How to Create Virtual Desktops

I know you're thinking about it more and more convinced, but no, don't. Don't buy a new display for your PC, because you don't need it. Yes, you usually have so many windows open that your poor desktop can't hold them all, but believe it or not, you can fix it without buying a new screen and without spending a dime.

The answer to your problem is called virtual desktop and it is an extremely simple and effective solution: in a nutshell, it involves creating additional desks with respect to the main Windows or macOS desk in which to open different windows than those open on the primary desktop. By doing so, it is possible to keep many windows open on the PC without creating confusion on the desktop and, above all, with the possibility of switching from one desk to another with a simple combination of keys or a simple touch of a mouse or touchpad.

Do not you believe it? So don't waste any more time: set aside five minutes all for yourself, read carefully the instructions I'm about to give you and find out how to create virtual desktops using the solutions listed below, all of which are strictly free. I assure you that you will be pleasantly surprised by the results you will be able to obtain!

Create Virtual Desktops on Windows

There are various solutions for create virtual desktops on Windows, some are included "standard" in the operating system and others can be downloaded for free from the Internet: choose the one that best suits your needs and learn how to use it by following the instructions I am about to give you.

Windows 10 Virtual Desktops

It was used Windows 10, know that you can create virtual desktops thanks to Activity view, a feature integrated in Windows 10 that allows you to view the windows of all programs open on your PC and to create / manage virtual desktops.

The function is active by default and can be recalled by clicking on the icon with the square and the two rectangles located next to Cortana's search bar (in the lower left corner of the screen). If you do not see the icon in question on your PC, right click on an "empty" point of the taskbar and put the check mark next to the item Show Task View button on the menu if you press.

At this point, to create a new virtual desktop, click on the icon Activity view (or alternatively, press the key combination Win + Tab or make one swipe with three fingers from bottom to top on the touchpad) e pigia sul pulsating New desktop which is located at the bottom right.

Once this is done, you can switch between desks by calling up Activity view and clicking on the preview of the desktop to be displayed (at the bottom of the screen) or, alternatively, using the key combination Win + Ctrl + left arrow or right arrow (to move to the desk placed to the left or right of the current one) or by doing one swipe with three fingers on the touchpad working from right to left or left to right (to move to the desk located to the right or left of the current one).

If you change your mind, you can delete the virtual desktops created in Windows 10 by calling the function Activity viewby placing the mouse cursor on the desktop thumbnail to be deleted and clicking on x placed above the latter. Easy, right?

VirtuaWin

If you are using a version of Windows earlier than 10 and / or are not satisfied with the Task View feature included in the latter, you can use VirtuaWin: a free and open source program that allows you to create virtual desktops on all versions of Windows. It is also available in a portable version: this means that it can also be used without having to face boring installation procedures. What are you waiting for to try it ?!

To download the portable version of VirtuaWin, connect to the program's website and click on the link VirtuaWin 4.4 (Portable version). When the download is complete, open thezip archive that contains the program, extract the contents to a folder of your choice and run the executable VirtuaWin.exe.

In the window that opens, press the button OK and start using your virtual desktops using the key combination Ctrl + Alt + Left Arrow, Right Arrow, Up Arrow or Down Arrow to switch between desktops. By default, VirtuaWin creates four desks arranged as a square (so two above and two below) but, if you want, you can change the number of desktops and their arrangement. How? I'll explain it to you right away.

Right click on the icon VirtuaWin (the green touchpad) present in the notification area, next to the Windows clock, and select the item Setup from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, select the tab General and set the number of desks there should be horizontally and vertically using the menus Wide e Deep. If you want to create desks only to the left and right of the current one, set the menu Deep su 1 and the menu Wide on the number of horizontal desktops you want to use.

To also enable desktop switching with the mouse, select the tab Mouse from the main VirtuaWin window, put the check mark next to the item Enable mouse desktop changing and click on the button Apply located at the bottom right: in this way, you will be able to switch from one desk to another simply by placing the mouse cursor on one of the corners of the desktop, corresponding to the direction in which the desk you want to activate is located. Going, instead, to the card Hotkeys, you can change the key combinations needed to switch between desktops.

Finally, I point out that clicking on the icon of VirtuaWin present in the Windows notification area (which should indicate the number of the currently active desktop) you can view a list of open windows in each desktop and you can easily switch between desktops by clicking on its name.

Desktops

Desktops is another free application that allows you to create virtual desktops on Windows, albeit with a maximum limit of four desks. It is hosted on the Microsoft website and, to download it, all you have to do is click on the link Download Desktops located at the bottom of its download page.

Once the download is complete, open the zip package which contains Desktops, extract the contents into any folder and run the executable Desktops.exe (which does not require installations to function). In the window that opens, click on the button Agree to accept the conditions of use of the program and choose the key combination to use to move between the virtual desks.

You can choose to use the keys Other, Control, Shift o Win + the number of the desktop to call up (Eg. Alt + 1 to call up desktop number 1, Alt + 2 to call up desktop number 2 and so on). Alternatively, if you prefer, you can put the check mark next to the item Function and use the function keys (F1, F2, F3 etc.) instead of numbers to call up the virtual desktops created by the application.

Once you have set all your preferences, press the button OK (put the check mark next to the item Run automatically at logon if you want to start Desktops automatically every time you log in to Windows), click on the icon Desktops present in the Windows notification area (next to the system clock) and choose the number of desktops to create by clicking on the appropriate boxes. You can create a maximum number of 4 virtual desktops.

GiMeSpace Free Edition

GiMeSpace Free Edition is another program you can consider, as long as you have a version of Windows no higher than 7. It is a free solution that allows you to expand the desktop space indefinitely, allowing you to scroll the windows left and right of the ordinary Windows desktop with a simple mouse movement. Here's how it works.

First of all, connected to the GiMeSpace Free Edition website, click on the button Download Now and, on the page that opens, click the button Download Now To download the program to your PC. Once the download is complete, double-click on it to open the file you just downloaded (setupGMSFree.exe) and, in the window that opens, first click on the button Yes and then Next.

Accetta quindi the conditions of use of the program, meeting the segno di spunta accanto alla voce I accept the agreement, and click your cousin Next three consecutive times and then on install Finish to complete the installation procedure and start GiMeSpace Free Edition (remove the check mark from the item relating to obtaining discounts on other software, it is unnecessary advertising content).

To start using GiMeSpace Free Edition, close the window that opens and click on the button OK. Then move the mouse cursor to the left corner of the screen and move it outwards to scroll the desktop endlessly and move the windows to the right.

You can scroll the desktop in reverse, and then move the windows to the left by moving the mouse cursor to the right corner of the screen and moving it outwards. Scrolling also works when windows are maximized to full screen.

If you want to temporarily block desktop scrolling, you can put GiMeSpace Free Edition paused by pressing the key Scroll lock (Block Num o Lock Scroll in Italian) of your computer keyboard. To resume scrolling the desktop, just press the same key a second time.

You can also group all open windows on the extended desktop and display them on the ordinary desktop by right-clicking on the icon GiMeSpace Free Edition present next to the Windows clock and selecting the item Collect Windows give the menu check if you press.

Create Virtual Desktops on Mac

I use a Poppy? In this case, you can create virtual desktops using the special feature included "standard" in macOS. To take advantage of this feature, call the Mission Control doing one three-finger swipe from bottom to top on the trackpadby pressing the key f3 keyboard or by using the combination fn + f9 and click on the button + located in the upper right corner of the screen.

Once the virtual desktops are created, you can switch between desktops using the key combination control + right arrow or left arrow (depending on whether you want to move to the desktop that is to the right or left of the current one) or by doing one three-finger swipe left to right or right to left on the trackpad (again depending on whether you want to move to the desktop which is to the right or left of the current one).

To move a window from one desk to another, all you have to do is call the Mission Control, select the thumbnail of the window to move and drag it with the mouse to the desktop you want most. If, on the other hand, you want to set an application to always open on the current desktop, right-click on its icon in the Dock e seleciona le voci Assign to> This Desk give the menu check if you press.

In case of second thoughts, to delete a previously created virtual desktop, call the Mission Control, place the mouse cursor on the desktop thumbnail to delete and click the button (X) which appears above the latter.

If, on the other hand, you have difficulty recalling the Mission Control via keyboard or trackpad gesture, open System preference (the gear icon located in the Dock bar) and proceed as follows: if you want to restore the link to the Mission Control via the combination fn + f9 on the keyboard, select the icon Mission Control and set the value F9 in the drop-down menu Mission Control.

If, on the other hand, you want to restore the trackpad gestures, select the icon Trackpad in System Preferences, go to the tab Other actions, metti il ​​segno di spunta accanto alla voce Mission Control and make sure the option is selected under it Swipe up with three fingers.

Then put the check mark next to the item as well Scroll through the apps in full screen and set the option Swipe left or right with three fingers in the drop-down menu located below the latter: in this way, you can switch from one desk to another by swiping with three fingers to the left or right.