I just want to give a quick shout-out to the Windows 11 Multiple Desktop (sometimes called virtual desktops) feature.
Multiple Desktops feature provides the ability to create and access multiple separate desktops within your computer , allowing the user to group application sessions into different places having, for example, a work-related desktop and entertainment on the other, and ultimately making it easier for you to focus. You can create different categories as you need and have them on any number of virtual desktops.
First let me make clear that these are not virtual machines, where the entire OS is running separately for each instance.
Secondly, although originally introduced in Windows 10, the implementation in Windows 11 is much better – and I am sure it will get even better over time…
Seriously speaking: I have found it super helpful and it is becoming one of those essential pieces in my workflows.
Like most of us we have multiple “personalities” and perform related personality-based tasks. For me they include:
- Research / Learning
- Blogger mode ( ModernEUC.com )
- Creative side mode ( DoodlingJorge ), and then my
- Normal-everyday / personal mode [ laughing a bit] .
For each of them, I have created a different virtual desktop in which I group the specific apps browser tabs and anything else I am using for that session — Pretty cool!
[ Side note: I also have a virtual desktop, when the only thing is open is a remote session to a cloud virtual machine where I do some test work and dev work — Pretty cool! ]
No more 100 windows opened in one desktop – now I have have 20 windows opened neatly organized in within 5 desktops [ Smile ]Jorge
In the past I was using different browser specific browser profiles for each along with TABS – where I kept my research, web apps, and such separately, but virtual desktops is a step-up in the process, allowing me to have open apps, customize the backgrounds, and quickly switch between them and be fully immersed in that “mode” until it is time to switch again.
Good example just happened: I was creating this blog post and a call came in from work – I quickly switch desktops to my Work virtual desktops where I had the app I needed for that call. – Literally 2 seconds – many minutes saved!
Some things I love:
- Ability to customize / put my own name (rename) for each virtual desktop
- Ability to reorder and change backgrounds on each virtual desktop
- Ability to keep an app open across multiple virtual desktops ( ie: Screen capture / Snip it)
- Move / Drag an app to another virtual desktop
Things I am not sure the fully work or not
- Open different / separate “instances” an app on each desktop ( same app – different work per virtual desktop)
- This works on some apps but not others. Not sure about it yet.
Some desired features
(not sure if Microsoft is planning for this one yet or not.)
- Restore virtual desktop state after reboot option.
Check out this not so new, but MUCH improved feature in Windows 11 for sure.
- Couple of good videos on YouTube:
- Short ( 1 minute) demo: Multiple Desktops on Windows 11
- Medium (5 minute) overview: Microsoft Windows 11 – Using Multiple Desktops – YouTube
- Overview ( 8 minutes): How to Run Multiple Desktop on Windows 11 Like a PRO
- How to Manage Virtual Desktops in Windows 11 | PCMag
- How to create virtual desktops with Windows 11 – The Verge
- Windows 11 Virtual Desktops: Here’s Everything You Can Do With It (fossbytes.com)
- How To Use And Customize Virtual Desktops In Windows 11 (minitool.com)
- legacy: How to Use Virtual Desktops in Windows 10 (howtogeek.com)