Whether you use your PC for work or personal projects, multitasking is almost unavoidable. With several apps open at once, it can be hard to manage cluttered windows on your desktop.
If you want to have a cleaner desktop and access apps faster, explore these tips to manage desktop tab clutter on Windows 11.
1. Name Browser Windows
By default, browser windows are named by the currently open tab. To help you multitask better on Windows 11, you can name browser windows to identify pages faster. Here’s how to rename windows in Microsoft Edge or Chrome:
Right-click the window title bar at the top of your browsing window.
From the options, select
Assign a name to the window and hit
Unfortunately, this method does not apply to Firefox users, however, you can work around this by installing Window Titler, a free Firefox add-on.
You can view window names on the taskbar and when using the Alt + Tab switcher. Using this method can help you find information faster when switching between windows quickly. It also comes in handy if your work relies on switching between two or more windows constantly.
2. Use Window Snapping
Window snapping is one of Windows 11’s most useful multitasking features. Some presets have been carried across from Windows 10, but there are some new layouts in Windows’ latest edition to boost your productivity.
To view all available window layouts, hit Windows + Z. If you have a favorite layout, you can snap a window to any of these presets. Ensure the window is highlighted with your cursor, apply the shortcut, and then click on any position from a template to snap a window to its location.
For a faster method, you can drag a window to the top of your desktop to view and apply any snapping preset. Windows 11 has kept fast access to the most basic presets from its previous version. Drag a window to the right or left side of your desktop to split your screen in half. To split your screen into quarters, drag a window to a corner.
3. Minimize and Maximize Windows Faster
If you’re lousy at using a mouse or prefer the speed of tapping keyboard buttons, Windows 11 has multiple shortcuts to help you minimize and maximize tabs faster.
If your desktop is becoming cluttered, you can use the keyboard shortcut Windows + M to minimize all open windows instantly. You can restore them by using Shift + Windows + M once you’ve taken a breather.
For individual windows, you can hit Windows + Down Arrow to minimize windows separately. (If you have previously used a snapping layout in the previous tip, Windows will snap the window here first before minimizing the window completely.) Use Windows + Up to maximize a selected window.
4. Use Numbered Shortcuts on the Taskbar
Having multiple apps open at once can be difficult at once. Luckily, the Windows taskbar features a hidden shortcut to open apps from the taskbar instantly.
The shortcuts work based on an app’s position on the taskbar. Hold the Windows key then hit the number corresponding to an app’s position to open it immediately. For example, Windows + 3 will open the third item on the taskbar. This shortcut works regardless of whether apps are open or unopened.
If an app has multiple windows open, you can cycle through each window by repeatedly hitting the numbered key. You can also access a list of in-app shortcuts for each item on the taskbar. Hit Windows + Alt + [1–9] to open shortcuts for the corresponding app on the taskbar.
5. Use Virtual Desktops
Virtual desktops were introduced in Windows 10, but continue to be developed in Windows’ latest edition. They will keep you organized and help you achieve a work-life balance in remote work.
To create a new virtual desktop, open the Task view using Windows + Tab, then select New Desktop. From the Task view, you can rename virtual desktops by clicking on the default name and easily move windows between desktops. To move a window to a new desktop, open the Task view, then drag it from the top window to the list of desktops.
You don’t have to enter the Task view every time you want to switch between desktops. You can navigate between virtual desktops instantly by using the keyboard shortcut Windows + Ctrl + Left/Right Arrow Key.
6. Use the Alt + Tab Switcher
If you’re browsing online, you may use the Ctrl + Tab to switch between browser tabs fast. But what if you want to switch between windows quickly?
Windows’ well-known Alt + Tab shortcut can help you switch between windows faster to get you to what you need. Hold the Alt button and hit the Tab button to activate the Alt + Tab switcher. Make sure you keep holding the Alt key down when using the shortcut.
To cycle forward through windows, hit the Tab key until you reach your destined window. To cycle backward, hold the Shift key along with the Alt key. If like many, you dislike the Alt + Tab window disappearing upon releasing the Alt key, there is a workaround. Use the keyboard shortcut Alt + Ctrl + Tab for a fixed view of the Alt + Tab switcher. This also allows you to open windows by clicking on them rather than using the Tab key multiple times.
7. Download a Third-Party App
If you’re looking for further ways to organize your desktop windows, you can install a third-party app. SideSlide is a free app where you can organize desktop windows faster and be more organized when working from your PC.
SideSlide organizes desktop tabs into containers, allowing you to group multiple windows. You can add URLs and files from your hard drive to containers. You can also add notes and reminders. SideSlide’s flexible approach to window management is guaranteed to improve your workflow and help keep you efficient online. Best of all, the app is free to use.
Download: SideSlide for Windows (Free)
Master Window Management and Access Apps Faster Using These Tips
With a desktop littered with tabs, it can be difficult to concentrate on work and remain productive. Windows 11’s features for window management are great but not entirely obvious. Explore these hidden shortcuts to be more organized and work more efficiently on Windows.