What is Microsoft PowerToys, how to get it, and some alternatives

Eric Gregorich

What is Microsoft PowerToys?

Microsoft PowerToys is a set of useful utilities for Windows 10. These utilities enhance Windows 10 in many ways and are ideal for power users or anyone who wants to get things done faster and more efficiently.

Where do I get Microsoft PowerToys?

You can download PowerToys from GitHub. Each version is well documented. Just look for the PowerToysSetup-x.xx.x-x64.exe link to download and install.

Who maintains Microsoft PowerToys?

PowerToys is open-source and maintained by the community. There are currently 180 contributors to the application.

You can submit your own contributions (report issues, propose new features, update documentation, or even contribute code) by first reviewing the Power Toys Contributor's Guide.

What does Microsoft Power Toys do?

Microsoft PowerToys consists of several utilities, all wrapped up into one application. Here is a quick summary of what each utility does. Remember, the app is getting updated all the time, so these features are likely to change, and there will undoubtedly be more features in the future.

Color Picker

A PowerToys feature that gives you the ability to pick any color on your screen. This is great for designers who are trying to apply colors to their site. Select Win + Shift + C to activate the color picker.

PowerToys Color Picker

FancyZones

PowerToys FancyZones is one of my favorite features of PowerToys. It is beneficial for those with large or ultra-wide screens.

This feature allows you to set up Zones on your screen. You can then drag windows into these zones, allowing you to quickly organize your windows consistently.

POwerToys FancyZones

Image Resizer

This feature gives you the ability to right-click on images in File Explorer and click Resize Pictures. Allows you to pick a preset or customize the size.

PowerToys Image Resizer

Keyboard Manager

Reconfigure your keyboard shortcuts.

PowerToys Keyboard Manager

PowerRename

Adds capabilities to rename files in bulk.

PowerToys PowerRename

Shortcut Guide

The Shortcut Guide overlays all of the standard Windows Shortcuts when you hold down the Windows key.

PowerToys Shortcut Guide

PowerToys Run

PowerToys Run is one of my favorites. Press Alt + Space (this can be modified) opens a simple search box. You can then search for anything locally on your machine, including any running processes. If you want to avoid the default Windows Search, this is a simple alternative.

PowerToys Run

Are there alternatives to Microsoft PowerToys?

Since PowerToys consists of many different functions, your not likely to find an alternative that does them all. However, many utilities out there can be used as an alternative to the specific features.

Here are a few of the better options that I'm aware of, but I'm sure there are dozens, if not hundreds, of options.

Alternatives to PowerToys Run

Alternatives to PowerToys FancyZones


microsoft/PowerToys
Windows system utilities to maximize productivity. Contribute to microsoft/PowerToys development by creating an account on GitHub.