Windows 11 - Different Icons in different Virtual Desktops

Brass Contributor

I don't know if the developers at windows will read this but thank you for the work you've done on virtual desktops in Windows 11.

However, it would also be great if Microsoft can work towards having different icons in different virtual desktops.
While i can change the backgrounds and rename them, it means I constantly need to open apps just to have them sitting in a specific desktop which in turn becomes memory heavy.

It would be great if i could demacate apps for separate use (e.g music production, video production, programming) into different desktops via the icons I've installed or created shortcuts for on the corresponding desktops.

That way when i switch desktops, the icons i see reflect the use or function of that desktop without me clicking on the start button to find apps needed or even seeing all apps for all functions pinned to the task bar or worse case scenario, all app icons for all functions in specific function desktops.


PS - another great improvement would be the ability to turn off recommendations on the start button or an option to show all apps (not just pinned ones) by default. It's hard getting used to this new way.
22 Replies
You should better to re-post it via Feedback Hub, so they can review your comments closely and apply it to next build if they think that's valuable.
Totally agree.
also along with the ability to have the notification area and system clock in all monitors.

To developers , keep the good work.
Completely agree, love Windows 11 already but this would be a total gamechanger - although I do find it surprising that's its not already a feature given how fitting it is with the concept of virtual desktops.
Fully agree, I was so sure I could do this already....It's the main point on having a virtual desktop for me. I hope they add this soon !

Same here.

I don't see the point of creating a desktop, rename it, changing the background and then having exactly the same environment, same shortcuts etc.


At this point, I can just stay in 1 desktop and use alt+tab to switch between apps.

Having the possibility of having different environments, 1 for gaming, 1 for work, 1 for whatever would be the real game changer.

I hope it will arrive soon... 

De-cluttering my desktop to focus on the work (or gaming) was the entire point of the virtual desktop for me. So glad I checked here before deleting all those work app icons from my "virtual" gaming desktop. I don't understand what the developers had in mind for the different workspaces if not for a completely different task focus for each desktop.
The ability to customize primarily Task Bar but possible also Start Menu, should make Virtual Desktops so much more useful for so many.

Right now it's only useful for people who have a workflow with a lot of windows open at the same time, and that can be divided into different "categories". With customizable Task Bar, it would also open the door for those with very different "roles".

Me personally I could have one for investing with all my monitoring tools and Bloomberg-YouTube-channel pinned. One for Podcasting and editing. One for my regular accounting and consulting work. And one for family and leisure.

This it now really possible right now, as it basically is just switching backgrounds, unless I keep all apps open all the time, draining RAM and probably creating some blocking issues (for example being logged into a document or database, so that colleagues can't access it).

So customizable task bar should open Virtual Desktop up to a slew of customers with a work flow more similar to mine (that is - having very different roles).



I have a new PC running WIN11. I have watched so many videos and have read a lot of stuff about multiple desktops. The videos show the exact kind of functionality I am have multiple desktops that are groomed to support different one desktop has all my gaming stuff (Icons/shortcuts etc..)   They all show how to add a desktop/change background /rename it/ drag icons to it....but none of that works for me ....any added desktop starts off as a clone of the original Desktop ...and then anything you do on any desktop replicates that same action on all the others... and you can never drag an icon onto the "add desktop " selection  the add desktop tool dissapraers as you get close to the add desktop tool.....   this is very disturbing that there are instructional vidoes that seem to show this sought after functionality      none of them say anything about multitasking or registry changes or any relationship to OneDrive...they show it working very simply and that is what I  would like to do     why is this so "mystical " ? 


email address removed for privacy reasons


How and why are there so many video tutorials that show the creation and development of multiple desktops that DO operate independently from each other ??    Why so much inaccurate "propaganda"   that leads to what I see here is a large amount of frustration. You can either do it like all these" how to" videos show, or you cant  like all of us on this thread are complaining about ...which is it? 

@FemoTheDon That's excatly what I'm looking for, e.g. one desktop for gaming, one for work, one for music production, etc.

It's unbelievable Windows still can't do it in 2023. This feature should be a no-brainer nowadays.

@FemoTheDon This would certainly be a game changer and would seem to be the point of a virtual desktop. As a start it would be useful to be able to, at least, change the view settings. For example, if I could hide the desktop icons on one desktop completely. At the moment even the view changes are applied to all desktops.



This has been capable on the android operating system for a long time now. The main purpose of creating different desktops is to, well...have different "desktops" with different icons for different purposes, like Work vs Home, vs Gaming vs Web Development vs Programming vs Whatever! I don't understand??? What were the team of developers ,the idea people ,and the executives thinking...or smoking? Hmmmm. 


A great take on this!


My experience is that I CANNOT virtual desktop feature as long as it misses the below features:


  •  Different pinned icon for each task bar
  •  Automatically share windows that don't create multiple instances across desktops, instead of moving to the original desktop the window was open on. which is very frustrating.


Please note that I am Diagnosed with ADHD and this feature will be a life changer for me. But I'm not able to benefit from it due to the very bad experience I'm having.

When I accidently click on a taskbar icon (that sometimes should not be in my current taskbar), I get moved to another desktop (the original desktop that the window was open in).

Sometimes this happens without me noticing which makes it worse.




task view is useless currently. I suggest you to create seperate accounts for work & fun :) this way you will have different desktop icons per account too and switch wont happen on its own.

Come on Microsoft - time to implement this. Different backgrounds, persistent icons when I drag them to the relevant desktop etc.
my guess is they are saveing custom icons and short cuts to virtual desk tops for windows 12 wich i hear is on the horizon so they can throw it as a selling point


The fact that you can research this and see so many "how to" videos of people doing this, showing how to groom multiple independent desktops...and  I guess this is all FANTASY? Is really disturbing. 

It's funny, I was just looking for the functions to do just that. I see some dates that are not too old. So here's to hoping. I'll keep looking for it, I guess.



Don't hold your breath Billy Gates is off planning the end of the human race so he can blame it on A.I.

he will lbe attending thus years gathering at the Bohemian Grove ..looki it up !