Microsoft’s PowerToys has received an update to version 0.49, and it’s one of the larger ones in we’ve had in a while. For users of the stable releases, this version includes two major new tools, one of which is new Video Conference Mute utility. This tool has been in testing in experimental versions of PowerToys for well over a year, but it’s finally been merged into the stable release.
If you’re wondering what it does, the Video Conference Mute utility in PowerToys gives you system-wide control over your camera and microphone. If you use multiple meeting platform or you’re looking at a different window, this tool lets you turn off your camera or microphone for every app using a keyboard shortcut or the floating toolbar. This way, you can more easily avoid showing off anything you don’t want or disturbing other users with loud noises.
Another new tool in PowerToys 0.49 is Find My Mouse. With this tool, users can more easily find their mouse cursor on the screen by double pressing the Ctrl key on their keyboard. This will create a spotlight around the mouse cursor, which can also follow the mouse for a few seconds when it moves. This is mostly meant for multi-monitor setups with big screens or users with low vision.
You may be thinking this feature is already built into Windows, and it is. But the native Windows highlight is only a circle that disappears much more quickly and isn’t as visible compared to this version.
Another big change in this version of PowerToys is a new UI for PowerRename. This tool allows users to quickly rename multiple files using a common template, and the new UI is meant to align more with the design language used in Windows 11.
Aside from that, there are some overall design and usability improvements throughout the app. These include accessibility improvements for screen readers in many of the tools, including PowerToys Awake, FancyZones, and Color Picker. If you’re interested, you can download PowerToys 0.49 from GitHub or the Microsoft Store on Windows 11, where it was made available recently. It’s actually still downloaded from GitHub since Microsoft Store apps can now come from external sources.
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