Is there a way to assign a virtual desktop to a monitor in Windows 10 (i.e. have every monitor show a different VD)?

  • 3
    I wish I had this feature... Mar 30, 2016 at 13:12
  • 1
    Did you find a solution since then?
    – Jo Colina
    Mar 26, 2017 at 19:40
  • @JoColina there is no solution - see the accepted answer Mar 31, 2017 at 18:55
  • It's been a few years since the last answer on this thread. Any change? If native Windows functionality still doesn't do this, are there any 3rd-party utilities that could be mentioned by name? Nov 9, 2020 at 18:34
  • 3 years since last comment. even windows 11 still not has a very user friendly virtual desktop in mac way... the current virtual desktop is not user friendly for developer Jul 5, 2023 at 1:41

5 Answers 5


Unfortunately not with the windows 10 feature. Each virtual desktop contains all of your monitors. So when you switch to another virtual desktop you are switching to a new virtual desktop that spans all of your monitors.

Maybe one of the third party solutions can do this and run on Windows 10.

Edit: Do see @fesses_flasques's answer for a pretty useful workaround I've been using since he posted it.

  • 2
    This is to be expected. A desktop is a single entity in Windows. You cannot connect a monitor and NOT display the desktop on it. So to expect it to display different desktops is out of character for the "desktop" feature itself.
    – Ramhound
    Aug 31, 2015 at 17:55
  • 59
    Just because it's "out of character" doesn't mean it wouldn't make an awesome feature. This is how spaces work on Mac OS X. It's a pain working with an external monitor on a laptop and having all your programs move to your laptop monitor when you disconnect your second display. Dec 12, 2015 at 20:46
  • 20
    This is also how many tiling windows managers work on Linux like Xmonad, in fact often the only way it works. Every workspace is projected to a monitor (if there's no monitor available, it just acts like a virtual monitor), and you can switch the layout mapping between workspace to monitor very easily. Jan 26, 2017 at 6:16
  • As a developer for several systems I usually have aprox 40-70windows open at any time and to try to unclutter that mess I started to use windows virtual desktop about 12 month ago and while it improved the situation a little, it's still a horror to work with. Worst is the office suite that behave absolutely in sane when used in multiple virtual desktops (YES I do need relelevant mail and excel sheets on each virtual desktop). The option to assign a desktop, and a program to a desktop would improve this alot, currently I don't even recommend Virtual desktops unless you REALLY need it
    – Griffin
    Feb 24, 2021 at 8:46
  • 1
    I am also a Developer and a Financial Analyst, and this is the reason I left Windows, because it is so smooth to work on a Mac where you just use your 4 fingers to move on whichever active monitor you are working and regardless of how many windows are open, you just focus on the window full screen in front of you. However, I must remain on Windows for developing, but this feature is lacking, when I move to another desktop on my 38'' monitor, it also moves it from my Retina Display. How frustrating to swap always back and forth ... Yes we need Virtual Desktop to improve. Please! Mar 15, 2021 at 4:40

I may be late to the party, but there is a workaround that can get near what you want to do:

Type Win + Tab to show up the Multiple Desktops panel also showing windows of the current desktop. Right click on one of them and you can choose either "Show this window on all desktops" or "Show windows from this app on all desktops". You can now switch desktop and they'll stick to the screen.
Afaik, if you choose the 2nd option, it will remember your choice even if you close all windows from the app at one point.

hope it helps

  • 4
    You should tell everyone about this feature, nice one. Mar 6, 2019 at 23:20
  • 4
    While this is useful information I don't see how it helps getting every monitor to show a different virtual desktop. May 21, 2019 at 18:08
  • 15
    This is definitely a useful middle ground I wasn't aware of when I first answered. Keeping your chat app permanently on your laptop screen regardless of virtual desktop used for instance is a nice use case. I still wish the windows team could re-architect it a bit to work more like Mac spaces though...
    – IronSean
    Jan 22, 2020 at 21:11
  • 2
    @Thor84no are you using DisplayFusion? In some cases (I forget after changing some setting or only when using default settings) the windows on secondary monitory show up on all desktops for me Jun 28, 2020 at 19:53
  • 1
    Yo! You're are not late, you're even the savior of this situation and should be the accepted answer! Thank you so much! Mar 15, 2021 at 4:43

You can also purchase a software called Actual Multiple Monitors.

It provides several helpful features but, IMO, the best of these features is providing each monitor a separate taskbar.

From the link above:

Actual Multiple Monitors improves Windows® user interface when working with several monitors at once. Install Actual Multiple Monitors to get such essential controls as Taskbar, Start menu, system tray and Task Switcher on each connected display, quickly allocate windows between monitors (either manually or automatically), improve the look-and-feel of your desktop with the multi-monitor desktop wallpaper and screen saver, switch your laptop between internal display and external displays in a click with desktop profiles.

Although it doesn't feel as natural as using a native Windows functionality and requires some initial tweaking around to make using it feel more comfortable, it's still good enough to boost productivity to a considerable extent.


I found this feature request in the Feedback Hub. Please go in and vote for it if you like it:

Add the ability to have a different (virtual) desktop on each monitor in Windows 11 -- https://aka.ms/AAlzhtz

  • Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Dec 14, 2023 at 10:35

If you want to view desktops number 1..2..3 and switch them from taskbar then you can use

Windows Desktop Helper

Another way to switch to a different desktop view is by clicking the application icon on the taskbar.

enter image description here

  • 1
    That was not the question. The question asked whether a virtual desktop can be assigned to a physical monitor. The answer (currently June 2023) is still 'no'. Jun 12, 2023 at 19:19

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