I have been using OS X for a while now and when I changed a job recently I was force to go back to using Windows, it was then that all my problems began!

Is there anyway I can have my windows in full screen mode then allow me to use ctrl + [left arrow] or [right arrow] to switch between the different windows? I have come to love this feature on OS X and really can't stand using windows without, I'm not too bothered if I have to install a 3rd party library to handle this.

I know I can have multiple desktops setup on windows then switch between them using ctrl + [windows key] + [left arrow] or [right arrow], but this is really not the same and passing windows to the different desktops is really not very good.

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    Windows supports using ALT-TAB and ALT-SHIFT-TAB for cycling between windows. You might consider this as an alternative, or perhaps look into something like AutoHotKey and see if it will serve your purpose. Note that many Windows apps do use Ctrl-arrows for editing cursor movement. – Jeff Zeitlin Jan 9 '18 at 14:37
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    @JeffZeitlin Yeah, on macOS those keys are free because it uses CMD (Win/Super) shortcuts – Manchineel Jan 9 '18 at 14:48
  • Ah thanks.... I was trying to avoid using the alt + tab or win + tab combinations but its looking like I may well have to! – micb Jan 9 '18 at 14:49

There is a tool that will do pretty much exactly what you want. You need to first install AutoHotkeys macro key tool. It is highly recommended and allows you to automate a lot of stuff on Windows. Works well with Windows 10.

The second thing is an AHK script and DLL created by Jari Pennanen. It is available on his Github repo:VirtualDesktopAccessor

You just need to change the script to use the Control keys you want for switching desktops. I did so by adding the following to the this script:


So that changes to desktop 1-4 by using Ctrl-1 through Ctrl-4. It also assigns Ctrl-Left and Ctrl-Right [arrows] to move back and forth through the desktops.

This assumes you have just four desktops assigned, my preferred setup.

  • Thanks, it certainly doesn't make it as easy as OSX but it is a solution. EDIT:: lol the sysadmins on my works network won't allow me to install a custom DLL, which makes sense I suppose but it still sucks that windows makes this so difficult to achieve! – micb Mar 20 '18 at 12:12

Also for anyone looking to make it so if you click on a pinned shortcut to go to virtual desktop where the app is already open (instead of opening new instance of app) Be sure to turn on:

"On the taskbar, show windows that are open on"

"All desktops"

In Customize virtual desktop settings

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