How to Quickly Switch Between Virtual Desktops on Windows 10

How to Quickly Switch Between Virtual Desktops on Windows 10

The Windows desktop.

Virtual desktops are a handy way to juggle multiple workspaces in Windows 10. There are several ways to quickly switch between virtual desktops, including several lesser-known keyboard shortcuts—we’ll cover them all below.

Keyboard Shortcuts to Switch Between Virtual Desktops

To quickly switch between virtual desktops in Windows 10 with a keyboard shortcut, press Windows+Ctrl+Left Arrow to switch to a lower-numbered desktop or Windows+Ctrl+Right Arrow for a higher-numbered one. If there’s a virtual desktop established in the “direction” in which you specify with the arrow keys, the workspace will switch instantly to it.

A Virtual Desktop 1 and 2 on Windows 10.

To quickly see the virtual desktops you have available, press Windows+Tab. You’ll then see a screen called “Task View,” which lists the available virtual desktops with thumbnails of each.

The Task View screen on Windows 10.

To use your keyboard to switch between virtual desktops on this screen, press Tab until one of the thumbnails in the top row is highlighted. Then, navigate between them by pressing the arrow keys, followed by Enter. Task View will close, and you’ll see the desktop you chose.

A Windows 10 example desktop.

If you want to add a new virtual desktop via the keyboard, press Windows+Ctrl+D, or just press Windows+Tab to open Task View again. Using Tab and the arrow keys, select “New Desktop,” and then press Enter.

Select "New Desktop" in Task View on Windows 10.

A new virtual desktop will appear. When you’re done managing your desktops, select one and press Enter, or just hit Escape to return to your desktop.

Using the Task Bar to Switch Between Virtual Desktops

If you’d like to quickly switch between virtual desktops via the task bar, click the Task View button, or press Windows+Tab.

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Click the Task View button on Windows 10 to switch to another virtual desktop.

Next, click or tap the desktop to which you want to switch.

The Task View screen on Windows 10.

If you don’t see the Task View button on the task bar, right-click the task bar, and then click “Show Task View Button”; it should now have a check mark next to it.

Click "Show Task View Button" in the task bar.

Once it’s visible, you can click “Task View” at any time to manage your virtual desktops, which definitely comes in handy!

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Lucila is a freelance writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to study new things. She enjoys checking out the latest grammar books and writing about video games more than anything else. If she's not running through Colorado’s breathtaking landscape, she's indoors hidden away in her cozy game room trolling noobs and leveling up an RPG character. She is a Final Fantasy IX apologist (although she loves them all… except XV), coffee aficionado, and a bit of a health nut. Lucila graduated from Western Kentucky University with a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing.

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