Remember the original PowerToys? Released by Microsoft back in the days of Windows 95, it comprised a suite of powerful tools that let you tweak the operating system. And while it was originally aimed at IT administrators and program developers, PowerToys soon became popular with home users. Despite this, Microsoft decided to end support for it with the launch of Windows Vista in 2007.

Then, in a surprise move late last year, the company announced it was bringing the project back to life for Windows 10. Even more unexpected was its decision to make the new version of PowerToys open source, meaning anyone can get involved to suggest new features, help code them and work to fix bugs. As a result, programs in the new PowerToys are constantly being updated.

Over the next few pages, you’ll discover exactly what these amazing tools are and how to get the most out of them. You’ll find everything from alternatives to the Start menu to powerful tools that let you quickly rename files and organise your desktop. We’ll also reveal how to try PowerToys’ new ‘experimental’ feature, which we’re confident you’ll want to start using immediately.

To get started, you’ll first need to download the latest version of PowerToys. At the time of writing, this was 0.23, but PowerToys doesn’t stand still for long so you may find a newer version is available by the time you read this.

Go to, locate the version with a green ‘Latest release’ label in the left column, then scroll down and click the ‘PowerToysSetup-0.23.1-x64.exe’ link.



When you need multiple windows open simultaneously (such as when taking notes in Word documents while also browsing the web), it’s a hassle to have to resize those windows yourself. And when you’re juggling four or more windows, making sure they don’t overlap can be a logistical nightmare. Make things easy with PowerToys’ fantastic FancyZones tool instead. FancyZones lets you define multiple zones on your desktop, into which you can then drag any window. The window will automatically resize to fit the zone.

Like all PowerToys tools, FancyZones can be turned on and off from within the PowerToys settings. To check it’s turned on, double-click the

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