Microsoft PowerToys is a set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline their Windows 10 experience for greater productivity.
For those who haven’t heard of PowerToys before, it’s a set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline their Windows experience for greater productivity. Inspired by the Windows 95 era PowerToys project, this reboot provides power users with tools to squeeze more out of the Windows 10 shell and customize it for their individual workflows. On May 8, 2019, Microsoft relaunched PowerToys and made them open-source on GitHub.
PowerToys for Windows 10 comes with the following utilities:
Color Picker adds a tool for color identification (in HEX, RGB, CMYK, HSL and HSV, among others).
FancyZones adds a window manager that makes it easier for users to create and use complex window layouts.
File Explorer (Preview Panes) adds SVG and Markdown previews to File Explorer.
Image Resizer adds a context menu to File Explorer for resizing images.
Keyboard Manager adds options for remapping keys and shortcuts.
PowerRename adds an option for users to rename files using search and replace or regular expression in File Explorer.
PowerToys Run adds a Spotlight-like tool that allows users to search for folders, files, applications, and other items.
Shortcut Guide adds a full screen overlay that allows the user to view the windows key shortcuts available in the current window.
Awake adds a system tray tool to keep a device awake and prevent Windows from allowing a device to sleep or hibernate.
PowerToys 0.45.0 changelog:
Removed ModuleImageLink. Thanks @niels9001!
Replaced theme radiobuttons settings with combobox. Thanks @niels9001!
Consolidated to one testing framework for C# components of the project. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
StyleCop and warnings fix. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
Removed unused namespace alias. Thanks @jakeoeding!
Standardized .NET JSON on System.Text.Json. Thanks @royvou!
Fixed various .xaml broken links and icons. Thanks @Jay-o-Way!
Updated name property in “Edit layout” and “Create custom layout” controls to not include private Unicode characters. Thanks @niels9001!
Changed bitmask variable from size_t to uint64_t which will enable PowerToys to support more than 40 zones per layout.
Adjusted telemetry to better disambiguate when PowerToys Run launches at startup.
Plugins “Direct activation phrase” setting renamed to “Direct activation string”. Thanks @niels9001!
Updated environment variables when changed. Thanks @dchristensen!
Settings and OOBE windows updated with Fluent UX! We hope you enjoy the new modern feel of the application menus as we align our product with upcoming Windows 11 interfaces. Special thanks to @niels9001 for driving the development of this UI, along with many thanks to the various community members who offered constant feedback and adjustments to make this a truly spectacular update!
Added button to settings which displays version history. Thanks @niels9001!
Improved Update available & Update ready message severity visual. Thanks @niels9001!
Improved auto-update experience. Thanks @niels9001!
Aligned OOBE theme color with Settings theme color. Thanks @niels9001!
Adjusted labeling of “Restart as Administrator” button to “Restart PowerToys as Administrator” to avoid ambiguity in meaning. Thanks @niels9001!
Added colored icons to settings sidebar. Thanks @niels9001!
Fixed accessibility issue in OOBE where Microsoft Docs and PowerToys release notes links could not be navigated to via keyboard. Thanks @niels9001!
Fixed settings header alignment. Thanks @niels9001!
Fixed updates text next being visible when in light mode. Thanks @niels9001!
Updated “Learn More” text to be more descriptive. Thanks @niels9001!
Updated “Read more” text on updates to be more descriptive. Thanks @niels9001!
Added link to documentation in system tray. Thanks @BenConstable9!
Fixed error caused by file in use issues when installing PowerToys.
Fixed issue where opening settings from start menu didn’t work when PowerToys was run as admin. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
Added Awake as option in translation bug template. Thanks @Aaron-Junker!
Adjusted description of inactive setting to improve distinguishing between the utility being disabled vs inactive. Thanks @niels9001!
Fixed bug where changing RGB values doesn’t update color’s HEX value. Thanks @martinchrzan!
Fixed accessibility issue with screen reader not announcing when “Copied to Clipboard” is activated.
Fixed accessibility issue where user could not hover the content of the info icon using a mouse. Thanks @niels9001!
Fixed color picker format order not being accessible via keyboard. Thanks @niels9001!
Fixed accessibility issue where screen reader announces incorrect name for “Editor color format” button and not announcint “Toggle switch” button at all. Thanks @niels9001!
Adjusted “Save and apply” editor button to adjust with text size for localizations. Thanks @niels9001!
Fixed “Create new layout” button visibility when in high contrast mode. Thanks @niels9001!
Fixed scaling quirks related to editor UI. Thanks @niels9001!
Fixed editor crashing when double clicking the “edit layout” button.
Fixed issue with editor crashing immediately after displaying zones.
Fixed bug when navigating editor options via keyboard where pressing enter on unselected Canvas option launches Grid editor instead.
Fixed issue where FancyZones would not restore Console Applications.
Fixed Canvas editor and Grid editor window heights. Thanks @niels9001!
Fixed crash due to KERNELBASE.dll.
Fixed FancyZone icons to be smoother at higher DPI settings. Thanks @niels9001!
Fixed crash when changing between zone layouts.
Fixed regression where FancyZones does not resize windows on layout change.
Adjusted layout settings to reset shortcut key after canceling changes on a particular layout.
File Explorer add-ons
Fixed issue where markdown files were still previewed even when “Enable Markdown” was unselected.
Added warning that GIF files with animations may no correctly resize if the encoding used for the files is incompatible.
Improved UI for KBM re-mappings list. Thanks @niels9001!
Expanding a plugin option in settings can now be toggled. Thanks @niels9001!
Fixed race condition causing PowerRename to crash File Explorer. Thanks @ianjoneill!
Fixed lag caused from PowerToys running in background and invoking Alt-Tab.
Resolved file not found exception when loading “System.Windows.Controls.Ribbon”.
Fixed null reference exception crash.
Fixed registry plugin load crash.
Fixed unauthorized access exception crash when setting registry keys for the utility.
Improved visibility of warnings when plugin properties are collapsed. Thanks @niels9001!
Added search for Plugin Manager. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
Fixed VSCode workspace plugin not working. Thanks @BenConstable9!
Video Conference Mute
Fixed toolbar top right vertical offset to allow users to close other app windows.
Fixed compatibility issues for certain systems when compiling from source.
Fixed toolbox from persisting on screen.
Fixed microphone unmuting when changing Video Conference Mute toolbar position.
Added Video Conference Mute to OOBE.
We’d like to directly mention certain contributors (in alphabetical order) for their continued community support this month and helping directly make PowerToys a better piece of software.
@Aaron-Junker, @BenConstable9, @davidegiacometti, @dchristensen, @dend, @franky920920, @htcfreek, @ianjoneill, @jakeoeding, @Jay-o-Way, @jsoref, @martinchrzan, @niels9001 and @royvou