One of the almost hidden features in Windows 10 is the ability to use multiple virtual desktops to organise your workspace. A virtual desktop is an extra desktop environment, that’s identical to your normal desktop, however, the windows and documents open in it are entirely independent.
How to use virtual desktops
There are two ways to add a new virtual desktop. The first is accessed by opening the “Task View” pane by pressing Windows key + tab. Once in the Task View pane, click on “New desktop” in the top left corner. Alternatively, you can press Windows key + Ctrl + D to open and immediately switch to a new virtual desktop.
Tip: Whenever you create a new virtual desktop, you are immediately switched to it. If you used the first method but don’t want to switch to it straight away, you will have to switch back before leaving the Task View pane.
To switch between virtual desktops, you can click on them in the top bar of the Task View pane. Alternatively, you can cycle one virtual desktop left or right by pressing Ctrl + Windows key + left/right respectively.
You can move a window from one virtual desktop to another by opening the Task View pane, then clicking and dragging the window to the virtual desktop you want to use it on.
You can also set a specific window or even all windows from a specific app to appear on all virtual desktops. To do this, open the Task View pane, then right-click on the relevant window and click “Show this window on all desktops” or “Show windows from this app on all desktops” respectively.
To close a virtual desktop, open the Task View pane, then click the “X” icon above, and to the right of the preview of the relevant virtual desktop. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Windows key + F4 to close the current desktop environment.
Tip: If you have any open windows in a virtual desktop you close, they will get moved to the next virtual desktop to the left.