How to Change Virtual Desktop Shortcut in Windows 10

Don’t like the default keyboard shortcuts to switch between virtual desktops? Here’s how to change virtual desktop shortcut in Windows 10.

After a long time, Microsoft finally added the Virtual Desktops feature to Windows 10. The virtual desktops make it really easy to manage multiple workflows without crowding up a single screen with a bunch of windows. To switch between virtual desktops, you can use the default keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Start + Left or Right Arrow keys.”

The problem with the default virtual desktop shortcuts is that they are not easy to use. Mainly because the default shortcut is not that intuitive and often requires two hands to press the keyboard shortcut. The awkwardness of the keybinding only increases if you generally don’t use the keyboard shortcuts that often. The good thing is, in Windows, you can change almost everything. Changing virtual desktop shortcuts is no different. You can assign any key or custom shortcut to change virtual desktops.

In this quick and simple Windows 10 guide, let me show you two different ways to change virtual desktop shortcuts in Windows 10.

Change virtual desktop shortcut in Windows 10

Since Windows 10 doesn’t give you an option, we are going to use AutoHotKey to change the virtual desktop shortcut. So, go ahead and download and install the AutoHotKey app. Once installed, follow the instructions to change virtual desktop shortcuts.

1. Go to the desktop. Next, right-click on the desktop and select “New -> Text document.”

create text file

2. Name the new file as “virtual-desktop-shortcut.ahk.” You can name the file anything you want. Just make sure that you replace the .txt extension with .ahk. If you cannot see the file extension or if the file extension did not change even after adding .ahk, enable file extensions in Windows.

create ahk file

3. Now, right-click on the newly created file and select the “Edit Script” option. This action will open the AutoHotKey script file in Notepad.

edit ahk file

4. In the Notepad, paste the following code. It will reassign virtual desktop shortcuts to Page Down and End keys on your keyboard.

;Switch to right virtual desktop
PgDn::
Send, {LControl down}#{Right}{LControl up}
return

;Switch to left virtual desktop
End::
Send, {LControl down}#{Left}{LControl up}
return
change virtual desktop shortcut

Personally, I like to make use of unused keys on the keyboard. So, I chose End and Page Down as the alternative shortcuts. If you want to assign some other keys/shortcuts, modify the code accordingly. For example, if you want to use Ctrl + Arrow keys to switch virtual desktops, you need to modify the code as below. List of keys you can use with AutoHotKey.

;Switch to right virtual desktop
^Right::
Send, {LControl down}#{Right}{LControl up}
return

;Switch to left virtual desktop
^Left::
Send, {LControl down}#{Left}{LControl up}
return

5. After adding the code, press “Ctrl + S” or select “File -> Save” to save the script file.

6. Finally, double-click on the file to run it.

ahk script running

From now on, as long as the script file is running, you can use the custom shortcuts to switch between virtual desktops. In my case, I can press the “Page Down” key to switch to the right virtual desktop and “End” to switch to the left virtual desktop.

That is all. It is that simple to change virtual desktop shortcuts in Windows 10. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.

If you like this article, check out the best AutoHotKey scripts and 50 best Windows keyboard shortcuts you should know.

1 thought on “How to Change Virtual Desktop Shortcut in Windows 10”

  1. Avatar for Joseph

    Thank you! This is great. Have a question. Is it possible to setup different wallpapers for each different virtual desktop? How, if it is?

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