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Need a productivity boost? Give these Windows 11 multitasking features a try

Snap layouts and multiple virtual desktops in Microsoft's Windows 11 can help you multitask.


Bring together groups of apps and windows with Snap Layouts, and easily maximize and minimize the entire bunch with Snap Groups in Windows 11. 


Microsoft's new OS, Windows 11, began its phased rollout to eligible devices last month. With a fresh design, improvements to Microsoft Teams and eventual support for Android apps, Windows 11 has a bunch of new features and upgrades compared to Windows 10. (Check out CNET's review of Windows 11 here.) Some of the new features have productivity and multitasking at the top of mind, no matter if it's for work, school or personal use. 

This includes virtual desktops, which let you organize different workspaces on one monitor. And Snap Layouts allows you to structure your screen for maximum multitasking. But the new update is still missing a few key features that we were hoping for, including easier account creation and a three-finger trackpad for drag and drop. 

We'll break down how to use the new features to make the most of your Windows 11 upgrade. Here's what you need to know if you're unsure about upgrading to Windows 11, how to check your computer's compatibility requirements and how to download Microsoft's latest OS now

Multiple virtual desktops

Having multiple desktops on Windows 11 eliminates the hassle of clicking through minimized windows and tabs. Instead, you can create separate virtual desktops. So if you wanted, you could make separate desktops for work, school and personal use, for example -- and customize their backgrounds.

The feature is similar to the MacOS virtual desktop feature. If you scroll over Task View on the Taskbar or hit the Windows key plus Tab, you'll see all of your existing desktops that you can toggle between, or you can create a new one. 

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Snap Layouts on Windows 11

Snap Layouts -- a new feature in Windows 11 -- lets you better organize apps and windows by grouping them together. It's a bit like how you can group your apps on Android and iOS, or using Split Screen

Say you're researching a trip, and have a group of apps or websites open all related to that search. With Snap Layouts, you you can keep all of that information nicely organized on your screen. To use it,  you hover your mouse over a window's maximize button, choose a layout that you like, and click on a zone in that layout to snap that window into place; selecting other windows individually places them into other zones in that layout.  For example, you might want to group four open windows in a square pattern. 

Then you can easily minimize or maximize the whole Snap Group from the taskbar, eliminating the need to search through and open multiple windows. And any Snap Groups you've made will stay in place if you dock or undock your computer. 

For more, check out how to get Windows 11 and the best new features in the OS. You can also find out if your computer is compatible with Windows 11 or if you need a new laptop.