Microsoft PowerToys 0.18 with Keyboard Manager and Application Launcher released

Martin Brinkmann
May 19, 2020
Updated • May 19, 2020
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft released a new version of the company's open source re-imagination of PowerToys for its Windows operating system. PowerToys 0.18.0 adds two new tools, a keyboard manager and an application launcher, to the collection of programs. Both new programs require Windows 10 version 1903 or newer. It appears that the new version requires .Net Core as it won't run otherwise.

Microsoft released the first preview of the new PowerToys application in September 2019. Developers have released several new versions and integrated new tools into PowerToys since then. Tools like Power Rename, an Image Resizer, or the Alt-Tab alternative Window Walker, are all part of PowerToys now.

We will be taking a look at the two new tools in the new release in the following paragraphs.

Keyboard Manager

powertoys keyboard manager


The Keyboard Manager can remap individual keys as well as keyboard shortcuts. The functionality is only active if Keyboard Manager runs in the background. To remap a key or shortcut, select the Keyboard Manager from the list of PowerToys tools.

  • Remap a Key -- This is the simpler function. It enables you to remap individual keys, e.g. Print, Windows, A, or Up Arrow, to another key.
  • Remap shortcuts -- This function enables you to remap a keyboard shortcut such as Ctrl-C to another combination.

Both options work pretty much the same way: select the option that you want, e.g. remap a key, select plus on the page that opens to create a new mapping, and then on "type key" or "type shortcut" to add the source key or shortcut. Repeat the last step for the target key or shortcut, and you are all set to use the newly mapped key or shortcut on the system for as long as Keyboard Remapper is active and PowerToys is running.

Note that there does not seem to be any limitation in regards to remapping keys or shortcuts. I managed to remap shortcuts such as Windows-I to another shortcut without issues. You can use the mouse to trash any remapped key or combination, or simply close the program to restore the original mappings.

PowerToys Run

powertoys run

PowerToys Run is a program launcher that users of the software may activate with the shortcut Alt-Space. Just type the name of the program, a folder or file that you want to launch and select it from the list of results.

The program searches for running processes as well and seems to have incorporated the functionality of Windows Walker. The latter appears removed from the newest PowerToys version.

Another option that users have is to invoke shell by using "> and to use it as a simple calculator.

Run returns four results at the most by default but you can change that in the program options. Esc exits the program interface again.

Additional shortcuts are available

Ctrl+Shift+Enter (Only applicable to applications) Open the selected application as administrator
Ctrl+Shift+E (Only applicable to applications and files) Open containing folder in File Explorer
Ctrl+C (Only applicable to folders and files) Copy path location
Tab Navigate through the search result and context menu buttons

Closing Words

Microsoft continues to work on the new PowerToys and that is without doubt a good thing. The tools provide interesting functionality; most of it can be replicated using third-party tools but some Windows users will surely find PowerToys attractive enough to use it regularly.

Now You: PowerToys yay or nay, what is your opinion?

Microsoft PowerToys 0.18 with Keyboard Manager and Application Launcher released
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Microsoft PowerToys 0.18 with Keyboard Manager and Application Launcher released
Microsoft released a new version of the company's open source re-imagination of PowerToys for its Windows operating system.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

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