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Microsoft PowerToys, the suite of utilities designed to enhance productivity and customization on Windows, has released its latest version, 0.76.0, just a month after the introduction of version 0.75.0.


The latest update (Microsoft PowerToys v0.76.0) brings several improvements, new features, and bug fixes across various modules, making PowerToys an even more robust toolkit for Windows users.


PowerToys 0.76.0: The Ultimate Windows Toolkit Gets Even Better
Microsoft PowerToys v0.76.0



Key Highlights

1. Upgrade to .NET 8

The PowerToys team has upgraded to .NET 8, a move that brings performance improvements, new features, and better compatibility with the latest technologies. This upgrade is a testament to the commitment to keeping PowerToys in sync with the latest advancements in software development.


2. Keyboard Manager Enhancements

The Keyboard Manager module now allows users to remap keys and shortcuts to send sequences of Unicode text. This feature provides users with greater flexibility and customization options, enhancing the overall typing and input experience. The Keyboard Manager Editor UI has also undergone a modernization process, thanks to the contributions from the community.



3. UI Modernization

The user interface of several PowerToys modules has received a facelift in version 0.76.0. The Keyboard Manager Editor, PowerToys Run, Quick Accent, and Text Extractor UIs have all been modernized, delivering a more visually appealing and user-friendly experience. These improvements, driven by community collaboration, contribute to a consistent and polished look across the PowerToys suite.


4. New File Explorer Add-ons

PowerToys version 0.76.0 introduces new File Explorer Add-ons: the QOI Image Preview Handler and Thumbnail Provider. This addition, spearheaded by community member @pedrolamas, enhances the functionality of File Explorer, providing users with improved image preview capabilities.


5. General Updates and Fixes

Several general updates and fixes have been implemented to enhance the overall stability and accessibility of PowerToys. Notable changes include upgrading the WebView 2 dependency, addressing color readability issues in WinUI3 applications, and refining flyouts in WinUI3 applications.



Module-specific Improvements

1. Awake

The Awake module now includes localization in the tray icon context menu, contributing to a more inclusive experience for users across different regions and languages.


2. Crop And Lock

Issues related to restoring windows that were reparented while maximized have been resolved in the Crop And Lock module, ensuring a smoother user experience.


3. Environment Variables

The Environment Variables module has undergone fixes to address crashes caused by a WinAppSDK version bump, ensuring a more reliable performance.



4. FancyZones

A critical change has been reverted to address snapping issues with certain applications, such as the Windows Calculator. The FancyZones Editor has also been improved to prevent applying layouts to the current monitor after editing.


5. File Explorer Add-ons

Several fixes have been applied to File Explorer Add-ons, including accurate encoding detection and background color adjustments for GCode preview handler in dark theme. Additionally, new utilities for previewing QOI image files have been introduced.


6. GPO (Group Policy Objects)

The missing Environment Variables utility policy has been added to the .admx and .adml files, enhancing the manageability of PowerToys in enterprise environments. Text improvements and typo fixes have also been implemented in the .adml file.



7. Hosts File Editor

The Hosts File Editor module now provides a proper warning when the host file is read-only, along with a button to make it writable, enhancing user awareness and control.


8. Image Resizer

The Image Resizer module has addressed WPF-UI issues related to the application's background brushes, ensuring users a more visually cohesive experience.


9. Installer

Localization files for Text Extractor and Awake have been included in the installation process, contributing to a seamless and localized setup experience for users.



10. Keyboard Manager

The Keyboard Manager module's user interface has been modernized with Fluent design, and the capability to remap keys and shortcuts to arbitrary Unicode text sequences has been added, providing users with advanced customization options.


11. Mouse Without Borders

Obsolete Thread.Suspend calls have been removed from the Mouse Without Borders module, eliminating a deprecated and unnecessary operation causing silent crashes.


12. Peek

The Peek module now allows users to pause/resume videos with the space bar, addressing a commonly requested feature. Various fixes, including high CPU usage and incorrect encoding detection, have been implemented for an improved user experience.



13. PowerToys Run

PowerToys Run has undergone a transition to WPF-UI and a redesign according to Fluent UX principles. Fixes include 3rd party plugins' custom settings initialization and resolving crashes related to invalid image icons. Additionally, improvements in calculations for Windows File Time and Unix Epoch Time have been made.


14. Quick Accent

The Quick Accent module has migrated from ModernWPF to WPF-UI, and language character set support has been expanded with the addition of various symbols and characters, thanks to community contributions.


15. Settings

The Settings module now allows users to navigate directly to a module's page by clicking its name on the Dashboard. Clipping issues in the Backup and Restore section of the General Settings page have been resolved, and various UI improvements have been implemented.


16. Text Extractor

The Text Extractor module has transitioned to WPF-UI with added localization and light theme support. It is now disabled by default on Windows 11, with a preference for using the Windows Snipping Tool, which now supports OCR.



End Notes

Microsoft PowerToys version 0.76.0 is a significant update that brings a host of improvements, new features, and bug fixes, demonstrating Microsoft's commitment to providing a powerful and user-friendly toolkit for Windows users.


The collaboration with the community and the attention to detail in addressing user feedback showcase the ongoing effort to enhance the overall Windows experience through PowerToys.


Users are encouraged to update to the latest version to take advantage of these enhancements and enjoy a more streamlined and customizable computing experience.


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