Ahead of the Windows 11 launch, the spotlight has focused largely on interface and design improvements, but it appears power users have something to be excited about too.
Behind the scenes, Microsoft has been working on an upgrade for PowerToys, its suite of utilities for advanced Windows users. The library offers a greater range of customization options, as well as the ability to perform actions unavailable to regular users.
When Window 11 goes live (all the signs point to a mid-October launch), the PowerToys app will ship with a new look to match the curvaceous, frosted glass aesthetic of the new operating system. But it will also receive functional upgrades, such as a new settings menu, update interface and accessibility options that should make tinkering that little bit easier.
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Microsoft is holding its cards close to its chest with regards to specifics, but wants to make clear the needs of power users have not been forgotten.
PowerToys on Windows 11
The PowerToys suite has proven attractive over the years to Windows users that want to push the limits of the OS and bypass restrictions put in place to create a smoother but more limited experience for the average user.
The utility library includes tools such as Color Picker, which can copy color data from any running application to the clipboard, and Fancy Zones, which lets users create complex window layouts specifically suited to their applications.
Others, like Image Resizer and PowerRename, are designed to help Windows users perform common actions with greater ease and speed, maximizing productivity.
The PowerToys Run utility, meanwhile, acts as a lightweight Start Menu alternative that helps users launch into files and applications more quickly. It can also be used to navigate to active applications and perform system-level actions, such as shutdown or restart.
The upcoming PowerToys update suggests Microsoft will carry the same approach over to Windows 11, with advanced users afforded additional functionality if they choose to seek it out. The new operating system may also create opportunities for new power utilities (perhaps geared towards optimizing the new Teams integration or Windows update process), although Microsoft has let nothing slip just yet.
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Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.