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Microsoft PowerToys gains run launcher and keyboard remapper

Powertoys Run Launcher
Powertoys Run Launcher (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft's PowerToys just gained a Run launcher and a keyboard remapper. The features come in the 0.18 release that came out today (via The Verge). The PowerToys Run launcher is somewhat similar to Spotlight in that it allows you to quickly search for apps on Windows devices. You can also search through plugins like calculators and running processes. The feature was first teased last month when its developers asked for help naming it.

In its first iteration, the PowerToys Run launcher will only support basic search tasks, but in the future, there are plans to add features similar to Alfred on macOS. The PowerToys Run launcher supports the same functionality as the current Windows key + R shortcut but will become more powerful over time as developers build it up. Microsoft is working with the open-source community to improve PowerToys. Specifically, The Verge points out that Microsoft worked with the makers of Wox and WindowWalker to incorporate those projects into PowerToys Run.

In addition to the PowerToys Run launcher, PowerToys gains a Keyboard Manager PowerToy in the 0.18 release. The feature allows you to remap keys on Windows 10, such as switching individual keys. This can be especially useful on laptops with unique keyboard layouts or when you need the ability to quickly use a certain character or command.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at

  • why powertoys is not an uwp? because of image preview feature or something?
  • Because then it wouldn't work on Windows 7.
  • The new run launcher is excellent, much respect to the devs for that. SVG in preview pane is also very useful, helps make up for the crazy lack of support in the main window of File Explorer (thumbnails). If it's not going into the core OS (where it should be), I'd like to see PowerToys let us specify the folders that get displayed in the folder pane of File Explorer. Would let me get rid of that 3D Objects crap