James Evers-Swindell

The PowerToys Run utility gives Windows 10 users a Mac Spotlight equivalent

Published: Friday 12 February 2021

With the PowerToys Run utility Windows 10 users get a decent Mac Spotlight equivalent.

It can be launched with Alt + Space.

I’ve been trying it for a few weeks now and I really enjoy it. So much so that I’ve stopped using the Windows key altogether for launching apps, and have remapped it to start the new Run utility.

I like the simplicity of it – and for the most part it’s speedy.

PowerToys Run screenshot

The key takeaways are:

  • Search for apps, folders and files
  • Options for running as Admin, opening containing folder
  • Run system commands like Shutdown, Restart, Lock etc
  • Find running processes
  • Also allows some simple math

The full details and documentation for PowerToys Run are available here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/powertoys/run

You can download the latest release here: https://github.com/microsoft/PowerToys

Remapping the Windows key

So why would I remap the Windows key? Mainly because of muscle memory. Hitting the windows key is hardwired into my brain at this point which makes clicking Alt + Space tricky. So this just makes the process more efficient for me but your mileage may vary.

Remapping the Windows key is really easy with the built in Keyboard Manager in PowerToys. Just enable it, click “Remap keys”, and enter your desired inputs and outputs.

Screenshot of the PowerToys Keyboard Manager screen

Hopefully this might be useful to some of you. Let me know how you get on. You can find me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/james_evers.

 

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