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What's new with Task View in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft has introduced a couple of new improvements around the Task View feature, which gives users an overview of all their open apps as well as access to virtual desktops. In the past, Task View was pretty basic, but with the Anniversary Update, Microsoft has added a few additional options that make using it far more productive.

Window-Pinning

The first new addition to Task View is the ability to pin an open window so it's available on every virtual desktop. Doing this is easy, simply right click an open window while in Task View and you will be presented with two options:

  • Show this window on all desktops
  • Show windows from this app on all desktops

Both functions do pretty much the same thing, except the latter makes it so if an app has multiple windows open, all those windows will be pinned rather than just the one. There's also additional support for multiple-monitor users too, with the option of pinning an app to any particular monitor regardless of the virtual desktop.

Gestures

Microsoft has also added a new touchpad gesture for Task View too, making it super easy to switch between Virtual Desktops without needing to open Task View first. With 3 fingers on a precision touchpad, swipe left and right when multiple desktops are open and you'll find you can switch between all your open desktops with ease.

Stay tuned at Windows Central for more tips, tricks, how-to's and walkthroughs on the lead up to the launch of the Anniversary Update on August 2nd for Windows 10 PCs, tablets, mobile, and Xbox One.

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

52 Comments
  • Basic features...
  • These are basic features to someone who isn't working on a massive OS. Taking the time to add refinements on an existing feature while getting ready to ship out major changes in less than a month is a good thing.
  • While they may seem "basic", they go long ways in increasing productivity and faster workflows. I've found a bug or awkward design decision with the 3 finger swipe gesture for virtual desktops. It no longer opens up Task View by swiping up with 3 fingers and you can't add/remove desktops easily then. The workflow would be much better if both swiping up and left/right would be supported. Please upvote this on the feedback hub: (copy paste this link to the address bar in Edge or IE) feedback-hub:?contextid=75&feedbackid=f9e65e0f-2ad9-41bf-ac28-ef93eb629f06&form=1&src=2
  • Swiping up with three fingers still works on my Dell Inspiron 15....
  • slimchap, just making sure, have you changed the 3-finger swipe Setting to "Virtual Desktops" from the default "Switching apps"? If you do that, you lose the ability to swipe up to Task View and swipe down to minimize. (At least on my 2015 Dell XPS 13, which is likely the same touchpad as yours. And it's a precision touchpad and quite beautiful and functional otherwise) Also, which build are you running? Perhaps they've fixed this, I'm still on x72. (Slow Ring)
  • Task View is slow and clumsy. Havin got swipe from left and then hunt and peck for the application you want to open is not ideal when they already had a much better solution in Windows 8 and Windows RT, where swiping from left allowed you to quickly cycle through apps. It was fast, fun, and intuitive.
  • I agree this was way better for touch devices, but Windows 8/8.1 was better for that in general. I do think overall Windows 10 is a lot better than 8/8.1 but I was a big fan of those at the time and a lot of the changes they introduced. I am hoping we start to see significant improvements to tablet mode, I do think Task View is still fairly easy to use with touch, but they could implement similar gestures to 8. Just swiping does the nice and quick app switching that you mentioned, and the "slide out then back in" gesture could open up the full Task View - When using KB + M you'd get the same Alt Tab / Task View button experience, only the touch experience would be affected and end up better.
  • Don't understand why they are removing features instead of adding them. Remember Aero Shake from Windows 7 (think it was in Vista also), it's a surprise they leaved it in Windows 10. They could leave swipe from edge also..
  • Swipe from edge brings up Task View now though - You're right that they obviously made the decision to remove it. I'm hoping with RS2 supposedly having a focus on Mobile, this will include tablets and in general we should see Tablet Mode, and Continuum for Phone improvements coming.
  • The shake gesture, introduced as Aero Shake in Windows 7, is very much  a part of Windows 10... Open multiple windows at once and shake one of them by dragging its title bar violently and the others get minimized.
  • I don't think he meant they had removed it (I thought he was saying that at first, but when I re-read I think he is giving it an example of something they left in)
  • Ah, thanks! I get it now too. Sarcasm can be hard to detect on the internet at times.
  • its not sarcasm, just plain bad grammar
  • Could be both. ;) I give them the benefit of doubt. While I'm a grammar nerd (and nothing annoys me more than the lack of an Oxford comma), I try not to let others' bad grammar get in the way of communication.
  • Bad grammar? Look who started a sentence with a not capitalised letter. I speak 3 different languages and English is not my native one, and I'm very good at it. If I made a typo/mistake I'm sorry. But people did understood what I have said and you can't judge me if you did not!
  • Capitalization and grammar are different things, and its my phone which converted to lowercase. Anyways, I was not trying to bash the OP, but just pointing out that sarcasm was being confused with bad grammar.
  • No, first saying that Microsoft keeps removing all features and then saying that it is surprising they left Shake is sarcasm. A subtle kind, but sarcasm nevertheless. Also, *anyway :)
  • Yikes! Touché :)
  • Nice ideas. Windows 8 was indeed an amazing experience on tablets. While Windows 10 is much better in all other areas, this is still one little sore spot (but W10 is by no means bad on touch). We should post this on the Feedback Hub. Perhaps something like, "Bring back some Windows 8 touch gestures for Tablet Mode". Post a link here so we can upvote.
  • I have something related on that while ago. ;)
    feedback-hub:?contextid=214&feedbackid=cf064622-6e2a-4e78-97c0-c652918aad1a&form=1&src=2 This is the animation of the feedback:(just refresh the page or right-click and click Play to replay the GIF animation)
    http://i.imgur.com/jJ1k30a.gifv
  • Agreed, and Microsoft could easily fix this.  For example, MS could just add a setting to override 'left swipe' action while in tablet mode.  Instead, having 'left swipe' cycle virtual desktops and full screen apps.
  • Task view is not slow (takes literally 1 second to open the app you want) and the other way was just as clumsy. You have 10 apps open? Well, you may have to cycle through 9 other apps first to get to the one you want.
  • Nope, if you did swipe from the left, and then back to right, then you was able to see whole menu of all opened apps... (In windows 8.1/ RT)
  • then youre in the same thing..... :v duh?
  • It is 4 finger left/right swipe to switch between virtual desktops.
    3 finger left/right/up/down swipe - navigation through windows in task view
  • I don't have any options for 4 finger gestures on my precision touchpad. And right now, setting 3 finger to virtual desktops makes the swipe up for Task View non-functional.
  • I've added feedback on the Hub about this issue: please vote if you have this problem too. :-) (copy-paste this link in Edge or IE address bar) feedback-hub:?contextid=75&feedbackid=f9e65e0f-2ad9-41bf-ac28-ef93eb629f06&form=1&src=2
  • Type Cover 4 supports 4 finger gestures. I discovered this settings only now, because I like defaults :) Still upvoted.
  • I had some feedback related to Task View in the past, please vote for those who are interested. We need more improvements on Task View. :) Windows-Feedback:?contextid=214&feedbackid=89ba1b2c-3977-446b-ba90-a9a3c8dbf8a2&form=1&src=2 Windows-Feedback:?contextid=214&feedbackid=6c1ad994-09b7-4cdc-a6ac-27fb7c6750ce&form=1&src=2 Windows-Feedback:?contextid=214&feedbackid=6c1ad994-09b7-4cdc-a6ac-27fb7c6750ce&form=1&src=2 Windows-Feedback:?contextid=214&feedbackid=1021a1a1-9098-437f-a1f2-2d8a9f2c8d20&form=1&src=2 Windows-Feedback:?contextid=214&feedbackid=4d88adf8-1134-4a79-8271-3a7407e8e099&form=1&src=2 Windows-Feedback:?contextid=214&feedbackid=02af2eb5-ff7a-4436-83ce-97f13473979b&form=1&src=2 Windows-Feedback:?contextid=214&feedbackid=6c1ad994-09b7-4cdc-a6ac-27fb7c6750ce&form=1&src=2 Windows-Feedback:?contextid=214&feedbackid=ed16441a-af00-4bd5-b4f1-64f3357ed2f0&form=1&src=2
  • Oh yeah, voted this feedback! :) We need to share great feedbacks to help shape the platform on better direction. :D
  • Agreed, aXross! A good place would be here on the comments section of WC for relevant articles. Perhaps we could post on the forums as well. Let's make Windows 10 great! :)
  • Yeah, we seriously need a thread dedicated for sharing good suggestions so we have a good workaround for the poor discoverability of Feedback Hub. Who knows how much progress and further improvement it will make when we share our feedbacks. Like the saying goes: Sharing is caring. ;) p.s. It's great that the Windows Central app now have a working deep linking on replied comments. No need for manual checking for comment replies anymore.
  • Task View in Windows 10 really surprised me. It's a feature I was super excited about during the tech preview and beta builds. But honestly, I've used it so infrequently in my daily work that at times I've forgotten it's there. There's nothing wrong with the implementation, it's just...meh. Then again, I have multiple monitors at work, so screen space isn't really an issue for me.
  • I have a similar experience. But these changes (especially swiping between desktops) may make the workflow a lot easier.  
  • I had a feedback to help make Task View to be more useful for multi-monitor setup, which I also personally have (2 monitors at the moment and laptop + desktop monitor on work). This one is when you open Task View and allows you to drag a thumbnail window to another monitor. Helpful especially when dealing with tons of opened windows/apps and Task View gives an overview of all apps easily. http://i.imgur.com/b5l7nae.gifv Windows-Feedback:?contextid=214&feedbackid=6c1ad994-09b7-4cdc-a6ac-27fb7c6750ce&form=1&src=2   This two suggestions is for Task View to be used for file drag-and-drop operation between apps (and compatible Universal Apps). http://i.imgur.com/9gtj0ka.gifv & http://i.imgur.com/8Pa3DpO.gifv Windows-Feedback:?contextid=214&feedbackid=89ba1b2c-3977-446b-ba90-a9a3c8dbf8a2&form=1&src=2 Windows-Feedback:?contextid=214&feedbackid=c2ef11bb-b1ec-4605-ae20-8aed796b48b8&form=1&src=2  
  • isnt it obvious that having multiple desktops would make the use of any task manager useless? you would use MAYBE alt+tab, but honestly, I find it easier to move my mouse than moving my fingers to the alt and tab. This task views and virtual desktops and all are more for 1 monitor users ( when I have only one monitor, I don't even use it there since I like having quick access to my programs and I can do it with a mouse) but mostly for tablet or laptop users where it would be easier to switch thanks to touch screens and the touchpads. ​So its obvious not to use it especially when you have a multidisplay set up, but I always thought virtual deskstops was not needed myself. I have used it couple times, no more. still, the Alt tab and now task view with win+tab looks better than before and it is more useful, bigger thumbnails and better to switch windows. but it doesn't mean everyone who never really used it like me, will start using it. Just my thoughts.
  • anyone have problem with usb connection with pc in .420 update???
  • And your reason for an OT comments is?
  • That problem was completely covered in an article about off topics posts.
  • Still no ability to move an open app from one desktop to another?
  • Sure. When you are in the task view (you get there by swiping in from left of touch screen) you can right click on the app windows and select the option to move it to another desktop.
  • Oh. I completely missed that. Thanks for the info!
  • Wait! Will they do away with the three finger swipe to cycle programs option? :-o
  • The new gesture is really a welcome functionality! Unfortunately Task View is still relatively basic compared to many Linux distros and even compared to OS X. There is no way to rearrange the desktops and to even rename them. It still even lacks polish in terms of animation like seriously. If you open Task View and click/tap on other desktop or even hovering them, it lacks the slide and exit animation, giving the Task View feel abrupt and feels like the early days of virtual desktops when OS are not optimized for live animations. The Task View animation also on Tablet Mode still have this rather boring fade animation, which is a downgrade compared to earlier technical preview which it used to have same zoom animation used on desktop mode in Task View. Animations though not exactly functional, helps and gives the better overall user experience, also keeping the OS feels more modern when it's already more than capable anyways.
     
  • Super cool.. Really looking forward to this.
  • You have to good with ur fingers!!
  • Wow, this update will be awesome.
  • Please upvote my suggestion for a complete improvement of touch gestures in Windows 10.
    feedback-hub:?contextid=329&feedbackid=d08f23f2-7d52-41e6-9e38-9b38b3d15160&form=1&src=2
  • Has Task View finally some animations in Tablet Mode? Its really annoying.
  • nop...and it also annoys me.. :\
  • I miss your videos zac.. Please make another videos about everything new of every W10 and M build.
  • The improvements in task view I care about are you can now swipe down to close apps and slide the app to the side of the screen you want to snap to. The OS has seen some improvements on tablets and touch screen PCs.