tech @ Beacon Deacon

TechRepublic Windows tip of the week: Use virtual desktops to minimize distractions

Ed Bott

January 22, 2020

Note: This article was copied from the original article location at TechRepublic.

Constantly switching between open windows can get tedious, especially if you're working on the cramped real estate of a laptop PC, where the option to arrange windows side by side isn't always practical.

For those situations, one alternative is to create a new virtual desktop, where you can arrange windows as needed, then switch between different desktop arrangements with a keyboard shortcut or a swipe of the touchpad.

To create a new virtual desktop, minus the clutter of your current desktop arrangement, press Windows key + Ctrl + D. Open apps, File Explorer windows, or webpages, and arrange them as needed. To switch between your primary desktop and the newly created virtual desktop, press Windows key + Ctrl + left arrow or right arrow.

To move open windows between desktops, press Windows key + Tab. That display shows all available desktops in a row along the top, with a New Desktop shortcut to create additional virtual desktops. Drag the thumbnail for any open window to a virtual desktop to instantly move it.

On a laptop with a precision touchpad, you can use simple gestures to manage virtual desktops. Swipe up with three fingers to see the display of open tabs and desktops. Swipe left or right with four fingers to switch between desktops.