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How To Jump To A Virtual Desktop In Windows 10 Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Virtual desktops are one of the more awesome features added in Windows 10 but while the addition of the feature is great, it isn’t extraordinary in itself. If you compare it to virtual desktops on other operating systems i.e. Linux and OS X, it is more or less at par. The virtual desktops are numbered and cannot be renamed and because the feature is still in its infancy, it leaves much to be desired in terms of app and window management. The virtual desktops can be navigated i.e. created, closed, and switched to, with keyboard shortcuts. You can cycle through them or use swipe gestures to switch to the next or previous one. You can also use keyboard shortcuts to jump directly a desktop i.e. skip cycling through desktops 2 and 3, and jump straight to desktop 4 from desktop 1 provided you don’t mind jumping to the multitask view.

To jump to a virtual desktop, enter multitask view by typing Win+tab. While in Multitask view, type Win + D + [desktop No].

For example, if you’re on desktop 1 and want to switch to desktop 3, you will use the keyboard shortcut Win+D+3. Hit enter to go to the selected/highlighted desktop.

win 10 desktop

The shortcuts are still clunky because you have to go through the multitask view. A case can definitely be made for shortcuts that will take you directly to a desktop without having to go to the multitask view but at the same time, making it a multi-step process does ensure that a user doesn’t accidentally jump to a desktop.

Update: This method seems to no longer work following a Windows update. There is a reasonable workaround though if you have AutoHotkey installed. The Windows Desktop Switcher script lets you jump to a desktop via Caps + [Number of desktop] shortcut when you’re in the task view. Like the shortcut above, it is limited to nine virtual desktops. Simply download the script and run it. You must have AutoHotkey installed on your system.

Download Windows Desktop Switcher Script 

1 Comment

  1. Ctrl + Win + Left or Right arrow switch to previous/next virtual desktop, whereas VirtualDesktopManager shows the virtual desktop’ number on the system tray.

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