Thursday, May 9th 2019

Microsoft Plans to Release PowerToys for Windows 10

Microsoft will release PowerToys - a set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline their Windows experience for greater productivity. PowerToys are a collection of power tools and apps that give users the ability to customize UI and UX. Unlike previous PowerToys from Windows 95 era, this time we are getting them in open source form.

Inspired by the Windows 95 era PowerToys project, this reboot provides power users with ways to squeeze more efficiency out of the Windows 10 shell and customize it for individual workflows. A great overview of the Windows 95 PowerToys can be found here. The first preview of these utilities and corresponding source code will be released Summer 2019.
The first two utilities Microsoft is working on are:
  • Maximize to new desktop widget - The MTND widget shows a pop-up button when a user hovers over the maximize/restore button on any window. Clicking it creates a new desktop, sends the app to that desktop and maximizes the app on the new desktop.
  • Windows key shortcut guide - The shortcut guide appears when a user holds the Windows key down for more than one second and shows the available shortcuts for the current state of the desktop.

Here's the current set of utilities Microsoft is considering. You can use Github issues and +1's to guide the project to suggest new ideas and help us prioritize the list below.
  • Full window manager including specific layouts for docking and undocking laptops
  • Keyboard shortcut manager
  • Win+R replacement
  • Better alt+tab including browser tab integration and search for running apps
  • Battery tracker
  • Batch file re-namer
  • Quick resolution swaps in taskbar
  • Mouse events without focus
  • Cmd (or PS or Bash) from here
  • Contents menu file browsing
Once available, source code will be provided in this repository.
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46 Comments on Microsoft Plans to Release PowerToys for Windows 10

#1
Crackong
Thanks but I just want direct access to the control panel.
Posted on Reply
#2
Rahnak
Wow, now there's a name I haven't seen in a long time. I'm all up for more customization. :)
Posted on Reply
#4
R-T-B
Crackong, post: 4044830, member: 185495"
Thanks but I just want direct access to the control panel.
Pin it to start?
Posted on Reply
#5
DeathtoGnomes
i bet this winds up like that shit gamebar they came up with.
Posted on Reply
#6
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
DeathtoGnomes, post: 4044922, member: 151150"
i bet this winds up like that shit gamebar they came up with.
They already know how to do Powertoys. There’s no reason to think it would suddenly come out as sh*t.
Posted on Reply
#7
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Crackong, post: 4044830, member: 185495"
Thanks but I just want direct access to the control panel.
It used to be really easy to access in the start menu right click menu, but they removed it and replaced it with settings. But it is really easy to add back in.
Posted on Reply
#8
NdMk2o1o
newtekie1, post: 4045026, member: 20670"
It used to be really easy to access in the start menu right click menu, but they removed it and replaced it with settings. But it is really easy to add back in.
Surely just type it into start then pin to taskbar or send to desktop, that's what I done on my previous windows 10 though haven't bothered this time, it's it not that simple now?
Posted on Reply
#9
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
NdMk2o1o, post: 4045037, member: 83825"
Surely just type it into start then pin to taskbar or send to desktop, that's what I done on my previous windows 10 though haven't bothered this time, it's it not that simple now?
It is. Just did it a few weeks ago.
Posted on Reply
#10
lexluthermiester
I'm gonna say a cautious Wow for now. Let's see if they're A. actually useful, B. are easy to use and C. maintained after an update.
Posted on Reply
#11
INSTG8R
My Custom Title
R-T-B, post: 4044885, member: 41983"
Pin it to start?
Still a Desktop Icon, just gotta turn it on
Posted on Reply
#12
Crackong
For those who've replied "Oh it is really easy to pin control panel back in" .
We should never have to do that.

It is obvious the "Windows Setting" isn't complete and cannot fully control the PC.
It is just unnecessary overlays upon overlays on top of the control panel.
Certain options contradicting each other (like "Windows Firewall in Control Panel" vs "Windows Security in Windows Setting" )

They wanted to make it more "User Friendly", but from my experience, it is not.
Those who are familiar with the control panel still prefer the control panel.
Those who don't bother going into PC settings still "Don't bother with PC settings".

It is just a complete failure.
Posted on Reply
#13
R-T-B
Crackong, post: 4045167, member: 185495"
For those who've replied "Oh it is really easy to pin control panel back in" .
We should never have to do that.

It is obvious the "Windows Setting" isn't complete and cannot fully control the PC.
It is just unnecessary overlays upon overlays on top of the control panel.
Certain options contradicting each other (like "Windows Firewall in Control Panel" vs "Windows Security in Windows Setting" )

They wanted to make it more "User Friendly", but from my experience, it is not.
Those who are familiar with the control panel still prefer the control panel.
Those who don't bother going into PC settings still "Don't bother with PC settings".

It is just a complete failure.
This is why I have always stated Windows 10 should never have left beta without PC settings being able to completely replace control panel, and yet here we are. It is pretty incredible, frankly, that we still have them both. If I were them I'd just give up at this point.
Posted on Reply
#14
lexluthermiester
Crackong, post: 4045167, member: 185495"
For those who've replied "Oh it is really easy to pin control panel back in" .
We should never have to do that.
Agreed
Crackong, post: 4045167, member: 185495"
They wanted to make it more "User Friendly", but from my experience, it is not.
Also agree. It's Microsoft's to-little-to-late approach to mobile computing UI. It's utter crap and only fit for the scrap heap.
Posted on Reply
#15
Camm
For those who want to readd control panel to start\right click, run the below in Powershell as Admin
$path = "$env:LOCALAPPDATA\Microsoft\Windows\WinX\Group2"
$x = "UEsDBBQAAAAIAEphSkmJ5YBS0QAAAPcDAAARAAAAQ29udHJvbCBQYW5lbC5sbmvzYWBgYBRhYgCBA2CSwa2B
mQEiQAAwovEnAzEnA8MCXSBtGBwQ/Kgrwm2Pj4Xz7j/Ck9Vm5J4ThCkURtIEUxyq4TO/cr6l94oLD6/oPrz6GaRYCK
aYEU1xtW7v74sTTPz2J+St4ZykvR+kmAmm+Og13laY6SLMYM0LVMsz81Iyi1RjiiuLS1JzjY1ikvPzSoryc/RSK1KJ
8eswAKoM5QyZDHkMKUCyCMiLYShmqATiEoZUhlwGYwYjoEgyQz5QRQlQPp8hh0EPKFPBMFLCZyQBAFBLAQIUABQAAA
AIAEphSkmJ5YBS0QAAAPcDAAARAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABDb250cm9sIFBhbmVsLmxua1BLBQYAAAAAAQABAD8A
AAAAAQAAAAA=".replace("`n","")
[Convert]::FromBase64String($x) | Set-Content $path\temp.zip -Encoding Byte
Expand-Archive $path\temp.zip -DestinationPath $path
Remove-Item $path\temp.zip
Stop-Process -Name Explorer
$x is the Base64 encode for Control Panel. Code isn't mine, and you should verify what random code you pick up in an internet forum.

Be nicer if Microsoft just gave us a tick box to readd it though until they finish making Settings.
Posted on Reply
#16
Caring1
"The first preview of these utilities and corresponding source code will be released Summer 2019."
Can Techpowerup authors be more specific and not state seasons, as the do vary around the globe, it's not an American centric site. :shadedshu:
Posted on Reply
#17
lexluthermiester
Camm, post: 4045179, member: 110377"
Be nicer if Microsoft just gave us a tick box to readd it though until they finish making Settings.
What would be best is if they go back to want made more sense and worked more completely.

Caring1, post: 4045207, member: 153156"
it's not an American centric site. :shadedshu:
Summer is not an "American" season. It applies to both hemispheres of the entire Earth. The article implies Northern Hemisphere as Microsoft is HQ'd in North America and most of TPU's readers are in or near the northern part of the planet. However, for clarity it might be better to say Q2 or Q3 2019.
Posted on Reply
#18
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
NdMk2o1o, post: 4045037, member: 83825"
Surely just type it into start then pin to taskbar or send to desktop, that's what I done on my previous windows 10 though haven't bothered this time, it's it not that simple now?
You didn't have to even go through that much hassle. It was literally:

1.) Right Click on Start Button
2.) Select Control Panel

Seriously, there is actually a lot of useful stuff in that menu that comes up when you right click the start button, but most people have no clue it is even there. But they removed Control Panel in one of the latest builds and replaced it with Settings instead. But since that menu is customizable, you can add Control Panel back in.
Posted on Reply
#19
27MaD
Another app that i bet it will come with Windows and a lot of users don't need just like : 3D viewer , Camera , Connect , Groove music , Microsoft news , Maps , Paint 3D , People , blah blah blaaaaaaaah.
Posted on Reply
#20
InVasMani
At least it'll be open source about time more basic OS functionality and usability is open sourced w/o having to use Linux.
Posted on Reply
#21
NdMk2o1o
newtekie1, post: 4045238, member: 20670"
You didn't have to even go through that much hassle. It was literally:

1.) Right Click on Start Button
2.) Select Control Panel

Seriously, there is actually a lot of useful stuff in that menu that comes up when you right click the start button, but most people have no clue it is even there. But they removed Control Panel in one of the latest builds and replaced it with Settings instead. But since that menu is customizable, you can add Control Panel back in.
Yea i know its the same as win+x and I wondered why they removed it from there but literally anything can be found by start menu and typing the first few letters
Crackong, post: 4045167, member: 185495"
For those who've replied "Oh it is really easy to pin control panel back in" .
We should never have to do that.

It is obvious the "Windows Setting" isn't complete and cannot fully control the PC.
It is just unnecessary overlays upon overlays on top of the control panel.
Certain options contradicting each other (like "Windows Firewall in Control Panel" vs "Windows Security in Windows Setting" )

They wanted to make it more "User Friendly", but from my experience, it is not.
Those who are familiar with the control panel still prefer the control panel.
Those who don't bother going into PC settings still "Don't bother with PC settings".

It is just a complete failure.
You're still referring to settings, if you type control panel into start bam there it is like magic, you can do this every time or take another 2 mouse clicks to pin it somewhere you'd like, it's not rocket science, come on man.
Posted on Reply
#22
Rahnak
27MaD, post: 4045321, member: 179456"
Another app that i bet it will come with Windows and a lot of users don't need just like : 3D viewer , Camera , Connect , Groove music , Microsoft news , Maps , Paint 3D , People , blah blah blaaaaaaaah.
Based on what? The original was a standalone application and not part of the OS.
Posted on Reply
#23
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
27MaD, post: 4045321, member: 179456"
Another app that i bet it will come with Windows and a lot of users don't need just like : 3D viewer , Camera , Connect , Groove music , Microsoft news , Maps , Paint 3D , People , blah blah blaaaaaaaah.
Why wouldn’t they like it? It was always both very popular and well-regarded. One of the more well-made utilities in MS history.
Posted on Reply
#24
27MaD
rtwjunkie, post: 4045367, member: 56774"
Why wouldn’t they like it? It was always both very popular and well-regarded. One of the more well-made utilities in MS history.
I don't say it's bad what i mean is i will be forced to install it or in other words it will be automatically installed with Win 10.
Posted on Reply
#25
enxo218
Windows 7 did not require "power tools" to aid functionality but 10 is littered with all manner of workarounds for it to be tolerably competent in usability from users, third parties and now m$ too...its sad
Posted on Reply
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