Why is VirtuaWin free?

VirtuaWin freezes with Symantec Client Firewall (v8.7.4.97)

VirtuaWin appears to freeze on first operation/action, for example on first desktop change; the problem has been related to the use of Symantec Client Firewall, specifically version This issue has not been fully understood or resolved, however it seems that the problem can be avoided and therefore no further investigation is currently planed.So far two suggestions have been made on how to resolve the problem:

  1. Disable the Symantec Firewall, start VirtuaWin and verify VirtuaWin is running correctly, re-enable the firewall and verify that VirtuaWin is still running correctly. Doing this once appears to permanently resolve the issue (which is strange but helpful).
  2. Install and run MS Powertoys – TweakUI and in this tool disable the ‘Prevent applications from stealing focus’ option.

However as this problem seems a little random these solution may not work for you. See SF bug 1783794 for a more complete account of our investigation, if a solution cannot be first please create a new posting on our Questions forum.

Why does Outlook’s Send button not work? (SF bug 871579)

Why do gaps sometimes appear in the taskbar when I change desktops (SF bug 1340364)

Why is there a limit on the number of desktops?

For reliability and speed considerations.The absolute top priority for VirtuaWin is reliability, VirtuaWin must not crash or lose windows, it is better for it to not start or not manage a window than to attempt to and then fail losing windows in the process. The next priority is performance, if desktop swapping is too slow the program is simply unusable.Using static data structures vastly improves the reliability and performance of VirtuaWin, basically not a lot can go wrong in the core of VirtuaWin because of this.

With the desktop limit now set to 20 is this a practical limit? We do not think so, there is another limit, the maximum number of managed windows is currently set to 160, again is this a practical limit? Can a person use as many as 160 windows at once? And if not is having 8 windows per desktop unreasonable? We do not think so.

I have a problem with XEmacs. I need to restart it after I have switched desktops.

I have some applications that cannot be minimized and behave strangely after switching desktops.

The VirtuaWin setup window always appears when I start my computer!

What about this weird behavior with Internet Explorer 5?

OK, but why give away the source code?

Hey, you don’t have one of those paging things to click on.

Can I reduce the time it takes VirtuaWin to switch desktops?

How can I configure VirtuaWin to use the wheel mouse to change desktops?

The short answer is you can’t. A deliberate design decision has been made to not introduce system hooks that can affect the reliability and responsiveness of both VirtuaWin and your computer. So VirtuaWin has no built in mouse wheel support.

However, VirtuaWin does have an easy to use windows message interface which can be used by external programs (such as VirtuaWin modules) through which support for the mouse wheel can be created (see the SDK package for a full list of messages supported by VirtuaWin).

There are probably lots of third party ‘hotkey’ programs that could be used to provide support. The following is a script for AutoHotkey (http://www.autohotkey.com) which will change desktops when the wheel is used on the desktop and change a window’s desk when used on its title bar:

This script sends the message 1034,1026,0 to VirtuaWin (a window with the class name VirtuaWinMainClass) to change to the next desktop, 1034,1025,0 to change to the previous desktop. It sends the message 1049,,-1026 to move the window the id to the next desktop and follow (note, if 0 is given then the current window is moved) and 1049,,-1025 to move the window to the previous desktop.

I cannot assign some hotkey combinations into the Setup dialog. How can these keys be used?

How do I create a portable installation of VirtuaWin? Or how do I run VirtuaWin from a memory stick or installing without admin privileges?

A portable installation is one which correctly runs from a directory without having been installed, this is useful when you do not have admin privileges on the machine you wish to run VirtuaWin on.A portable installation can be created from any installation of VirtuaWin version 3.0 or later by doing the following:

  1. Copy all the contents of the VirtuaWin installation to a new empty directory, for example ‘c:\portable_virtuawin\’.
  2. Use a text editor, e.g. notepad, to edit the userpath.cfg within this new directory, i.e. ‘c:\portable_virtuawin\userpath.cfg’. This file is unlikely to exist at first so use the editor to create it. The file should have only the following text in it, this should be at the very top of the file:


  1. Save the file and quit the editor.
  2. Check the modules that are within the modules directory, it is likely that modules that do not require v3.0 or a later version of VirtuaWin will not be portable so they should be removed. The WinList and VWassigner modules that came with your installation will work.
  3. Test the installation by exiting VirtuaWin if it is already running and then run the VirtuaWin.exe within the new directory, i.e. ‘c:\portable_virtuawin\VirtuaWin.exe’. If the installation is successful VirtuaWin should open the ‘Welcome to VirtuaWin’ dialog and create a new ‘config’ directory within the directory (i.e. c:\portable_virtuawin\config).
  4. Configure VirtuaWin as normal and then exit VirtuaWin.

The directory now contains a fully configured and portable installation, simply copy this folder onto any required machine (or memory stick) and run as normal.

Note: The userpath.cfg configuration file can be used to create user specific and/or computer specific configurations, i.e. every computer you use could still have its own configuration by changing the file to:


See the Configuration Files help page for more information.

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