Blog > How To > How Traders Can Use Windows 11 Virtual Desktops

How Traders Can Use Windows 11 Virtual Desktops

Virtual desktops are a powerful tool for traders to increase productivity, as they allow you to keep different tasks organized and separate on your trading computer.

Virtual Desktops

Virtual desktops are designed primarily to organize your applications in Windows 10 and Windows 11. By using multiple virtual desktops on your trading computer, you can easily separate your apps based on the tasks you’re working on. This means that if you have several tasks that require different applications, you can create a dedicated desktop for each task. Additionally, you can create a separate desktop for work-related apps, one for leisure activities like gaming, and even one exclusively for your social media apps. The flexibility of virtual desktops allows for a personalized and organized approach to computing.

What are the Benefits Virtual Desktops for Trading?

You’ve set up your impressive new trading computer with all your monitors, and you’re all set to start trading. But, do you know about the various productivity tools available to you? Windows 10 offers a multitude of tools, and Windows 11 has even more. Microsoft has designed them to be user-friendly, and in this brief article, we’ll introduce you to the world of virtual desktops to boost your productivity. Using virtual desktops is not only extremely useful but it’s a lot of fun!

Virtual desktops are the one tool traders should get accustomed to using. There’s nothing to install, it’s a feature that’s baked right into Windows 11. If you don’t have enough monitor space, using additional virtual desktops can help you manage all the charts and other programs you have open.

Create separate desktops

The main benefit for traders is to separate out your desktops into different categories. By default, they’re named “Desktop 1”, “Desktop 2”, etc. Each of these virtual desktops can be renamed. You could call your primary one, let’s say, “Personal”, then create subsequent virtual desktops for other activities like trading, gaming and work. By default, the primary virtual desktop when you boot up is always called “Desktop 1”.

Virtual desktops are not separate from each other in the same way that user accounts are. Instead, think of them as different organizational views of the same operating system user account, each with its own set of running applications and windows. This means that any changes you make to an application or file on one virtual desktop will be reflected in all other virtual desktops as well.

For example: if you are on virtual desktop called “Personal” and you create a word document and save it to the desktop, then you switch over to the “Trading” virtual desktop the word file would be there also, these are NOT separate accounts operating independently from one another. You could have that same word document open in both virtual desktops and if you make changes or save the file it will show the changes on the other virtual desktop.

Using virtual desktops for trading with multiple monitors

The true power of virtual desktops is apparent once you get used to using it with multiple monitors. When you are accustomed to switching back and forth between the different desktops, you’ll be able to organize your trading activities much easier. You could have entire sets of charts taking up each screen under different virtual desktops.

First click on the “Task View” icon, it’s right next to the search bar on the taskbar.

Clicking on task view in Windows.

If for some reason the “Task View” icon isn’t there, click on Settings > Personalization >Taskbar and make sure the “Task View” is set to “on”. Alternatively, you can use the Windows keyboard shortcut – “Windows Key + Tab”.

Windows task view to see all the virtual desktops for trading.

To create a new virtual desktop, click “New desktop +”. As you can see, we’ve created a bunch of different desktops to organize our activities. To switch between them, just click on one of the thumbnails. The icons on the new desktop will be identical to those on the main desktop, but the taskbar will remain devoid of any active applications until you launch a new application. Shown in the image below are 4 virtual desktops we’ve created.

Windows task view thumbnails.

The current active desktop thumbnail is highlighted, and if you hover over each one it will show you all the apps/programs currently in use. Try hovering the mouse over one of your active desktop thumbnails then click on one of the available programs, it will automatically open up on the screen it’s currently assigned to. As you can see in the image below, we’re hovering over the trading virtual desktop thumbnail, it shows each app that’s open. If you have multiple monitors, it will show the apps associated with that monitor. This is all pretty amazing, right?

Windows task view open apps.

Closing a Virtual Desktop

Closing a desktop is simple enough. Just click on the “Task View” again. Then click on the “x” in the upper right-hand corner of the thumbnail of the virtual desktop you want to close. When you close a desktop, the apps that were organized under it do not get closed. Instead, the apps from the closed desktop will be automatically moved to one of your other active desktops.

What Happens If You Reboot Your PC?

Virtual desktops persist even after you restart your PC, but the apps you had opened will now be closed as this is the normal behavior when rebooting your computer. The virtual desktops you created will remain, as named, they will be mostly empty because the active apps will be gone after a reboot. Any programs that are set to launch automatically with Windows will open only to your main desktop (Desktop 1, or whatever you named it). Therefore, you will need to manually relocate the apps to their relevant desktops every time you restart your computer.

So really the only good news when restarting your PC is that the active desktops and what you named them still exist. It might be best to have your computer go into sleep mode versus restarting so that the active desktops and apps are maintained and stay open as you’ve set them.

If you completely shut down your computer and turn it back on the result is the same as a reboot. The virtual desktops will still exist as named but you’ll need to start up and organize your apps again.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Virtual Desktops

If you like using keyboard shortcuts there are several useful ones that can make using virtual desktops easier.

  • “Windows Key + Tab” – We covered this one earlier, it’s to open the “Task View” screen, you can also just click the “Task View” icon on the taskbar.
  • “Escape Key” – Once you’ve opened the “Task View” screen you can quickly close it by clicking the escape key.
  • “Delete Key” – Pressing the delete key while the “Task View” screen is up will close the selected desktop, any apps associated with that desktop will be moved over to the next active one.
  • “Windows Key + Ctrl + D” – This creates a new desktop and automatically switches to it.
  • “Windows Key + Left Arrow or Right Arrow” – Quickly switch between all the desktops you’ve created.
  • “Arrow Keys” – When the “Task View” is already up you can use the arrow keys to switch between each desktop, then hit the enter key to switch to that desktop.


Creating and removing virtual desktops in Windows 11 is a breeze, which gives you the freedom to create one whenever you need it and delete it once your work is complete! Even after shutting down your computer, the virtual desktops continue to persist.

Virtual desktops can be a powerful tool for increasing productivity, as they allow users to keep different tasks organized and separate. For example, you could use one virtual desktop for work-related tasks and another for personal tasks, or you could have one virtual desktop dedicated to a particular project or application.

Virtual desktops can be a huge boost to your trading activities. What can help even more is using a powerful trading computer from Blue Aura Computers! Check out our best selling Intel trading computer models here.