Expand File Explorer’s Preview Pane With This Windows 10 PowerToy

Expand File Explorer’s Preview Pane With This Windows 10 PowerToy
Illustration: <a href="https://github.com/microsoft/PowerToys">Microsoft</a>

There are two reasons to install the latest version of Windows 10’s PowerToys. First, and most important, PowerToys will soon start self-updating. You won’t have to visit the GitHub every time a new feature drops; you’ll just get it whenever the app updates itself. Progress!

Second, there’s a brand-new feature that is going to upgrade your File Explorer life. It’s not huge, but it’s something. With the File Explorer PowerToy enabled, you’ll now be able to view .MD and .SVG files in File Explorer’s preview pane. Given how limited the preview pane already feels in Windows 10, even adding just two more file types feels like a huge improvement.

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Once you’ve installed the latest version of PowerToys, the File Explorer additions should be enabled by default. If not, or if you want to check, right-click on the PowerToys taskbar icon, click on Settings, and then click on the File Explorer link in the sidebar:

While you’re here, it wouldn’t hurt to familiarise yourself with the other useful PowerToys you can play with, too. We’ve covered a number of them previously, so here’s the short list of features you can enable right now:

  • FancyZones: Mash the Windows Key + ~ to configure a locked layout for the windows on your desktop; you can then pin your active windows to these sections, giving you a more efficient way to multi-task.

  • Image Resizer: Select a file (or files) in File Explorer and right-click to find a new “Resize pictures” option that you can use to do just that.

  • PowerRename: Same deal. Select a file (or files) in File Explorer and right-click to find the new “PowerRename” option, which gives you an advanced (but not complicated) method for finding and replacing any characters in any of the files’ names.

  • Shortcut Guide: Press and hold the Windows Key to get a handy pop-up overlay that shows you all the keyboard shortcuts you might need to know.

  • Window Walker: Hit Windows Key + CTRL and use the search bar to find any windows you currently have open. If you’re the kind of person who has as many applications open as browser tabs, this is a must-use.

I’m waiting for the Windows Key + R replacement launcher to arrive in subsequent versions of PowerToys—ideally, version 0.18, which is on deck for release.

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