Microsoft is adding a new utility to PowerToys v0.39 -- Awake

Tired man

If you think it feels like a long time since PowerToys received any significant updates, you're not wrong -- it has indeed been a while. But that's about to change as Microsoft is preparing to add a new utility to the collection.

Briefly known as Espresso (in a nod to the 'caffeinate' command in macOS), the new tool is called Awake. Coming to PowerToys v0.39, this is a keep-awake utility that can be used to stop Windows from going to sleep.

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If everything had gone to plan, PowerToys v0.39 would have been released by last month, but the development team announced that it was being delayed because certain “items took longer than expected". We know that there have been various problems to address in the utility collection, and this partly accounts for the postponement, but devs also said that the delay "will allow us to get in more amazing pull requests by you, the community, to add / improve functionality".

One such pull request is #4246:

Summary of the new feature/enhancement

This feature would prevent the OS from going to sleep with the options to set a timer for when it can go back to sleep. This functionality is provided by the following two sources for free; however, I choose not to use these since they are not open-source (or I couldn't find the source code). Also the caffeine software uses key strokes which is less than desirable than an API approach that amphetamine takes.

Basic implementation details

  • Right clicking on PowerToys system tray icon will display whether or not this feature is currently active
  • Right clicking on PowerToys system tray icon will have an option to allow someone to start/end this feature with a default setting
  • Right clicking on PowerToys system tray will also include options for this feature where you can quickly specify a time limit for this feature (e.g. Keep Awake for 5 min, 1 hour, Forever, etc)
  • PowerToys Run can activate/deactivate this new feature quickly

German website DeskModder shares not only screenshots of the tool in its Espresso guise, but also the news of which version of PowerToys it will feature in. What we don't yet know, however, is just when PowerToys v.039 will be released.

Image credit: PicMy / Shutterstock

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