Chrome OS 76 adds keyboard shortcuts to virtual desks on Chromebooks

While tracking the upcoming virtual desks feature for Chrome OS, everything has looked good.

Need up to four virtual desktops? Check.
Want to move an app from one workspace to another? Check.
Hope to have virtual desks in Chrome OS 76 and not wait until Chrome OS 77? Check.

But the one thing that’s been “missing”, or at least heavily requested is to have keyboard shortcuts available for navigating through multiple apps on multiple virtual desks.

You can check that one off too, now that they’ve been added to this feature.

On Thursday, this code commit was added to include the following keyboard shortcuts for virtual desks:

  • Ctrl+Search + = Adds a new desk.
  • Ctrl+Search + – Removes a desk.
  • Ctrl+Search + ] Activates a desk on the right (if any).
  • Ctrl+Search + [ Activates a desk on the left (if any).
  • Ctrl+Search+Shift+] Moves an active window (or highlighted window in overview mode) to a desk on the right (if any).
  • Ctrl+Search+Shift+[ Moves active window (or highlighted window in overview mode) to a desk on the left (if any).

I haven’t yet tested the keyboard shortcuts; in fact, the Chromium team has just added their own internal tests for them. And since this is code in progress, the actual keyboard shortcut combinations may change. Then again, there are already numerous Chrome OS keyboard shortcuts, so the options are becoming fewer and farther between. 😉

Still, this is the one key element that, up to now, has been widely hoped for, mainly because without it, virtual desks would rely solely on a touch interface. That’s not ideal user experience for all Chromebook users, nor would it be the quickest.

If you haven’t yet seen the latest look at how virtual desks on Chromebooks work, here’s a short demo I captured when using the feature earlier this month on Chrome OS 77. Note that virtual desks are actually in Chrome OS 76 and the feature flag is disabled by default.

4 thoughts on “Chrome OS 76 adds keyboard shortcuts to virtual desks on Chromebooks

  • July 19, 2019 at 6:43 pm
    Permalink

    Those keyboard shortcuts aren’t working on an HP X2 ….fyi.

    Reply
    • July 22, 2019 at 2:34 pm
      Permalink

      Is your search button configured to act as Caps Lock?

      Reply
    • August 29, 2019 at 7:53 pm
      Permalink

      Same here – I’m on the Pixelbook with the latest version of Chrome OS. These shortcuts do not work. @Guil, in my case my Assistant button is not configured to act as cap locks.

      Reply
  • September 30, 2019 at 2:42 pm
    Permalink

    Just upgraded to 77 on my Acer 11 and the keyboard shortcuts are working 🙂

    Reply

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