PowerToys pre-release version 0.36 out with a video conference mute tool

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Microsoft has released an experimental version of PowerToys that comes with support for the video conference mute tool. Microsoft notes that this is the first release with the webcam driver actually being a DirectShow filter which "solves a multitude of quirks".

The video conference mute tool first debuted with the version 0.22 update but was subsequently removed as the firm needed to do some additional work. In case you don't remember, the video conference mute tool gave users universal controls to mute video and audio while video conferencing.

Along with the video conferencing tool, Microsoft has added all the features that were released with the PowerToys version 0.35 update. These included general and feature specific fixes, new shortcuts to quickly swap between different layouts in FancyZones and more.

While Microsoft is confident that the conference mute tool is ready to be tested again, the team is maintaining a known issues tracker for the same. You can check out the list of known issues and limitations below:

  • with some webcams, there is an incompatibility with Teams and the overlay image is not rendered, instead a corrupted frame is shown. If your camera has this quirk, please let us know the model in the [main tracking issue - #6246]
  • the application preview (Teams, Meet, etc.) may show the overlay image flipped horizontally but that is expected, the image will show correctly to the other people on the call.
  • in order to enable/disable the VCM, PowerToys should run as administrator
  • changes to some of the VCM settings require the application to restart to pick up the new values such as a new overlay image.
  • in some cases, the overlay image can be shown flipped vertically (the workaround is to edit the image and flip it before selecting it).
  • (#6246)
  • if the PowerToys Video Conference Mute webcam doesn't show up in the video conference app, try restarting the app and if still doesn't show up try restarting Windows.

The new update pushes the PowerToys version to 0.36 and is available for download via GitHub. Microsoft is also expected to roll out version 0.37 soon which will be a stable release and will start requiring Windows 10 version 1903 or higher for PowerToys to work.

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