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How to Use Virtual Desktops in Windows 10

Windows 10 includes several new features, including long awaited ones like Virtual Desktops. While the feature is still relatively limited at this point, it’s definitely welcomed, and here’s a look at how to use them in the recent technical preview build 9926.

Add a Virtual Desktop in Windows 10

Adding another desktop is easy. You can do it by clicking the Task View button on the taskbar which is next to the Search and Start menu, or use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + Tab and select Add a Desktop as shown below. Or you can add one without pulling up the Task View pane by using Windows Key + Ctrl + D.

Add Desktop

Switch Between Desktops

There’s a couple of ways to switch between multiple desktops. You can either use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + Ctrl and the Left or Right arrow key depending on where you want to go. Or with you mouse by clicking the Task View button and then which desktop you want to use.

Switch Desktops

Move Windows Between Desktops

When working between multiple desktops, sometimes you’ll want to move open windows from one to another, and it’s easy to do. Use the Task View pane to display each desktop you created, and then hover the mouse over the desktop with the screen you want to move. Then right-click the window you want to move, and in the menu that pops up, select Move to and then the desktop you want to move it to.

For example, in the shot below, I am moving the News app from my first virtual desktop to the third.

move window

Close a Desktop

Closing a virtual desktop is straight-forward. Just bring up the Task View pane and then close the one you don’t need anymore. You can also close the current desktop you’re working in without pulling up the Task View pane by hitting Windows Key + Ctrl + F4. But it’s worth noting that I was only able to get that key combo to work on one of my Windows 10 computers – remember we’re still in beta folks.

Also note that if you do close a desktop that has open apps on it, they will be transferred over to the desktop to the left of the one you close.

Close Windows 10 Virtual Desktop

I would assume that more features will be added in upcoming tech preview builds, so it’s more of a robust feature like in Linux. For instance, features I’d like to see are the ability to drag programs between desktops, change wallpapers for each desktop, or jump to a specific desktop without having to cycle through them all.

It’s nice to see that Microsoft finally added virtual desktops. With separate desktops it’s easier to manage different projects without having your screen cluttered with open apps – especially if you’re not using a multiple monitor set up.

Remember that we’ll be covering new features as they’re added to Windows 10, and if you want to discuss the the latest Windows 10 happenings, check out our Windows 10 Forum.

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2 Responses to How to Use Virtual Desktops in Windows 10

  1. ramjiyahoo February 27, 2015 at 3:30 am #

    REALLY MICROSOFT IS BOUNCING BACK, GATES DAYS ARE COMING AGAIN. GOOD FEATURE 2 DESKTOPS.

  2. Erik April 21, 2015 at 3:35 am #

    Why wait for the Windows 10 if you can get the same function on the current Windows 7/8 system?
    For this i use Actual Window Manager 8.3, it has some Windows 10 features like a Snap Assist, Search button on taskbar, Virtual Desktops and many other very helpful tools for everyday work.
    In addition, this program allows you to customize each virtual desktop . I think it’s brilliant!
    Here is a link actualtools.com/windowmanager/

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