Multiple Desktops in Windows 10

Up until today actually, I've always used Dexpot which is a very well made Virtual Desktop application much like Compiz in Linux. It has a lot of the same bells and whistles for managing/spiffying up your virtual desktop experience… except, Windows 8 and Windows 10 have some really debilitating bugs around the start menu. Additionally, you can't always expect all applications to play nice with it. I have particular issues with ConEmu. Read more about my Windows Development setup in a previous blog post.

Turns out Windows has finally implemented a virtual desktop manager of their own. It's extreamly limited but it's native, which is a big plus in my book. I first learned about it in an article over at CNet by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, who wrote the article How to use multiple desktops in Windows 10.

Note: the tag line says it all: “Windows 10's new virtual desktops feature is still limited.”

OK, so what can it do… Well, you can: * Add a desktop * Close a desktop * Move windows to a desktop

What you don't have: * No default number of virtual desktops * No grid format for those who like 2 x 2 or other layout formats * No keyboard shortcut for moving a windows to the next desktop. * No wrap around for when you get to the last desktop. * Not all applications are shown in the task bar, so you have to remember where you put it.

So I think I can live with these limitations, though they are annoying… it doesn't bug me as much as something that is well… buggy.

The UI is very important here. Who would have thunk that the task switcher would be where you do this? Windows Task Control

To Create a new Virtual Desktop simply click the "+ Desktop" button on the task switcher and drag the windows you want to it.

Task Switcher

Ok, so this is handy and all, but it's not very… efficient.

Let me give you the run down of the different keyboard shortcuts.

Shortcut Description
+ TAB Show Task Switcher
CTRL + + D Create New Desktop
CTRL + + F4 Remove Current Desktop
CTRL + + Switch to Desktop Left
CTRL + + Switch to Desktop Right

Final Thoughts

Hope this helps you out and makes you as excited as it does me (to have steam on one desktop and Console on another… all fullscreen)