How to Use Virtual Desktops in Windows 10

Using multiple virtual desktops is a great way to organize your work into separate manageable areas, each of them specific to how you use the PC.

The possibility to have and swap between multiple desktops in Windows is a feature that has been missing for so long in this OS. For example, if you regularly use the PC for gaming and office works, such a feature is an indispensable element. Not only it gives you more desktop space for separate task-related windows but it also allows you to easily access easily what you need at a particular moment.

Following is a step-by-step tutorial on how to add virtual desktops in Windows 10.

1. Open the Task View

task view windows 10

The Task View button can be found right-side of the Cortana’s search menu. To start working with the Virtual Desktop, click the Task View button and it will open a multi-app view. Here you can see all applications that are active on your main desktop.

2. Add a new desktop

new desktop windows 10

Adding a new desktop in Windows 10 is simple. Move the cursor to the bottom-right corner of the desktop and left-click “New Desktop”. From here, you can add as many desktops as you need. Once you have done it, these desktops will behave as separate spaces where to place your open applications.

3. Add applications

Windows 10 does not allow assigning shortcuts and files to particular virtual desktops. The shortcuts and files that are placed on the main desktop will appear on all other desktops too. So, keep your primary desktop as clean as possible.

4. What’s open on each desktop?

open apps each desktop

If you want to know what’s open on what desktop, open Task View again. Click the button to the right of the start menu. Now you can hover over each of the desktop tabs at the bottom of the screen to see which apps are open on each desktop.

5. Move open apps between desktops

Go to Task View, left click and hold the open application you want to move and drag it to the desired desktop.

6. Useful shortcuts

With Virtual Desktops, you can use different keyboard shortcuts:

  • If you want to switch to the previous or next window: press the Windows button + CTRL + left or right arrow keys (depending on what you need).
  • If you want to close a specific desktop: press the Windows button + CTRL +F4
  • If you want to go to Task View: press the Windows button + TAB

7. Show the open apps in the Task Bar

open apps Task Bar

To make the Task Bar behave as a hub and show all open programs from all desktops, type “Virtual Desktop” into the Start menu, go to Settings and change the first drop-down menu to “All Desktops”.

8. Show open applications on the current Virtual Desktop

open apps one desktop

To switch between all open apps, you can use ALT + TAB. To show only the open apps associated with the current desktop, go to Virtual Desktop settings again and choose “Only the desktop I’m using” from the ALT + TAB drop-down menu.

One Comment

  1. I see that you got different background pictures for each of your virtual desktops; how did you do it?

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