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Posted 31 Oct 2003
Licenced CPOL

Switch to and create new desktops under Win2K, WinXP

, 31 Oct 2003
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Description and sample program on how to switch to and create new desktops under Windows2K and WindowsXP systems.

Sample Image - Desktop_Switcher.jpg


After working with systems like Linux, I was surprised about the missing feature of virtual desktops under Windows systems.

Nevertheless they ARE supported by MS, but there is currently no tool to work with them. All tools (like Stardocks tools, NVidia tools) are limited by one very important feature: if an application on an active screen is blocking, the whole switch is impossible. So I wrote a little program to handle virtual desktops. There is also a configuration dialog, used to configure the default shell of a desktop. Normally this is the explorer.exe, but you can also define other programs. Just select the executable and possible parameters used on startup of the shell process.

The main class handling all the related stuff is encapsulated in CMFDeskTopHelper.

Also, there are some helper classes for:

  • creating single input window,
  • processing the registry,
  • parsing input keys and
  • getting hotkey values.


The sources are not well documented (and not completely new, the Platform SDK also provides a similar program, btw), and also full of crappy code. But you can use it as a base code to develop your own application.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Business Analyst UPC AT B2B customers
Austria Austria
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralNew version Pin
MikeTheDwarf23-May-08 8:27
memberMikeTheDwarf23-May-08 8:27 
QuestionAbout Change Desktop --help? Pin
anti_ftn16-Dec-04 16:17
memberanti_ftn16-Dec-04 16:17 
AnswerRe: About Change Desktop --help? Pin
MikeTheDwarf16-Dec-04 20:50
memberMikeTheDwarf16-Dec-04 20:50 
AnswerRe: About Change Desktop --help? Pin
MikeTheDwarf14-Feb-09 8:46
memberMikeTheDwarf14-Feb-09 8:46 
QuestionHow to add hot-key to default desktop Pin
u85265054-Dec-03 19:01
memberu85265054-Dec-03 19:01 
AnswerRe: How to add hot-key to default desktop Pin
MikeTheDwarf15-Nov-04 20:34
memberMikeTheDwarf15-Nov-04 20:34 
GeneralMy system halt after opening Acrobat Reader in different desktop Pin
Anonymous2-Dec-03 22:19
sussAnonymous2-Dec-03 22:19 
GeneralRe: My system halt after opening Acrobat Reader in different desktop Pin
MikeTheDwarf3-Dec-03 22:03
memberMikeTheDwarf3-Dec-03 22:03 
GeneralYou need to go for... Pin
Daniel Turini6-Nov-03 2:48
memberDaniel Turini6-Nov-03 2:48 
QuestionUser and desktop? Pin
valtech6-Nov-03 2:15
membervaltech6-Nov-03 2:15 
Generalwhat's about deleting Pin
captain-blaubaer4-Nov-03 19:09
membercaptain-blaubaer4-Nov-03 19:09 
GeneralRe: what's about deleting Pin
alpu4-Nov-03 19:34
memberalpu4-Nov-03 19:34 
GeneralRe: what's about deleting Pin
MikeTheDwarf4-Nov-03 20:35
memberMikeTheDwarf4-Nov-03 20:35 
GeneralRe: what's about deleting Pin
captain-blaubaer5-Nov-03 2:56
membercaptain-blaubaer5-Nov-03 2:56 
GeneralRe: what's about deleting Pin
MikeTheDwarf5-Nov-03 3:13
memberMikeTheDwarf5-Nov-03 3:13 
Generalhope you're aware that... Pin
gaamoa1-Nov-03 20:56
membergaamoa1-Nov-03 20:56 
GeneralRe: hope you're aware that... Pin
MikeTheDwarf2-Nov-03 1:53
memberMikeTheDwarf2-Nov-03 1:53 
GeneralRe: hope you're aware that... Pin
Blake Coverett2-Nov-03 4:53
memberBlake Coverett2-Nov-03 4:53 
GeneralRe: hope you're aware that... Pin
valtech6-Nov-03 2:21
membervaltech6-Nov-03 2:21 
GeneralWindows explorer in new desktop Pin
rromerot1-Nov-03 14:58
memberrromerot1-Nov-03 14:58 
GeneralRe: Windows explorer in new desktop Pin
Blake Coverett1-Nov-03 15:28
memberBlake Coverett1-Nov-03 15:28 
GeneralVarious Notes Pin
Blake Coverett1-Nov-03 9:23
memberBlake Coverett1-Nov-03 9:23 
GeneralRe: Various Notes Pin
MikeTheDwarf2-Nov-03 1:52
memberMikeTheDwarf2-Nov-03 1:52 
GeneralRe: Various Notes Pin
MikeTheDwarf7-Apr-09 1:27
memberMikeTheDwarf7-Apr-09 1:27 
GeneralDoes Not Build Pin
Bill Gates Antimatter Particle1-Nov-03 7:20
memberBill Gates Antimatter Particle1-Nov-03 7:20 

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