Chrome OS Virtual Desktop Controls
Justin Duino

Now that the Virtual Desks feature has come to the Stable Chrome OS channel, we finally received the ability to switch between desks using trackpad gestures. However, to use gestures, you have to enable a hidden flag. Here’s how.

Before you enable any flags, remember that most of these features are not finished and are still a work in progress. As a result, flags can cause your browser or computer to misbehave or become unstable—and the more flags you enable, the higher the chances of this happening.

Also, keep in mind that Google can remove or change any of these features at any time, so it’s best not to get too attached. This flag, in particular, has already gone from a three-finger swipe to a four-finger swipe as to not interfere with tab-swipe gestures.

To activate Virtual Desks, make sure you update your Chromebook to the most recent version of Chrome OS. Afterward, all you have to do is press the “Overview” key ([]]]) to see the “+New desk” option in the top-right corner to start using the feature.

If you don’t see the feature after updating your device, check out our guide to enable Virtual Desks using a flag instead.

RELATED: How to Use Virtual Desktops on Chrome OS

Open a new Chrome browser tab and type the following into its Omnibox (address bar):

chrome://flags

Press the Enter key to open the flags page where you’ll find all sorts of glorious goodies.

Chrome Flags webpage.

Type “Virtual desks gestures” into the search bar, click the drop-down list next to it, and then choose “Enabled” from the choices available.

Type "Virtual Desks gestures" into the search bar, click the drop-down list and choose "Enabled" from the list provided.

Alternatively, paste chrome://flags/#enable-virtual-desks-gestures into the Omnibox and hit Enter to go directly to the item.

For the changes to take effect, you must restart your device. Click the blue “Restart” button at the bottom of the page.

For changes to take effect, click on the blue "Restart" button at the bottom of the browser to restart your device.

That’s all there is to it. Now, when you place four fingers on the trackpad and swipe to the left or right, Chrome OS will switch to the workspace to the left or right of your current desktop—if any exists.

If you want to play around with even more flags, check out our guide for the best Chrome flags to enable for better browsing.

RELATED: The Best Chrome Flags to Enable for Better Browsing

Brady Gavin Brady Gavin
Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He's covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC.  
Read Full Bio »