Remember Microsoft PowerToys? Windows 10 Is Getting Them

New open source Microsoft PowerToys logo for Windows 10Microsoft

Microsoft is resurrect the PowerToys project. Designed for advanced users, these utilities can include a keyboard shortcut manager, a rename batch fileand a window manager that can change the layout of windows when you dock or un-dock a laptop.

The PowerToys project was originally launched for Windows 95. It included a set of useful utilities. The most famous was TweakUI, which provided an interface for configuring obscure settings in Windows that would otherwise require modifying the Windows registry. Windows XP has also received a set of PowerToys applications. The full list of included PowerToys is available on Wikipedia.

Microsoft has largely abandoned the PowerToys after Windows XP, but they are coming back now. This time, the PowerToys project is open source and the source code is available on the Microsoft GitHub.

No PowerToys has yet been released, but Microsoft is working on two that will be released as a preview in the summer of 2019.

A "Maximize to a new desktop" widget appears when you hover over the Maximize or Restore button in a window. You can click the button to create a new desktop, send the application on this desktop and maximize the application on this new desktop. It's a convenient way to interact with Virtual desktops in the Windows 10 Task View.

Maximize to the new PowerToys desktop widgetMicrosoft

Microsoft will also create a Windows keyboard shortcut guide. When you press and hold the Windows key for more than one second, the shortcuts available for Windows appear on the screen. This list is contextual. You will only see shortcuts that work for the current state of the screen.

While experienced heavy Windows users may be familiar with most of these issues, Windows keyboard shortcuts are powerful and hard to discover. Did you know that press Windows + E opens a window of the file explorer no matter where where by pressing Windows plus a number key activate the corresponding application icon on your taskbar?

Windows PowerToy Keyboard Shortcut GuideMicrosoft

Microsoft is also considering a list of other utilities, including:

Full window manager with specific provisions for docking and unstacking laptops
Keyboard Shortcut Manager
Replacement Win + R
Best alt + tab, including integration of browser tabs and search for apps running
Battery stalker
Batch file name
Quick swap resolution in the taskbar
Mouse events without focus
Cmd (or PS or Bash) from here
Navigating the Content Menu Files

Microsoft encourages you to vote with + 1 and create questions about GitHub give priority to the list and suggest new ideas.

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