Visual Studio 2005 – Disabling the New Ctrl+Tab Menu

August 31, 2006 at 12:43 pm | Posted in Coding | 16 Comments

One of the few things I disliked about Visual Studio 2005 is the new Ctrl+Tab menu they added, which works sort of like Alt-Tab in Windows, but is fairly useless in an IDE – it just slows down Ctrl+Tab operation by requiring you to release both Control and Tab each time you want to change documents, so you can’t just hold Control and quickly Tab through open documents.

Thankfully, today I found out how to disable that – Tools > Options, then Environment > Keyboard.  Once there, remove the bindings for Window.NextDocumentWindowNav and Window.PreviousDocumentWindowNav, then assign Ctrl+Tab to Window.NextDocumentWindow and Ctrl+Shift+Tab to Window.PreviousDocumentWindow – hit OK, and you’re good to go 🙂


  1. Thanks very much for posting this info. I was almost suicidal over the loss of my old Ctrl-Tab behaviour.

    The new Ctrl-Tab ‘feature’ in VS 2005 is truly awful. It forces you to take your focus off the documents and tabs and read (read!) a jumbled text list of filenames to find the one you want to switch to. I have no idea how professional engineers thought this was a good idea.

    Being able to keyboard navigate to little-used tool windows (i.e. the ones you can’t remember the direct nav keys for) has some value, however. So on my system I’ve changed Ctrl-Tab over to Ctrl-F6, so it’s still available via keyboard. And Ctrl-F6 (the old Ctrl-Tab behaviour) has gone to Ctrl-Tab, where it never should have left.

    Time to get back to the world’s big problems …

  2. god bless you collin grady. now back to comparing my two files.

  3. Thank you, world wide web, for solving this problem! Yet another interface inflicted upon me by Microsoft successfully averted!!

  4. Hello

    Do you know if it possible to change the tab switch order, so the tab next to the current tab is always selected?

  5. god bless you collin grady!!

  6. @Karsten:

    As far as I know, no.

  7. THANK YOU! 🙂

  8. Thanks a lot mate… this tab thing was pain in the ass.. I don’t know why Microsoft comes up with this stupid settings for default keys, i mean what is wrong with setting this on some extra keys..

    Never mind thanks a lot mate..

  9. What a TRULY AWFUL “feature”. Thank you for helping me to keep my sanity.

  10. Thanks Collin!! The default ctrl+tab behavior is horrendous and they didn’t change it for VS2008, sadly. Thank goodness it can be avoided.

  11. I was having an issue where that dialog window wouldn’t disappear after I released the CTRL key. I understand your view to be that you don’t care for the window itself. I hope you forgive me for posting this link since it is a little off topic, but your blog post was in every Internet search when I was trying to fix this problem of mine. I hope you’ll allow this comment for other travels to find a fix.

  12. I owe you one Collin!

  13. Thanks for the help!

  14. is there ANY way to override the tab switch order? That is driving me crazy!! Imagine if firefox did something like that…

  15. Thanks Collin,

    It was a great help.. default setting was making me crazy :))

  16. I believe here’s a partial answer:
    Still, it’s very limited and can break.

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