The multi-desktop feature on Mac OS x and other Linux systems comes out of the box. In Windows, native support for virtual desktops appeared only on Windows 10. In this article we will show how to use multiple virtual desktops on Windows 10.
Virtual desktop technology can be used if you constantly have many windows open and you want to spread running programs into separate areas between which you can switch.
Hint. In earlier Windows version (Windows 7/ Windows 8.1), the functionality of virtual desktops is available only with the help of third-party tools. The simplest and easiest program is Desktops v2.0 from Windows Sysinternals. The executable file size of desktops.exe is about 115 KB, the program doesn’t require installation and supports up to 4 virtual desktops. A separate explorer.exe process is created for each virtual desktop (but you cannot move window of running apps between your desktops).
You can use Windows 10 virtual desktops in order to create multiple separate desktops, each of them can display different opened windows and apps.
To create a new virtual desktop in Windows 10, follow these steps:
- Click on the Task View button on the Windows taskbar or the key combination Win + Tab. If the Task View button is missing, right-click on the taskbar and enable the Show Task View option;
- The New Desktop button will appear in the lower right corner. Click it to create a new virtual desktop. You can also create a new virtual desktop from the keyboard by pressing the keys Ctrl + Win + D.
Note. Windows 10 allows you to create as many desktops as possible; there is no specific limit for virtual desktops max number. It depends on your computer’s hardware configuration.
Now you can switch between your virtual desktops, move windows between running applications, or close unnecessary virtual desktops.
To switch between virtual desktops, click on the Task View icon and select the desired desktop icon. You can also call the desktop switching interface by using the Win + Tab keyboard shortcut.
Another option for switching between desktops is to use hot keys Ctrl + Win + Left arrow or Ctrl + Win + Right arrow to switch to next/previous desktop.
When you start a new app, it automatically opens on the active virtual desktop. You can move running applications between desktops using the special Move to menu item in the Virtual Desktops window. Just select the desktop on which you want to move the app window.
If you select the menu item Show this windows on all desktops, the running application will be available on any virtual desktop (duplicate window across desktop).
Also, you can click and hold windows you want to move and drag&drop window on an alternate desktop.
Hint. Some programs allow you to run independent instances on different desktops.
To close current virtual desktop press Windows + Ctrl + F4. This shortcut closes the current virtual desktop and switch you to the next one. Also, you can close virtual desktop by pressing a cross in the corner of the desktop preview image.
Created Windows 10 virtual desktops are saved after a computer reboot. However, even if you have programs in autorun, after rebooting all of them will be opened on the first virtual desktop.