How to Make a Window Active in Windows 8

By Andy Rathbone

Windows 8 says the window atop the pile that is getting all the attention is called the active window. Being the active window means that it receives any keystrokes you or your cat happen to type.

You can move a window to the top of the pile so that it’s active in any of several ways:

  • Move the mouse pointer until it hovers over any portion of your desired window; then click the mouse button. Windows 8 immediately brings the window to the top of the pile.

  • On the taskbar along the desktop’s bottom, click the button for the window you want.

  • Hold down the Alt key and keep tapping the Tab key. A small window pops up, displaying a thumbnail of each open window on your desktop. When your press of the Tab key highlights your favorite window, let go of the Alt key: Your window leaps to the forefront.

  • Hold down the Windows key and keep tapping the Tab key. A bar appears along your screen’s left edge, showing thumbnails of all your running apps and programs. When your tap of the Tab key highlights your desired window, let go of the Windows key.

Repeat the process when necessary to bring other windows to the front.

Is your desktop too cluttered for you to work comfortably in your current window? Then hold down your mouse pointer on the window’s title bar and give it a few quick shakes; Windows 8 drops the other windows down to the taskbar, leaving your main window resting alone on an empty desktop.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.