Free Microsoft PowerToys for Windows 10


The promised PowerToys for Windows 10 is finally here! According to Chris Hoffman (Editor in Chief of How-To-Geek), ”The first preview release includes a Windows key shortcut overlay and a desktop window manager that will let you go beyond simple 2×2 snapping.”

You can download PowerToys from GitHub . Once there, choose the PowerToysSetup.msi file. They are free and open source.

Once you download and install PowerToys, you will see a PowerToys logo in your notification area– click it to open the PowerToys Settings window.

These are not separate downloads like the PowerToys of the past (Windows XP). It is one PowerToys package that you download and install. You can actually select which PowerToys are enabled from the Settings window.


The Shortcut Guide will provide you with help with Windows key shortcuts. To activate it, just click and hold the Windows key on your keyboard. You will see an overlay showing which Windows key shortcuts you can use (i.e., numbers appear over your application icons on the taskbar). You can click the Windows key + 1 to activate the first Taskbar shortcut as if you had clicked it.

The keyboard shortcuts are available to you all the time, however, PowerToys has an easier way of finding them without first reading about them online.

FancyZones allows you to create a window layout and assign windows to it. The Snap feature in Windows 10 will not help with that but FancyZones can!

You can set it up from the FancyZones section in the PowerToys Settings: Click Edit Zones or click the Windows key + ~ to open it.


To arrange your windows more easily, you can enable the Hold Shift key to enable zones while dragging option and then hold your shift key while dragging windows around on your screen to quickly snap them into the zone of your choosing.

Again, according to Chris Hoffman, this first preview of PowerToys seemed fine, but added that you may have some issues (i.e., ”FancyZones does not yet work well if you have multiple monitors.”

Microsoft will be adding more PowerToys in the future and will most likely be improving on the ones already in place.


About the Author

Carol Bratt

Carol holds A+, MCP, and MOS computer certifications and is the resident DCT Office expert. She trains the staffs of small law firms in the use of Microsoft Office applications and has authored many books covering Microsoft Office as well as written articles for Infopackets, TechnoLawyer, and Digital Harbor. For more Microsoft Office tips visit Carol's Corner Office or follow Carol on FaceBook and Twitter.

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