5 Key Shortcuts to Use Task View & Virtual Desktops Like a Pro
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One of the best ways to boost your productivity is to start using multiple monitors. With every additional monitor, you get more desktop space on which to spread out applications and windows.

Ideally, you’d dedicate certain monitors to certain activities. Maybe your work-related programs (inbox, Slack, etc.) sit on Monitor 1 while your other programs (music, browser, etc.) sit on Monitor 2. Clean and efficient.

But what if you only have one monitor? You can still do something similar by taking advantage of the Virtual Desktops feature in Windows 10.


Virtual Desktops lets you switch between multiple “desktops” using a single screen. Each desktop manages its own set of programs and windows, and you can switch between them at will. It’s weird at first, but extremely useful.

It’s one of the more compelling reasons to upgrade to Windows 10.

But in order to really take advantage, you’ll need to know these keyboard shortcuts. They make it so much easier to manage multiple virtual desktops (instead of using the mouse in Task View):

  • Win + Ctrl + D: Create a new virtual desktop.
  • Win + Ctrl + F4: Close the current virtual desktop.
  • Win + Ctrl + Right: Switch to next virtual desktop.
  • Win + Ctrl + Left: Switch to previous virtual desktop.
  • Win + Tab: Open the Task View.

That’s it. Those five shortcuts are all you need to become a virtual desktops pro. To move windows between virtual desktops, use the Task View and right-click on individual windows.

But don’t stop there. You should also think about these other tricks for organizing and controlling your desktop. Windows 10 is full of these small feature additions and you’d be surprised by how useful they can be.

Do you use virtual desktops? If not, why not? If so, how do you keep them organized and productive? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Anonymous
    June 3, 2016 at 11:34 am

    I actually do have many windows open at one time. I just minimize ones I'm not using and maximize others. I'm glad it's available for those that can use it, but I just haven't yet found any good reason for me to.

    Maybe if I ever had to have more than 2 sets of more than 2 windows that i needed to switch, then maybe that'd convince me.

  2. Anonymous
    May 28, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    I have never been able to understand the reasoning behind virtual desktops. I have tried them in Linux and Windows and just couldn't find any reason to use them.

    I'm perfectly happy with window management using the taskbar and Alt+Tab (or Win+Tab)

    • Joel Lee
      June 1, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      Hey GodSponge, if you don't need virtual desktops, that's totally fine. I went many years without using them myself. But once you start having over 10 windows open at any given time, it can be quite cluttered on a single screen, especially if the screen resolution is low. That's when virtual desktops come in handy!