PowerToys in Windows 10. How to download and configure it.

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Hi. How are you? Today we are going to continue talking about the innovations that Windows 10 brings. In that sense, Microsoft Build 2019 showed a series of interesting news for our favorite system. Some of them are a new terminal, the release of the source code of the calculator, and the return of the PowerToys. It is very likely that this phrase won’t say anything to new users, but those of us who have been through Windows 95 and Windows XP know what it is all about. It is a set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline their Windows experience for greater productivity. Moreover, these applications are not integrated into Windows and must be downloaded separately. Furthermore, it provides the user with the ability to customize system behavior. As you can see, it’s a very interesting feature, so we’ll see how to download and configure the PowerToys.

Downloading PowerToys

One of the most interesting aspects of this feature is that Microsoft has released its source code. In other words, anyone can use it to release new versions. At the moment, there are only two applications: fancy zones and shortcut guide. So, to start enjoying the experience, go to the GitHub page to download the file. In this case, just download the .msi file

Download Power Toys msi file
Download Power Toys msi file

Once the file has been downloaded, the installation will begin. Press next to start the process.

Press Next to start the installation
Press Next to start the installation

You then agree to the terms of the license

Accept the terms
Accept the terms

Next, select the installation options

Choose the installation options
Choose the installation options

The installation starts

Install power toys
Install power toys

When the installation process is finished, you can launch the application. A new icon will be positioned on the taskbar.

Power Toys icon into the taskbar
Power Toys icon into the taskbar

Right-click on the icon to enter the settings.

Power Toys settings
Power Toys settings

Configure FancyZones

As you can see in the settings, there are only two apps available at the moment. Let’s configure FancyZones. In the first place, Let’s see what this application is about. It is a window manager that is designed to make it easy to arrange and snap windows into efficient layouts for your workflow and also to restore these layouts quickly. In other words, is used to create custom grids to better organize your windows and be more productive. To start creating a design where you can group the different windows, go to Edit Zones.

Edit zones
Edit zones

When you open the configuration, the option to choose 5 different templates will appear. In addition, you can choose the number of windows to organize. There is also the opportunity to make custom layouts. For this example, I will use Rows layout

Edit Zone on FancyZones
Edit Zone on FancyZones

Once the design is selected, just press apply to set it. Then, press shift and drag and drop the windows up to the floating translucent zone. Here is a sample of FancyZones grouping the windows of Opera, Excel, and Word in a row.

Three windows in a single layout
Three windows in a single layout

The configuration has multiple options to configure and if you need additional help, incorporates a video demo.

Configure Short Guide

Personally I am a big fan of desktop shortcuts, but my memory is not very good. So this app is made for users like me. Press and hold the keyboard Windows key for about 1 second, an overlay appears showing keyboard shortcuts that use the Windows Key. In addition, the active window will appear with the controls that allow you to manage it.

Short Guide running
Short Guide running

In the configuration settings, you can manage the duration of the windows key as well as the opacity of the window.

Conclusion

We’ve seen how to download and configure PowerToys in Windows 10. Please note that it just came out and there are still details to polish. However, publishing the source code opens up a range of possibilities for potential developers. This has been all for now. I hope you enjoyed it. Before saying goodbye I invite you to check out our tutorial on Nginx in Windows 10. Please join our channel on Telegram

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