Microsoft has recently unveiled the latest version of PowerToys, version 0.71.0, which comes packed with a host of exciting new features, enhancements, and bug fixes. PowerToys is a collection of utilities specifically designed to enhance productivity and provide additional functionality for Windows users.
One of the standout additions in PowerToys v0.71.0 is the support for previewing archive files with Peek. This new feature allows users to conveniently glance through the contents of compressed files without the need to extract them, providing a quick and efficient way to access the information stored within.
This release also brings several important bug fixes. For instance, the popular PowerToys module, PT Run, will no longer crash due to a missing App.Dark.png file. Additionally, a crash related to non-thread-safe results update has been addressed, ensuring a more stable and reliable experience for users.
The PowerToys team has strongly emphasized improving the overall user experience in this release. The Settings app has received a modernized title bar and styling, conforming to Windows 11 guidelines. This enhancement creates a visually cohesive look and feel for the application.
Beyond these highlights, numerous general improvements have been implemented. Issues such as an infinite loop caused by a global event not being reset, runner lag due to update checks running on the main thread, and network errors when checking for updates on virtual machines have all been resolved. These fixes contribute to a smoother and more efficient operation of PowerToys.
Several module-specific enhancements have also been introduced. In ColorPicker, for example, the color history is now stored in a separate file, allowing for better organization and access to previously selected colors. FancyZones now supports using the middle click to toggle multiple zones spanning. This feature simplifies the management of layouts and improves productivity for multi-window workflows.
The File Locksmith module now provides a setting to show only in the extended context menu, streamlining the options presented to users. Developer files preview support has been expanded in the File Explorer add-ons, enabling users to preview files such as .vsconfig, .sln, .vcproj, .vbproj, .fsproj, and .vcxproj files. Additionally, several bug fixes have been implemented in this module, addressing issues related to layout reset, default layout application, and preview pane flickering.
The Hosts module has undergone several improvements, including the addition of keyboard shortcuts, a setting to select the file encoding and fixes related to parsing commented lines and handling entries with more than 9 hosts per entry.
The ImageResizer module now includes an Enter key event handler when setting the width and height of a new custom size, improving the efficiency of resizing images. Meanwhile, the Installer module has resolved issues related to PowerToys Plugin installation and missing Mouse Without Borders service after an upgrade.
Mouse Without Borders, a module that enables seamless mouse and keyboard sharing across multiple computers, has seen numerous fixes in this release. These include addressing device layout issues, fixing cursor hiding behavior, resolving sleep mode prevention, and ensuring proper handling of shortcut keys. The module works without the service if it fails to start properly, and the focus issue related to the “Hide mouse at the screen edge” has been resolved.
Peek, another PowerToys module, has undergone various improvements in PowerToys v0.71.0. It now offers improved file preview capabilities, including support for additional file types, such as.vsconfig, .sln, .vcproj, .vbproj, .fsproj, and .vcxproj files. Additionally, Peek now supports .vbs, .inf, .gitconfig, .gitattributes, .editorconfig, and .htm files.
Furthermore, Peek’s user interface has been refined, ensuring a smoother and more intuitive experience. Users can now hide the Peek window with the Esc key, and a setting has been added to always run Peek not-elevated, providing enhanced security by default. The module has also addressed various issues, such as previewing unsupported file types, handling focus loss, and improving window positioning and quality, resulting in an improved overall user experience.
The Registry Preview module has introduced a new setting that allows users to set it as the default app for opening .reg files. This feature gives users more control over their file associations and streamlines the process of working with registry files.
PowerToys v0.71.0 has also seen updates and fixes in other modules. The Quick Accent module now includes additional symbols and signs in various languages. The Text Extractor module has received various improvements and fixes.
In the Settings app, several styling fixes have been applied to Peek and Mouse Without Borders pages, making the interface more visually consistent. The Mouse Without Borders machine connection status styling has been fixed, and the Uninstall service UX has been improved, enhancing the usability of the module.
The development process has also received attention in this release. Peek and Mouse Without Borders have been added to GitHub templates, facilitating the contribution process for developers. CI release pipelines and Winget package submission have been fixed, ensuring a streamlined release and distribution workflow.
In summary, Microsoft’s PowerToys v0.71.0 introduces a wide range of new features, improvements, and bug fixes, enhancing the utility and usability of the PowerToys suite. With expanded file preview support, refined user interfaces, and stability enhancements, PowerToys continues to be a valuable tool for Windows users seeking to enhance their productivity and streamline their workflows.