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
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at