How to Use Task View features on Windows 10?

Task View is a way to switch between running apps. Moreover, it also helps to work with virtual desktops, resume Timeline activities. With task view button on Windows 10, you can work on more than one file at a time. You can hop from one application to another and between multiple desktops seamlessly.

After April 2018 update, Task View got an addition Timeline. This feature works as time machine which lets you resume the work that you were doing in the past on your PC or any other PC provided you are signed in with Microsoft account.

In this post, we will guide with steps to enhance the multitasking experience when you are working on multiple tasks simultaneously with the help of task view settings on Windows 10.

Working on Task View

Task view’s basic working was to easily switch between running applications. Although, there have been many changes and now it is much more than that. You can resume your work that you are working on in the past and also use virtual desktop to arrange tasks related to it.

So let’s begin to know how Task View can be used to multitask on Windows 10.

Task switcher

The basic function of Task View is a ability to switch between applications running on your desktop.

Access Task View

You can access Task View by two methods. Either click Task View button from taskbar or alternatively press Windows and tab key together to get Task View Settings on Windows 10.

Note: if you are not able to locate the button, right click on the Taskbar and choose Show task view.

How to work with Task View on Windows 10?

In Task view, you will get applications running displayed on middle of the screen and you can switch from window to another.

Now right click and get the context menu of app and get options to perform tasks such as change app’s position. You can also move the app across virtual screen or close the app altogether.

You can press Windows and tab together or press ALT and tab together to see the apps running. The reason for two options available is virtual desktop. Though there is a difference when you press Windows key and tab key or Alt and tab key as the former only shows the apps running on a desktop along with the options to manage virtual desktops and timeline activities listed. However, the latter shows a list of applications running irrespective of the virtual desktop they are running on.

If you have pressed ALT and tab, you need to keep pressing to reach a particular application.

Use virtual desktops in Windows 10

Virtual desktop on Windows 10 is a feature in Task view designed to help you manage related activities into groups. With the help of this feature, you get to create multiple environments and, on each environment, each can used to run different applications while focusing on a project.

This works when you want to keep your personal tasks separate from work tasks or when you multitask between different activities.

Access Virtual Desktops

To access virtual desktops, click Task View button from taskbar or press Windows and tab key. When the Task View is open, you can see virtual desktop on the top of the screen. If you are working on more than one desktop, a preview will show in the list. You can move the mouse over it to check which apps are running in a virtual environment.

How to work on Virtual Desktop?

Windows 10 gives you a leverage of creating n number of desktops. To start, click on New desktop button or press Windows+ Ctrl and D key together to get one.

To remove a desktop, open Task View and click on Close button located at upper right side of the virtual desktop. When you will close the virtual desktop, any running application will move to your primary desktop.

Shortcut to move between desktops

To move between desktops: press Windows, CTRL and Left key together or press Windows, CTRL and Right key.

Move Apps Between Virtual Desktops

You can move apps between two different virtual environments, all you need to do is right click the app and select Move to and pick desktop to which you want to move the app.

You can also drag and drop a running app to a virtual desktop or move the running app into new virtual desktop by dragging an app and dropping into (+) button.

Although virtual desktops are also a feature to separate tasks into groups, as while working you might need a specific app on all virtual desktops. To do that, open the Task View and right click the app. Select from the options below:

  • Show this window on all desktops.

  • Show windows from this app on all desktops.

Customize Virtual Desktops Settings

Virtual Desktop options can be customized via Settings app to use it the most. To customize, you can follow these steps:

  • Go to Start button and locate Settings.

  • Navigate to System

  • Click Multitasking.

  • Under Virtual Desktops section, you will get two options in two drop down menu. One with the heading On the taskbar, shows windows that are open on : Only the desktop I am using or all desktops.

  • The other one says: Pressing Alt + Tab shows windows that are open on: Only the desktop I am using or all desktops.

Using Timeline

Timeline is a part of Task View which benefits Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure and allows you to pick up activities on which you were working in the past.

Activities can be web pages opened on MS Edge, or an Office document, an app that you ran on your computer or some other device associated with the same Microsoft account.

To access Timeline, either click Task view button located at taskbar, or press Windows and Tab key together. To see Timeline, scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen.

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Working with Timeline

Timeline manages all your previous tasks using deep-links to a piece of content inside an app to so that you can pick up right where you left off.

Activities are listed by date, and for each day, you can see two rows of activities, however the number of activities will be according to the size of your screen.

Resume A Task

In order to resume a task, click the activity from the list. If you are not able to locate an activity you wish to open, then click See all button to check activities for the whole day. To find an activity fast, input keywords in the search located at the upper right corner.

Delete Activities

To delete an activity, you can right click an item and choose Remove option. You can also remove all of them by clicking Clear all option to remove all activities of the day.

You can access activities from other devices as well. The activities of other devices will be differentiated with name of the computer along with activity name.

Customizing Timeline

You can customize Timeline and open further options to use Timeline:

  • Go to Start button and locate Settings.

  • From the Settings page, click Privacy.

  • Now locate Activity History from left hand side panel of Privacy window.

  • Under Activity History, you will get two options:
  1. Let Windows collect my activities from this PC – enabled by default to keep the Timeline working.

2. Let Windows sync my activities from this PC to the cloud – need to turn it on to access activities older than 30 days or else Windows 10 will only collect 4 days old activities.

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So, in this way you can use Task View features on Windows 10. Read this to know how to utilize timeline, task view feature to get best user experience on Windows 10.

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