The Windows 8 Metro interface can be a bit tedious to navigate between, as one can easily loose track of active Metro applications. In previous version of Windows, active applications were spotted and opened using the ALT+Tab hotkey, however the Metro interface works in a different way from the conventional Windows workspace. Therefore, Windows 8 comes with a Switch List to allow users to easily switch between running applications.
When you open a Metro application and switch back to the Metro Start Screen using the WIN (Windows) Key, the application does not close but runs in the background. Over the course of a session, one can end up running various applications and not realize how many might be active. For example, lets say you checked the weather forecast using the weather app and then switched to the sports app. In such a case the weather app will still be active in the background and use up system resources. You can identify active applications simply by using the WIN+Tab hotkey. Doing so will bring forth the Windows 8 Switch List (as shown below).
The same process can be use to check and close active metro applications from the classic workspace in Windows 8. After you use the Windows + Tabhotkey, move the mouse to the top left corner and click, you will be automatically directed to the most recently accessed application. However, if you take your cursor to the top left side and then move it downwards (without clicking anything), you will be able to see the list of previously accessed applications. You can open any specific app by clicking on it from the Windows 8 Switch List.
You can also check out this video demo of the Windows 8 Switch List. The below video is also available on our official WML CLoud YouTube Channel.
Due to the lack of options available to navigate between Metro applications, the Switch List is an important functionality to keep track of active applications and to close them. If you are confused about how to close Metro apps, then see this post regarding the four methods that can be used to close Metro apps.