A Native Win32 TaskSwitcher

My previous task switcher application had a serious performance problem as it was programmed in .NET. In order to start the small utility you had to load up the CLR and a bunch of assemblies (dlls). If you are a .NET developer it might not be that big a problem as most of the code was already loaded up. However, for general use it was not the best option.

Hence, I ported the utitly to C++ with the MFC framework to help me. The result can be downloaded here: TaskSwitcher32.exe. The executable is staticly linked with the MFC library and has no dependencies besides a standard Windows system. It has been tested on XP 32 bit and Vista 64 bit. I see no reason for the utility not to work on other similar platforms. The code is available for you to play with at this GitHub repository.


Place the program somewhere in your file system. If you start the program without options you get a list of windows. You can select a window using the arrow keys and make the window the foreground window using the enter key. You can type text in order to limit the number of windows shown. The search searches the window title and the corresponding executable name (both in LOWER case).

The program can be used with a couple of command line arguments:

  • /title “search” initializes the program with a search criteria. If only one window matches, we skip the dialog and makes it the foreground window immediately. If multiple windows matches we show the dialog with the search criteria included. If no window matches - the following arguments are used:

  • /exe “executable with arguments” starts a program if no windows matches the search criteria.

  • /wdir “workingdir” specifies the working directory used when starting the above process.

  • /help Show a small help message.

Observe, that this little utility goes very well with AutoHotKey see previous article on AutoHotKey

Other notes, license, ….

The program is provided as is. You may use it privately and commercially. If you really like the program you can make me happy by sending an email of appreciation. You may also send feature requests and bug reports. The email is mic.jacobsen@gmail.com.