Access Hackers REJOICE! PowerToys are Back!

Access Hackers REJOICE! PowerToys are Back!

Microsoft is making available again the old PowerToys utilities that were a part of Win 95. PowerToys was a way to prototype and tweak functions in the Windows operating system. Windows developers and enthusiasts developed features and the best ones ended up in the PowerToys bundle.

These included a number of options that were particularly useful for accessibility hacking including:

  • Keyboard shortcut manager.
  • Improvements to Alt+Tab functions: browser tab integration and a search for running apps.
  • Launching various mouse events
  • Contents menu file browsing.
  • And user interface tweaking
  • Unfortunately PowerToys were a victim of a security review and disappeared after Windows XP.

But now they’re making a comeback.


screen shot Windows short cut key mapping for PowerToys accessibility assistive technology tools in Windows


Microsoft is going to publish previews of the utilities in an open-source license on GitHub over the summer to allow for public feedback. So those interested in the project can find more info here

Microsoft engaged in a similar development process for the Microsoft Calculator. You can find info about that project here

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  • Bogdan Pospielovsky
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