Across a Fair Number of Years and Multiple Hardware and Software Configurations, Fullscreen Alt+Tab Still Regularly Hangs Overwatch on PC


I have regularly updated my drivers (and systems) over the years, used different PC’s, found others reporting this over the years on Reddit, and yet still Overwatch often crashes when alt-tabbing in and out of fullscreen mode, and this is sadly apparently not a “Known Technical Issue”. I understand that graphics drivers have a pitiful reputation of buggy standards implementations, and rendering code is a huge source of dangerous memory operations and stateful management of window contexts, but other games have gotten this switching right long, long ago, and I can’t afford to upgrade my hardware such that borderless window would have a decent enough frame rate to make the game enjoyable.

I’ll enclose dxdiag in a post below, as I’m hitting the character limit with it included, but for immediate context while I’ve experienced this over many years, on many machines before, my current machine is an Asus Q553UB, which has an i7-6500U and a Geforce 940M (driver v430.64). Overwatch renders utilizing the Nvidia GPU, and not the Intel HD GPU. I’m running Windows 10 v1903. To specifically describe the bug, it primarily occurs when Overwatch is in exclusive fullscreen mode, and I’ve alt-tabbed out and attempt to alt-tab back in, occurring (I believe) exclusively while the game switches from a menu screen to a game mode (which is very convenient for when competitive queue is a little faster than I expect and I get a nice leaver penalty for my trouble). Upon alt-tabbing back in, Overwatch sometimes attempts to context-switch, often several times, until going what looks like borderless window, except no new frames past the moment of context switching are drawn, and no input is accepted, although sometimes audio will still play from the window. Windows will show the process as unresponsive (I assume meaning its event loop might not be properly responding to signals from the system), and I must end the process forcibly through the task manager.

If this issue is truly not a known one, I can also break out the debugger and set some breakpoints as I attempt to join quickplay lobbies :crazy_face:

EDIT: Can’t post links, and can’t reply until others do, I posted a Github Gist of my DXDIAG at /distransient/bc3e53d3f7f91dca36a5657cc7ea601e. I also have a screenshot of such an instance saved, which I cannot post either.

PS: Support person that’s triaging this: Hope your day is going well, take a moment after reading my post to think about puppies.


There are many details missing from your GPU driver, which points to an issue with them. There are also more than a handful of “running out of RAM” errors, as well as GPU timeouts. I think removing the display drivers with DDU and testing or upgrading the RAM would resolve this. It’s not a common issue anymore (alt-tab hanging), unless there’s a local issue on the machine causing the hangup.