The Best Microsoft PowerToys Shortcuts You’ll Want to Use Every Day

The Best Microsoft PowerToys Shortcuts You’ll Want to Use Every Day
Photo: SeventyFour, Shutterstock

Windows isn’t the same without Microsoft PowerToys — a suite of utilities full of handy features, including a Spotlight-like search bar to quickly open apps or run calculations, a shortcut that immediately mutes your microphone and turns off the webcam, and a tool that lets you keep any app’s window pinned to the screen. All of the PowerToys tools are free — here are our favourites.

Video Conference Mute

There’s nothing more embarrassing than not realising that your webcam and microphone are on, but Video Conference Mute gives you a handy keyboard shortcut to immediately mute yourself, another shortcut to turn off your webcam, and a third one to turn both off. Since this is a global keyboard shortcut, it applies across video conferencing apps, and you only have to remember one or two shortcuts instead of a separate set of commands for each app.

Find My Mouse

Got yourself a large monitor or two? One of the biggest problems with this kind of a setup is finding the tiny mouse cursor. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve lost the mouse cursor on my ultra-wide monitor, and there’s no utility that I use more than Find My Mouse. To find your cursor, press the left Ctrl key twice.

Always On Top

As a writer, I often like to keep my writing app pinned to the screen while I refer to screenshots or open apps to accurately describe the features I’m writing about. That’s why Always On Top has been extremely useful for me. If you’re a student who likes to take notes from videos or PDF documents, you’ll enjoy this utility, too. The default shortcut to enable or disable Always On Top is Windows Key + Ctrl + T.

FancyZones

Some of us are very particular about window management. If you are one of us, then FancyZones helps you create neat zones on the screen and allows you to arrange multiple windows into these zones. Once you’ve selected a layout in FancyZones, press and hold the Windows key while dragging windows around until they snap into the layout of your choice.

Image Resizer

Image Resizer allows you to quickly resize images by right-clicking and changing to a different resolution. You can even add a custom resolution here to fit your needs. Image Resizer can’t replace Photoshop completely, but for a lot of people, it’s a lightweight and free way to execute the task well.

PowerRename

PowerRename is the utility that lets you rename a bunch of files in bulk. Select a group of files in Windows Explorer, right-click them, and select PowerRename. It has toggles to select if you want to capitalise each word or follow uppercase or lowercase file names. You can also add a number to each selected file.

PowerToys Run

Mac users have long used Spotlight search for everything from opening apps to performing calculations. PowerToys Run brings that feature to Windows. The shortcut is Alt + Spacebar.

Awake

If you want to stop your PC from going into sleep mode, enable the Awake utility in PowerToys. It does one thing, and does it well. You can choose if you want to keep the screen on or not, and select if you want to keep the PC awake permanently or temporarily.

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