May 26, 2024
This Microsoft Add-On Is the Ultimate Windows 11 Customization Tool

This Microsoft Add-On Is the Ultimate Windows 11 Customization Tool

There’s no shortage of utilities to tweak, customize, and modify Windows, but one of the best utilities is made by Microsoft itself. PowerToys is a free and powerful customization tool for Windows 11, and well worth installing if you want to see what’s possible beyond the default settings and layouts of Microsoft’s operating system.

From window management to image resizing, there’s a lot to explore. Here I’ll introduce you to some of the best features PowerToys brings with it, giving you enough of an introduction that you feel able to play around with it yourself. It’s grown to include so many different tools, most people are going to find something of use here.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed the utility, you’ll be met with a dashboard where you can browse through the various modules available and customize them as needed.

FancyZones

Specify zones for your windows.

Courtesy of David Nield

FancyZones can bring some order to an unruly desktop. It lets you set specific layouts on screen for your windows to drop into, and these layouts can be saved for later use too, so you can switch between different configurations as needed.

Choose Launch layout editor from FancyZones settings and you’re able to pick between different layouts for windows on the screen. You can stack windows in columns, for example, or have them in rows on top of each other, or keep them stacked in one corner of the screen. It’s particularly handy for widescreen monitors, or when using multiple displays.

With FancyZones enabled and your preferred layout selected, just hold Shift while dragging a program’s window to drop it into a zone, where it will snap into position. You can even tweak zone colors, and the margins between the zones.

Keyboard Manager

Use Keyboard Manager to remap keys and shortcuts.

Courtesy of David Nield

If you feel a little bit limited by the keyboard customization options you get with Windows, give Keyboard Manager a go. This PowerToys module lets you remap keys and key press combinations so they do something different than the defaults.

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