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How to move to the next/previous desktop from the system tray on Windows 10

Virtual desktops on Windows 10 haven’t received an update for a while. The feature is missing a few essential things such as keyboard support for jumping to a virtual desktop, and the ability to name a desktop. It is still mostly on-par with the same feature found on other desktop operating systems. Windows 10 lets you switch to the next/previous desktop with the Win+Ctrl+left/right arrow keyboard shortcut. If you’d like to switch to the next/previous desktop from the system tray, you need a little app called VirtualDesktopSwitcher.

You can move windows between virtual desktops without going to task view? There’s an app for that.

Move to the next/previous desktop

Download and run VirtualDesktopSwitcher.  It will add two icons to the system tray. Both are arrows with one pointing left and the other pointing right. They may be hidden in the overflow menu so go ahead and drag them out onto the system tray so that the app is easier to use.

The app moves you to the next/previous desktop relative to the one you’re currently on. Click the left arrow button to move to the previous desktop, and the right arrow button to move to the next desktop.

If you right-click the app’s system tray icons, you will see options to close the current desktop and to open/create a new one. Both these options aren’t new features. You can close the current desktop or create a new one with stock keyboard shortcuts. In fact, the app is basically a GUI for virtual keyboard shortcuts. It’s just that the keyboard shortcuts for virtual desktops are somewhat complex. You’d have to remember them and executing them isn’t always easy which is where the app comes in.

We’ve reviewed apps for switching between virtual desktops before however they were limited by Windows 10’s own functionality, were slow, and made for a rather choppy switching experience.

One really awesome, though undocumented feature of this app is that you can change the icons that it uses. All you need is an icon for the left and right arrows. You can create your own image and convert it to an icon, or you can find a PNG or JPEG to convert to an icon file. To get the app to use your icons, name them left.ico and right.ico respectively. Quit the app, and move the icons to the same folder that you extracted the app to. You will have to overwrite the previous icon files in the folder. Run the app again and it will use the new icons you added.

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