If you’re using virtual desktops in Windows 10, these keyboard shortcuts give you more control and speed up your Windows experience.
Shortcuts for virtual desktops
As with most Windows 10 features, you can control various aspects of your virtual desktops without a mouse. In this article, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts to manage your virtual desktops:
- Windows + Tab: Open the task 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 the task view.
Windows + Tab: Open the task view
To quickly open the Task View screen, just press Windows + Tab. A screen showing thumbnails of each virtual desktop, as well as thumbnails of all applications running on the currently selected virtual desktop, appears. 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 application window thumbnails at the bottom. Use the arrow keys to move the cursor and press Enter to select the desktop or application window you want to manage.
Windows + Ctrl + D: Create a new virtual desktop
To quickly create a new virtual desktop, press Windows + Ctrl + D anytime and you will be immediately taken to the new desktop. Alternatively, you can click on “New Desktop” in the task view.
Windows + Ctrl + Left or Right Arrow: Switch between desktops
Press Windows + Ctrl + Left Arrow to switch to a lower numbered virtual desktop or Windows + Ctrl + Right Arrow to switch to a higher numbered desktop. For example, if you’re on Desktop 3 and want to switch to Desktop 4, press Windows + Ctrl + Right Arrow.
Windows + Ctrl + F4: Close the current virtual desktop
Press Windows + Ctrl + F4 to close the current virtual desktop. All windows that you have opened on a desktop that you have closed are displayed numerically on the virtual desktop just above the window you have 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 from Task View by clicking the “X” in thumbnail view.
Esc: Close task view
When Tasks View is open and you don’t want to switch to another virtual desktop, just press the Esc key. You will then be returned to the desktop you were viewing when you opened Task View.
Moving a window between virtual desktops
There are currently no keyboard shortcuts for moving an application window from one virtual desktop to another. If you want to do this, first enable the task view. Then use the mouse to drag the thumbnail of the window onto the thumbnail of another virtual desktop.
It will be displayed there immediately. You can also right-click a window’s thumbnail, then choose a destination from the Move To menu.
Judging from posts on online forums, a keyboard shortcut to manage this task is in great demand, so it (and others) may show up in future versions of Windows.