Microsoft PowerToys 0.53.1 brings file explorer improvement, web searching, and more

Microsoft Powertoys
Microsoft Powertoys (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • PowerToys version 0.53.1 is out in the wild alongside a lengthy list of associated release notes over on GitHub.
  • Two of the big additions in this release are the "Always on Top" feature and web searching functionality.
  • There is also a load of smaller improvements, tweaks, and fixes such as file explorer G-code support for preview panes and thumbnails.

There are two big-ticket items in this latest PowerToys release that loads of people are cooing about: The Always on Top feature as well as the new web search capabilities. With that said, PowerToys version 0.53.1 packs other content as well, including ColorPicker improvements and a bunch of PowerRename tweaks.

To explain the Always on Top feature, it's simple: Press Win+Ctrl+T, and your chosen window will remain on top of others. Press it again and the pin is undone.

As for the web search plugin, again, it's nothing too complex, but could be quite useful: "??" is the action phrase. Type that, your search query, and your primary search engine will get to work in your browser. Plus, if you want a different action key, you can manually set that.

But those two items are far from the only PowerToys updates. Take, for example, the ColorPicker patch notes:

  • HEX input improvements for adjust color menu including support for hex code without hashtag and short hex code like #CF0. Thanks @htcfreek!
  • Better bottom right screen detection for overlay

Or FancyZones:

  • Increased negative space margin
  • Fix for not snapping child windows
  • Fix for clearing keyboard focus on editor launch
  • Fix to improve overlays to reduce brightness and hide numbers. Thanks @davidegiacometti

If you want the full laundry list of PowerToys perks packaged in version 0.53.1, head on over to GitHub. How far we've come since PowerToys release 0.51. The sky's the limit!

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to