With a small utility, you can take advantage of Windows 10 virtual desktops like never before.
Wait a minute, what are virtual desktops? I don’t blame you for not knowing, since It is one of the novelties of Windows 10 that has given less talk; Even a year after its release, not many people know they exist, let alone use them.
The concept of virtual desktops is far from new, it is something that we can already use in most Linux distros and macOS, but it is with Windows 10 that users of the Microsoft system can exploit its possibilities.
Virtual desktops, a semi-unknown functionality
With 10, Windows no longer has a single desktop as usual, but we can use several independent desks at the same time, each with its applications, and its open files.
For example, we can have a virtual desktop dedicated to work programs, another from which we can start installed games, another that is completely clean to do whatever we want with it.
There are many possibilities, and if you learn to use keyboard shortcuts to switch from one virtual desktop to another you can increase your productivity dramatically, keeping your computer completely organized.
However, Microsoft’s implementation of virtual desktops leaves something to be desired, and is the reason why many people do not know they exist. For example, we cannot send an application to a specific desktop, but later we will talk about a small application that will allow us to solve this problem.
How to use Windows 10 virtual desktops
To start, to open a new virtual desktop, we have to click on the Task View icon in the task bar
and then clicking on New desktop. To change desktop, we can click again on Task View (also opens with Win + Tab shortcut).
When the second desktop appears, we will notice that The applications that we had are not open, it is as if we have just started the computer. By default, each desktop is in its own world, and we can’t even do Alt + Tab to switch between apps from different desktops.
We can change this very easily. We open Configuration and in System we go to Multitasking. In the Virtual desktops section we can make the taskbar show all open programs on all desktops, and Alt + Tab go through all open programs regardless of the desktop they are on.
If you really want to master virtual desktops, at Omicrono we’ve already written an article about the best keyboard shortcuts you can use.
How to send programs and files to a specific virtual desktop
But how can we send a program or file to a specific virtual desktop? The implementation of Windows 10 is not the easiest, really. We have to open the Task View, and right click on the program that we want to change. There we access Move to and choose the desktop.
A free code program called VDeskamplaces the possibilities of the Windows 10 virtual desktop, so next we show you how to install and use it.
Once we download the VDesk.exe executable, we have to open a command terminal. To do this, in the folder click on File and Open command prompt.
In the terminal that will open, write:
When finished, we will notice that the context menu (the one that opens when we right-click on a file) now has a new option, Open in new virtual desktop, that send that file to a new virtual desktop.
We can also use VDesk to send programs to other desktops, but due to Windows limitations we are obliged to do it by terminal. We have to write the following:
vdesk (virtual desktop number) (app name / .exe address)
For example, if I want to send Chrome to the second desktop, I have to type this in the terminal.
videsk 2 chrome
It is not the friendliest in the world, but it is a functionality that can help us to use virtual desktops more. To remove the context menu option, we just have to type the following in the terminal:
Are virtual desktops useful for you?