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How to use virtual desktops on Windows 11

Windows 10 was the first Windows version to have virtual desktops. It was possibly the last major desktop OS to get virtual desktops. Thankfully, the feature still exists in Windows 11 and it appears to have been improved considerably. 

virtual desktops Windows 11

Virtual Desktops Windows 11

Virtual Desktops in Windows 11 work slightly better than they did in Windows 10. They’re easier to preview and switch between.

1. Add/remove virtual desktops

To add or remove virtual desktops on Windows 11;

  1. Click the multitasking button on the taskbar.
  2. Click the plus button to add a new virtual desktop.
  3. Hover the mouse over a virtual desktop and click the close button at the top right to remove it.

2. Preview virtual desktops

You can preview virtual desktops by hovering the mouse cursor over the multitasking button on the taskbar. Much like hovering over the mouse over an app’s icon shows previews of the open windows, hovering the mouse over the multitasking button will show a preview of the virtual desktops.

3. Rename virtual desktops

New virtual desktops are created generic names such as Desktop 1 and Desktop 2, etc., however users can rename them.

  1. Click the multitasking button on the taskbar.
  2. Right-click the virtual desktop that you want to rename.
  3. From the menu, select Rename.
  4. Enter a new name for the desktop
  5. The virtual desktop will be renamed. 
  6. Repeat for other desktops.
  7. The name will appear in the preview as well as in the multitasking view.

4. Identify current virtual desktop

If you want to know which virtual desktop you’re currently on;

  1. Hover the mouse cursor over the multitasking button.
  2. In the virtual desktop preview, look for a blue indicator under a virtual desktop.
  3. The virtual desktop with the blue indicator is the current desktop.
  4. Click the multitasking button.
  5. In the virtual desktops panel, look for the blue indicator.
  6. The desktop wit the blue indicator is the current virtual desktop.

5. Move window to virtual desktop

Moving windows between virtual desktops is easy.

  1. Click the multitasking button on the taskbar.
  2. Once in the multitasking view, right-click the window you want to move to a virtual desktop.
  3. Select Move To and select a desktop to move the window to.
  4. For windows on a different virtual desktop, move to the virtual desktop and then follow steps 1-3.

Conclusion

Virtual desktops on Windows 11 appear to be faster. Switching between them and sending windows from one desktop to another is a much smoother experience which is saying a lot considering Windows 11 is still in beta and Windows 10 is over five years old. Windows 11 supports keyboard shortcuts and swipe gestures for switching between virtual desktops however, you must have a precision touchpad or a touch screen to use the gestures.

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