Microsoft PowerToys

Microsoft PowerToys
2020 PowerToys Icon.svg
Initial release0.11.0 (Windows 10) / December 3, 2019; 2 years ago (2019-12-03)[1]
Stable release
0.49.1 (Windows 10) / October 29th, 2021
Written inC#
Operating systemWindows 95, Windows XP, Windows 10, Windows 11
TypeSystem utilities
LicenseProprietary (Windows 95/XP), MIT License (Windows 10 and later)

Microsoft PowerToys is a set of freeware system utilities designed for power users developed by Microsoft for use on the Windows operating system. These programs add or change features to maximize productivity or add more customization. PowerToys are available for Windows 95, Windows XP, Windows 10 and Windows 11.[3] The PowerToys for Windows 10 are free and open-source software licensed under the MIT License and hosted on GitHub.

PowerToys for Windows 95[]

PowerToys for Windows 95 was the first version of Microsoft PowerToys and included 15 tools for power users. It included TweakUI, a system utility for tweaking the more obscure settings in Windows. In most cases, TweakUI exposed settings that were otherwise only accessible by directly modifying Windows Registry.[4]

Included components[]

The following PowerToys for Windows 95 were available:[5]

PowerToys for Windows 95 were developed by the Windows Shell Development Team. Some of the tools work on later versions of Windows up to Windows XP, but others may interfere with newer built-in features on Windows 98, ME, and XP.[6]

Windows 95 Kernel Toys[]

After the success of the Windows 95 PowerToys, the Windows Kernel Development Team released another set of tools for power users called Windows 95 Kernel Toys.[7]

Six tools were included in this package:[8]

According to Raymond Chen, he wrote all of the Kernel Toys except for the Time Zone Editor, which came from the Windows NT Resource Kit.[9]

PowerToys for Windows XP[]

PowerToys for Windows XP was the second version of the PowerToys set and brought major changes from the Windows 95 version. The tools in this set were available as separate downloads rather than in a single package.

Included components[]

As of November 2009, the following PowerToys for Windows XP were available:[10]

Discontinued components[]

The following PowerToys for Windows XP were discontinued:[10]

PowerToys for Windows 10[]

Windows 10 received PowerToys four years after its release. On May 8, 2019, Microsoft relaunched PowerToys and made them open-source on GitHub.[20] The first preview release was available in September 2019, which included FancyZones and the Windows key shortcut guide.[21]

Included components[]

PowerToys for Windows 10 comes with the following utilities:[22]

Compatibility with Windows Vista, 7, and 8[]

PowerToys did not receive any releases supporting Windows Vista. Making equivalent calls to various Windows APIs were still possible though and enabling third-party applications to be implemented with the same, or a subset, of the original functionality. Neither Windows 7, Windows 8 nor Windows 8.1 received official support either.[citation needed] Not accounting for time spent developing Windows Vista, PowerToys was not updated for over 12 years, before being re-released as open source software for Windows 10.

PowerToys for other Microsoft products[]

Microsoft also released PowerToys for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition[30] and Windows XP Media Center Edition.[31]

A set of PowerToys for Windows Media Player was released as part of the Windows Media Player Bonus Pack (for Windows XP), consisting of five tools to "provide a variety of enhancements to Windows Media Player."[32][33]

Finally, Microsoft has also released PowerToys for Windows Mobile, Visual Studio[34][35][36] and OneNote.[37][38]

See also[]


  1. ^ "Initial release". GitHub. Retrieved 2021-10-12.
  2. ^ "Latest release". GitHub. Retrieved 2021-10-12.
  3. ^ "Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22463". 22 September 2021.
  4. ^ "removed: Windows Power Toys for Windows XP and for Windows 95 98 NT and 2000"., Inc. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  5. ^ Using Windows 95 PowerToys – Socket 3
  6. ^ "Windows PowerToys FAQ for Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000 & XP". Windows Support Center: James A. Eshelman. August 5, 2005. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  7. ^ Chen, Raymond (2007). The Old New Thing: Practical Development Throughout the Evolution of Windows (ebook). Pearson Education Inc. ISBN 9780132701648. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Windows 95 downloads". Computer Hope. 2017-04-26. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  9. ^ Chen, Raymond (2005-02-02). "The history of the Windows PowerToys". Microsoft. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  10. ^ a b "PowerToys for Windows XP". Microsoft Corporation. 25 September 2008. Archived from the original on 1 February 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  11. ^ MalekTips - Download a Free Graphing Calculator
  12. ^ PowerCalc in Windows 7
  13. ^ "Download details: Windows XP Creativity Fun Pack PowerToys Wallpaper Changer". Microsoft Corporation. 22 April 2003. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
  14. ^ "Internet Explorer 8: Features (Section: Better Find on Page)". Internet Explorer 8 web site. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 8 January 2010. Internet Explorer 8 includes a redesigned Find On Page toolbar, which is activated by pressing Ctrl-F or choosing Find On Page from the Edit menu or Search box drop-down.
  15. ^ LeBlanc, Brandon (13 April 2009). "Burn ISO Images Natively in Windows 7". Windows Experience Blog. Microsoft Corporation. Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  16. ^ "Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools". Microsoft Corporation. 28 April 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2010. Cdburn.exe: ISO CD-ROM Burner Tool [~snip] Dvdburn.exe: ISO DVD Burner Tool
  17. ^ Lowe, Scott (18 December 2008). "How to use CD & DVD image files without burning discs". Microsoft Musings. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  18. ^ Lowe, Scott (19 December 2006). "How to back up without the hassle of physical media". TechGuides. TechRepublic. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  19. ^ "XP: Small, Free Way to Use and Mount Images (ISO files) Without Burning Them". TECH-RECIPES. 27 August 2004. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  20. ^ GitHub - Microsoft/PowerToys: Windows system utilities to maximize productivity
  21. ^ GitHub - Microsoft/PowerToys/Releases
  22. ^ GitHub - microsoft/PowerToys: Windows system utilities to maximize productivity, Microsoft, 2019-11-30, retrieved 2019-11-30
  23. ^ a b Warren, Tom (2019-09-06). "Microsoft's first PowerToys for Windows 10 now available to download". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  24. ^ "Releases - microsoft/PowerToys". GitHub.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. ^ "microsoft/PowerToys". GitHub. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  26. ^ "Mouse utilities for Windows". (in American English). 2021-11-17. Retrieved 2021-11-17.
  27. ^ "How to use PowerRename PowerToy for Windows 10". The Windows Club (in American English). 2019-11-05. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  28. ^ "Video Conference Mute for Windows". (in American English). 2021-11-17. Retrieved 2021-11-17.
  29. ^ "Shortcut guide utility for Windows". (in American English). 2021-11-17. Retrieved 2021-11-17.
  30. ^ "Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition". Microsoft Corporation. 29 June 2004. Archived from the original on 31 December 2004. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  31. ^ "Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP Media Center Edition". Microsoft Corporation. 17 January 2005. Archived from the original on 29 December 2005. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  32. ^ "PowerToys for Windows Media Player for Windows XP". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 2 April 2006.
  33. ^ Karp, David A. (8 November 2005). "Power Up with PowerToys". PC Magazine. Vol. 24, no. 19/20. p. 106. ISSN 0888-8507.
  34. ^ Kelley, Jeremy. "Welcome to Power Toys Pack Installer". CodePlex. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  35. ^ Ford, Sara. "Power Toys WebLog". Microsoft Developer Network. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  36. ^ "Visual Studio Power Toys are Back". 25 June 2008. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  37. ^ "PowerToys for OneNote 2003". Microsoft Office web site. Microsoft Corporation. Archived from the original on 27 December 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  38. ^ Guin, John. "PowerToys for OneNote". OneNote Testing. Microsoft Developer Network. Archived from the original on 19 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.

External links[]