In May, Microsoft announced this news by announcing that the entire suite code would be released for the open source community. This will allow anyone to create productivity tools for Windows, helping users streamline their workflow. For the moment, two utilities are available, but Microsoft still has ten more.
1. Where to download and install
Double-click the file to begin the installation process. Nice standard and routine process.
When you launch PowerToys, you will see two tools listed in the left sidebar: Fantasy Zones and Shortcut Guide. The third option is the general settings. The options are self explanatory and there is no need to change anything.
The Overview link will open a guide published on GitHub and the video demo link will open on YouTube. Check it out.
2. Shortcut Guide Settings
As its name suggests, this little Windows tweak will present you with a set of shortcut keys. Shortcut keys for what? To interact with your Windows desktop and your operating system. Just press the Windows key for a few seconds to activate the pop-up window.
The interface will introduce you to three different types of shortcuts:
- Shortcuts to change the position of the active window
- Common Windows shortcuts
- Shortcuts on the taskbar
I did not even remember half the shortcuts in front of my eyes. This facilitates the recall of things. I will make necessary changes in my taskbar to speed up the opening of applications. Note that all shortcuts will work with the combination of the Windows key.
For example, to open the file explorer, you need to press the Windows key + E shortcut instead of just pressing the E key. Also, all the shortcuts are universal, which means that they will work whatever the open window.
You can control the time it takes to start the shortcut overlay after pressing the Windows key. Both values are in ms (1 second = 1000 milliseconds).
With your combined powers
Things are just starting with PowerToys and other utility tools are expected to appear soon. With the project code now open source, developers around the world can participate and develop utility tools for PowerToys.
Microsoft has released the Windows 10 version of PowerToys for you to try. Note that these are preview versions and can act erratically on your system. Until now, Microsoft has added only two utilities that we have described above.
Other PowerToys under development include the keyboard shortcut manager, better search and alt / tab management, battery tracking, and more. Let's see who will see the light of day.
Then: Looking for other ways to edit Windows 10? Here are 3 tools to customize Windows 10 even more.