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Shortcuts for using virtual desktops on Windows 10



Windows Desktop Hero

If you use virtual desktops on Windows 10, these keyboard shortcuts give you more control and speed up your Windows experience.

Virtual desktop shortcuts

Like most Windows 10 features, you can control multiple aspects of your virtual desktop without a mouse. As you type this, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts to manage your virtual desktops:

  • Windows + Tab: Open Activity View.
  • Windows + Ctrl + D: Create a new virtual desktop.
  • Windows + Ctrl + left or right arrow: Switch between virtual desktops.
  • Windows + Ctrl + F4: Close the current virtual desktop.
  • Esc: Close task view.

Let̵

7;s take a closer look at each of these.

Windows + Tab: Open Task View

Activity View screen on Windows 10.

To quickly open the Task View screen, just press Windows + Tab. A screen will appear with thumbnails of each of your virtual desktops, as well as thumbnails of all applications running on the currently selected virtual desktop. You can also open this window by clicking the Task View button on the taskbar.

In Task View, use the Tab key to move the cursor between the list of virtual desktops at the top and the thumbnails of the application window below. Use the arrow keys to move the cursor and then press Enter to select the desktop or application window you want to manage.

Windows + Ctrl + D: Create a new virtual desktop

Select

To quickly create a new virtual desktop, press Windows + Ctrl + D at any time and you will be taken to the new desktop immediately. Alternatively, you can click “New Desktop” in Activity View.

Windows + Ctrl + left or right arrow: Switch between desktops

Switch between a virtual desktop 1 and a virtual desktop 2 in Windows 10.

Press Windows + Ctrl + left arrow to switch to a lower-number virtual desktop, or Windows + Ctrl + right arrow to switch to a higher number. For example, if you are using Desktop 3 and want to switch to Desktop 4, you should press Windows + Ctrl + Right Arrow.

Windows + Ctrl + F4: Close the current virtual desktop

Select

To close the current virtual desktop, press Windows + Ctrl + F4. All windows you have opened on a desktop that you close are then displayed on the virtual desktop numerically just above what you closed.

For example, if you run Notepad on Desktop 3 and then close Desktop 3, Notepad will appear on Desktop 2. You can also close a virtual desktop in Activity View by clicking the “X” in the thumbnail.

Esc: Close task view

If Activity View is open and you do not want to switch to another virtual desktop, just press Esc. You then return to the desktop you viewed when you opened Activity View.

Move a window between virtual desktops

Drag and drop a window from one virtual desktop to another on Windows 10.

Currently, there are no keyboard shortcuts to move an application window from one virtual desktop to another. For now, if you want to do this, activate Activity View. Then drag and drop the window thumbnail to another virtual desktop thumbnail with the mouse.

It will be shown there immediately. You can also right-click on a window thumbnail and then select a destination in the “Move to” menu.

Judging by posts on online forums, a hotkey to handle this task is in high demand, so it (and others) may appear in future versions of Windows.




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