Microsoft releases two new PowerToys builds and adds new 'Video conference global mute' utility

PowerToys

It seems like it has been a little while since Microsoft made any significant changes to PowerToys for Windows 10, but now the company has pushed out a pair of new releases.

For people who want to stick with the more stable releases, there is PowerToys v0.21.1 which is largely about bug fixes and addressing stability issues. For anyone looking for new PowerToys utilities, however, there is the "experimental" version 0.22.0 which features a new 'Video conference global mute' tool.

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Anyone sticking with the stable release of PowerToys has little to get particularly excited about, but there are a series of bug fixes which will please those who have experienced problems. But anyone who feels more willing to live on the cutting edge, the experimental v0.22.0 build is rather more interesting.

The new "Video conference global mute" tool has been developed in recognition of the fact that so many people are now working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic and using video conferencing apps. While many of these apps offer a quick an easy way to mute audio, the "Video conference global mute" goes further, making it possible to mute video as well as audio across multiple apps, as Microsoft explains:

The utility will mute not just your audio but your video as well with a single keystroke. You can do audio, video both. We knew this would impact our roadmap and goals but felt extremely strong that this is the right decision. We're all multi-tasking and trying to make the best of everything and being able to quickly mute while on a conference call is critical regardless of where you are on your computer.

As this is an experimental build, it should come as little surprise that there are a few issues with this version of PowerToys. The list of currently recognized problems can be seen here.

Microsoft shares the following release notes for PowerToys v0.21.1:

PT Run:

  • Removed need for space in action keywords. This means you now can type >ipconfig
  • Icon caches fixed and now has colored icons
  • Improved font rendering via ClearType (Shout out to @AnuthaDev doing the heavy lifting here)
  • Result speed improvements
  • URLs are supported
  • Fixed bugs including calculating bugs

FancyZone:

  • Win+Arrow key is directional based on zone rect
  • Fixed bugs

Runner:

  • Fixed toast notifications running elevated from non-admin account

Shortcut Guide:

  • Improved vkey catching which will fix some use cases of it not showing up

SVG in File Explorer:

  • Embedded image tags will now render in Explorer

Color Picker:

  • Fixed bug where it would launch via false positive keystrokes

Accessibility:

  • Settings, PT Run and KBM undergoing improvements

Localization:

  • Pipeline is now setup and will be doing a full E2E pass on all utilities shortly.

Dev quality of life improvements:

  • Continued warning count reduction. This release ~80 removed
  • StyleCop enabled E2E
  • FxCop starting to be added in E2E

PowerToys Experimental v0.22.0 is available to download here, while the more stable v0.21.1 can be downloaded here.

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