What is Virtual Desktop?
It is common practice to have an additional monitor connected to the computer to share screens. It helps to improve the productivity drastically as you can keep different tasks on two monitor screens. For example, you can do your documentation on the extended monitor while checking emails in the primary screen. However, most of us don’t use two monitors due to restricted space and movability, as you can’t take the additional monitor with you always. The solution is to have a virtual desktop screens on a single primary monitor so that you can arrange different workflows easily. Both, Windows and Mac offer virtual desktops as a standard feature.
First, let us discuss about Windows 10 and later on MacBook.
Managing Virtual Desktops in Windows 10?
Did you ever notice a small box like icon on your taskbar next to Start or Search icon? Virtual desktop is also referred as Task View in Windows 10, which is the icon, you can see on the taskbar.
Creating Virtual Desktop in Windows 10
You can create a new desktop in two ways.
Creating Desktop from Task View
- Click on the task view icon on the taskbar.
- It will show you all currently running tasks on your desktop.
- Click on the “+ New Desktop” option available on the lower right corner.
- Now, you can see an additional virtual desktop created with the name as “Desktop 2”. Open any application and start working on your second desktop without interference of applications from primary Desktop 1.
- At any point of time, click on the Task View icon and shift to your original screen named as “Desktop 1” to continue your old tasks.
Create Virtual Desktop with Keyboard Shortcut
The easiest way to launch a new virtual desktop is to use keyboard shortcuts. Press “Win + Ctrl + D” keys to instantly create an additional desktop. Windows will take you to new desktop, you can return back to original desktop again by using the Task View icon.
As far as we have checked, there are no limits to number of virtual desktops in Windows 10. However, we recommend creating only few to manage the workflows in different screen.
Navigating Through Virtual Desktops
As mentioned, you can click on the Task View and navigate to different desktops on your screen. Alternatively, you can use two keyboard shortcuts:
- Press “Win + Tab” keys to see the Task View and choose the desktop.
- Use “Win + Ctrl + Right/Left Arrow” keys to move to the next/previous desktop.
Closing Virtual Desktops
It is also important to save your work and close the virtual desktops. You can do this multiple ways:
- Click the Task View icon and then click on the X icon on the virtual desktops shown on the bottom.
- Alternatively, press “Win + Ctrl + F4” keys to close the active desktop and move to previous one.
Note that, the work you have saved will appear on all your desktop. For example, you can view a New Folder or a text file saved on folder on all the desktops. It only helps to control the workflow by hiding the current apps like Outlook, Skype, browser, etc.
Manage Virtual Desktops in Mac
Similar to Windows, you can also create and manage multiple virtual desktops on macOS.
- Press “Command + Space” to open Spotlight Search box.
- Search for and open Mission Control app.
- It will show all open apps along with options to show and create desktop on the top bar.
- Alternatively, press F3 shortcut to open Mission Control with the expanded top bar.
You can create, delete and switch to different desktops using the Mission Control.