Free Download: Microsoft’s PowerToys for Windows 10

New open-source Microsoft PowerToys logo for Windows 10
Microsoft

Microsoft promised Windows 10 was getting PowerToys, and they’re finally here! 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 the PowerToys from GitHub—choose the PowerToysSetup.msi file. They’re free and open-source!

After you download and install the PowerToys, you’ll see a PowerToys logo in your notification area. Click it to open the PowerToys Settings window.

Unlike the old PowerToys for Windows XP, these aren’t separate downloads. There’s one big PowerToys package you download and install. You can choose which PowerToys are enabled from the settings window.

Launching PowerToys from notification area

The Shortcut Guide provides contextual help with Windows key shortcuts. To activate it, press and hold the Windows key on your keyboard for a moment. You’ll see an overlay showing which Windows key shortcuts you can use. For example, numbers appear above your application icons on the taskbar. You can press Windows+1 to activate the first taskbar shortcut as if you had clicked it.

These keyboard shortcuts are available all the time, but the PowerToy provides an easier way of discovering them as you use Windows without reading about them online first.

Windows shortcut overlay from PowerToys

FancyZones lets you create a window layout and quickly assign windows to that layout. Do you want three windows side by side on your screen? Windows 10’s normal snap feature won’t help with that, but FancyZones can.

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