Windows 10 desktops: Multiple desktops in Windows – Microsoft Support

Multiple desktops in Windows – Microsoft Support

Windows 11 Windows 10 More…Less


Multiple desktops are great for keeping unrelated, ongoing projects organized—or for quickly switching desktops before a meeting.

Create multiple desktops


  1. On the taskbar, select the Task view icon, then select New desktop.

  2. Open the apps you want to use on that desktop.

  3. To switch to another desktop, select Task view again.

Set backgrounds for desktops


You can also choose different backgrounds for each desktop if you’re using a picture. If you’re using a solid color or a slideshow, all your backgrounds will be the same.  

To change a background if you’re using a picture: 

  1. Right-click on the desktop you want to change.

  2. Select Choose background.

  3. Select the list in the Personalize your background section, then select Picture.

  4. Select a picture.

Multiple desktops are great for keeping unrelated, ongoing projects organized—or for quickly switching desktops before a meeting. To create multiple desktops: 

  1. On the taskbar, select Task view > New desktop .

  2. Open the apps you want to use on that desktop.

  3. To switch to another desktop, select Task view again.

How to use multiple desktops in Windows 10

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How to use multiple desktops on Windows 10

Windows 10, now enjoying the October 2020 Update, continues to make it extremely easy to set up and use multiple virtual desktops in Windows 10. Multiple desktops are great for keeping unrelated, ongoing projects organized, or for quickly hiding from the boss that browser game you can’t stop playing. And if you’ve not yet upgraded to Windows 10, be sure to have a look at our collection of the best Windows laptop options with the latest OS.

Ready to tackle the day with multiple desktops? Let’s go!

How to create a new virtual desktop in Windows 10

Creating a new virtual desktop can be done with a couple of clicks or with a keyboard shortcut.

  1. Click the Task View button in your taskbar.
    • You can also use the Windows key + Tab shortcut on your keyboard, or you can swipe with one finger from the left of your touchscreen.
  2. Click New Desktop. (It’s located in the top left corner of your screen.)

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

That’s it. Easy, right? There’s also a Ctrl + Windows key + D keyboard shortcut that will immediately create a new virtual desktop.

How to switch between virtual desktops in Windows 10

Now that you’ve created a new virtual desktop, you can quickly switch a few different ways.

  1. Click the Task View button in your taskbar.
    • You can also use the Windows key + Tab shortcut on your keyboard, or you can swipe with one finger from the left of your touchscreen.
  2. Click Desktop 2 or any other virtual desktop you’ve created.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

You can switch back to your original desktop at any time by following the above steps but choosing Desktop 1. There’s also a Ctrl + Windows key + Left and right arrow keyboard shortcut that you can use to switch between virtual desktops. Using a device with a touchpad? You can perform a four-finger swipe left or right to switch between virtual desktops.

How to move windows between virtual desktops in Windows 10

There are two ways you can move windows between virtual desktops. First, you can click and drag windows; second, you can right-click the window and use the menu.

Click-and-drag method

  1. Click the Task View button in your taskbar.
    • You can also use the Windows key + Tab shortcut on your keyboard, or you can swipe with one finger from the left of your touchscreen.
  2. Click and hold the window you want to move.
  3. Drag and release the window on an alternate desktop.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

  1. Click the Task View button in your taskbar.
    • You can also use the Windows key + Tab shortcut on your keyboard, or you can swipe with one finger from the left of your touchscreen.
  2. Right-click on the window you’d like to move to another desktop.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

  1. Hover your cursor over Move to.
  2. Click the desktop to which you’d like to move the window.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

You can move windows back and forth between desktops to your heart’s content.

How to duplicate windows across virtual desktops

Certain windows or collections of windows from one app can be duplicated across all virtual desktops.

  1. Click the Task View button in your taskbar.
    • You can also use the Windows key + Tab shortcut on your keyboard, or you can swipe with one finger from the left of your touchscreen.
  2. Right-click an active window.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

  1. Click Show this window on all desktops to duplicate a single window.
  2. Click Show windows from this app on all desktops to duplicate all windows from one app.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

How to remove a virtual desktop in Windows 10

Want to get back to just one desktop? No problem.

  1. Click the Task View button in your taskbar.
    • You can also use the Windows key + Tab shortcut on your keyboard, or you can swipe with one finger from the left of your touchscreen.
  2. Hover your cursor over the desktop you’d like to remove.
  3. Click the X in the top-right corner of the desktop icon.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Open and running windows in a desktop you close will be moved back to your original desktop. You can also use the Ctrl + Windows key + F4 keyboard shortcut to immediately close the virtual desktop you’re currently viewing.

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Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He’s been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.

Multiple Windows Workers –

Microsoft Support

Windows 11 Windows 10 More…Less

Multiple desktops is great for organizing unrelated, ongoing projects or quickly switching desktops before a meeting.

Creating multiple desktops

    org/ItemList”>

  1. On the taskbar, select the icon Task Views and select New Desktop.

  2. Open the applications you want to use on this desktop.

  3. To switch to a different desktop, select Task view again.

Desktop Background Setting

You can also choose different backgrounds for each desktop if you are using a picture. If you are using a solid color or a slideshow, the background will be the same.

To change the background when using a picture:

    org/ItemList”>

  1. Right-click the desktop you want to change.

  2. Select Select background.

  3. Select the list under Background personalization and select Picture .

  4. Select a picture.

Multiple desktops are great for organizing unrelated, ongoing projects or quickly switching desktops before a meeting. Create multiple desktops:

    org/ItemList”>

  1. On the taskbar, select Task View > new Desktop .

  2. Open the applications you want to use on this desktop.

  3. To switch to a different desktop, select Task view again.

Windows 10 Virtual Desktops

Windows 10 was the first to introduce virtual desktops, previously available in alternative operating systems, and in Windows 7 and 8 available only through third-party programs (see Windows 7 and 8 Virtual Desktops).

In some cases, virtual desktops can actually make your computer experience more convenient. This guide details how to use Windows 10 virtual desktops for a more convenient workflow.

What are virtual desktops

Virtual desktops allow you to organize open programs and windows into separate “areas” and conveniently switch between them.

For example, one of the virtual desktops can have the usual organized work programs open, while the other can have personal and entertainment applications open, and it will be possible to switch between these desktops with a simple keyboard shortcut or a couple of mouse clicks.

Create a Windows 10 virtual desktop

To create a new virtual desktop, follow these simple steps:

  1. Click the Task View button on the taskbar or press the keys with the Windows logo) on the keyboard.
  2. In the lower right corner, click on “Create desktop”.
  3. In Windows 10 1803, the button for creating a new virtual desktop has moved to the top of the screen and the Task View button has changed in appearance, but the essence is the same.

Done, the new desktop has been created. To create it completely from the keyboard, without even going into Task View, press the keys Ctrl+Win+D .

I don’t know if there is a limit to Windows 10 virtual desktops, but even if it is, I’m pretty sure you won’t run into it (While I was trying to check the information about the limit, I found a message that one of the users had “Task View” stuck on the 712th virtual desktop).

Using virtual desktops

After creating a virtual desktop (or several), you can switch between them, place applications on any of them (i.e. the program window will be present on only one desktop), and delete unnecessary desktops.

Switching

To switch between virtual desktops, you can click on the Task View button and then on the desired desktop.

The second switching option is using the hotkeys Ctrl+Win+Left_Arrow or Ctrl+Win+Right_Arrow .

If you are using a laptop and it supports multi-finger gestures, additional switching options can be performed with gestures, for example, swipe up with three fingers to see the task view, all gestures can be found in Settings – Devices – Touchpad.

Hosting apps on Windows 10 Virtual Desktops

When you run a program, it is automatically placed on the virtual desktop that is currently active. You can move already running programs to another desktop, for this you can use one of two methods: ” (you can also create a new desktop for this program in this menu).

  • Simply drag the application window to the desired desktop (also in Task View).
  • Please note that there are two more interesting and sometimes useful items in the context menu:

    • Show this window on all desktops (I think it needs no explanation, if you check the item, you will see this window on all virtual desktops tables).
    • Show windows of this application on all desktops – this means that if the program can have several windows (for example, Word or Google Chrome), then all windows of this program will be displayed on all desktops.

    Some programs (those that allow you to run multiple instances) can be opened on multiple desktops at once: for example, if you launch the browser first on one desktop and then on the other, these will be two different browser windows.

    Programs that can only be run in one instance behave differently: for example, if you run such a program on the first virtual desktop, and then try to run it on the second, you will automatically be “transferred” to the window of this program on the first desktop.

    Deleting a virtual desktop

    To delete a virtual desktop, you can go to Task View and click the cross in the corner of the desktop image. At the same time, the programs opened on it will not be closed, but will be moved to the desktop, located to the left of the one being closed.

    The second way, without using the mouse, is to use the hotkeys Ctrl+Win+F4 to close the current virtual desktop.

    Additional information

    Created Windows 10 virtual desktops are saved when the computer is restarted. However, even if you have programs in autorun, after a reboot, they will all open in the first virtual desktop.

    However, there is a way to “beat” this using a third-party VDesk command line utility (available at github.