One of the most interesting things that Microsoft did last year was to resurrect PowerToys. PowerToys are a set of tools that power users use but they are also useful for other end users. Microsoft finally stopped the application.
The new PowerToys are still being previewed but are getting regular updates. The latest update finally brings the much-awaited feature; a new launcher that is very similar to Spotlight search on macOS.
Spotlight launcher on Windows 10
To get a launcher that looks like Spotlight, follow the steps below;
- Visit the Github page for PowerToys and download the latest version available at the time.
- Run the MSI file.
- After PowerToys is installed, run with admin rights.
- Double-click the application icon in the system tray to open its settings.
- Open the PowerToys Run tab and make sure the feature is activated.
- To use the launcher, tap Alt + Space to open it.
- Enter a search term, use the up / down arrow keys to select an item, and tap Enter.
Adjust Run PowerToys
By default, running PowerToys will not display more than 4 items in search results. You can change this, as well as the keyboard shortcuts that you use to open it.
- Double-click the PowerToys icon in the system tray to open its settings.
- Open the PowerToys Run tab.
- In maksimum Maximum number for results ‘enter how many items you want to see when you search for something.
- Under the ‘Shortcut’ section, record a new shortcut to open the launcher, but make sure it doesn’t interfere with other shortcuts on the OS.
PowerToys Run is still in beta, but, if it turns out to be better than Windows search which is a feature that has been championed by users for years, it can replace it. It seems to be able to find files and folders right after installation. It might use the index file created by Windows 10 but it seems faster, and more accurate when drawing.
Disable other PowerToys tools
If this is your first time using PowerToys and the launcher is the only tool you are interested in using, you can deactivate everything else. Open each tab (there is one for each tool), and turn off what you don’t want to use. The changes will take effect immediately so you don’t have to stop and relaunch PowerToys.
If you have already run PowerToys, you can make updates in place from the General tab in the application settings.