Until the release of Windows 10 recently, the ability to access multiple desktops was long missing in Windows series. You might already know how to use virtual desktops in Windows 10, but you might be missing at least one feature that we are going to cover up in this article – Virtual Desktop Manager.
You may also try: Virtual PC for Windows
With virtual desktops, you can easily categorize your open programs into different classifications, social media, web browsing, games, work, and more. What’s problematic? Well, as soon as you set up multiple virtual desktops, no indication is visible as to which virtual desktop you are actually using at the given moment. Which virtual desktop is active, still remains confusing.
Here Virtual Desktop Manager, a small Windows program comes handy. It adds a specific icon to your system tray indicating which virtual desktop you are using currently. The program also offers some additional features.
You can simply download Virtual Desktop Manager from the release page and then extract zip file at your desired location. The program is portable, so you don’t need to install it!
Just double-click on the VirtualDesktopManager.exe file to run the program.
Now the Virtual Desktop Manager icon will be added to your system tray showing you the total number of active virtual desktops at the moment. If you wish to have a glance at the current desktop number, you can move the Virtual Desktop Manager icon from system tray to the Taskbar.
Now you don’t need to open the system tray every time to see it.
You can switch desktops in Microsoft’s Virtual Desktops with the default hotkeys – Ctrl+Win+Left and Ctrl+Win+Right.
You can use the hotkeys even after installing Virtual Desktop Manager. Only thing is, you won’t be able to enjoy full features of the program this way.
VirtualDesktopManager uses Ctrl+Alt+Left and Ctrl+Alt+Right by default.
If you own an Intel chip in PC, possibility is it won’t work as the hotkeys are already assigned to an Intel utility. Virtual Desktop Manager program will notify you if the default hotkey can’t be set up with a notification displaying when you run Virtual Desktop Manager.
In such a situation, you can go for an alternate hotkey mentioned below:
Right-click on the icon in the system tray to change the hotkey settings in Virtual Desktop Manager or simply right-click on the Taskbar, then select Settings from the popup menu.
Here’s how to
- Select Use alternate key combination (Shift+Alt+Left/Right) checkbox on the Settings dialog box
- Click Save
- Once you click save, you won’t be able to see the change, but it will be saved indeed
- Click “X” in the top-right corner to close the dialog box
A notification will be displayed telling you Virtual Desktop Manager is still running and how to exit the program, in case you wish to leave.
In spite of so much to offer, there are few things where it lacks. You will find the first limitations when trying to switch between desktops too quick. It causes program windows on different desktops to get more focus. You will see them on Taskbar, even when you are not using that desktop at the moment.
The icons (the one trying to gain your focus) turn a blinking orange in color. As soon as you click on any of the icons, you will be switched automatically to that program and to the desktop containing the program.
Program still needs more testing to check how it works when you suspend or hibernate your PC. Another thing to note is when explorer.exe crashes and has to be restarted, you need to restart Virtual Desktop Manager.
Despite some limitations, Virtual Desktop Manager offers great utility. Apart from showing you the icon of the current desktop number, the program can also cycle through all your desktops at the same moment.
Using desktop #10, but wish to go back to desktop #1! Leave pressing Shift+Alt+Left for nine more times, and just use Shift+Alt+Right to reach desktop #10 from desktop #1.
Virtual Desktop Manager can be enabled to start every time you start Windows with Task Scheduler. It will automatically run VirtualDesktopManager.exe every time you log in.
Read more about Windows 10 at: 5 Windows 10 Utilities you shouldn’t miss