PowerToys to bring Spotlight-like launcher to Windows 10 later this year

Powertoys Launcher
Powertoys Launcher (Image credit: Niels Laute)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is working on a new launcher as part of the PowerToys app.
  • The launcher will allow people to search for apps and files and support plugins.
  • The launcher will follow Fluent Design language and fit in with modern parts of Windows 10.

Microsoft-made PowerToys will add a new launcher later this year. The launcher will allow people to search for files and apps, and it will support plugins such as search engines and calculators. Microsoft is working with the open-source community to design the launcher, and a public beta is planned to roll out this May, according to The Verge's Tom Warren.

PowerToys originally appeared in Windows 95 and was recently relaunched to add handy features for power users on Windows 10. While PowerToys is a separate app and does not make any changes to the Windows 10 operating system, it does feel native when you use it. For example, the PowerRename feature that allows you to bulk rename files appears directly within the right-click context menu.

Microsoft's Clint Rutkas shared a poll earlier this week asking peole to help name the new launcher.

According to Warren, the new launcher will originally handle basic search tasks that you'd perform through Start Menu search on Windows. Over time, Microsoft plans to add a more powerful launcher akin to Alfred from macOS. UX designer Niels Laute shared a concept of a redesigned launcher earlier this year. Warren states that Microsoft is adopting some of Laute's code to make the launcher have a modern design.

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.