How to work with multiple desktops on Windows 10 in the easiest way possible

Both practical and incredibly easy to use

Do you find yourself to often use a lot of programs at the same time and find it hard to keep track of what is what? In Windows 10 you can create multiple workspaces in form of desktops, that can help you to stay more organized.

Now, getting started with desktops in Windows 10 can seem like a mess in the beginning. What I’ve done in this guide is to make it as easy as possible for you to understand both the purpose of desktops, and also show you how to use it.

Before we get started, here’s a few points of importance:

Is this useful in your case?

There are two scenarios I can think of, in which multiple desktops becomes very useful.

You use your work computer for personal use
Let’s say that you got some programs running for personal use, and some running for work, it can be very beneficial to use multiple desktops and split the programs up between these desktops in order to keep a better look of what is what.

You simply got a lot of things doing on
If you’re using a wide amount of programs for different purposes, you can add more desktops and stay organized to a particular task on a particular desktop.

Why this feature is NOT so great

Unfortunately this feature comes with some pretty large setbacks that I’ve found. Now, just because I find them annoying doesn’t mean you will, but I just wanted to point them out, since they’re quite important.

Most programs can’t run multiple instances
Lets say for example that you got a program running on Desktop 1 and you want that program on Desktop 3 as well – you’ll have to either close it down and open it on Desktop 3, or drag it over there.

If you search for the program and try to open it, it’ll either say that an instance is already running, or it’ll take you to the desktop where the program is currently active at.

I must sat that this is quite a huge setback, as it makes this entire feature very limited. It pretty much means that if you got two entirely different work enviorements, it’ll work fine, while if you want to use the same programs on multiple desktops, you’re probably going to have some problems.

You can’t rename a desktop
The desktops are named “Desktop #” where # is the number of the desktop created. You can’t rename it to something of your own choise. This would be great, if you got like 5 desktops running at the same time, and you want to use task view and switch to another easily, simply by looking at the name.

You can however hover of the preview of a Desktop when you are in the task view, and you’ll see a preview of what the desktop contains.

You can’t customize desktops

All the desktops you create will have the same setup as your main desktop. You can’t set a different background image, have different icons or change the theme. This makes this feature more a temporary solution that a permanent one.

Shortcuts are key here

While you can do everything with desktops manually, I’d highly recommend for you to learn the shortcuts. In the long run, this will save you an increadeble amount of time, and you’ll most likely also find the entire desktop-feature more useful.

Create a new Desktop

Creating a new desktop is very easy, no matter if you do it with the shortcut or do it manually. I’d highly suggest to go with the shortcut, as you’ll save A LOT of time with this method in the long run.

Please note that the new desktop will be placed last and NOT to the very right of the one you’re currently at.. If you’re not currently on the last desktop.

Shortcut: CTRL + WINDOWS KEY + D

Manually:

  1. Open Task View (ALT + WINDOWS KEY)

    If you can’t find this button in the taskbar, right click the taskbar and make sure that Show Task View Button is checked.

  2. Click New desktop that you’ll see bottom right on your computer

Switch between Desktops

In this case, both the manual way and the shortcut are very useful.

When you have a maximum of 3 desktops at the same time, I’d suggest going with the shortcut, while if you got more than that, I’d suggest going with the manual way.

Shortcut: CTRL + WINDOWS KEY + LEFT/RIGHT ARROW
(left arrow if you want to go to the desktop that is directly left of the one you’re currently at, right if you want to go to the right one)

Manually:

  1. Click WINDOWS KEY + TAB keys on your keyboard
  2. Select the desktop you want to go to at the list on the bottom by clicking it

Close a Desktop

If you want to close down the desktop you’re currently at, use the shortcut, while if you want to close down a specific desktop, or multiple desktops at the same time, use the manual way.

Shortcut: CTRL + WINDOWS KEY + F4

Manually:

  1. Open the Task View with ALT + WINDOWS KEY
  2. Hover over the desktop that you want to close in the list, and you’ll see a X appear at the top of it – click that to close the desktop:

Move Programs to another Desktop

If you got a program open on one desktop and want to move it to another you can of course close it down, change desktop and open it there instead, however, an easier method is to simply move the program directly to the desktop where you want it.

  1. Open the Task View with ALT + WINDOWS KEY
  2. Drag the program you want to move to the desktop you want it on and release it:

That’s the most essential about working with desktops. As I wrote about, the entire idea for this post was to make it as simple as possible for all the non-techy people out there to be able to follow along as easy as possible.

As always, if you have any questions about this post, feel free to write a comment or contact me directly on any of the social networks listed on my profile, and I’ll gladly help you out to become a desktop master! 🙂

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About Daniel Ljungqvist 4 Articles
24-years old Swedish guy with a passion for writing, simple as that really. I try my very best to use that passion to write great and easy-to-follow tutorials and posts for you all to enjoy.

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