How to Use Virtual Desktops on a Chromebook

This quick guide will show you how to enable and use Virtual Desktops in Chrome OS.

Virtual Desktops are a recent addition to the ‘stable’ version of Chrome OS, so you’ll want to make sure your Chromebook is running the latest version.

  1. Start by tapping the Show Windows button on your keyboard. It’s the F5 key (or the one where F5 would be) – the icon is a small box with two lines next to it. Then when the screen switches to ‘show windows’ – if there’s a button in the upper-right corner of your screen that says +New Desk you’re all set! You can jump down to step #6 below. If there isn’t a +New Desk button have no fear – you just need to enable it. Proceed to step #2 below.
  2. Open up your Chrome web browser and type in the next chrome://flags – then hit enter.
  3. In the search box enter the word virtual which should filter the items being displayed below. Locate the item titled Enable Virtual Desktops (it will probably be the first one). Click the Default button next to Enable Virtual Desktops
  4. Choose Enabled from the options.
  5. Finally, click the Restart Now button to restart Chrome OS.
  6. Once again, tap the Show Windows key on your keyboard. This time, you should see the +New Desk button. Click it.
  7. This will create a seperate and new ‘desktop’.
  8. Now you can have a set of Apps or files open on one Desktop and a different group of Apps or files on the other. Plus, you can create additional desktops – two is not the limit :)
  9. You can also use a series of keyboard shortcuts with virtual desktops on Chrome OS –
    1. Create a new Desktop with Shift + Search + =
    2. Switch between Desktops with Search + ]
    3. Move windows between Desktops with Shift + Search + ]

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