With over a billion users, Windows 10 is the world’s leading desktop operating system. Although the operating system offers a decent feature set, power users may need additional tools to get the most out of their machines. One such tool that Microsoft has designed for power users is PowerToys. In this article, we are going to show you how to use all the power features that come with PowerToys on Windows 10.

Use PowerToys on Windows 10

Today we are going to go over the installation process of PowerToys and all the features it offers. Read on till the end to learn how to use the tool to boost your workflow productivity.

Download and install PowerToys

Since PowerToys does not come with Windows 10, you will need to download and install it manually. To do this, visit the PowerToys GitHub page. In the Assets section, click on the latest .exe file to download it. Once the download is complete, run the installation file to install the application on your computer.

Once you have completed the installation process, the PowerToys app home page will appear. If you plan to use PowerToys extensively, be sure to enable the “Run at startup” toggle.

color picker

The color picker offers a system-wide color picker on Windows 10. You can use it to pick colors on the fly from anywhere on your Windows 10 PC. The feature, activated with the keyboard shortcut ‘Win + Shift + C’, comes with an editor to edit chosen color code and copy color to various formats including HEX, RGB, HSL, HSV, CMYK, HSB, HSI, HWB and NCol.

In PowerToys you can choose to enable or disable different color formats and change the activation behavior to show only the color picker or the editor. You also have the option of replacing the activation shortcut with the combination you prefer.


FancyZones is basically a supercharged window manager for all your multitasking needs. With FancyZones’ layout editor, you can change the location of windows to efficiently use space on your PC. You can activate the layout editor with the keyboard shortcut ‘Win+’ and use one of the templates – focus, columns, rows, grid and priority grid or create a custom layout according to your needs.

Microsoft’s PowerToys team has provided many customization features for FancyZones. You can choose to use a non-primary mouse button to toggle zone activation, show zones on all monitors while dragging a window, or even allow zones to span multiple monitors.

You can also override the default Windows Snap shortcut (Win + Left/Right Arrows) to switch between areas. If you want to customize the look, you can change the highlight opacity, highlight color, inactive color, and border colors of areas. There is also an option to add certain apps to an exception list.

File Explorer

The File Explorer add-on utility increases the flexibility of the Windows 10 file manager preview pane. This add-on adds support for Markdown (.md) and Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg) files in the preview pane. As a result, you can see the content without opening the file. You also get support for .svg thumbnails, which should come in handy for quickly identifying files.

From PowerToys, you can enable or disable previewing of these files in the preview pane and choose to enable thumbnails for .svg files.

Image resizer

Image Resizer is one of my favorite PowerToys tools. As the name suggests, you can use it to resize images. What makes Image Resizer convenient is that you can access it with a simple right click from the file explorer. Once enabled, you will see a new “Resize images” option in the context menu.

In the image resizing interface that appears now, you can choose one of the preset sizes or choose a custom one. You also have the option of replacing the original file and setting it to ignore image orientation.

Coming to the Image Resizer PowerToys customization settings, you can create a new size that you often use and set it in terms of centimeters, inches, percentage or pixels. The tool supports PNG, BMP, JPEG, TIFF, WMPhoto and GIF encoding. You can also set the quality level, enable PNG interlacing and TIFF compression.

The tool supports the following file format parameters that you can use to name the resized file:

  • %1 – Original filename
  • %2 – Size name (defined in image resizing settings)
  • %3 – Selected width
  • %4 – Height selected
  • %5 – Actual height
  • %6 – Actual width

keyboard manager

Keyboard Manager is a hotkey and shortcut remapping utility. It can save your life when one of the keys on your laptop keyboard stops working. With this tool, you can easily remap an essential dead key with a working key that is not so important.

For example, you can remap the “A” key to one of the top row function keys. Of course, this may not be practical, but it is indeed a nice workaround until you replace your keyboard. Keyboard Manager also lets you remap and create your own shortcuts. Note that this tool requires Windows 10 1903 (build 18362) or later.


If you’re someone whose workflow involves renaming a large number of files, PowerRename might be just what you need. This tool propose a mass renaming with a set of useful features. With PowerRename, you can change filenames, use search and replace on a specific part of a filename, and use regular expressions.

You can access PowerRename by right-clicking a file or a selection of files, then choose “PowerRename” from the list of available options.

PowerToys Run

PowerToys Run is the much-hyped Spotlight-like app launcher featured at the Build 2020 developer conference. You can access it with the keyboard shortcut ‘Alt+Space’ and use it to find apps, files, folders, running processes, and even perform simple math calculations. It should be noted that you need Windows 10 1903 (build 18362) or later to use PowerToys Run.

PowerToys Run offers the following action keys:

  • = – Calculator-based operations
  • ? – File searches
  • . – Search for installed apps
  • // – access URLs
  • > – Shell commands

Shortcut guide

Finally, we have Shortcut Guide, a handy addition that will help new Windows 10 users. brings an overlay with common Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts when you press and hold the Windows key. You can also access the shortcut guide with the combination ‘Windows +?’.

In PowerToys, you can adjust the duration of the overlay, change the opacity of the background, and choose a color mode for the overlay. This is undoubtedly a good Windows 10 trick for beginners.

Install PowerToys and improve Windows 10

That’s all the features of PowerToys that you can use to expand the capabilities of your Windows 10 machine. So which of them do you prefer? Mine must be PowerToys Run and Image Resizer. Let us know your picks in the comments. While you’re at it, be sure to check out our article on the best Windows 10 features.