Windows 10 includes a number of handy ways to manage application windows. One of them is Task View, a built-in feature that shows thumbnails of all your open windows in one place. Here’s how to use it.

While using Windows, it’s easy to quickly see thumbnails of all your open windows. To do so, click the “Task View” button on your taskbar, which is located just to the right of the Start button. Or you can press Windows+Tab on your keyboard.

Tip: If you can’t find the “Task View” button on your taskbar, right-click the taskbar and enable “Show Task View Button” in the context menu.

Once Task View opens, you’ll see thumbnails of every window you have open, and they will be arranged in neat rows.

An example of Windows 10 Task View with many windows open.

The cool thing is that Task View is a live view of all your windows, so as the applications update themselves—say, if there’s a YouTube video playing or a game in progress—you’ll continue to see its thumbnail change over time.

To close Task View and return to the desktop, just click any blank area of the Task View screen or press the “Escape” key.

Managing Windows with Task View

You can use Task View to manage windows with your mouse or keyboard. With “Task View” open, use your keyboard’s arrow keys to select the window you want to view, then press “Enter.” Or you can just click the thumbnail with your mouse.

Selecting an app window in Windows 10 Task View using cursor keys.

If the window you selected was already open, Windows will open it in front of all other open windows. If it was minimized (as seen in the following example), it will be restored and brought to the foreground.

The Windows 10 Calculator app has been brought to the foreground.

If you want to close a window using Task View, hover over its thumbnail with your mouse cursor until the “X” button appears, then click it. Alternately, you can select the window using your cursor keys and press the “Delete” key to close it.

Closing a window in Windows 10 Task View by clicking the X button.

You can also use Task View to manage Virtual Desktops by clicking the virtual desktop thumbnails at the top of the Task View screen. Once you have created multiple virtual desktops, you can even drag application windows between them. Have fun!

RELATED: How to Quickly Switch Between Virtual Desktops on Windows 10

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
Read Full Bio »