Source games are known to handle rejection poorly. When minimizing or Alt-Tabbing out of them, they often freeze up or crash. What are some tricks to minimize the pain?

  • 2
    I thought it was just TF2. That's good to know. Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 0:49
  • I find Garry's Mod works well with it. Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 8:33

5 Answers 5


I play full screen mode windowed. All the gfx without the minimizing.

How do you turn on "windowed fullscreen" in TF2 and other Source games?

  • 3
    This is a nitpick, but claiming that you get "all the graphics" that you would running windowed may be a little misleading. I believe that the difference between running windowed and not is that, when windowed, the system will render everything on screen behind your game. This leads to more overhead, reducing the processing cycles left to render your game. In practice, I've never seen it alter game performance to a noticeable degree. For argument's sake, though, I thought it was worth mentioning. Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 13:43
  • Yeah, it has never really affected me since my rig is pretty current. Good heads up though.
    – Negative
    Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 16:11

Assuming you are playing these games through steam, a possible approach would be to avoid minimizing as much as possible by relying on steam's in-game overlay (launched by pressing Shift+Tab) as much as possible.

Seeing how the overlay supplies a web browser, you can do quite a few things while keeping the game in the foreground.


On windows 7 ctrl+alt+delete,somehow the "blue" screen that opens at first and then going to task manager makes less stress on my PC than ordinary minimizing its worth trying.


It's a pain and there is not much you can do.

If you already know that you need to do some ALT-TAB while playing (because your are following an internet guide, chatting with some friends not in Steam, etc.) just start in window mode.

You can set different launching parameters: more info here.


I don't usually need to alt tab as I have a second PC right next to my gaming box to handle the little stuff. But this is not necessarily the most efficient or economical path to take.

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