Microsoft PowerToys Cheat Sheet: How you can Get It, and What Can It Do? #Imaginations Hub

Microsoft PowerToys Cheat Sheet: How you can Get It, and What Can It Do? #Imaginations Hub
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Irrespective of what number of options Microsoft crams into its Home windows 10 working system, there’ll at all times be customers in search of a quicker, higher or totally different means of doing issues. Microsoft’s acknowledgment of this pressure of human nature is the Microsoft PowerToys obtain. With the final launch of Microsoft Home windows 11, builders at the moment are referring to this undertaking as Microsoft PowerToys moderately than Home windows 10 PowerToys.

SEE: Get lifetime entry to Microsoft Workplace 2021 with this deal from TechRepublic Academy

A set of barely uncommon free Home windows instruments has been part of the Home windows working system panorama since Home windows 95, however their availability was noticeably absent for Home windows 10 and Home windows 11 — no less than till September 2019.

In 2019, Microsoft partnered with Janea Techniques and launched the primary two PowerToys for Home windows 10, accompanied by a promise of extra releases within the close to future. This TechRepublic cheat sheet describes every out there device or function supplied by Microsoft’s official Microsoft PowerToys and describes what every system utility can do.

Bounce to:

When was Microsoft PowerToys first made out there?

The primary set of Microsoft PowerToys had been first made out there for Home windows 95. That first set of 15 free utilities had been revealed and endorsed by Microsoft and made out there in a free obtain.

From the start, PowerToys had been designed for “energy customers” who had been in search of methods to tweak how the working system capabilities. In some instances, inexperienced customers had been in a position to make a careless change whereas utilizing a PowerToys utility, which may wreak havoc inside the Home windows working system; as such, novice customers have typically been inspired to make use of warning.

For probably the most half, although, PowerToys have allowed customers — whether or not they thought of themselves energy customers or not — to extra simply make tweaks to the appear and feel of Home windows with no deep dive into configuration screens or the dreaded and harmful edit of the Home windows Registry file.

Even within the earliest iterations of PowerToys, Microsoft supplied customers many helpful functionalities. Home windows 95 PowerToys included:

  • TweakUI was used for tweaking obscure Home windows settings.
  • CD Autoplay allowed all CDs to autoplay, not simply audio CDs.
  • Command Immediate Right here opened a command immediate within the present listing.
  • Discover from Right here opened File Explorer within the present listing.
  • FlexiCD allowed customers to regulate audio CDs from the Taskbar.
  • Xmouse 1.2 allowed customers to alter window focus by transferring the mouse cursor, no click on wanted.

By way of the years and varied Home windows variations, particular person PowerToys have come and gone. Every Home windows model impressed a brand new set of instruments primarily based on what builders perceived was wanted to enhance and improve that model. Home windows 10 impressed a totally new set of PowerToys.

Extra assets for Home windows customers

How can I get Microsoft PowerToys?

Historically, every of the Microsoft PowerToys has been supplied as a separate executable file, out there as a free obtain from a particular Microsoft web site.

For Home windows 10 and Home windows 11, Microsoft has taken a barely totally different method. All Home windows 10 PowerToys at the moment are included as a part of a free downloadable system that customers can configure. Determine A reveals you what the Microsoft PowerToys system seems to be like.

Determine A

What the Windows PowerToys system looks like.
Picture: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Home windows PowerToys Model 0.73.0 is obtainable on GitHub proper now. Launch v0.73.0 provides the Crop and Lock utility to the toolset already out there in PowerToys, in addition to makes quality-of-life enhancements and bug fixes. Crop and Lock permits customers to crop a present software right into a smaller window or create a thumbnail.

These PowerToys are at present out there:

  • FancyZones
  • Home windows key Shortcut Information
  • PowerRename
  • Preview Pane add-ons for File Explorer
  • Picture resizer
  • Window Walker
  • PowerToys Run
  • Keyboard Supervisor
  • Shade Picker
  • Video Convention Mute
  • Awake
  • Mouse utilities
  • At all times on Prime
  • Display screen Ruler
  • Fast Accent
  • Textual content Extractor
  • File Locksmith
  • Hosts File Editor
  • Mouse Bounce
  • Paste as Textual content
  • Registry Preview
  • Mouse With out Borders
  • Peek
  • Crop and Lock

SEE: All of TechRepublic’s cheat sheets and good particular person’s guides

What can Microsoft PowerToys do?

Here’s a checklist of obtainable Microsoft PowerToys with a quick description of what every toy does.


FancyZones permits customers to handle the place and the way every software window that’s open on a Home windows desktop will show.

SEE: Study extra about tips on how to use and configure FancyZones.

For instance, you possibly can use FancyZones to arrange a Home windows 10 desktop the place Outlook at all times shows on the right-hand aspect of the desktop, Twitter or different social media at all times shows on the left-hand aspect of the desktop, and Phrase or Excel at all times shows within the center between the opposite two. There could be three distinct and perpetual zones displayed always (Determine B).

Determine B

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Home windows key Shortcut Information

The Home windows key Shortcut Information shows the entire out there keyboard shortcuts for the present Home windows desktop (Determine C). This PowerToy is activated by holding the Home windows key down for the size of time specified within the device’s configuration settings. The default is 900ms.

SEE: Right here’s tips on how to use the Home windows key Shortcut Information.

With this function, customers don’t have to recollect so many Home windows key-related shortcut combos.

Determine C

Windows key Shortcut Guide.
Picture: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic


The PowerRename Home windows PowerToy offers customers with superior instruments for bulk renaming of information. The toy extends the Home windows Shell Context Menu so as to add an entry for PowerRename to File Explorer (Determine D).

Determine D

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With PowerRename enabled, easy search and change or extra highly effective common expression matching are added to your toolset for the majority renaming course of. A preview space is displayed as you carry out search and change procedures, so you possibly can see how file names will change earlier than initiating the motion.

Preview Pane add-ons for File Explorer

This Home windows PowerToy expands on the Preview Pane function already out there in the usual File Explorer software by including further file varieties. Preview Pane permits customers to preview the contents of a file after clicking it in File Explorer with out really opening the file (Determine E).

Determine E

Preview Pane addons for File Explorer.
Picture: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Model 0.16.0 provides preview assist for Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg) and Markdown (.md) information. Subsequent PowerToys releases have added extra file varieties together with supply code information and geometric code.

Picture Resizer

The Picture Resizer Home windows PowerToy provides extra performance to File Explorer by permitting customers to use bulk picture resizing. Customers can choose photos in File Explorer after which choose the brand new Resize Footage merchandise on the context menu, revealed with a right-click on any picture (Determine F).

Determine F

Image Resizer.
Picture: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Window Walker

The Window Walker Home windows PowerToy is designed to be a substitute for the usual Alt-Tab function in Home windows 10 and Home windows 11. Customers press the CTRL-Home windows key mixture as an alternative of Alt-Tab to drag up a search field (Determine G). Customers then enter key phrases into the search field to slender down the at present open apps and screens on their desktop.

Determine G

Windows Walker.
Picture: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

PowerToys Run

PowerToys Run acts as a fast launcher in Home windows. It’s one other extension of the ALT-Tab idea and faucets into the Home windows file indexing system. To activate the device, use the keyboard mixture ALT-Area and begin typing the title of your required software (Determine H).

Determine H

PowerToys Run.
Picture: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

PowerToys Run will search the system and begin itemizing potential functions primarily based in your search phrase. When the appliance you need seems, click on or faucet to run.

Keyboard Supervisor

The Keyboard Supervisor software in Microsoft PowerToys is a straightforward keyboard remapper. Run the appliance from the PowerToys menu (Determine I) and both remap a single key in your keyboard or remap a shortcut keyboard mixture. No matter you remap will stay energetic so long as Keyboard Supervisor is enabled and PowerToys is operating within the background.

Determine I

Keyboard Manager.
Picture: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Shade Picker

Shade Picker was contributed to the Microsoft PowerToys undertaking by Martin Chrzan. The utility permits you to establish any shade in your display screen by both its HEX or RGB code after which save that data to the Home windows clipboard for later use (Determine J). It’s a easy device, however it may well save time and forestall frustration for builders and content material creators engaged on shade design.

Determine J

Color Picker.
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Video Convention Mute

As a lot of organizations shifted to distant work buildings in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people now depend on video teleconferencing for work and college interactions and collaboration. The Video Convention Mute device in Microsoft PowerToys permits you to mute the audio and video in your PC with a single key mixture (Determine Okay).

Determine Okay

Video Conference Mute.
Picture: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

You could mute each audio and video on the similar time or independently. The identical key mixture will toggle the audio and video again to the on place. The Video Convention Mute device works no matter what app you’re utilizing or what app is at present within the foreground.


The Microsoft PowerToys device Awake was contributed to the PowerToys undertaking by the neighborhood with attribution given to Den Delimarsky. Awake permits customers to maintain their laptop awake on-demand with out having to handle its energy settings (Determine L).

Determine L

Awake tool.
Picture: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Mouse utilities

Mouse utilities was contributed to the Microsoft PowerToys undertaking by Raymond Chen. Mouse utilities is a set of options that improve the mouse and cursor performance on Home windows programs.

SEE: Discover ways to activate and use the Home windows Mouse utilities.

With two consecutive presses of the Left CTRL key, Discover My Mouse will find your mouse cursor and spotlight its present place with a halo (Determine M). Urgent the Esc key will dismiss the spotlight. The Discover My Mouse function is helpful for shows on giant shows once you wish to draw the viewers’s consideration to a particular space of the display screen.

Determine M

Mouse utilities.
Picture: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

At all times on Prime

At all times on Prime permits customers to designate the appliance window at present in focus as “at all times on high” with a keyboard shortcut toggle (Determine N).

Determine N

Always on Top tool.
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No matter what instructions, mouse clicks or different inputs are constructed from that time on, the designated window will stay on the forefront, superseding another open home windows till At all times on Prime is toggled off. The default keyboard shortcut for the At all times on Prime toggle is Home windows Key + CTRL + T.

Display screen Ruler

The Microsoft PowerToys utility, Display screen Ruler is a fast and straightforward method to measure the pixels represented in your show display screen (Determine O). The device is ideal for figuring out the pixel dimension of a possible display screen seize or for lining up objects in a doc.

Determine O

Screen Ruler.
Picture: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Fast Accent

Fast Accent is an alternate method to kind accented characters, which is helpful for when a keyboard doesn’t assist that particular accent with a fast key combo (Determine P). Use this utility to create accented characters, particularly for writing in languages apart from English.

Determine P

Wuick Accent.
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Textual content Extractor

The Microsoft PowerToys utility Textual content Extractor is a handy method to copy textual content from wherever in your display screen (Determine Q). This code relies on Joe Finney’s Textual content Seize. Textual content Extractor makes use of optical character recognition to learn the textual content on the display screen, so it could require modifying or proofreading.

Determine Q

Text Extractor.
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File Locksmith

The Microsoft PowerToys utility File Locksmith is a Home windows shell extension for checking what information are in use and by which processes (Determine R). After putting in, right-click on a number of chosen information in File Explorer, after which choose “What’s utilizing this file?” from the context menu.

Determine R

File Locksmith.
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Hosts File Editor

The Window PowerToys utility Hosts File Editor is a fast and easy utility for modifying an area hosts file (Determine S). Word, the appliance will solely work if a hosts file exists.

Determine S

Hosts File Editor.
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Mouse Bounce

The Microsoft PowerToys utility Mouse Bounce is a brand new function for the prevailing set of mouse utilities (Determine T). Mouse Bounce permits you to immediately transfer the mouse pointer nice distances on the identical display screen and even soar from one display screen to a different, if you want.

SEE: Study extra in regards to the options that launched with PowerToys 0.68.0.

Determine T

The Mouse Jump feature listed under the Mouse Utilities in PowerToys
Picture: Mark W. Kaelin/TechRepublic

Paste as Textual content

The Window PowerToys utility Paste as Textual content is a keyboard mixture shortcut that permits customers to stick formatted clipboard contents as plain unformatted textual content (Determine U). Utilizing this device can even change the formatted textual content with plain textual content within the clipboard, so customers can at all times paste as textual content.

Determine U

The Paste As Plain Text option toggled on in PowerToys
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Registry Preview

PowerToys Registry Preview, launched in Model 0.69.0, is designed to simplify the method of visualizing and modifying Home windows Registry information (Determine V). The utility app additionally permits you to write registry modifications on to the Home windows Registry file with out utilizing the usual Regedit app that comes constructed into the Home windows working system.

Determine V

Microsoft PowerToys Registry Preview.
Picture: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Mouse With out Borders

PowerToys Mouse With out Borders, launched in Model 0.70.0, provides customers the power to work together with different computer systems utilizing the identical keyboard and mouse they’re utilizing for his or her present PC (Determine W). With Mouse With out Borders, customers may also share clipboard and information between the machines. Management of the opposite computer systems is granted utilizing an encryption key.

Determine W

Mouse Without Borders Microsoft PowerToys menu
Picture: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic


Peek, launched in Model 0.70.0, permits customers to see a fast preview of information they choose in File Explorer after they press a specified keyboard shortcut (Determine X). The keyboard shortcut may be modified to a person’s desire.

Determine X

Peek menu in Microsoft PowerToys
Picture: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Crop And Lock 

PowerToys Crop And Lock, launched in Model 0.73.0, permits customers to crop a present software right into a smaller window or create a thumbnail (Determine Y). The utility permits you to focus consideration on a particular part of an software window with out shutting down the appliance’s operating capabilities. Primarily, from the appliance’s perspective, the window is regular, however from the person’s perspective, the window is smaller or thumbnail dimension.

Determine Y 

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Are extra Microsoft PowerToys coming quickly?

New Microsoft PowerToys are periodically added to the Home windows library to deal with new person expectations and necessities. As new PowerToys are launched, this checklist of obtainable instruments will likely be up to date to mirror that growth.

Extra assets

Why are Microsoft PowerToys essential?

Microsoft PowerToys present instruments and options that may make customers of the Home windows working system extra productive and, by extension, happier. Through the years, many customers have come to depend upon a number of of those PowerToys for his or her each day laptop productiveness. For a lot of energy customers, PowerToys enhance their high quality of labor and life.

SEE: Construct a Microsoft 365 Providers Utilization Coverage with this template from TechRepublic Premium.

Past making customers extra productive, PowerToys have additionally supplied a glimpse into what options and instruments may and may turn out to be an integral a part of the Home windows working system sooner or later. Many of those once-separate instruments have turn out to be simply one other a part of the working system throughout its subsequent iteration.

How a lot RAM does PowerToys use?

The quantity of RAM Microsoft PowerToys makes use of is solely depending on what number of instruments and apps you’ve got determined to run within the background. The PowerToys Settings app, which runs within the background and may be accessed from the Home windows 11 system tray, requires about 104 MB of RAM. Every further operating app requires extra RAM to assist it, which you’ll be able to gauge for your self in Home windows Activity Supervisor (Determine Z).

Determine Z

The Task Manager reveals the amount of RAM used by PowerToys.
The Activity Supervisor reveals the quantity of RAM utilized by PowerToys. Picture: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Usually, the quantity of RAM required by PowerToys apps is critical sufficient that it is best to activate solely the instruments you’re really utilizing. In case you decide an app isn’t one thing you employ regularly, it could be advantageous to set it to the “off” place. You may at all times flip it on once more once you want it.

Editor’s observe: This text was up to date to mirror the most recent model of Microsoft PowerToys.

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