PowerToys was a set of utilities that Microsoft released many, many years ago. These utilities were aimed at power users but lots of end users found use in them as well. As is with many useful and well-loved things that Microsoft develops, they were eventually discontinued. Microsoft has decided to resurrect them. PowerToys is back which means no jumping through hoops to get the tools. The tools are, for now, in pre-release. Not all of them are available but there’s a list of which ones are still in development. Here’s where you can get PowerToys.
PowerToys can be downloaded from their official repository on Github. Go to the Releases tab, and download the MSI file. Run the file to install it. For now, the two tools that have been developed are FancyZones, and Windows key shortcut guide.
FancyZones is a window manager. We have Window Snap on Windows 10 and there is no shortage of third-party apps that can manage windows; resize, stack, snap, and position them but FancyZones checks those boxes and more. It’s configurable, and it works with hotkeys.
Windows key shortcut guide is the shortcut guide you didn’t know you needed until you got it. It shows you the current Windows shortcuts that you can use. You will always get the universal Windows shortcuts but there are some context sensitive ones too which will appear depending on what you have open on your screen. In order to bring up the Windows key shortcut guide overlay, hold down the Windows key until it appears.
PowerToys has been given a UWP makeover. It adds an icon to the system tray and you can access the app’s setting from there. The settings have a tab each for the two tools that PowerToys has. If you do not want to use a particular tool, you can disable it from the settings. If you want to customize how a tool works, go to its tab in PowerToys settings.
There are other tools that Microsoft is working on, one of which is an animated GIF recorder for the screen. At present, if you want to record a screencast GIF, you will need to use a third-party app but once the recorder is released, we recommend checking it out.
PowerToys will work regardless which Windows 10 version you’re on. This is a pre-release so expect bugs. There is no ETA on when the other tools will be available or when PowerToys will be stable but it’s great that Microsoft has chosen to bring it back.