Microsoft is rolling out its latest PowerToys update, bringing the collection of utilities up to version 0.53.1. This update was initially scheduled as a maintenance release. However, Microsoft points to “amazing community support” and is able to also roll out a bunch of cool new features.

First up is the addition of G-code support within the File Explorer when running PowerToys in Windows 10 and Windows 11. This is for both thumbnails and the preview pane in File Explorer.

Elsewhere in the update, PowerToys is getting direct web searches for the first time. Through a web search plugin within the Run via tool, users can select an action phrase and the query will be sent to the default web browser you choose.

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Microsoft has also added an “Always on Top” feature to the platform. One of the more curios feature gaps on both Windows 10 and Windows 11 is the lack of ability to always keep a specific app on top of others.

It has always required a third-party solution to do this, until now. PowerToys 0.53.1 has a shortcut for putting windows on top of others. Microsoft says Always on Top has been one of the most requested features across the whole Windows ecosystem. Users can leverage this ability in PowerToys by selecting a keyboard shortcut.

As is normal, there are a bunch of smaller updates and improvements alongside these main features. Below is the full changelog.

PowerToys 0.53.1 Release Notes

“Things to be aware of

  • The new installer currently has a visual quirk when upgrade if you have a custom install path. It will show the default install path but it will actually overwrite the current location. We are investigating how to fix this.

Always on Top

  • Welcome to the family! With a quick Win+Ctrl+T, the window in focus is toggled to be on top. Toggle again, and it reverts back to normal.

ColorPicker

  • HEX input improvements for adjust color menu including support for hex code without hashtag and short hex code like #CF0. Thanks @htcfreek!
  • Better bottom right screen detection for overlay

FancyZones

  • Increased negative space margin
  • Fix for not snapping child windows
  • Fix for clearing keyboard focus on editor launch
  • Fix to improve overlays to reduce brightness and hide numbers. Thanks @davidegiacometti

File Explorer

  • Added G-code support for thumbnails and preview pane. Thanks @pedrolamas

Image Resizer

PowerRename

  • Row highlighting + preview support now implemented. Thanks @niels9001
  • Fixed AltGR input issue
  • Improved folder renaming support
  • Opens on active monitor

PowerToys Run

  • Web searching has been added! ?? What is the answer to life will go to your favorite search engine via your browser. You can change the default action key too! Thanks @cyberrex5 for primary implementation and @franky920920 and @htcfreek for supporting
  • VS Code workspace improvements. Thanks @ricardosantos9521
  • Binary and Hex number support. Thanks @gsuberland
  • Ability to use factorials in calculations
  • PT Run will not show in Window Walker results anymore. Thanks @davidegiacometti
  • Fix log / ln calculations
  • Fix to make previous results clear
  • Fix to detect symlinks and prevent recursive loops
  • Fix for trackpad scrolling being too fast
  • Removed unneeded nuget package. Thanks @ChaseKnowlden
  • Better detection for if a packaged app can be elevated
  • Improve crash resiliency for Program plugin. Thanks @davidegiacometti
  • Improved Windows setting results. Thanks @htcfreek
  • Fixed a bug where some similar activation phrases aren’t working as expected. Thanks @htcfreek and @cyberrex5.

Video conference mute

  • Disabled by default as this requires elevation to register the virtual camera.
  • Changed (default) hotkey for mute camera & microphone from Win+N to Win+Shift+Q to not conflict with a Windows 11 keyboard shortcut

Settings

  • Multiple accessibility, layout, image, string and icons fixes. Thanks @niels9001

Runner

  • Improved mutex support to prevent multiple PT Run instances from running”

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