How-To Geek

How to Fix VistaSwitcher Showing Blank Windows in the List


We’re huge fans of the VistaSwitcher alternative for Alt+Tab, but unfortunately a recent bug has made it almost unusable for many of us, with lots of blank windows showing up in the list. Here’s how to fix it with a quick settings change.

Naturally, we’re sure that the excellent programmer who created VistaSwitcher will be fixing this bug soon, but he’s also included a feature that solves the problem—and you’ll quickly see that it isn’t his fault anyway.

Diagnosing the Problem

Open up the Preferences and head over to the Exclusions tab. From there, you’ll want to click the New button.


You’ll quickly notice something weird here—there’s a bunch of windows with no title, and when you expand them, you’ll see that each of them has the Window class “Internet Explorer_Hidden”. These embedded Internet Explorer windows are what is causing the problem.


What you’ll want to do is remove the checkbox next to “Process name”, and clear out that box. Then give it a name like “IE Hidden”, and make sure the rest of the settings look like this:


Click the OK button, and close out of the preferences. At this point you should notice that the blank windows are finally gone from VistaSwitcher.


Obviously this example is just a weird change in the latest Internet Explorer, and not a VistaSwitcher bug at all—but it’s good to know how to use this feature to hide any windows that you don’t want to see.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/3/10

Comments (5)

  1. bassman22

    I know you’re asked the same question all the time, but….where can I get that wallpaper?

  2. RSVR85

    Any way to fix this with the Taskbar in Windows 7?
    I constantly get blank windows in Outlook 2010, IE8&9, and Explorer. Middle clicking them, ‘X’ing them just won’t work and is very annoying.

  3. MILTY

    BASSMAN 22 = Grab the wallpaper shot with Gadwin Print Screen ( 4.4 is FREE )

    Save it as a file, and then using paint or any program you might have, enlarge it and then grab the larger picture again with Gadwin.

    It is now ready to be used as wallpaper.

    Works well for me !


    Thanks to whole team for accepting my request.

  5. shadowfax

    I had other windows showing up as blanks like user RSVR85 describes. Instead of excluding by window class, I just checked window title and left the field blank, which filtered out any unamed windows.

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