The Best Microsoft PowerToys Utilities for Windows 10 and Windows 11: What Is Microsoft PowerToys?

Microsoft PowerToys is a set of useful tools designed to improve the productivity of computers running Windows.

With Windows 95, Microsoft introduced its first iteration of PowerToys. A few years later, in conjunction with Windows XP, a second version was made available for download. The company waited a few years before releasing an updated version of PowerToys in 2019, however.

Microsoft has released PowerToys open source with the newest release, allowing programmers to work together to improve the platform’s tools.

There are a wide variety of tools available on PowerToys that can facilitate various tasks on your computer. If you’re running Windows 10 or Windows 11, these tools can help you get the most out of your operating system.

Here’s a rundown of the best Micorosft PowerToys tools for optimizing your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC, along with instructions for installing and utilizing them.

How Do PowerToys Work?

PowerToys is a collection of free software tools developed by Microsoft for use with Windows. These applications are mostly aimed at power users and allow you to automate operations on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC to save time and increase your productivity.

Microsoft PowerToys has previously been utilized as a testing ground for future Windows features. Before Windows 11 was released in 2021 and PowerToys was included to the Microsoft Store, it could be downloaded from GitHub.

Microsoft PowerToys—Why Do You Need Them?

By default, almost every Windows OS has its own approach of accomplishing a given task. These native approaches do the job, but they aren’t very efficient if you need to do the same thing over and over.

Instead of manually doing things the old fashioned way, automating the process is a better solution to this problem. In this method, you can save time and effort while still achieving the same result.

To resize many image files individually, for example, would be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. Instead, you might use a PowerToys app like Image Resizer to quickly and easily resize multiple photographs at once.

Naturally, this is just one example of what you can do with PowerToys; the utilities may be put to use in a wide range of situations on Windows 10 and Windows 11.

PowerToys: How to Install and Configure It for Windows 10?

Both GitHub and the Microsoft Store now host Microsoft’s PowerToys. You can acquire the executable file for PowerToys from GitHub, or you can use the Winget Windows Package Manager to set it up on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC. Detailed instructions for both approaches to installing PowerToys are provided below.

The PowerToys Suite is Available for Windows 10, Windows 11, and GitHub
It’s simple to set up Microsoft PowerToys in GitHub. To do so on a computer running Windows 10 or Windows 11, follow these steps:

Go to GitHub and look for the Microsoft PowerToys Release page.
PowerToysSetup updates can be accessed via the Assets submenu.
The PowerToys executable installer can be downloaded by clicking PowerToysSetup-0.xx.x-64.exe.

Launch the executable file once the download is complete, and then follow the prompts to set up PowerToys on your machine.
PowerToys for Windows 10 and Windows 11 can be installed via Winget.

Winget is a free and open-source package manager for Windows 10, Windows 11, and Windows 8.1, 8, and 7 that streamlines the process of installing, upgrading, and uninstalling software.

Now that PowerToys is on the Microsoft Store, you may download and install it with Winget, as seen below. If you are running Windows 11, Winget is already installed, and you may go on to the next section. If you’re using Windows 10, though, you can install and set it up with the help of our Winget instructions.

Turn on the command prompt or PowerShell.
Press Enter to execute the following command:
Microsoft.PowerToys installation through winget with the –source option

Guide to PowerToys Compatibility with Windows 10 and Windows 11
PowerToys can be launched by double-clicking its icon or by selecting it from the Start menu. When you first open the app, you’ll be directed to the PowerToys preferences screen. If you aren’t already doing so, launch the program by clicking its icon in the tray.

To launch PowerToys with administrative privileges, select the Restart as administrator button from the configuration screen. Some utilities won’t work or let you customize their settings without it.

After installing and launching PowerToys, you can immediately begin taking advantage of the program’s features.

These helpful tools are hidden by default and require user activation. To do this, navigate to the left sidebar, select the tool you wish to activate, and then click the enable button. You may also adjust the preferences for these tools in this section.

Utility Programs for Power Playthings

Now that you have Microsoft PowerToys installed and operating on your Windows PC, here is a rundown of all the essential PowerToys utilities currently available from Microsoft:

Color Selector

The Color Picker tool does exactly what its name implies: it lets you select colors from any currently active program. Graphic designers and web developers typically need to know what each color’s hex code represents. Color Picker aids you in doing just that.

To utilize Color Pocker, simply hover your mouse over a color and use the Win+Shift+C keyboard shortcut. When you find the correct hue, you may copy its code by right-clicking on it. The code is copied to the clipboard, from which it can be pasted elsewhere.

Some of Color Picker’s options are also customizable. You can adjust its settings to your liking if you’d like to alter its appearance. The shortcut for opening the Color Picker, the default activation behavior, and the default color format can all be modified.

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Two, FancyTowns

Anyone who has used macOS for any length of time is familiar with the various window management programs available. While Windows does include a native utility in the form of Windows Snap, it is not nearly as flexible or feature-rich as competing window management services. However, PowerToys has you covered with FancyZones, one of the most flexible and feature-packed window management tools for Windows.

When you initially start up FancyZones, you’ll be prompted to choose a default layout. Unless you change it, this layout will be utilized whenever you resize or reposition your windows.

After you’ve decided on a layout, you can open the FancyZones editor with the Windows+’ keyboard shortcut. Now, on the layout page, choose the appropriate layout along with the required amount of rows and grids. You may also make your own unique window arrangement by choosing the “custom” option. When you’re satisfied with their placement on the page, press Shift and release to snap the windows into place.

In the Third Place, PowerToys Race

PowerToys Run is a Windows program that serves as a launcher and search box, providing immediate access to a wide range of tools and features. Like Spotlight Search in macOS, but built specifically for Windows.

PowerToys Run enables quick app searches and launches with only a few keystrokes. Additionally, the quick search box allows you to look for documents, directories, and processes. Simply use the Alt+Space combination to launch PowerToys Run, and then type your search term in the resulting box to find whatever it is you’re looking for (files, directories, applications, etc.).

PowerToys Run can be used for rapid calculations as well as searching for programs, files, and directories. To do so, hit the keyboard shortcut for Run and type in your commands; the output will appear below. Additionally, Run’s shortcut and the amount of found results can be customized like those of any other program. [Read this in-depth PowerToys Run guide.]

Four Quick Tips

Whether you’re using Windows 10 or Windows 11, Shortcut Guide is a straightforward tool that lists all the relevant keyboard shortcuts. In this approach, you can learn and eventually implement keyboard shortcuts for many programs and services.

Hold down the Windows key for a second to bring up the application or service’s shortcut key reference. When you do that, a floating menu of all the available shortcuts for that app or service will appear. You can either memorize them or snap a screenshot to refer back to them later.

Now, much like with other programs, Shortcut Guide has a few choices that you can tweak to your liking. If, for some reason, the overlay is too subtle to be distinguished from the background, you can adjust its opacity. To prevent unintentional triggers, you may also customize the amount of time a key must be pressed before the overlay appears.

Compressing Pictures

When it comes to PowerToys, Image Resizer is among the very finest. It makes it easy to resize many images simultaneously and streamlines the process overall. That way, you may perform an action once on a group of photographs rather than repeatedly.

To resize many photographs at once, pick them in File Explorer’s preview pane, right-click, and choose Resize pictures from the context menu. When you do that, a window will go up where you may adjust settings like file size, encoding, and the format of the filename. Choose the action you want to take, and then confirm your selection by clicking Ok.


PowerRename is yet another helpful PowerToys app, similar to ImageResizer in its functionality. It can facilitate large-scale system operations. Renaming files in bulk might be a time-consuming task if your job requires you to manage a large number of files and folders. There is a built-in fix for this issue in Windows 10 and Windows 11, however it doesn’t give you much leeway when it comes to file names and makes it difficult to conduct tasks like searching or renaming.

On the other hand, PowerRename makes it simple to rename many files and folders at once. Its powerful feature set lets you do things like search and replace within filenames, identify files matching specified criteria, and more without having to rename each one individually.

Keyboard Operator

The Keyboard Manager program is ideal if you favor utilizing the keyboard for all of your operations and find yourself frequently reaching for shortcut keys. It allows you to remap keys and shortcuts on your keyboard to suit your needs. That way, you may do things like assign a key to a shortcut or remap a key to a different one on your keyboard, or alter an existing shortcut key to your own custom key combination. However, you shouldn’t remap all of the keys on your keyboard because some of them are already assigned to other tasks.

One possible application of Keyboard Manager is dealing with a malfunctioning key on your keyboard. In this case, the broken key can be reassigned to a different key on the keyboard so that the corresponding character can be entered with the new key.

The Power-Up of Toys

If you’re using Windows and want to avoid fiddling with your computer’s power and sleep settings, PowerToys Awake can assist. It’s useful when your computer is performing a lengthy process and you don’t want the screen to turn off automatically.

PowerToys Awake may be activated with a single click of the Enable Awake button. Then, according on your needs, choose an action for the utility: sleep, stay awake forever, or stay awake briefly.

Keep in mind that the default behavior of PowerToys Awake, which is to keep the PC awake, is to turn off the display. To that end, select “Keep screen on” if you require continuous screen use.

Consistently First

As its name suggests, the Always on Top PowerToys tool allows you to permanently move a window to the top of all other active windows. It has system-wide effects and may be toggled on and off with a single keystroke.

To pin an app to the desktop, you need just turn on the Always on Top feature in the Microsoft PowerToys app and then use the Windows key plus Control plus T to do so. You can turn it off by pressing the same key combination again.

As with the majority of the other PowerToys applications, Always on Top allows you to tweak a few preferences. You can, for instance, modify the border thickness and set a personalized shortcut to activate specific programs.

File Explorer plug-ins, number ten

The File Explorer add-ons application makes use of the Windows File Explorer’s glimpse Pane to display a glimpse of the file’s contents. Anyone who has used macOS before will recognize this function.

Preview pane rendering for SVG icons, markdown files, and PDF files is currently supported by File Explorer add-ons, as is icon thumb preview for SVG icons and PDF files.

You can use it by activating the PowerToys’ Preview Pane and toggling on the appropriate file kinds and settings. Next, launch Windows File Explorer and navigate to the View menu’s Preview Pane option.

Previewing files is now as easy as clicking on them.

Streamlining Your Processes Will Increase Efficiency

Using the Microsoft PowerToys utilities is a fantastic method to boost your computer’s performance and productivity. If you’re the kind that enjoys automating tasks on their computer to improve efficiency and has always wished they could do the same on Windows, then the PowerToys utilities we’ve discussed above will be of great use to you.

You can get more out of your system and make better use of its capabilities by installing and using tools like PowerToys Run, FancyZones, and Always on Top. Other useful utilities are Image Resizer, PowerRename, and Keyboard Manager.

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