Windows 10 Virtual Desktop Keyboard Shortcuts

This blog post explains some of the virtual desktop features that Windows 10 includes. Virtual desktops function like multiple desktops. You might have one virtual development that you for browsers windows and applications that you use for communications, one Windows Subsystem for Linux shell in full screen mode, one for a fullscreen remote desktop session to another machine, others that you use for producing code and documentation, for temporary tasks, and for other purposes.

By default, Windows provides the first in an ordered list of virtual desktops.

  • Windows+Ctrl+D: Create a new virtual desktop.
  • Windows+Tab: Task mode (specify desktops for apps, create, rename, and delete virtual desktops).
  • Windows+Ctrl+Left: Move one virtual desktop to the left.
  • Windows+Ctrl+Right: Move one virtual desktop to the right.
  • Windows+Ctrl+F4: Close virtual desktop,
  • Alt+Tab/Shift+Alt+Tab: Cycle between applications on a virtual desktop.

You can use Windows+Ctrl+D or Task mode to create a new virtual desktop.

In Task mode, the three main rows list the virtual desktops, the applications running on the current desktop, and an activity timeline. You can use Tab and Shift+Tab to cycle between the rows, the arrow keys and Enter to select items, and Shift+F10 to activate context menus. You can use the context menus for applications to move them between desktops or make them appear on multiple desktops. You can also drag applications to other desktops.

Use Windows+Ctrl+Left and Windows+Ctrl+Right to cycle through the ordered list of the virtual desktops.

The context menu for virtual desktops does not include “Delete”; to delete a virtual desktop, click the X that appears at the top left corner of the virtual desktop. When you delete a virtual desktop, the applications on that desktop move to a different desktop.

Windows does not seem to allow different desktop backgrounds or other differentiators for the different virtual desktops. Virtual desktops and their applications survive Windows hibernation and sleep; only the desktops survive reboots.

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