Mastering multiple desktops in Windows 10

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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.)

    Click Task View. Click New Desktop.

    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.

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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.

    Click Task View. Click Desktop 2 or any other number.

    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.

    Click and hold the window. Drag it to a new desktop.

    Source: Windows Central

Right-click menu 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. Right-click on the window you’d like to move to another desktop.

    Click Task View. Right-click the window.

    Source: Windows Central

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

    Hover your cursor over Move to. Click a different desktop.

    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.

    Click Task View. Right-click an active window.

    Source: Windows Central

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

    Click Show this window on all desktops. Click Show windows from the app on all desktops.

    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.

    Hover the cursor over a desktop. Click the X.

    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.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

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