Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial.
task switching[′task ‚swich·iŋ]
Switching back and forth between two or more active programs without having to close or open any of them. Also known as context switching.
task switchingSwitching between applications that have been loaded in memory (are currently open). It generally refers to a user purposely jumping from one application to another, for example, by pressing Alt-Tab in Windows or Command-Tab in the Mac. See task switcher.
Manual or Automatic
Context switching implies switching between applications that are open but dormant in the background, waiting to be resumed where they were left off. This is a manual form of task switching.
Multitasking implies automatic task switching, in which the operating system and applications cooperate in causing the computer to move from application to application in a round robin sequence. See multitasking.