Virtual Desktops on Chromebooks have been a pretty quick feature development, honestly. They only began showing up in February of this year and we’re already awaiting their arrival in the Stable Channel build of Chrome OS 76 later in July.
Up until the latest version of Chrome OS in the Dev Channel (released June 6th), the only way you could test out this new feature was to move your device to the Canary Channel. For most users, the option of moving to the Canary Channel really isn’t an option at all. Canary is, by most measures, so unstable that you don’t want to go through all the extra hoops just to try out a new little feature.
The good news is now is you can try out Virtual Desktops in Chrome OS with much less work and jump back to Stable within minutes the moment you don’t want to deal with all the quirks any longer. As long as you know that the Dev Channel is quite a bit unstable, you can get there in minutes by going into your settings and heading to About Chrome OS -> Detailed Build Information -> Change Channel. Select the Dev Channel, let the update take place, and then reset your Chromebook. Keep in mind that moving back to Stable Channel will wipe your local storage, so get your stuff backed up before doing so.
Once there, just head to chrome://flags and search for “virtual desks” and enable the flag. Again, a reset prompt will be displayed and you’ll need to initiate that reset before seeing the flag up and working, but after you do so, a simple 3-finger swipe to bring up overview mode will now show you a button that says + New Desk.
Click that button and you can now add up to 4 virtual desk spaces that can house any arrangement of apps you’d like. It will be up to each user on how much or how little to use this feature, but I think with a few tweaks this one could be one of my most-utilized features on a Chromebook. The only other thing I could ask for from Virtual Desktops is the ability to have a keyboard or gesture shortcut to switch between desks. That’s not too much to ask, right?