How to Use Power Toys Run Feature in Windows 10

Microsoft new Windows 10 Power Toys Run feature offers you a quick way to locate and launch programs, files, folders and other items by typing their names. Let’s explore this new feature.

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Microsoft new Windows 10 Power Toys Run feature offers you a quick way to locate and launch programs, files, folders and other items by typing their names. Let’s explore this new feature.

This is for Windows 10 operating system

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PowerToys Features

New with PowerToys version .018 and above is a quick launch feature called PowerToys Run. After you trigger its keyboard shortcut, the program appears on your screen. Just simply start typing in the name of the program, file or folder you want to open. From the search results, simply click on your desired item. But there is more.

The Run feature also allows you to open windows and running processes, launch apps like the Control Panel or Task Manager and perform calculations.

Install PowerToys

You will find the latest version at Microsoft’s GitHub page for PowerToys. If you are upgrading or installing for the first time, the Microsoft’s Windows Desktop Runtime should be automatically installed as part of the feature.

After installation, click on the desktop shortcut you created in the install to launch the program. Now, click on the PowerToys icon in the System Tray. See below image:

Toys Run 1
PowerToys icon in System Tray

The Settings Menu

Right-click on the icon to access the the Settings option. In the PowerToys Settings screen, click on the entry for PowerToys Run. Next, click on the toggle switch to enable PowerToys Run.

By default, the feature shows you four search results. It is recommended that you increase this value to eight for a better result. Also, the default shortcut key is Alt + Spacebar, you can change this shortcut to your liking.

When you are finished, close the Settings screen. Refer to below image:

Toys Run 2
PowerToys Run menu

The Quick Laucher

Lets restart PowerToys Run by pressing the shortcut you defined. The quick launcher appears on the screen with an invitation for you to start typing. Start typing the name of the application, folder or file you wish to access. From the search results, click on the correct result to open it. At the upper right hand corner are two small icons. The first icon lets you open the application as an administrator; the second one opens the folder that contains the application’s executable file. The launcher window and its results are saved for other searches. See below image:

Toys Run 3
The Quick Launcher search results for programs, files or folders

Next, you can find and launch open windows and running processes. At the Run launcher, type the name of an open application, file, web page or other process, and then select the item you wish to bring to the foreground. Refer to below image:

Toys Run 4
The Quick Laucher search results for open windows or running processes

You can also open shell plugins built into Windows, which include such items as Control Panel, Task Manager and Command Prompt. To trigger such a plugin at the launcher, type > followed by the first few letters of the plugin, such as > control or > task and then select the item you want from the results. See following image:

Toys Run 5
The Quick Launcher search results for plugins

The Calculator Feature

You can perform simple calculations at the launcher, a handy alternative to the Windows Calculator. To do this at the launcher, type the first number, followed by the symbol for the calculation (+ for addition, – for subtraction, * for multiplication or / for division), followed by the second number. After you finish the equation, the launcher displays the results. You can then click the result to copy it to the Clipboard. Refer to below image:

Toyr Run 6
The Quick Launcher calculator

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I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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Author: Raymond

I am Raymond Oglesby, an Information Technology (IT) specialist with 30 years in the field. I have taught Microsoft Applications and troubleshot computers in 15 countries and many States. My career was focused on mainframes and desktops from application development to implementation. I have written hundreds of programs for various architectures. I decided to start a blog to share my knowledge and experiences with you. I plan on updating this blog at least twice a week about smart phone apps to Windows. Please feel free to leave a Comment or Tweet. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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