PowerToys is a set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline their Windows experience for greater productivity. Inspired by the Windows 95 era PowerToys project, this reboot provides power users with utilities to squeeze more out of the Windows shell and customize it for their individual workflows.

What tools are included in PowerToys?

Microsoft keeps adding utilities to the suite, however the 21 main tools are: Always on Top, PowerToys Awake, Color Picker, FancyZones, File Explorer Add-ons, File Locksmith, Hosts File Editor, Image Resizer, Keyboard Manager, Mouse utilities, Mouse Without Borders, Peek, Paste as Plain Text, PowerRename, PowerToys Run, Quick Accent, Registry Preview, Screen Ruler, Shortcut Guide, Text Extractor, and Video Conference Mute.

What is the purpose of PowerToys?

PowerToys are smaller add-ons or utilities that can enhance and customize your Windows experience. Microsoft created PowerToys for power users looking for a bit more personalization and tweakability.

What are the two most useful tools in PowerToys?

PowerToys offers several handy tools for specific use cases, but two very popular ones are FancyZones, which lets you rearrange your window layout to run multiple apps on one screen, and PowerToys Run, which is a Spotlight-like launcher that includes quick search for apps and files in Windows.

Is Microsoft PowerToys free?

Yes, PowerToys is free and open-source.

Does PowerToys work on Windows 11?

PowerToys is compatible with Windows 10 and Windows 11

Getting started

To kick the tires on the first two utilities, download the installer here. The main PowerToys service runs when Windows starts and a user logs in. When the service is running, a PowerToys icon appears in the system tray. Selecting the icon launches the PowerToys settings UI. The settings UI lets you enable and disable individual utilities and provides settings for each utility. There is also a link to the help doc for each utility. You can right click the tray icon to quit the Power Toys service.

PowerToys settings UI.Note that some PowerToys functionality requires running in an elevated process. Elevation is required to interact with and manipulate windows from processes that have a higher set of rights than the current user. This is why the PowerToys.exe requests elevation when launched.

If you find bugs or have suggestions, please open an issue in the Power Toys GitHub repo. The backlog for creating new utilities is here. You can provide feedback on the backlog to suggest new ideas or a different priority order by joining the backlog discussion in this issue.

Current PowerToy utilities

The currently available utilities include:

Crop And Lock

Crop And Lock allows you to crop a current application into a smaller window or just create a thumbnail. Focus the target window and press the shortcut to start cropping.

Mouse Without Borders

Control a set of machines using the same keyboard/mouse, share clipboard between the machines and transfer files between the machines.


A system-wide utility for Windows that allows you to preview file content without the need to open multiple applications or interrupt your workflow. It offers a seamless and quick file preview experience for various file types, including images, web pages, Markdown files, text files, and developer files.

Always on Top

Always on Top enables you to pin windows on top of all other windows with a quick key shortcut (â Win+Ctrl+T).

PowerToys Awake

PowerToys Awake is designed to keep a computer awake without having to manage its power & sleep settings. This behavior can be helpful when running time-consuming tasks, ensuring that the computer does not go to sleep or turns off its screens.

Color Picker

ColorPicker is a system-wide color picking utility activated with Win+Shift+C. Pick colors from any currently running application, the picker automatically copies the color into your clipboard in a set format. Color Picker also contains an editor that shows a history of previously picked colors, allows you to fine-tune the selected color and to copy different string representations. This code is based on Martin Chrzan's Color Picker.


FancyZones is a window manager that makes it easy to create complex window layouts and quickly position windows into those layouts.

File Explorer add-ons

File Explorer add-ons enable preview pane rendering in File Explorer to display SVG icons (.svg), Markdown (.md) and PDF file previews. To enable the preview pane, select the "View" tab in File Explorer, then select "Preview Pane".

Image Resizer

Image Resizer is a Windows Shell extension for quickly resizing images. With a simple right click from File Explorer, resize one or many images instantly. This code is based on Brice Lambson's Image Resizer.

Keyboard Manager

Keyboard Manager allows you to customize the keyboard to be more productive by remapping keys and creating your own keyboard shortcuts. This PowerToy requires Windows 10 1903 (build 18362) or later.

Mouse utilities

Mouse utilities add functionality to enhance your mouse and cursor. With Find My Mouse, quickly locate your mouse's position with a spotlight that focuses on your cursor. This feature is based on source code developed by Raymond Chen.


PowerRename enables you to perform bulk renaming, searching and replacing file names. It includes advanced features, such as using regular expressions, targeting specific file types, previewing expected results, and the ability to undo changes. This code is based on Chris Davis's SmartRename.

PowerToys Run

PowerToys Run can help you search and launch your app instantly - just press the shortcut Alt+Space and start typing. It is open source and modular for additional plugins. Window Walker is now included as well. This PowerToy requires Windows 10 1903 (build 18362) or later.

Shortcut Guide

Windows key shortcut guide appears when a user presses â Win+Shift+/ (or as we like to think, â Win+?) and shows the available shortcuts for the current state of the desktop. You can also change this setting and press and hold â Win.

Video Conference Mute

Video Conference Mute is a quick way to globally "mute" both your microphone and camera using â Win+Shift+Q while on a conference call, regardless of the application that currently has focus. This requires Windows 10 1903 (build 18362) or later.


Currently, PowerToys is available in the following languages: Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, Turkish.

Community led and developed in the open

Our goal for the PowerToys project is for it to be an extension of the Windows power user community and for it to provide the functionality these users find most valuable. Our backlog of utilities is on GitHub, and we encourage the community to provide feedback on the backlog in this issue. Each utility has its own feature backlog. You can also contribute to the Windows shortcut guide backlog and the FancyZones backlog. For new utility suggestions, please create a new issue to discuss the idea.

Creating your own PowerToys utilities

While opening bug reports, feature suggestions, and feedback on the backlog are all incredibly valuable for this project, if you're one of the many power users that are also developers, you can contribute directly to the product.

When the PowerToys project was first announced this spring, we didn't think the reception would be as enthusiastic as it has been. The project started with just an empty repo, with a roadmap and a place for power users to provide suggestions and ideas. However, over 4000 users starred the repo, showing a strong interest in the project. Given this enthusiasm, we're anticipating many developers will want to contribute to PowerToys, and we've made sure that the documentation, project architecture, and tools are ready for the community to dive in.

Before getting started, it's worthwhile to read the contribution guidelines for the project. After that, you should read the "Developer Guidance" section of the PowerToys readme, which has a link to the new PowerToys utility Visual Studio template. Each utility is a .dll, which is loaded by the PowerToys runtime and each utility can provide settings to the PowerToys settings framework with a JSON blob. The settings UI takes this JSON and automatically creates a settings UI for the utility. More information on the settings format can be found in the Settings spec.

What's New


Keyboard manager now supports Numpad. Note, with previously bound hotkeys stored in settings.json would only react to non-Numpad keys now. If a user wishes to restore the previous behavior, it could be done by manually adding another binding for the Numpad variant.

New utility: Crop And Lock allows you to crop a current application into a smaller window or just create a thumbnail. Focus the target window and press the shortcut to start cropping.

FancyZones code improvements and refactor.

Modernized ImageResizer UX.

PowerRename advanced counter functionality.


  • Added missing CoUninitialize call in elevation logic. Thanks @sredna!
  • New utility: Crop And Lock. Thanks @robmikh! and @kevinguo305!
  • Added new /helped fabric bot command to GitHub repo. Thanks @Aaron-Junker!
  • Fixed crashes caused by invalid settings. Thanks @davidegiacometti!

Always On Top

  • Added border transparency.


  • Fixed issue causing canvas zones being drawn only when dragging in zone area.
  • Fixed user-defined default layout highlighting issue.
  • Refactored and improved code quality.
  • Fixed issue causing wrong layout to be applied when duplicating non-selected layout.

File Locksmith

  • Icon update. Thanks @jmaraujouy!

File Explorer add-ons

  • Fixed issue causing thumbnail previewers to lock files.
  • Open URIs from developer files in default browser. Thanks @davidegiacometti!


  • Fixed PowerToys autorun after installing as SYSTEM user.
  • Removed CreateScheduledTask custom action to handle task creation only from runner code.

Image Resizer

  • Moved from ModernWPF to WpfUI to refresh and modernize UI/UX. Thanks @niels9001!

Keyboard Manager

  • Rephrased labels to enhance clarity. Thanks @Jay-o-Way!
  • Keyboard manager now supports Numpad. Note, with previously bound hotkeys stored in settings.json would only react to non-Numpad keys now. If a user wishes to restore the previous behavior, it could be done by manually adding another binding for the Numpad variant.

Mouse Highlighter

  • Fixed highlighter being invisible issue for Always on Top windows.
  • Added settings for automatic activation on startup. Thanks @davidegiacometti!

Mouse Pointer Crosshairs

  • Added settings for automatic activation on startup. Thanks @davidegiacometti!


  • Show correct file type for shortcuts. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • Fixed issue causing wrong file size to be displayed. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • Show 1 byte instead of 1 bytes file size. Thanks @Deepak-Sangle!
  • Open URIs from developer files in default browser. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • Show thumbnail and fallback to icon for unsupported files. Thanks @pedrolamas!


  • Updated OOBE gif. Thanks @ChaseKnowlden!
  • Localized renamed parts combo box.
  • Introduced advanced counter functionality.
  • Added remember last window size logic and optimized items sorting.
  • Enable "Enumerate items" option by default.

PowerToys Run

  • Fixed issue causing original search to be abandoned when cycling through results.
  • Updated device and bluetooth results for Settings plugin. Thanks @htcfreek!
  • Fixed InvalidOperationException exception thrown. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • Add Base64 Decoding function to the Value Generator plugin. Thanks @LeagueOfPoro!
  • Added Keep shell open option for Shell plugin.
  • Added Crop And Lock to PowerToys plugin. Thanks @davidegiacometti!

Registry Preview

  • Updated AppBarButtons to use an explicit AppBarButton.Icon. Thanks @randyrants!
  • Fixed crash on clicking Save As button.


  • Removed unneeded RegisterWindowMessage from tray icon logic. Thanks @sredna!
  • Fixed startup looping issue.
  • Improved old logs and installers cleanup logic. Thanks @davidegiacometti!

Screen Ruler

  • Use proper resources file.


  • Fixed issue causing problems with modifier keys and ShortcutControl. Thanks @sh0ckj0ckey!
  • Fixed crash when clicking "Windows color settings" link.
  • Added support for launching Settings app directly.
  • Fixed issue causing DisplayDescription not showing for PowerToys Run PluginAdditionalOption.
  • Fixed issue causing FileLocksmith 'Show File Locksmith in' setting not showing correct value.
  • Fixed issue causing Awake on/off toggle in Settings flyout not to work when Settings Awake page is opened.


  • Added documentation for PowerToys Run third-party plugins. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • Fixed broken links in keyboardmanagerui.md. Thanks @shubhsardana29!
  • Updated core team in COMMUNITY.md.
  • Fixed broken links in ui-architecture.md. Thanks @SamB!
  • Updated community.valuegenerator.md with Base64DecodeRequest description.


  • Updated test packages and StyleCop. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • Condense NuGet Restore into MSBuild Tasks. Thanks @snickler!