How to switch between virtual desktops with gestures on Windows 10

Virtual desktops are no longer novel to macOS. Windows 10 added virtual desktops in one of its early versions and has been slowly improving and incorporating more features into it. It is now on-par or nearly on-par with the much-loved macOS feature.

If you love virtual desktops on Windows 10 but would like to be able to switch between virtual desktops with gestures, like on macOS, the option is already there. You only have to tweak it to suit your needs.

how to switch between virtual desktops with gestures on windows 10 How to switch between virtual desktops with gestures on Windows 10

Switch between virtual desktops with gestures

In order to switch between virtual desktops with gestures, you must have a precision touchpad. This touchpad should, normally, be present on any and all laptops that are were bought in the last 3-5 years. For desktops, you need a touchpad or trackpad device.

By default, the gesture to switch between desktops with gestures is a four-finger swipe. This may, or may not feel natural. If you’re coming from or use a Mac alongside a Windows 10 system, you might want to switch between desktops with a three-finger swipe. 

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Devices>Touchpad.
  3. Click Advanced Gesture Configuration.
  4. Decide if you want to switch virtual desktops with three or four finger gestures.
  5. Under Configure your three finger gestures (or Configure your three finger gestures), open the Left dropdown.
  6. Select Switch Desktop from the menu.
  7. Open the Right dropdown.
  8. Select Switch Desktop from the menu.

how to switch between virtual desktops with gestures on windows 10 1 How to switch between virtual desktops with gestures on Windows 10

Switching between virtual desktops

To switch between virtual desktops with three finger gestures; place three fingers on the touchpad (or trackpad) and swipe left or right to go to the next/previous desktop.

To switch between virtual desktops with four finger gestures: place four fingers on the touchpad (or trackpad) and swipe left or right to go to the next/previous desktop.

Keyboard shortcuts

Users can always switch between virtual desktops on Windows 10 using keyboard shortcuts. The Win+Ctrl+Left/Right arrow keys will allow you to go to the next/previous desktop.

Conclusion

Windows 10 has supported switching desktops with gestures since it first introduced them. The only thing a user needs is a precision touchpad. If you do not have a precision touchpad on your laptop, you can attach an external one like a desktop user.

Windows 10 doesn’t really promote its gestures much but they work well and work with features users would expect them to. If you’d like to learn more about customizing gestures on Windows 10, read our comprehensive guide. If you’re a little clumsy with the touchpad, you can set up mouse gestures to switch between virtual desktops.

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