A set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline their Windows experience

Microsoft PowerToys

Microsoft PowerToys

  -  257 MB  -  Freeware
Microsoft PowerToys is a system utility that can help all users of Windows 10 and Windows 11 to unlock a wide array of additional functionalities. Originally offered more than two decades ago to Windows 95 users, this latest version of system shell configuration abilities is especially useful for users who want to take full advantage of the Windows 10/11 OS environment and gain access to numerous tweaks, shortcuts, and abilities that are not natively supported by this versatile OS.

Even users who have never heard of the PowerToys app are often surprised about numerous tweaks, shortcuts, and advantages that are offered in the three basic sections of the app – FancyZones, PowerRename, and Shortcut Guide.

FancyZones is an advanced desktop tool that can predetermine custom zones to which active app windows can snap into. The default Windows support for this feature includes automatic full-screen resize and snapping of the app on the left or right half of the screen. With FancyZones, users can greatly expand the grid of snappable zones and even created their own fully customized grids. This feature is especially useful for users whose daily work procedure involves working with many active windows of all sizes. Once Grid is made, windows can be snapped to it by simply pressing Ctrl+Shift buttons while moving the app window.

PowerRename is a unlock for Windows Shell that provides access to the bulk rename tool. Once active, users can simply access it via the regular Search and Replace tool of File Explorer. This tool is highly useful for users who manage dozens and hundreds of files in File Explorer and are in needed to properly rename them before storing or using them.

Shortcut Guide is a simple but highly useful overlay that can show all the Windows key shortcuts that users can take advantage of. To activate it, users only need to hold the Windows button a bit (the exact duration of time can be set in the PowerToys app, as well as the opacity Shortcut Guide interface).

Once configured, Microsoft PowerToys needs to be kept active in order to take advantage of its useful background services. The app supports starting on boot and running with administrative privileges.

PROS
  • Enhanced Productivity
  • Customizable Features
  • Frequent Updates
  • Open-Source Community
  • Extensive Compatibility
CONS
  • Occasional Bugs
  • Resource Intensive
  • Dependency on Windows
Microsoft PowerToys is 100% FREE and is optimized to run only on Windows 10 and Windows 11 OS.

What's new in this version:

- Added a GPO rule for Advanced Paste to disable AI online models usage and prevent users from entering the API key
- Improved descriptions on Advanced Paste Settings and OOBE pages to clarify that usage of AI is opt-in and that it can be used without AI

Fixed:
- Advanced Paste was being triggered by some external software when some of the hotkeys were not set. Slack's tray icon was the most common example in the issues that were opened.
- the Advanced Paste settings page UX showing that it could enable/disable clipboard history when that feature is not allowed by GPO
- PowerToys Run showing the accent color on the title bar when that option is turned on in Windows Settings