More Desktops

How to create and manage virtual desktops on Windows 10

You can quickly organize and separate tasks by grouping them into virtual desktops on Windows 10 — Here's how to do it.

Windows 10 virtual desktops on Task View

The ability to have multiple desktops is a powerful feature, as you can better organize and group your tasks, but it’s a problem when you only have one screen. On Windows 10, the solution to this problem is “virtual desktops,” which is a feature that allows you to create desktops to overcome the limitations of a physical monitor.

Virtual desktops on Windows 10 is new, but the feature isn’t actually new. Linux and Mac computers had this feature for a long time, even Windows 3.x and Windows XP had this feature, but then it went away and now is coming back with the latest version of Windows.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to create and manage virtual desktops on Windows 10.

How to create a new virtual desktop

On Windows 10, “virtual desktops” is actually part of Task View, which also let you quickly get a preview to see all the running apps on your system.

To create a new virtual desktop, do the following:

  1. Click the Task View button in the Taskbar or use the Windows key + Tab keyboard shortcut.

  2. Click New desktop in the bottom-right corner.

    Create new virtual desktop on Windows 10
    Create new virtual desktop on Windows 10

Alternatively, you can simply use the Windows key + Ctrl + D keyboard shortcut to create a new virtual desktop. If you click the shortcut continuously, you’ll create multiple desktops.

How to switch between virtual desktops

To switch between virtual desktops, do the following:

  1. Click the Task View button in the Taskbar or use the Windows key + Tab keyboard shortcut.

  2. Click the virtual desktop you want to jump to.

    Switch virtual desktops
    Switch virtual desktops

Alternatively, you can use the Windows key + Ctrl + Left or Windows key + Ctrl + Right to quickly move between desktops.

How to move an app to another virtual desktop

To move an app to another desktop, do the following:

  1. Click the Task View button in the Taskbar or use the Windows key + Tab keyboard shortcut.

  2. Right-click the app and select Move to.

  3. Click the desktop you want to move the app to or you can click New desktop to create and move the app to a new virtual desktop.

    Move app or window to another desktop
    Move app or window to another desktop

Alternatively, you can click, drag and drop the app to the desktop you want while in Task View.

How to show an app on all virtual desktops

If you want an app or window to be available on all virtual desktops, you can do the following:

  1. Click the Task View button in the Taskbar or use the Windows key + Tab keyboard shortcut.

  2. Right-click the app and select Show this window on all desktops. You can also select Show windows from this app on all desktops.

    Show app or window on all desktops
    Show app or window on all desktops

How to remove a virtual desktop

When you no longer need a desktop, you can delete it in a number of ways:

  1. Click the Task View button in the Taskbar or use the Windows key + Tab keyboard shortcut.

  2. Hover over the desktop and click the X button to close it.

    Close a virtual desktop
    Close a virtual desktop

Alternatively, you can switch to the desktop you want to remove, and use the Windows key + Ctrl + F4 shortcut to close it.

Closing a virtual desktop doesn’t close the running apps. They will just simply move the next available desktop, and obviously, you can’t delete the last desktop standing.

Wrapping things up

The main goals with virtual desktops, include adding mode desktop space to group related windows. It gives you a quick way to find and switch to any single or group of windows. You can easily re-organize your groups of tasks, and you can control the separation between your groups of windows.

In addition, there is no limit in the number of desktops you can create. This means that you can get unlimited virtual desktops to group work stuff, including Office apps on one desktop, and open your personal favorite websites on another desktop. And desktops will remain after your restart your PC.

If you ever forget in which desktop you left your music play, remember that you can hover over desktops to get an accurate peek of all the running apps on each desktop, and quickly jump into the app.

Although “virtual desktops” isn’t exactly a new feature, it’s a great addition on Windows 10, which once you know is there, you’ll be using it quite often.

However, the experience lacks of some important features, such as the ability to rename desktops, you can’t have different backgrounds per virtual desktop, and there isn’t a way to see the number of active desktops unless you open Task View.

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