Windows 10: How do I have a Virtual Desktop running in the background?

  1.    17 Jun 2018 #1

    How do I have a Virtual Desktop running in the background?


    I know how to create virtual desktops and all in Windows 10, but is there any way to have them running in the background while I do other things? For instance I want a game to be running in fullscreen and a macro controlling the character on one desktop, while I do other things in another desktop?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    30 Jul 2018 #2

    Task View to the rescue


    I usually one or more virtual machines running at the same time. I use Task View and have each task running on a different virtual window. I switch between tasks by clicking on the task view icon on the task bar. However, if a task is full screen, you will have to exit full screen mode before you can select the task view button on the host.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    31 Jul 2018 #3

    Jiehfeng said: View Post
    I know how to create virtual desktops and all in Windows 10, but is there any way to have them running in the background while I do other things? For instance I want a game to be running in fullscreen and a macro controlling the character on one desktop, while I do other things in another desktop?
    Hi there
    Do you mean Virtual Machines i.e running completely separate independent instances of OS'es (needen't be the same OS - can have different versions of Windows concurrent with Linux distros etc) or Virtual Desktops which means running a single OS with several desktops.

    If as I suspect you mean Virtual desktops then this might be ok as the functionality in W10 has been enhanced quite a bit.

    How to use multiple desktops in Windows 10 | Windows Central


    The main problem with background tasks in a system like windows is that often screen input is required so that process will stop until you display the screen - that will suspend another task while you service the request.

    Systems like Linux have the facility built in (some can have as many as 24 virtual desktops) and providing alternative I/O say from a file is a doddle. Linux also designed as multi user system whereas standard windows is designed as a single user system i.e only one person can be using it at a time --not the server editions of course.

    I know for instance that if you Minimize a window for example say downloading a file that process will still continue if you say go into an EXCEL screen.

    I'm not sure what happens if you have virtual desktops in Windows - whether all the processes stop while you are processing other desktop(s) --- think we need help from Windows Gurus here ...please as I'd like to know the answer too. Memory and CPU no prob these days so it ought to be perfectly feasible.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    31 Jul 2018 #4

    Jiehfeng said: View Post
    I know how to create virtual desktops and all in Windows 10, but is there any way to have them running in the background while I do other things? For instance I want a game to be running in fullscreen and a macro controlling the character on one desktop, while I do other things in another desktop?
    I just tried. If Windowed the game I tried (POE 2) will keep on running on a separate virtual desktop when you switch to another but sound is muted. If running fullscreen it pauses the game when you switch with ctrl+win+left and when you switch back with ctrl+win+right it is minimized.

    Don't know what fake fullscreen would do as this game doesn't have it - same as Windowed presumably - you'd have to try it.

    Interestingly YouTube keeps running either Windowed or fullscreen (without muting sound) when switching to another desktop so it seems to be a function of the specific program how it interacts with Virtual Desktop.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    31 Jul 2018 #5

    Hi folks
    I think running a Windowed (or any GUI application including Games) in the background has to be a "Contradiction in Terms" since a Window by nature implies a Foreground process.

    The only way I can see it being done is if purely command type stuff is run or things say like background compliations / mathematical processes etc which can of course output to a terminal or a file.

    Any Windowed application once you lose focus is likely to get interrupted or suspended until focus is back with that window.

    I'm sure some Windows internal Guru can comment here but to me Windowed operation and Background are just two incompatible things although as far as Virtual Machines (not terminals) are concerned they can run their processes whatever you are doing on the host and certainly VMware can run VM's in the background so in theory some type of "Virtual Terminal" ought to be possible.

    Run VMware Workstation Virtual Machines in the Background s

    As the article says when a VM is in the background you SSH to access it -- note though I still think you can't run Windowed or GUI apps in the background though even on a VM.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    31 Jul 2018 #6

    Some programs will run in a virtual desktop with focus elsewhere. I ran a movie in one desktop and could still here it after switching to another desktop. Same results when running the video in a virtual machine. I can also download in one desktop while working in another. So some multi-tasking is possible.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 

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