Scott Hanselman

Introducing open source Windows 10 PowerToys

September 04, 2019 Comment on this post [6] Posted in Win10
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Microsoft Windows PowerToysYesterday the Windows Team announced the first preview and code release of PowerToys for Windows 10. This first preview includes two utilities:

Many years ago there was PowerToys for Windows 95 and frankly, it's overdue that we have them for Windows 10 – and bonus points for being open source!

These tools are also open source and hosted on GitHub! Maybe you have an open source project that's a "PowerToy?" Let me know in the comments. A great example of a PowerToy is something that takes a Windows Features and turns it up to 11!

EarTrumpet is a favorite example of mine of a community "PowerToy." It takes the volume control and the Windows auto subsystem and tailors it for the pro/advanced user. You should definitely try it out!

As for these new Windows 10 Power Toys, here’s what the Windows key shortcut guide looks like:

PowerToys - Shortcut Guide

And here's Fancy Zones. It's very sophisticated. Be sure to watch the YouTube to see how to use it.

Fancy Zones

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.

We'd love to see YOU make a PowerToy and maybe it'll get bundled with the PowerToys installer!

How to create new PowerToys

See the instructions on how to install the PowerToys Module project template.
Specifications for the PowerToys settings API.

We ask that before you start work on a feature that you would like to contribute, please read our Contributor's Guide. We will be happy to work with you to figure out the best approach, provide guidance and mentorship throughout feature development, and help avoid any wasted or duplicate effort.

Additional utilities in the pipeline are:

If you find bugs or have suggestions, please open an issue in the Power Toys GitHub repo.

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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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September 07, 2019 2:14
I'm linking these PowerToys in Windows, specially the interactive Windows keyboard shortcuts which I find really useful.

I'd like to see other PowerToys soon.
September 08, 2019 9:52
Animated GIF Recorder? Ugh! I prefer an Animated PNG Recorder. (The only web browser that does not support Animated PNG is Internet Explorer.) Also, I find H.264 the best compromise in video formats for recording the screen.
September 08, 2019 21:36
Hey, Scott, was "Be sure to watch the YouTube to see how to use it" for the Fancy Zones feature supposed to have a link?

Great tools. Looks like a lot of fun. :D
September 09, 2019 3:51
Waiting for them to add multi-monitor support. I need horizontal split for a ultra-high monitor.
September 09, 2019 12:42

According to comments in github issue they have a work around: Change your primary monitor to the on you want to edit the layouts for, do the editing and switch the primary back. It should still remember and apply the layout to the correct monitor.
September 11, 2019 23:56
I was excited to see this (especially the Fancy Zones custom zones support)... then upon trying to install it I found out it requires Windows 10 1803 or higher. Guess what I don't have installed on my work laptop (and don't have control over)? Me sad.

I have a 43" 4k monitor at work and really hate how large the windows are. I like to drag a "center" window roughly 2k in size, would love to have docking support at that window. Oh well.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.