Hacker News Re-Imagined

PowerToys – open-source Windows utilities

  • 676 points
  • 15 days ago

  • @thunderbong
  • Created a post

PowerToys – open-source Windows utilities


@bsnnkv 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

If Fancy Zones is too basic for you, especially coming from Linux, you might like komorebi[1], a fully scriptable, bspwm-esque automatic tiling window manager for Windows 10+.

[1]: https://github.com/LGUG2Z/komorebi

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@corderop 14 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

I find it funny when Microsoft says we love open source and their open source projects are a calculator and a utility tool. This is the same for almost any big company.

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@Timothycquinn 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

At least windows explorer has some great extension utilities like File Menu Tools; a tool that can be configured to cover pretty much every file explorer extension usecase you can imagine.

OSX and XDG (Gnome etc...) based systems have nothing close last time I checked.

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@jimnotgym 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

Worth installing just for the image resizer

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@LegitShady 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

fancyzones is great for utrawide monitors. I've been using it for years and once you create your own layouts you can snap windows to fill them with easy shortcuts (click and drag the window + hold shift), and windows will remember the layouts later and keep them.

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@doomlaser 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

This reminds me of one of my favorite features from the Mac: Quick Look — press space to instantly bring up a big contextual preview window of the selected document in the Finder.

You can bring it to Windows with this useful open source tool: https://github.com/QL-Win/QuickLook

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@stjohnswarts 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

If you are in the market for alternatives, I highly recommend Process Hacker in lieu of the powertoys version.

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@DiabloD3 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

I highly recommend the new PowerToys. It's like the old one you remember from the 2000/XP days. This article covers my thoughts pretty well; always weird to see your own thoughts echoed back to you.

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@apson 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

I literally have a AutoHotkey script to make windows to stay always on top. This is great!

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@Zardoz84 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

Many of these things come out of the box on a Linux distro : Always on top, color picker, File explorer add-ons, keyboard manager, "mouse utilities" and "the Powertoys run" (a poor imitation of krunner could do)

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@aceazzameen 14 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

PowerToys is fantastic. So many great utilities. Another MS tool that I love is Microsoft Garage Mouse Without Borders. Someone mentioned it here on HN once, and I now use it all the time. Such a simple tool to use one mouse/keyboard across 2 or more computers. It works amazingly well!

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@k__ 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

I'm using fancy zones.

Without it, Windows would be a nightmare to use on a 45" display.

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@Someone1234 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

PowerToys is great, in particular PowerToys Run.

I'd use PowerToys Color Picker more, but it lacks contrast ratios/accessibility information, which is where it would be most useful to me. It was suggested on their GitHub but didn't gain much traction:

https://github.com/microsoft/PowerToys/issues/9357

https://github.com/microsoft/PowerToys/issues/14454

9 times out of 10, I am getting color information to run these exact checks, so it would just save an extra step.

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@tveyben 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

I like powertoys, especially ‘fancy zones’!

But Explorer is something I stopped using more than a decade ago when I encountered TotalCommander - that I cannot do without!!!

The regex-supporting live-preview batch-filenaming utility alone is awesome.

I work so much faster (with the keyboard) than will ever possible in Explorer!

I could write for hours about the greatness of TCM, but as that’s a little off topic here I won’t :-)

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@iamkroot 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

Wait, is this an official MS utility?

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/powertoys/

Why aren't these just bundled by default??

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@dang 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

Related:

Fancy Zones, a tiling window manager - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20895031 - Sept 2019 (163 comments)

PowerToys: Windows system utilities to maximize productivity - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20890828 - Sept 2019 (126 comments)

PowerToys – Windows system utilities to maximize productivity - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19845287 - May 2019 (29 comments)

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@Timothycquinn 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

A great OS Utility is Path Copy Copy (https://pathcopycopy.github.io/)

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@sertsa 14 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙



@unlog 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

If you use multiple screens and your mouse gets stuck in the corners, I recommend https://github.com/MouseUnSnag/MouseUnSnag

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@texaslonghorn5 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

> It was first introduced for Windows 95,

I had no idea it was there for that long!

Honestly, from their perspective it probably makes sense to keep it separate from the main OS if they like keeping it open source.

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@azalemeth 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

Many, if not most of these tools contain functionality that is built into other major OSes, and had been for a long time. I don't really understand why Microsoft doesn't include them by default.

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@bubbab 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

I use PowerToys just for the easy key remapping, which I wish was a built-in feature in more keyboards. Works very nicely as a simple alternative to AutoHotKey. My RSI has gotten a lot better by just remapping Caps Lock to Ctrl.

If any PowerToys feature deserves to be added to Windows, it's gotta be the Keyboard Manager.

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@TomMasz 14 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

Whatever OS/machine I'm on one of the first things I do is map the Caps Lock key to nothing. PowerToys requires you to map it to something, though, so it gets to be Left Shift. Either way, no shouting.

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@NelsonMinar 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

PowerToys Run is fantastic as an app launcher. Not quite as good as Alfred on MacOS but then nothing is. There's a bunch of similar apps for Windows (I used to use Hain) but none ever worked quite right for me, PowerToys Run does though.

FancyZones is awfully nice too for just putting a window somewhere at a reasonable size and location.

As other folks have noted SysInternals is another similar rogue Windows product by Microsoft. Process Explorer from there is indispensible, as is Autoruns.

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@4m1rk 14 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

It's a while that I have no doubt Linux desktop is ahead of Windows. Both stability and features.

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@thisismyswamp 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

I use the window zoning thing all the time to center windows at less than full width on my ultra wide screen.

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@Slikey 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

Isn't it ironic that the operating system called "Windows" offers one of the worst window management user experiences?

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@coderintherye 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

Since I so rarely see a Windows thread, perhaps folks wont mind me asking: What utilities or code would you leverage if you had a use case to run a program on a Windows machine once a day and look for any CSV/XLS/XLSX files and then copy those to another server? (With full knowledge of the owner of said computer, they are just lacking in proficiency to do anything even as simple as connect Box Sync)

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@fleaaa 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

I've been waiting for the feature that I could move focus between window with keyboard in fancyzone. It would be the last stroke for a beautiful product.

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@octagons 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

Fancy Zones makes my day-to-day so much more convenient. I wish there was an equivalent in Linux that worked as well - I’ve tried a few gnome plugins but always been disappointed.

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@tough 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

The new best launcher app for mac is raycast.app by miles though.

Alfred was king but no more

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@FractalHQ 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

One thing that I really miss on my Windows machine that I took for granted on my MacBook- system-wide dark theme. The Windows 11 dark theme is terrible. 90% of ui windows are still pure white (and blinding late at night). Browsers don’t seem to pick up on it, so websites don’t either.

Is there any reliable way to get a real dark mode on Windows 11?

On my MacBook, one hotkey changes every app, native window, and (modern) website (with system dark theme support) to dark mode. I only wish Darkreader would add a system theme event listener so I wouldn’t have to turn it on manually.

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@claimred 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

Speaking of cool Windows utilities for SysInternals Suite is an absolute winner. ZoomIt in particular is fun to use during demos

https://apps.microsoft.com/store/detail/sysinternals-suite/9...

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@bschne 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

These are great, but with some of them I cannot help but wonder why MSFT would choose not to include them in the OS by default. They seem fairly unobtrusive and like they wouldn't add too much complexity to the product in return for what you get in terms of better usability and/or additional functionality.

Of course you could argue that you always have to be very careful not to overload and bloat your software product, especially if it's an OS — but windows contains two different consoles, about three versions of the system preferences management, ..., it just doesn't seem like MSFT to be that picky about what they'll put into their product.

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@status200 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

"How to make your Windows more like MacOS"

Hopefully Microsoft sees the writing on the wall and includes these in an update, instead of being stubborn and pretending that they have had a reason to exclude them all this time.

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@tester756 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

Also no built in screen recording software, wtf? 2022

at least gifs pls

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@ajsnigrutin 14 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

I opened the site in a new tab, and when i opened the tab, there was a popup asking me for my first and last name and an email address to sign-up (for something?) + of course a captcha.

I never visited your webpage before, I didn't even get to read the article, why the hell are you asking me to give you my personal data and subcribe to some spammy emails?

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@drakenot 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

Anyone have a good “Push to Talk” utility for windows?

This PowerTools has something close but not exactly what I’m looking for.

I’ve gotten used to PTT in apps like Ventrilo / Discord and hate having to constantly unmute / remute in Teams.

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@jcrben 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

I found that IT at work wouldn't let me install powertoys because they didn't like the Awake feature. Please bundle these in of allow us to install them one by one.

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@StarlaAtNight 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

My favorite tool in this is PowerRename

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@nayuki 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

The Windows PowerToys brand name has been around for a long time! I still remember downloading them from the Microsoft website for Windows XP to add features to Windows and customize Explorer's behavior.

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@lloydatkinson 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

It’s written in .NET but historically HN isn’t keen on that kind of thing

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@GrantsUsername 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

I run it all the time on Windows 11. FancyZones are great for ultrawide monitor use. Would definitely recommend it.

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@RachelF 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

If you want to go beyond Power Toys, take a look at TC UP:

https://www.tcup.pl/index.php/en/

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@iconhacker 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

https://fluentsearch.net/ fluentsearch is way more powerful than powertoy run. It replaced my need for Listary as well. The author is an Microsoft engineer and have frequently updated the app based on the community feedback. If fluent search replaced powertoy run and be part of the powertoy, it will be perfect.

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@dorfsmay 15 days

Replying to @thunderbong 🎙

I remember when PowerToy was the only to get focus-follow-mouse, before you could do that in the registry. This was magic! It made Windows half usable.

These days, when IT spends so much effort to make working difficult, and castrate Windows to the the point it is unusable, I work on Mac if my customer won't allow Linux, and that has to be one of the most frustrating thing on macOS, you have to click to bring anything in focus. I swear I spend 30% of my time clicking on things just so I can type in them!

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