Microsoft PowerToys 0.56.1 now has 128 FancyZones, Find my mouse on shake, and more

PowerToys logo against a black and yellow background

Microsoft released PowerToys 0.56.1 today, moving on from the multiple 0.55.x releases at the beginning of February. Earlier today it was made known via Twitter that a significant step toward full native ARM64 compatibility was made, and that is disclosed in the release notes as "We removed the last .NET Framework dependency", but that's not the only advancement, PowerToys now has a full "What's New" page where you can review the below changelog any time you open the app.

Microsoft also announced that FancyZones zone limit has been increased to 128 zones (from 40) a new setting for Find my mouse, and more below.

Highlights

  • Upgrade notes! A big feedback items for new versions was upgrade notes. We have the release notes on GitHub as well.
  • FancyZones zone limit has been increased to 128 zones. Before the limit was 40.
  • Timezone conversion plugin for PowerToys Run! Thanks @TobiasSekan
  • Child and Popup window support for FancyZones. To enable, go to Settings→FancyZones→Windows. These were bugs we fixed that without realizing it was a useful feature to most.
  • Find my mouse will now activate via shaking the mouse with a settings change!
    Find my mouse setting for Activate to shake

Always on Top

  • Fixed excess GPU / CPU usage when enabled
  • If border has focus, not closable via F4
  • Changing border sizes should resize correctly for existing windows
  • Border goes away with Outlook modal windows

ColorPicker

  • No longer crashes during theme change

FancyZones

  • Increased zone limit from 40 to 128.
  • Child and Popup window support for FancyZones. To enable, go to Settings→FancyZones→Windows. These were bugs we fixed that without realizing it was a useful feature to most.

File explorer

  • Fixes for Dev file preview: (Thanks @Aaron-Junker)
    • Fix fix for object reference not set.
    • Fix for encoding UTF-8.
    • Fix for file is in use.
    • Fix for saying the file is too big.

Image Resizer

Mouse utility

  • Find my mouse will now activate via shaking the mouse with a settings change!
  • Find my mouse now can excludes apps.
  • Fix for crosshair thickness looking odd due to anti-aliasing
  • Fix for a hard crash on crosshair (This was a hotfix for 0.55)

PowerRename

  • Will not spells check file names anymore. Thanks @niels9001
  • Autocomplete result box to not obscure apply button. Thanks @niels9001
  • Regex fix

PowerToys Run

  • Timezone conversion plugin for PowerToys Run! Thanks @TobiasSekan
  • Hexadecimal and binary numbers now are supported in the calculator plugin. This was added a bit ago and we'd like to extend a belated thanks to @gsuberland
  • Terminal plugin performance boost. Thanks @htcfreek!
  • Terminal will now be found via the Program plugin again.
  • Shutdown command is now using hybrid fast argument for shutting down
  • Support for VSCodium with VS Code workplace plugin. Thanks @makeProjectGreatAgain

Video conference mute

  • nVidia Broadcast software won't crash anymore

Settings

  • Upgrade notes in OOBE
  • Fix for settings being lost (This was a hotfix for 0.55)
  • UX improvements. Thanks @niels9001

Installer

  • Believe we have a fix for the long hated "app.dark.png is missing" error. Thanks to @robmen for having a great blog!
  • Installer will launch PowerToys under appropriate elevation versus Admin only due to UAC prompt for installation (This was a hotfix for 0.55)
  • PowerToys will now start if installed under different user

Development

  • ARM64 - We removed the last .NET Framework dependency. Thanks @snickler for helping get this across the finish line!
  • .NET 6 upgrade, now on the newest and hottest .NET runtime
  • Code analyzers have been upgraded! Thanks @CleanCodeDeveloper!
  • Symbols are back!
  • Code refactoring, thanks @CleanCodeDeveloper and @cyberrex5 for helping here!
  • We are now on VS 2022 with the .NET 6 upgrade.
powertoys screenshot

PowerToys is Microsoft's open-source project that offers a collection of nifty tools that people can use to customize the Windows 10 or 11 UI and experience to their liking. As we know, depending upon feedback and general stability, some of the utilities also make their way to the OS eventually. A prominent example of this is Snap Layouts and Span Groups in Windows 11 which borrow heavily from the FanzyZones tool in PowerToys.

If you are using PowerToys in Windows 11, you can grab it in the Microsoft Store. For others in Windows 10, you can open the app and click on "Check for updates" under the updates section on the General tab. Those who would like to try PowerToys for the first time can grab the version 0.56.1 installer from the app's GitHub page.

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