PowerToys 0.53.1 Adds Always Top Web Search and Tool

Microsoft has released PowerToys version 0.53.1, bringing a handful of new features for power users. This time around, the company is adding the always top features that were mentioned in the changelog of the previous version, as well as a new web search tool, among others.

Starting with the new, always on top tool, it pretty much does what you expect. Using a keyboard shortcut (Windows key + Ctrl + T), you can force the active window to always stay on top of everything else. You can press the keyboard shortcut again to cancel it. You can also set a border around the pinned window so that it’s easier to identify a window that’s configured to always be in the foreground.

Another important upgrade of this PowerToys 0.53.1 is the PowerToys Run tool. This replacement of the Windows Run dialog box now also includes the ability to search the web. Entering a query starting with ?? will search the web for anything you write after this command. You can also change the command to trigger a web search if that’s not right for you.

A big advantage of this feature is that it actually uses your browser and your default search engine to open search results. If you don’t like the way Windows Search opens Edge and Bing automatically, this can be a welcome feature. It should be noted that by using Vivaldi as the default browser, the search engine used was always Google, regardless of the default setting. It could be a compatibility issue or a bug.

There is yet another notable addition, which is support for G-code files in File Explorer add-ons. This allows you to preview a G-code file through its thumbnail, if the file contains one.

Apart from this, version 0.53.1 includes fixes, tweaks, and other improvements for a wide range of applications included in PowerToys. You can see the full changelog below:

What’s new in PowerToys 0.53.1

Always on top

  • Welcome to the family! With a quick To earn+Ctrl+T, the focus window is tilted up. Switch again and everything returns to normal.

Color picker

  • Improvements to the HEX input to adjust the color menu, including support for hex code without hashtag and short hex code like # CF0. Thank you @htcfreek!
  • Better screen detection at bottom right for overlay

FancyZones

  • Increased negative space margin
  • Correction for not snapping child windows
  • Correction to clear the keyboard focus when launching the editor
  • Fixed to improve overlays to reduce brightness and hide numbers. Thank you @davidegiacometti

File explorer

  • Added G code support for thumbnails and preview pane. Thank you @pedrolamas

Image resizer

PowerRename

  • Line highlighting + preview support now implemented. Thank you @ niels9001
  • Fixed AltGR input issue
  • Improved support for folder renaming
  • Opens on the active monitor

PowerToys Run

  • Web search has been added! ?? What is the answer to life will go to your favorite search engine through your browser. You can also change the default action key! Thank you @ cyberrex5 for primary implementation and @ franky920920 and @htcfreek to support
  • VS Code workspace improvements. Thank you @ ricardosantos9521
  • Support for binary and hexadecimal numbers. Thank you @gsuberland
  • Possibility of using factorials in calculations
  • PT Run will no longer show up in Window Walker results. Thank you @davidegiacometti
  • Correction of log / ln calculations
  • Correction to make previous results clear
  • Fix to detect symbolic links and prevent recursive loops
  • Fixed trackpad scrolling too fast
  • Removed unnecessary nuget package. Thank you @ChaseKnowlden
  • Better detection of whether a packaged app may be elevated
  • Improve crash resilience for the program’s plug-in. Thank you @davidegiacometti
  • Improved Windows settings results. Thank you @htcfreek
  • Fixed a bug where some similar activation phrases did not work as expected. Thank you @htcfreek and @ cyberrex5.

Mute the video conference

  • Disabled by default as it requires elevation to record the virtual camera.
  • Changed hotkey (default) to mute camera and microphone audio from To earn+NOT at To earn+Change+Q to not conflict with a Windows 11 keyboard shortcut

Settings

  • Multiple accessibility, layout, image, channel and icon fixes. Thank you @ niels9001

Runner

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

Fitter

  • REMARK: The new installer currently has a visual quirk when upgrading 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 problem.
  • Great progress towards user-based installation compared to the whole machine. The upgrade scenario still requires additional work.
  • Removed custom boot loader and now used a WiX bundle.
  • Removed unused picture elements that were still being shipped. Thank you @ niels9001

ARM64 support

  • By defining the WinUI3 proof of concept and validating, we need at least one additional feature, support for elevation of unpackaged WinUI 3 applications.

Developer improvements

  • New YAML-based pipeline to build our signed installer. This will allow us to consolidate our CI to use the same file. It was essential for us to unlock the ARM64 and .NET 6 migration.
  • Our submodules will no longer be retrieved automatically to avoid locking issues. If you want a reminder on how to do this, go to our development documents
  • The tracking system has moved from CDPx to Touchdown. This should remove a lot of localization issues.
  • Consolidation of much of the naming of EXEs and DLLs as well as projects
  • Updated spell checker. Thank you @jsoref
  • The response / dup was added
  • / reportbug / bugreport will request a “bug report” zip

If you haven’t already done so, you can download the latest version of PowerToys from GitHub, or you can search for it on the Microsoft Store. If you have already installed PowerToys, you should be prompted to automatically download version 0.53.1.

Brandon D. James