Task View

Updated: 12/31/2020 by Computer Hope
Task View in Windows 10.

Task View is a feature of Windows 10 that lets you organize your applications across multiple virtual desktops.

How do I open Task View?

You can enter Task View by clicking the Task View icon. It is on your Taskbar, to the right of the Cortana search bar. You can also hold down the Windows key and press Tab.

Windows 10 Task View icon

Note

If this icon is missing on your Taskbar, right-click an empty portion of the Taskbar and select Show Task View button.

In the Task View, you will see an overview of the application windows you have open on your current desktop. Below that, you will see icons representing each of your desktops.

Windows 10 Task View

In this example, we already have five virtual desktops, but you start with only one. Let's look at how to create new desktops and work with them.

Creating a new desktop

To add a desktop, click + New desktop. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Windows key+Ctrl+D.

Creating a new desktop in the task view

This action creates a new desktop, providing a fresh space for you to work with your applications.

In the task view, clicking the icon for any of your desktops switches to that desktop.

Assigning applications to desktops

When you start a new application, it automatically is placed on your current desktop.

To move an application to another desktop, go to task view, then click-and-drag your application window into the desktop icon you'd like to use.

Arranging applications in Windows 10 Task View

Arranging applications in Windows 10 Task View, result

Switching between desktops

To switch between desktops, go to the task view and click the icon of the desktop you'd like to use.

If you'd prefer to use the keyboard, you can press Windows key+Ctrl+Left Arrow or Windows key+Ctrl+Right Arrow at any time to move to the previous or next desktop.

Closing desktops

To close a desktop, hover the mouse over the icon for that desktop in the task view, then click the X in the upper-right corner. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Windows key+Ctrl+F4 to close the current desktop.

Closing a desktop in task view

Any applications that were in that desktop are moved to an adjacent desktop automatically.

Configure multitasking: taskbar and Alt+Tab switching

By default, your taskbar displays only the applications whose windows are in your current view. By default, these are also the only applications shown when you press Alt+Tab to switch tasks. If instead you want to always view the applications running in all task views, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Start menu.
  1. Click Settings.

Start menu, Settings

  1. Choose System.

System icon

  1. In the left sidebar, choose Multitasking.

Multitasking section

  1. Scroll down to Virtual Desktops.

Virtual Desktops settings

  1. Use the two drop-down menus to configure the taskbar and Alt+Tab task switching.

Timeline

Timeline is a new feature of Task View introduced with the April 2018 Windows 10 update. It records your activity on all Windows 10 sessions you've logged in to for the last 30 days, and scroll through program and document activity. Tasks from your history can be clicked and opened as a quick way to resume previous work. It also provides Microsoft with your activity history. To adjust the settings of this new feature, go to SettingsPrivacyActivity History.

Tip

The new Timeline feature is enabled by default, so if you don't want to use it, turn it off after Windows Update installs the April 2018 update on your computer.

Desktop, Operating System terms, Windows 10