Microsoft's PowerToys gains fresh look inspired by Windows 11 for its settings page

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

What you need to know

  • PowerToys recently received an update to version 0.45.0.
  • The update focuses largely on stability, bug fixes, and improving accessibility.
  • Another update to PowerToys should arrive in the second week of September.

Microsoft's PowerToys has a new update that brings the app to version 0.45.0. The update focuses largely on stability, bug fixes, installer updates, and accessibility improvements, according to its release page. It also includes an updated settings menu, which was teased by PowerToys contributor Niels Laute last week.

Here's the changelog for PowerToys v0.45.0:

  • Removed ModuleImageLink. Thanks @niels9001!
  • Replaced theme radiobuttons settings with combobox. Thanks @niels9001!
  • Consolidated to one testing framework for C# components of the project. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • StyleCop and warnings fix. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • Removed unused namespace alias. Thanks @jakeoeding!
  • Standardized .NET JSON on System.Text.Json. Thanks @royvou!
  • Fixed various .xaml broken links and icons. Thanks @Jay-o-Way!
  • Updated name property in "Edit layout" and "Create custom layout" controls to not include private Unicode characters. Thanks @niels9001!
  • Changed bitmask variable from size_t to uint64_t which will enable PowerToys to support more than 40 zones per layout.
  • Adjusted telemetry to better disambiguate when PowerToys Run launches at startup.
  • Plugins "Direct activation phrase" setting renamed to "Direct activation string". Thanks @niels9001!
  • Updated environment variables when changed. Thanks @dchristensen!

New PowerToys users can grab the latest version of the app from its release page on GitHub. The release page also includes a long list of bug fixes and general improvements that arrive with the latest update. If you already have PowerToys on your PC, you can check for updates within the General tab of the app.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

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 sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

6 Comments
  • Out of curiosity, what is everyone's favorite PowerToys feature? I personally enjoy the Run feature. I still prefer it over the default search in WIndows 11.
  • Great question. I use Fancy Zones several times an hour, both when my Surface is docked and when I use it as a tablet. I also use the keyboard manager to customize keys (I turn a bunch of F-keys I never use plus the right-side Alt and Ctrl and Scroll Lock into macro keys for things like Next/Prev Desktop, Task View/Timeline, Run Script, Break and various media keys.) I have yet to use PowerRename but I've found utilities like that useful in the past. Does Run really work better than the (admittedly bad) Start + query? For example, will it open People?
  • I won't use it anymore because Windows 11 has a similar feature, but FancyZones is nice. I think a lot of the snapping stuff from PowerToys found a way into Windows 11.
  • The Windows 11 version is only useful if you want equal size windows. I personally don't work that way, so Fancy Zones is awesome. By far my favorite feature in PowerToys. I also like Power Rename, but would use it a lot more if it had more features.
  • My favourite is the color picker! Extremely convenient and useful when working on UI stuff.
  • Just updated thanks to this article. Woah, things look way better. Very modern. Awesome job, PowerToys!