How To / Windows

Move to Desktop: The Missing Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcut and How to Fix It

  • If you use virtual desktops in Windows 10 you know there is no keyboard shortcut to move app windows from one desktop to another.
  • There are ways to move windows with the mouse, but it’s not productive.
  • MoveToDesktop is a small free app that adds this functionality to Windows 10.
move to desktop task view windows10
Moving apps between desktops with the mouse is slow

If you are an advanced Windows 10 user and at the same time are concerned with productivity and how to work more efficiently then probably you already use virtual desktops to arrange and managed your workspaces.

I’m using no less than four virtual desktops at all times, sometimes five, and I always miss the option to move apps between desktops using keyboard shortcuts. Since not all apps relaunch on their last desktop, I need to constantly rearrange them after a system restart.

Sure, you can move apps by dragging and dropping windows in the Task View mode (accessible by pressing Win + TAB), but it’s not fast.

This is where MoveToDesktop comes to the rescue:

MoveToDesktop: Moving Windows 10 Between Desktops with the Keyboard

I have been looking for a way to add the missing shortcut for a long time before coming upon this free program: MoveToDesktop. It’s set up and forget, takes negligible resources to run, doesn’t cost any money, and can be customized to use different key combinations.

The program does exactly what it sounds like: it adds a move to desktop shortcut that will allow you to easily move program windows to another virtual desktop in Windows 10.

It basically enables you to move window with keyboard instead of the mouse, which takes a lot longer, especially if you need to move multiple windows to other virtual spaces.

The downside? It’s been abandoned, with the last release dating back to 2016. Fortunately, it works with the current Windows 10 version, but for how long, nobody knows. For Windows 11 it doesn’t right now, and probably never will, if someone doesn’t pick up this project.

How to install and use:

  1. Download and unzip to a permanent location of your liking.
  2. Move MoveToDesktop.ini to your current user AppData folder (enter %AppData% in the Windows Explorer address bar).
  3. If you want the program to start automatically with windows create a shortcut to MoveToDesktop.exe and move it to the Startup folder (open the Run dialogue with Win + R and type shell:startup)
  4. To move the active window between virtual desktops with the keyboard press Win + ALT + Left/Right arrow keys to move it to the previous/next desktop, relative to the current one.
  5. To move the active window between virtual desktops with the mouse right-click on the title bar and select Move to, then select from existing desktops or create a new one.
move to desktop windows10

What options you can change:

Editing the MoveToDesktop.ini configuration file opens up a few possibilities. You can choose to:

  • switch automatically to the desktop where you moved the currently active app.
  • create a new desktop when you reach the end/start of the desktop list.
  • delete an empty virtual desktop when you move the last app.
  • change move to the left desktop shortcut.
  • change move to the right desktop shortcut.

Do you know other programs that can do the same thing as MoveToDesktop? I’m curious how you customize/add keyboard shortcuts in Windows 10.

Note: the app doesn’t work in Windows 11 and newer builds of Windows 10, unfortunately. At least Windows 11 includes the option to remember window positions after a restart.

Also read about the most important Windows 10 shortcuts. There’s also a separate piece about Windows 11 shortcuts, plus an article you need to bookmark about global keyboard shortcuts.


What’s the Windows 10 switch desktop shortcut?

You can press Ctrl + Win + Left arrow to switch to the left virtual desktop and Ctrl + Win + Right arrow to switch to the right virtual desktop in Windows 10. The shortcut also works in Windows 11.

What’s the Windows shortcut to add a new desktop?

You can press the Ctrl + Win + D keyboard shortcut to add a new desktop in Windows 10 and 11.

What’s the Windows shortcut to close a virtual desktop?

By pressing the Ctrl + Win + F4 shortcut you will close the current virtual desktop in Windows 11 and Windows 10.

Avatar for Ionuț-Alexandru Popa
I'm a writer and Editor-in-Chief at BinaryFork. I am passionate about technology, science, space exploration, and movies. I started writing about tech more than 20 years ago, after graduating in Computer Science.
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