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Windows 11 – Virtual Desktops


With remote working now a mainstay for many students and workers, our devices have had to multitask – being used for work, home, school and recreation.


Alongside Snap Layouts and Snap Groups that we mentioned last week, Windows 11 expands on and increases awareness of a feature that’s been available (in various forms) in Windows for some time – Virtual Desktops.



Virtual Desktops – aka Windows Timeline.

The Virtual Desktop feature has been around in various formats for several versions of windows – in Windows 10, it’s known as Windows Timeline, but as well as showing you your desktops, it shows you your recent applications and open files too. Windows 11 simplifies and streamlines that feature to display just the desktops.


Why would you want more than one desktop?

If you use your device for many things, you may find it helps you to keep everything organised if you have a separate desktop for each kind of task.

For example, imagine someone working a day job while studying for a qualification, but they also like to play games to unwind – they can create a desktop specific to each of these tasks, customised exactly how they like it.

One desktop could have work-related software, tools and documents open, keeping everything within easy reach. The second could have content and software suited to educational purposes – putting distractions out of reach and making it easier to focus. The third could minimise interruptions or simply be a place with utilities open to help them to relax, browse the web or play games.

For people who work from home and on their own personal computer or device, switching desktops can also be quite a significant marker for the day – switch from work to home desktops to create a sense of “leaving” work, and help them to better separate and manage their time.


Flexible Organisation and Personalisation

If you accidentally open an app on the wrong desktop, you can move it to the appropriate desktop – or even have that window display on all desktops, potentially useful if you need to monitor something across all desktops.

Desktops can be created or removed easily; if you close a desktop that has open programs, those open programs will be moved to the next available desktop.

It’s also possible to set each desktop to have its own background, so you can personalise your experience, and also to clearly see which desktop is which at a glance.


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