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Windows 11: How to use Snap Layouts and virtual desktops for multitasking

These Windows 11 features will improve your productivity by streamlining your layouts.


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 latest operating system, Windows 11 -- now available as a beta download and coming to compatible PCs this fall -- will sport a number of new features like a fresh new design, support for Android apps and improvements to Microsoft Teams

In addition to features intended to streamline the Windows experience, the new operating system is also bringing some features to help you multitask, whether you're using your device for work, personal purposes or both. With Windows 11 virtual desktops, you can organize completely different workspaces on just one monitor. And Snap Layouts allows you to structure your screen for maximum multitasking.

Multiple virtual desktops

No longer do you need a separate monitor to expand your digital workspace. 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 the background for each. 

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 -- another new feature coming to 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 can 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, so you can keep all of that information nicely organized on your screen (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 at once 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 what to know about the Windows 11 beta download and how to get Windows 11.

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