How to Use Windows 10 Virtual Desktops

If you’re a Windows 10 user, you may have seen a small grid icon in the taskbar near the clock. This icon depicts one of Windows 10 most helpful features i.e. virtual desktops. In this article, I will talk about this useful feature, how to use it and some useful tips.

What are Virtual Desktops?

Virtual desktops allow you to create multiple “desktops” on a single physical display. Each virtual desktop can keep its own open windows and programs, making it easier to split job tasks from personal ones and keep your desktop organized.

For example, you could have a virtual desktop for work with all of your work-related programs and documents available, and another virtual desktop with your social media and entertainment apps.

How to Use Virtual Desktops in Windows 10

Here’s how to use it:

  • Click on the taskbar grid icon to open the virtual desktop window.
  • To create a new virtual desktop, click on the “New desktop” button at the bottom of the window.
  • To switch between virtual desktops, click on the desktop you want to switch to in the window.
  • To close a virtual desktop, click on the X next to the desktop’s name in the window.

Tips for Using Virtual Desktops Effectively

Now that you know the basics of how to use virtual desktops in Windows 10, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of this feature:

Name your Virtual Desktops

By default, virtual desktops are called “Desktop 1,” “Desktop 2,“. You can name your virtual desktops by right-clicking on the desktop in the window and selecting “Rename.” This will make it easier to remember what each desktop is for.

Use keyboard shortcuts:

You can quickly switch between virtual desktops using the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Windows + Ctrl + Left arrow: Switch to the virtual desktop on the left
  • Windows + Ctrl + Right arrow: Switch to the virtual desktop on the right
  • Windows + Ctrl + D: Create a new virtual desktop
  • Windows + Ctrl + F4: Close the current virtual desktop

Move windows between virtual desktops:

You can easily move a window from one virtual desktop to another by right-clicking on the window’s taskbar button and selecting “Move to” followed by the name of the virtual desktop you want to move it to.

Use virtual desktops for the organization:

Virtual desktops are a great way to keep your desktop organized. For example, you could create a virtual desktop for work-related tasks and another for personal tasks. This will help you stay focused and avoid distractions.

Use virtual desktops to improve performance:

If you have a lot of programs and windows open, your PC may start to slow down. By moving some of these programs and windows to separate virtual desktops, you can help improve overall performance.

Use multiple monitors:

If you have multiple monitors, you can use virtual desktops to expand your desktop space even further. Each monitor can display a different virtual desktop, giving you even more room to spread out your programs and windows.

To set this up, go to the “Multiple displays” section in the “System” settings and select the “Extend these displays” option. Then, you can use the keyboard shortcuts above to switch between virtual desktops on each monitor.

Customize the taskbar:

By default, the taskbar will show all open windows on all virtual desktops. However, you can customize the taskbar to show only the windows on the current virtual desktop.

To do this, right-click on the taskbar and select “Taskbar settings.” Scroll down to the “Multiple displays” section and turn on the “Show taskbar on all displays” option. Then, turn off the “Show windows that are open on all desktops” option.

Use virtual desktops with virtual assistants:

If you use a virtual assistant like Cortana or Alexa, you can set up a virtual desktop specifically for these apps. This will keep them separate from your other programs and make it easier to use them when needed.

To set this up, create a new virtual desktop and name it something like “Virtual assistants.” Then, open Cortana or Alexa on this desktop and leave it running in the background.

Use virtual desktops with Remote Desktop:

If you need to access a remote computer, you can use the Remote Desktop app in Windows 10 to connect to it. However, if you have multiple remote computers to access, it can be helpful to set up a separate virtual desktop for each one.

To do this, create a new virtual desktop and name it after the remote computer you will be accessing. Then, open the Remote Desktop app on this desktop and connect to the remote computer. This will keep all of your remote connections organized and easy to access.

Use virtual desktops with Windows Snap:

Windows Snap is a feature in Windows 10 that allows you to easily snap windows to the left or right side of the screen. You can use this feature in combination with virtual desktops to quickly arrange your windows and programs.

For example, you could snap a window to the left side of the screen on one virtual desktop, and snap a different window to the right side on another virtual desktop. This makes it easy to compare or reference multiple windows at the same time.


Virtual desktops are a powerful and useful feature in Windows 10 that can help you stay organized and improve your productivity. Whether you’re a busy professional or just looking for a way to keep your desktop clutter-free, virtual desktops are worth checking out. Give them a try and see how they can help you get more done.

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