Windows 10 includes exciting improvements for power users. One such feature is Task View, a new way to manage your running programs using Virtual Desktops. The concept of Virtual Desktops have been around for many years on alternative platforms. Windows itself has included functionality through its many revisions for managing your apps. If you go back as far as Windows 3x releases, Windows included Task List which required using the Control Alt Delete command to present a dialog for switching between applications. In these earlier versions of Windows, the Desktop was a common way to do multi-tasking. With the release of Windows 95 which introduced the Taskbar, a better approach to managing applications became available. Since then, Windows has included enhancements to Alt-Tab and functionality such as Live Tiles introduced in Windows 7. In this article, we take a look at how you can be even more productive with Task View.
Below I have a standard Windows 10 desktop with a couple applications open, Wordpad and Photos app. If I need to run another application, I can launch it and manage switching between each program using the Taskbar. Of course, this introduces a problem of having multiple applications triggering on screen clutter.
Below I have a standard Windows 10 desktop with a couple applications open, Microsoft Word and a few other application. If I need to run another application, I can launch it and manage switching between each program using the Taskbar. Of course, this introduces a problem of having multiple applications triggering on screen clutter.
With Task View, I can simplify management of my running programs by adding another desktop. This is especially great for persons who only have one display monitor. To activate Task View, click the icon on the Taskbar.
Create a new Desktop
When Task View is activated, you have the option of creating a new desktop. If you already have an existing desktop, you can add your running application to that desktop. When you activate Task View for the first time, you will have to create a new desktop, so we will do that. Click New desktop.
As you can see, we now have a blank desktop created (in my case, its called Desktop 4). We can do several things with it, we can launch a new application or put an existing running program there.
Add programs to a Virtual Desktop
I noted earlier the issue of having a cluttered desktop with multiple programs running. Lets add one of our programs from the first desktop to our new desktop. Start by activating Task view and select the desktop where the programs are running.
When Task View is activated on the desktop with your running programs, miniature copies of your programs are created. You can move a program to a desktop using either drag and drop or right click the program and move it to that desktop.
Move app - In the above screenshot, I want to move the Photos app. To do so, right click the app and click Move to then choose the desktop where you want to store the program. Note you can crew a New Desktop on the fly using this method.
Drag and drop - Simply select the miniature copy of the program using the left mouse button and drag it to the desired desktop then release.
Close open programs or Desktops on the fly
Another great benefit of Virtual desktops is the ability to manage them. For instance, if you have finished using one desktop or a program from one of the desktops, you can close it on the fly without leaving the active desktop you are in. Lets take a look at doing that.
Activate Task View, then hover the mouse pointer over the desktop you want to close or close a running program.
Running programs from multiple desktops are automatically moved to your first desktop.
Once it is activated, simply click the close button on the Virtual Desktop or the app running in the Virtual Desktop. Please note that running programs will be shifted to the first desktop when you close a desktop.
Notes: Virtual desktops are app centric, so when you launch an app in a Virtual Desktop, active applications in other Virtual Desktops will not be accessible from within that desktop. You will need to activate Task View to switch to those programs.