Keyboard Shortcuts Guide for Virtual Desktop in Windows 10

Virtual desktop is a long overdue new feature in Windows 10 that creates extra desktop space for those who wants to separate different area of work in different area of space. While the concept proves very useful it took all these years to finally convinced Microsoft to deliver it in a native way. Prior to Windows 10, you will always need 3rd party tool to make that happen.

Normally you can start Virtual Desktop by clicking the Task View icon on the taskbar but if you are a keyboard person, you can take great vantage of using these keyboard shortcuts to manage Virtual Desktops in Windows 10.

Create a new virtual desktop

Press Win + Ctrl + D to create a new virtual desktop that takes over the current desktop you are on. It’s similar to press Win + Tab to open task view and click + to create new desktop.

Close a virtual desktop

Press Win + Ctrl + F4 to close the current virtual desktop you are on. It will switch to the next desktop available. If no other virtual desktops left, the main one will take over.

Navigate to Next/Previous desktop

Press Win + Ctrl + → to go to the next desktop and Win + Ctrl + ← to go to the previous one.

Or, press Win + Tab to enter Task View, Tab key to the virtual desktop toolbar, and then left/right (←/→) keys to navigate through the desktops. Press Enter to switch.

Virtual desktop switch

Snap in the virtual desktop

It’s the same as in the main desktop, Win + → and Win + ← are still positioning the apps horizontally. But now you can Win + ↑ and Win + ↓ to position the apps vertically in quadrants.

Move window between desktops

Sorry, this one you can’t do it solely with keyboard. You will need both keyboard and mouse to send one window from one desktop to another.

Press Win + Tab to enter to Task View, right-click the window you want to move, click Move To, and then the desktop you wish to move it to.

Task View - move window

Switch running apps regardless of which desktop they are in

The classic way of switching app still works in Windows 10 and it lets you switch all running apps regardless where they are.

Press and hold Alt key and press Tab key to navigate through all apps that are running at the moment. Releasing the keys to switch to the app you selected.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 07/15/2015

Posted in: Windows 10
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