PowerToys Utilities For Windows 10 Available For Download From Microsoft On GitHub

Microsoft has revived some interesting tools that help new PC users get accustomed to the Windows 10 Operating System. The PowerToys Utilities, which were once quite popular with Windows 95 and Windows XP users, have been reintroduced. The newly re-released PowerToys Utilities for Windows 10 sports a very familiar layout and functionality, and have been adapted for the modern operating system.

Microsoft Windows Insider blog published an interesting post yesterday that claimed it is “reliving the ’90s by introducing new PowerToys utilities for Windows 10’s advanced users to play around with.” The PowerToys Utilities recompiled for the latest Windows OS will eventually include several tools within the continually growing package. For now, Microsoft has released the first of these power user tools on GitHub. The ‘Windows Key Shortcut Guide’ and ‘FancyZones Window Manager’ are similar to their earlier versions and essentially help Windows OS users get more information to boost productivity. Interestingly, the tools work on the majority of the popular software that works well on Windows 10.

Microsoft Windows Key Shortcut Guide and FancyZones Window Manager:

The Windows Key Shortcut Guide offers a full-screen overlay which shows keyboard shortcuts for the window that’s currently in focus. Simply put, the tool displays the most used shortcuts of the software that’s being used. Shortcuts significantly speed up access to features and boost productivity, but new users are often unfamiliar about them. Hence, instead of clicking their way through several menu options, users can educate themselves with clearly visible shortcut guide.

The Windows Key Shortcut Guide can be recalled simply by holding down the Windows key for one second. This display, however, is momentary. Users who wish to keep the overlay permanently displayed can simply hold down the Windows key while entering a keyboard shortcut. Although this might require a little extra effort, the trick will “stick” the overlay on-screen while showing the shortcut’s effect in the current window. New users are recommended to experiment with the second method simply because they can experiment with a sequence of tasks instead of having to find a keyboard shortcut, enter it and then re-invoke the overlay.

The FancyZones Window Manager essentially boosts the available options within the Windows 10 window management tools. The tool allows users to choose different layouts based on their preferences. In addition to the several inbuilt options, users can also experiment with custom layouts. Users who have always envisioned a particular layout of various open application windows in Windows 10, can now create their own versions, instead of settling for the basic window management that the OS ships with.

How To Download And Use PowerToys Utilities For Windows 10?

Microsoft has created a special landing page for the PowerToys Utilities for Windows 10. Interested Windows 10 users can simply visit the page and download the installer. After installation, the PowerToys service will launch when Windows 10 boots. Users can easily pause the functionality or simply disable the PowerToys through the System Tray icon that’s present in the Taskbar. Given the intrusive nature of the utilities, Microsoft has notified that quite a few tools request elevated privileges to function. The utilities that require the permissions, ask them at launch.

In addition to the installer, GitHub is also hosting the source code. Incidentally, all of the PowerToys utilities are open source. This means developers can take apart the utilities by going through the GitHub repo. It is quite likely that Microsoft will keep on releasing new tools to augment the PowerToys Utilities. This should offer users several more customizations within Windows 10.

Alap Naik Desai
A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.