My favorite feature in Windows 10 is the new virtual desktop called Task View. It is extremely useful when you work on multiple projects and find yourself constantly switching between various windows and programs. Task view lets you collate related apps and windows into separate desktops so that you can switch from one project to another and find related apps and programs more easily.
It saves time by eliminating the need to the time minimize, maximize, and move windows around to find the ones you need for a particular task.
The Task View button is pinned to the Task bar right next to the Search box. If you click on it, you won’t see you’ll see two blank desktops. So let’s organize some open Windows into these desktops. Lets open up File Explorer, Mail, Calendar, Calculator, Photos and OneNote.
Using the Task View to Create Multiple Desktops
Now that a lot of Windows are open, click the Task View button. At the top of the window, you can instantly see all the open windows in a nice thumbnail view. At the bottom, you can see that all these open windows are currently in Desktop 1. Now lets a few of these open windows into another desktop.
So, for example, let’s say that you are going to add some photos to OneNote. Drag Photos and OneNote to Desktop 2. If you want to read through your email and set up some calendar appointments while you’re at it, click New Desktop to create Desktop 3.
Then hover your mouse over Desktop 1 and drag the Mail and Calendar apps to Desktop 3. So now you have the apps and windows spread across three virtual desktops.
To switch between these desktops, you can click the Task View button and select the one you want. You can also use the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Windows +Arrow key to switch between desktops. To go to Desktop 1, you press Ctrl+Windows + Left Arrow key and to go back to Desktop 3, you press Ctrl+Windows +Right Arrow key. One thing to remember with using multiple desktops is that the taskbar icons will appear only on the desktop they are open on.
So, on Desktop 3, you can see the Mail and Calendar app icons. If you switch over to Desktop 2, you’ll see the taskbar icons to Photo and OneNote. There are some exceptions though, for instance, even if you move the Skype icon, it tends to show up on all Desktops even if you’ve opened it on just one.
Another popular shortcut key that we use to switch between apps on a desktop, the Alt+Tab key can also be used but again, this will only switch between apps on the current desktop that you’re using. So if you press Alt and Tab on this desktop, you can only switch between Photo and OneNote apps. If you go to Desktop 3 and press Alt+Tab, you can only switch between Mail and Calendar apps.
You can change this behavior though by tweaking your settings. Go to Settings-> System->Multitasking. Under Virtual desktops, click the top dropdown menu and select All Desktops to show windows that are open on all desktops. So you can see those app icons have now been added to the current Task bar.
Similarly, if you select All desktops in the second dropdown and press Alt+Tab you can switch between open programs on any desktop. So now if you close Settings and press Alt+Tab, you can see all the currently open apps and windows. So even though you’re currently in Desktop 3, you can directly switch to Desktop 2 by clicking on OneNote. This is a much more natural behavior because you don’t have to keep clicking the Taskbar every time you want to switch apps on a different desktop.
If you no longer want a desktop, open Task View again, roll your mouse over that desktop, and click the X button. Let’s get rid of Desktop 3 and Desktop 2. You’ll notice that all the apps and windows are back on the original desktop. If you think that the Task View is really a redundant feature that you won’t use, you can right click on the Task View button and uncheck Show Task View button. That will give you some extra icon space on the Taskbar. To bring it back, right click on any empty space in the Task bar and check that option.
So that’s how you work with the new Task View feature in Windows 10.