Multiple Monitors and Virtual Desktops in Windows 10

Often I'm using an extra monitor when working on my computer with Windows 10. I like to put on Netflix or some other form of video on the additional monitor. However, when I'm switching between virtual desktops, the Netflix window travels with the desktop it was originally associated with, causing me to have to pause my workflow to manually move it with me. 

Is there any way to get a window to switch virtual desktops with me? Or better yet, a way to make the extra monitor have a virtual desktop all of it's own that can function when I switch between desktops on my primary screen?

Any suggestions appreciated.

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Hi,

Thanks for posting your query to Microsoft forum. I will certainly help you with this.

Please refer:

How to: manage running programs and virtual desktops using Task View in Windows 10

Let us know if you need further assistance. We will be glad to help you further.

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Thanks &Regards,

Isha Soni

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Unfortunately, the referenced article contains no information about using multiple monitors with virtual desktops.

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So there's no way to have an application 'always shown', and doesn't move out of view when switching virtual desktops?

Proposed Solutions:

Add to right click menu "Always Shown" after pressing Win+Tab (does not animate out of view and back into view)

or, preferably

Add "Disable Monitor" in Virtual Desktops settings

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There's no way to do this natively, but this is default behavior when you're using DisplayFusion to add features to Win10's multi-monitor functionality. Currently they're trying to fix it so that it's optional behavior (see: https://www.displayfusion.com/Discussions/View/windows-10-issue-virtual-desktops-and-additional-monitorstaskbars/?ID=b9cd43cd-128c-4dfd-adf6-26dfd980cef7) but for the moment, anything opened on your secondary monitor shows on every iteration of your secondary monitor across all virtual desktops, which results in the behavior you're looking for.

Edited July 2017: Apparently it is now possible to do this natively within Windows 10. Details posted by Martmcd, below.

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I've just started using Windows 10 at my workplace and am really happy that Microsoft finally included virtual desktops. This problem drives me crazy though. I have two screens and when I switch between virtual desktops I always lose what I was doing on the second screen. 

Really hope this is fixed in a future update! On Linux and Mac virtual desktops work perfectly with multiple screens. There is no need to reinvent anything, just make it work like on the Mac!

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I'm also having an issue with Windows 10, but maybe not what everyone is having.

I work from home, so I want to be able to keep my work on one desktop and personal things on another desktop. I also have two monitors (with the thought of adding a third). The problem that I have is virtual desktops doesn't seem to understand what to do with a second monitor.

The layout is very simple - on my "work" desktop, I keep Outlook, IM/Skype, and Firefox open on my right monitor, while I have Chrome and usually Word, FileZilla, or Notepad++ open on the left. This is the set up I use everyday. On my "personal", it's usually something similar with Firefox, OneNote, chat open on the right, Chrome, Word, etc on the left. Depending on the game, I may have it on the left (Torchlight II) or the right (Grim Dawn).

I don't understand why I can't recreate this in Windows 10 virtual desktops. I can never move one application - say Outlook - to my right screen and it never shows up if I ALT+TAB to scan my programs. This is the second time I've had to search for a third party program to do something Windows reportedly does; the first was buying Display Fusion because Windows 10 won't allow having separate programs on different task bars.

The more I use Windows 10, the more I realize that Microsoft doesn't really seem to understand how people use their computers, especially in the workplace (which is ironic, as most businesses use Microsoft products). It's rather annoying to have to buy separate programs for something that should be standard in this 'new' OS.

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I'm not entirely clear what it is you are trying to achieve.

you want to put a window on the right hand monitor and you want to hide it from the list of open programs (alt+tab)?

as far as I know, this function has never been available.

is it that windows open on the right monitor are not showing when you use alt+tab, when they should be?

Alt+tab should show the apps open on the active virtual desktop across all monitors.

if you want a program to be displayed on all virtual desktops - 

with the application open, click the task view icon (or windows key+tab)

right click on the window and select 'show windows from this app on all desktops'

to move an open application to a different virtual desktop-

with the application open, click the task view icon (or windows key+tab)

click the centre of the app (not the titlebar) and drag it to the other virtual desktop,

you then need to switch to the other desktop to drag it to the desired monitor.

if I am way off the mark, please make your scenario  a little simpler, perhaps only using two or three applications in your example.

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if you want a program to be displayed on all virtual desktops - 

with the application open, click the task view icon (or windows key+tab)

right click on the window and select 'show windows from this app on all desktops'

I don't know if this is what the person you're replying to was looking for, but it's definitely what the OP and I were looking for, and has made my life so much better, thank you!

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No to the first and yes to the second. But here's the thing, I don't want ALL active programs to such, just the ones I'm using in the virtual desktop. Maybe I should explain the setup - 

I have two 24 inch monitors. I use both for work and for personal. This a typical day for me -

Morning (before work):

I have my first cup of coffee, watch TV or YouTube, check personal email, surf the web, whatever. For this layout, I have a personal virtural desktop, we'll call it PVD. On PVD, I'll have Chrome open on the LEFT monitor, with various tabs (PS Vue, YouTube, email, forum, etc). Let's say it's the middle of the week, so I might have something I was working on in Word, also on the LEFT monitor.

On the RIGHT monitor, I might have FIrefox and possibly OneNote open. I may even decide I'll stream a movie for the day, so I might have either the actual Netflix app or the Emby app open on the RIGHT monitor.

Morning (during work):

Once my work day officially begins, I will switch to a work virtual desktop (WVD). On WVD, I'll also have Chrome open on the LEFT monitor, however,I do not want the same tabs from PVD to be on WVD. This is very important as I do a lot of research for work, so I need to be able to use and see just work tabs. Also on the this monitor, I have my time recording app open. On the RIGHT monitor, I have Outlook, Firefox, Franz/Skype open.

At the end of the day, I don't want my work apps to be on my PVD and I don't want personal apps on WVD. The only exception would be those programs I need to share across (Word, Chrome, for example), but again, they need to be separate. I don't want my ongoing story from PVD to interfere with the client eBook I'm writing on WVD.

Here is what I can't do with Windows 10 virtual desktops -

  • I can't pin work apps to just my work virtual desktop, so I just have work related items pinned to the taskbar
  • I can't move applications from one monitor to another. IE, if Outlook opens on my LEFT monitor, I absolutely can not move it to the RIGHT.
  • When using either ALT+TAB or a key on my keyboard, I'm not shown all open programs on the virtual desktop I'm on. Again, if Outlook was already open and I moved it to a W10 WVD, it will not show in the listing. In fact, most of the apps on the second monitor don't show. This makes this useless if I can't find what I'm looking for.

To counter the above, I tried using Dexpot in conjunction with Display Fusion (for taskbars, cause again W10 won't like me have a separate taskbar for my second monitor), which was fine, but little quirks like WVD programs showing up in PVD when my monitors go to sleep or when I put my PC in hibernate was annoying, so I'm trying another program.

So far, I can do the last two (I believe the first would need a separate program, much like Display Fusion), which I can't do on W10.

So I guess I can continue using this program and then purchase it once my trial is over, but I don't think I should need to purchase anything if someone had put some thought into this. Does no one at Microsoft use more than one monitor? Do they just fill up their taskbars will every app and program for both work and play? Like, why would I want Outlook pinned to a taskbar that doesn't relate to work? Why would they not even think of having the second or third or four taskbar just related to that monitor?

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I am glad it helped somebody.

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Last updated May 6, 2021 Views 75,313 Applies to: