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Microsoft PowerToys: Utilities to customize Windows

by Behrad
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I still remember the day when I tried the original PowerToys from Microsoft. It was on my Windows XP machine back in 2001/2002 and I really loved it. Fast forward to 2024, it’s still available and it’s still installed on all of my Windows laptops.

What is PowerToys?

Simply said, Microsoft PowerToys is a collection of free, open-source utilities for power users to enhance the Windows operating system, providing users with some cool features that streamline tasks, boost productivity, and make the overall computing experience more enjoyable. Needless to say, but this is only available for Windows!

The first PowerToys version was introduced for Windows 95, and as mentioned I started using it since Windows XP. The new modern version of PowerToys are developed by Microsoft engineers in their spare time, and they offer a range of functionalities that can be customized to meet the user needs. And believe me, there are a of of features available.

PowerToys Features

Currently there are a lot of features available but to name a few which I use very often are:

Color Picker: A a system-wide color picking utility activated with Win+Shift+C. Pick colors from anywhere on the screen, the picker automatically copies the color into your clipboard in a set format.

Fancy Zone: A window manager that makes it easy to create complex window layouts and quickly position windows into those layouts.

Image Resizer: A Windows Shell extension for quickly resizing images. With a simple right click from File Explorer, resize one or many images instantly.

PowerRename: Enables you to perform bulk renaming, searching and replacing file names.

Screen Ruler: Allows you to quickly measure pixels on your screen based with image edge detection.

And my all time favorite: Text Extractor! Text Extractor is a very convenient way to copy text from anywhere on your screen, for example from images. This is something which I use a lot when I need to take over the serial numbers of Access Points at work.

Give PowerToys A Try:

If it was up to me I would have included PowerToys as a standard application which should come installed standard and out of the box. I mean Windows is always giving you a lot of useless apps, but this one would be very handy! However I also understand that not everybody would use this. So if you’re looking into advanced customization options for your Windows OS or to streamline daily tasks, then you definitely should give PowerToys a try! Believe me when I say that it’s a game changer! 😉

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