tabs in the Alt-Tab interface

We know Alt + Tab is sacred, so you can choose whether to show all, some, or none of your tabs by going to Settings > System > Multitasking in Windows. All your tabs are shown by default, but if you find it to be a bit much you can set Alt + Tab to only show the last three or five tabs instead. We’d love to hear which setting you prefer!

Quickly access tabs for your pinned sites via the Taskbar

We’ve given pinned sites on the Taskbar a big upgrade, making it easier than ever to get back to the tabs for your most important sites. Pinned sites have always let you quickly open a website or switch to your most recent tab. With today’s update, pinned sites will now appear as running on the Taskbar and you can click on the icon to see all of your open tabs across any of your Microsoft Edge windows. This makes it easy to quickly find and switch to a tab for a specific site without having to search through all your open tabs and browser windows.

Animation showing pinned sites with grouped tabs on the Taskbar

Pinned sites will now appear as running on the Taskbar, and you can click on the icon to see all of your open tabs across any of your Microsoft Edge windows. (Click to enlarge.)

Try pinning a site you visit frequently by going to Settings and More (…) > More tools > Pin to taskbar. We think you’ll love how easy it is to multitask.

Getting started

To start using these new features, you’ll need:

These features are currently rolling out to a subset of Insiders, so if you don’t see them, please check back soon.

Once you’re up-to-date, simply choose your preferred Alt + Tab setting under Settings > System > Multitasking or pin your favorite site to the taskbar by going to Microsoft Edge and selecting Settings and More (…) > More tools > Pin to taskbar.

For this initial preview release, you’ll need to remove and re-pin existing sites on your Taskbar (including removing them from the edge://apps page). We’ll be updating existing pinned sites to work with these features in the near future.

Send us feedback

We’re so excited for you to experience your tabs in Alt + Tab and the Taskbar, and we look forward to hearing your feedback. For a list of known issues in this preview, check out the Windows Insider Preview flight notes. Please let us know what you think or any bugs you encounter via the Feedback Hub app.

William Devereux, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Edge
— Greg Mattox, Senior Program Manager, Windows

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