Windows 11 virtual desktops: features and use

Virtual desktops in Windows 10 have been around since version 10, and Windows 11 introduces some useful new features. Few people use this feature, but once you get used to it, it can be useful, especially when working with documents and navigating on a small laptop screen.

This tutorial details the use of Windows 11 virtual desktops – creating them, renaming them, configuring them, switching between desktops.

Create, delete, and configure virtual desktops

There are two quick ways to create a new Windows 11 virtual desktop:

  1. Click the "Task View" button on the taskbar, and then click the item to create a new desktop.
  2. Press the key combination Win + Ctrl + D on your keyboard, where Win is the Windows logo key (this will automatically take you to the newly created virtual desktop).

To preview the content of the different desktops, just move the mouse pointer to the task view button, the current desktop will be marked at the bottom.

The virtual desktop can be removed in the following ways:

  1. Press the shortcut keys Win+Ctrl+F4 (the active virtual desktop will be deleted).
  2. Open the task view, move the mouse pointer to the desired desktop and "close" it.
  3. Close the virtual desktop by opening its context menu in task view.

Available configurations for virtual desktops:

  • You can rename a virtual desktop: move the mouse pointer to the task view button and click the desktop name to set a new one, or right-click the virtual desktop and select Rename.
  • It is now possible to set a different wallpaper for each virtual desktop: right-click on the desired desktop in the task view and select "Select background" from the context menu. A customization window will open to customize the background of the selected virtual desktop. Second way: Switch to the desired virtual desktop, right-click on the image file and select “Make desktop background image”.
  • If you want to change the order and change the desktops, you can drag and drop them in the task view or use the context menu of the virtual desktops.

Actions and hotkeys available for working with virtual desktops

First, the basic hotkeys that might come in handy:

  • Win+Tab – open task view (Esc to exit task view)
  • Win + Ctrl + D - Create a new virtual desktop
  • Win+Ctrl+left arrow o on the right – to switch to the previous or next virtual desktop.
  • On the touch panel of the laptop – Gesture with four fingers from left to right or vice versa – Switch between virtual desktops (as long as the touchpad supports these gestures).
  • Win+Ctrl+F4 – Close the current virtual desktop.

Use the following approach to manage program windows on virtual desktops:

  1. Open the task view with the button on the taskbar or with a keyboard shortcut.
  2. Right-click on the window thumbnail and select the desired option: “Move to” to move to the desired virtual desktop, “Show this window on all desktops” or “Show this application's windows on all desktops”. desks," as needed.

And finally, the answer to a frequently asked question: is it possible to place different icons on different virtual desktops? The answer is no, Windows 11 tools don't allow it (but in theory it could be possible with third-party software).

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Do you use virtual desktops? Although I personally find the feature useful and practical, I haven't been able to get used to using it on a regular basis. Perhaps readers will have a different experience.