Microsoft PowerToys

· 3 min read
Microsoft PowerToys

Microsoft PowerToys is a set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline their Windows experience for greater productivity.

0.49 - October 2021 Update

The v0.49 release cycle introduces exciting new updates primarily centered around modernizing PowerRename's UI, adding a brand new mouse utility, and merging Video Conference Mute into the stable releases!

PowerRename's new UI brings a refreshed experience that reflects the modern UI theming of Windows 11, along with helpful regular expression guidance and file formatting tips.

With the new mouse utility, PowerToys introduces functionality to quickly find your mouse position by double pressing the left ctrl key. This is ideal for large, high-resolution displays and low-vision users, with additional features and enhancements planned for future releases. Special thanks to Raymond Chen for providing the base code PowerToys used to develop this feature.

As Video Conference Mute becomes available in the stable releases, there are still known quirks that we are actively working to address. These bugs are tracked on our GitHub, and we welcome any and all feedback as we work to isolate and resolve the cause.

Color Picker's HEX format will no longer have the # character. This addresses issues with various color inputs that only accept six characters cutting off the last value. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes as we understand it impacts users who may prefer having # included. However, we believe this is the best solution while the custom string functionality (#8305) is in development.

Additional work in this release include stability updates and optimizations, installer updates, general bug fixes, and accessibility improvements.

Highlights from v0.49


  • Change of Behavior: Color Picker's HEX format will no longer have the # character. Custom string functionality for color picker (#8305) is in development and will allow someone to use this again.
  • Find My Mouse utility added! Utilize the functionality to quickly locate the cursor on your displays! Learn more on our Mouse Utility docs.
  • Accessibility and minor UI improvements to the settings page. Thanks @niels9001!
  • Added deep links to the Settings menus for various utilities within their respective editors. Thanks @niels9001!
  • Settings improvements to improve clarity for various options. Thanks @niels9001!
  • Improved settings window to adjust size and position as needed when multi-monitor conditions change. Thanks @davidegiacometti!

PowerToys Awake

  • Screen reader improvements for accessibility.

Color Picker

  • Color Picker's HEX format was changed to remove the # character. Thanks @niels9001!
  • Accessibility improvements for screen reader and UI to distinguish colors from the border when matching. Thanks @niels9001!


  • Fixed Color Picker and OOBE windows from being snapped by FancyZones. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • Fixed regression with layouts not being changed via shortcuts.
  • Fixed crashing issue with FancyZones editor.
  • Fixed zone layouts resetting after screen locking.
  • Accessibility improvements for screen reader in editor.

Keyboard Manager

  • Fixed crashing issue when the editor is opened at high zoom on 4k monitors.


  • New UI update! We hope you enjoy the modern experience and take advantage of new tool-tips to describe common regular expressions and text/file formatting. Thanks to @niels9001 for all the support on this redesign!

PowerToys Run

  • Windows Terminal Plugin added. Open shells through Windows Terminal via _ activation command by default. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • Added environment variables to Folder plugin search. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • Fixed certain schemas that were overwritten with HTTPS. Thanks @franky920920!
  • Fixed issue with program plugin getting caught in infinite loops as certain file paths are recursively searched.

Video Conference Mute

  • VCM added to stable releases of PowerToys!
  • What is being planned for v0.51

For v0.51, we are planning to work on:

  • Initial development of Always on Top utility to allow users to persist desired windows in the foreground of their displays
  • We are working to heavily reduce / remove the UAC prompt over the next few releases on install. This is a big shift so it is spanning multiple releases so we can isolate issues if they do occur. Work is tracked in #10126
  • UI/UX investigations to adopt WinUI and improve accessibility
  • Stability and bug fixes
  • Update the PowerToys Build Pipeline to allow .NET 5 integration

Installing and running Microsoft PowerToys

Windows 11 or Windows 10 v1903 (18362) or newer.
.NET Core 3.1.20 Desktop Runtime or a newer 3.1.x runtime. The installer will handle this if not present.

Download Microsoft PowerToys:

PowerToys 0.56.2 - 58.9mb