Looking for an app for a friend on Windows that emulates macOS’s Mission Control, more specifically the Spaces functionality that is also present in many Linux window managers.

The app needs to be free as in beer; bonus if it’s also free as in freedom.

4 Answers 4


The basic functionality of having multiple desktops is built into the Windows API since a long time. It's mostly unknown, but documented.

SysInternals Desktops is a tool to manage such Desktops.

  • it's provided by Microsoft for free (not open source)
  • it works (only) on Windows

It'll show up in the Tray and create a new desktop when needed:

Desktops system tray


Windows 10 now has the new "Task View" feature built in. You can switch between desktops/spaces by clicking the new icon in the Taskbar or use the "Win-Tab" feature.

With a smart trackpad you can also switch between desktops by using a three finger swipe left/right. I prefer this with Laptops especially. You may have to turn on the feature in Windows Settings.


VirtuaWin is no cost (gratis) and open source under GPL (freedom).

Its features include:

  • an N x M array of desktops, you choose the size
  • assign names and keyboard shortcuts to each workspace
  • assign a given window to one or all desktops
  • move windows between desktops with keyboard or menu item
  • define rules to open a given window or application in a given desktop

If it is for personal use, you can use Dexpot for free. I use this at home and it is excellent. A commercial single-use licence is approx 25€.

It is easy to move between desktops, have apps follow you (or not). In fact, it has a lot more power than I currently use.

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