- Virtual desktop software helps you declutter and organize your desktop. Instead of squeezing applications and shortcuts on a single desktop, create and navigate multiple virtual desktops.
- Windows 10 has built-in virtual desktop functionality called TaskView. However, it's pretty limited. So we handpicked the 5 best virtual desktop tools you can use on your Windows 10 PC.
- You might also be interested in software to split your PC screen, ideal for window management.
- Visit our Productivity hub for more awesome guides!
Virtual Dimension is an open-source virtual desktop software solution for Windows, which has a unique preview window. It’s compatible with most Windows platforms and might even run on Win 95.
With this software program, you can set up more than 20 virtual desktops. As mentioned, Virtual Dimension’s preview window is perhaps the most novel addition to the software that shows you the applications open within each virtual desktop as in the shot directly below.
That enables users to drag-and-drop icons to move the software windows from one desktop to another. In addition, the preview window also enables users to add transparency to windows and pin them so they also remain on top.
Virtual Dimension’s Settings window includes various configuration options. From there, you can set up custom global hotkeys for the virtual desktops, add alternative wallpapers to them, customize their titles and configure the software’s more general keyboard shortcuts.
Furthermore, the software includes a OSD (On Screen Display) option that displays the titles of activated virtual desktops. So Virtual Dimension has a decent selection of customization settings for virtual desktops.
DeskSpace was previously known as Yod’m 3D, which was the first virtual desktop software to incorporate 3D cube transition effects. However, since a new publisher acquired rights to the software Yod’m 3D became DeskSpace.
The software works on 32 and 64-bit Windows platforms, and you can try out a 14-day trial package.
DeskSpace’s primary novelty is its stunning 3D cube transition effects that emulate the Compiz window manager in Linux. It enables you to arrange software in six virtual desktops on each side of a 3D cube, which you can quickly switch between with the keyboard or by dragging windows to the edge of the desktop.
Users can also configure the wallpapers, icons and titles of the virtual desktops from DeskSpace’s system tray menu. Deskspace’s 3D cube makes this software much more fun than most of the alternative VD packages, and the program still runs smoothly despite the visual effects.
BetterDesktopTool is a highly-rated virtual desktop software program that enables users to arrange window tile previews. Thus, it incorporates options similar to Exposé tiled window previews in Mac OS X.
It’s free for personal use. BetterDesktopTool enables you to set up more than 20 virtual desktops. The software’s window includes a Windows & Desktop Overview tab for customizing the tiled window previews.
It also has a Virtual Desktop tab with which you can configure the virtual desktops. There you can configure hotkeys or mouse for the overview function that displays previews of all your virtual desktops at once as in the snapshot directly below.
Hot edges are another novel aspect of this software that enable you to move windows between the desktops by dragging them to the screen edges. Or you can move the cursor to the edge of the screen to switch between the virtual desktops. In addition, BetterDesktopTool enables users to select global applications that are open in all the desktops. With all the extra Exposé window overview settings on top, BetterDesktopTool packs a lot in.
Those are some of the best virtual desktop manager software that transforms multitasking in Windows. With those programs you can add virtual desktops to Windows platforms that don’t include Task View. Those third-party programs also have much more extensive customization options for virtual desktops than Windows 10’s Task View.
FAQ: Learn more about virtual desktop software
- What is the purpose of a virtual desktop?
A virtual desktop improves your productivity and declutters your desktop. You can organize your tasks better by creating personalized virtual desktops, where you can quickly launch applications and toggle windows.
- How do I create a virtual desktop?
You can create a virtual desktop using the Windows 10 Task View. But an easier way is to download one of the virtual desktop tools we mentioned on this list.
- What is the best virtual desktop?
Amazon WorkSpaces is the best virtual desktop software for business. However, Dexpot is ideal for personal use.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2017 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.