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Windows 10 Virtual Desktop Shortcuts

Following up on our post about Windows 10 shortcuts for snapping windows, we decided to explore one of the more exciting features in Windows 10, the virtual desktops. Windows is great when it comes to keyboard shortcuts so rest assured if someone were to go out hunting for a list of shortcuts for any feature, they won’t be disappointed. So far as the Technical Preview of Windows 10 is concerned, we’ve found four helpful shortcuts that let you switch to the next or previous desktop from the current one, close a virtual desktop, open a new virtual desktop, or select the next or previous desktop when you have the multi-task view open.

Switch To Next/Previous Desktop

Windows + Ctrl + Left / Right Arrow Key: Switching between virtual desktops from a desktop isn’t triggered by hotcorners or active hotspots on your screen like it is in OS X. To switch to the next or previous desktop from the current one without going through the multi-task view, hit Windows + Ctrl + left / Right arrow key.


Close Current Desktop

Windows + Ctrl + F4: You can close a desktop without having to open the multip-task view. This shortcut closes the current desktop and will switch you over to the next one. It also closes the apps you currently have open on that desktop.


Open New Virtual Desktop

Windows + Ctrl + D: You don’t have to open the multi-task view to create a new desktop. Where Windows + D will minimize all windows and take you to your current desktop, adding the Ctrl modifier and using Windows + Ctrl + D will open a new desktop and switch you to it.


Select Next / Previous Desktop In Multi-task View

Windows + Tab, Tab, Left / Right Arrow Key: This shortcut is actually executed in three steps. The Windows + Tab shortcut is used to open the multi-task view. If you already have it open, you can skip ahead. Hit the Tab key one more time after opening the multi-task view and then (after releasing the Tab key) use either the left or right arrow keys to select the next or previous desktop.


Our wishlist of shortcuts for virtual desktops we hope to see in the final Windows 10 release are; a shortcut to send the current app to the next or previous desktop, close desktops from the multi-task view, move all apps from the current desktop to the next or previous desktop, and switch directly to a desktop without having to cycle through them all.

Have you found a shortcut for virtual desktops in Windows 10 that we missed? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to our list.


    • get ubuntu.. people with windows shouldn’t cry about issues.. 1. unix 2. mac…… 854. windows

    • One of my favorite things about the Unity 3D interface in Ubuntu Linux, an easy key combination moves the currently focused window to another desktop. Pretty silly that the Windows team left this function for mouse only, agreed.

    • No mouse needed. After [win]+[tab] hit the menu key and select Move To > Desktop 2. In fact there are more options there as well, such as create a new desktop to move it to on the fly.
      It’s not a single contorted keyboard combo (that you never remember anyway), but it is easy. So using the mouse isn’t a problem, it’s just one of the options.
      “The whole problem” as you put it, is when someone ‘assumes’ that you *have* to use a mouse and then posts about it before bothering to check…

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