In a multiple monitor set-up, is there a way to transfer entire workspaces (as opposed to single applications) to a different monitor?


3 Answers 3


You can define a binding in your i3 config. Note: windows are called "containers", and monitors are called "outputs". The relevant documentation is here.

move workspace to output left|right|down|up|current|primary|nonprimary|next|<output1>

Here's what I use in my config:

# move focused workspace between monitors
bindsym $mod+Ctrl+greater move workspace to output right
bindsym $mod+Ctrl+less move workspace to output left

Strangely, I'd expect the $mod+Ctrl+greater to require me to hit Ctrl and Shift at the same time, since you need to press Shift to type < and >. However, pressing just mod, Ctrl, and , works, which is very nice.

Note, you can also set a keybinding to send things to a specific monitor by its name.

  • 1
    is there a way to do this using the workspace name/number? Instead of the active workspace
    – Thayne
    Dec 14, 2018 at 5:29
  • Good question. I don't know.
    – crypdick
    Dec 19, 2018 at 14:39
  • It works perfectly.
    – TuralAsgar
    Nov 29, 2022 at 9:23
  • @Thayne Looks like you need to focus the appropriate workspace first (using something like focus output primary or other options at i3wm.org/docs/userguide.html#_focusing_moving_containers ). Then you can move the workspace.
    – waterproof
    Feb 22 at 16:38

The workspace can be explicitly specified by name like this, for values of workspace_name and output_name:

i3-msg '[workspace="workspace_name"]' move workspace to output output_index

Note that if you name your workspaces like 1:first, you use 1 not first.

  • Handy for one-off moves
    – Reuben
    Oct 9, 2020 at 2:39

To move to the next workspace, you can use:

bindsym $mod+Ctrl+greater move workspace to output next


This has the advantage of being agnostic as to the position of the workspace - it just cycles through them, no matter if they are up or down or whatever.

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