Windows 11 is drawing inspiration from PowerToys utilities

Microphone channel 11

The Windows 11 development team and the one behind PowerToys are entirely separate entities, but it seems like one is being inspired by the other.

While the PowerToys utilities exist to improve on the features found in Windows -- as well as adding completely new options -- sometimes the utilities collection has an influence on the operating system. A good case in point is the new microphone-muting keyboard shortcut that has just been added to the latest builds of Windows 11.

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In an era that finds so many of us either engaged in video calls with friends and family that we are unable to visit, or participating in online meetings because of a Work From Home policy, we've all become rather more familiar with our webcams and microphones than we probably ever thought we would. One of the most eagerly awaited PowerToys tools was Video Conference Mute, which now makes it easy to quickly disable your webcam and microphone.

Seemingly inspired by this, the Windows 11 team has added a similar option to the operating system,  albeit a rather cut down version. If you are using Microsoft Teams, or another app that supports the recently added taskbar mute button, you can use a keyboard shortcut to cut the mic -- assuming you're a Windows Insider, that is. The shortcut you need is Windows + Alt + K, and it could be a lifesaver if you need to cut audio in a flash.

There's no hint that a webcam-cutting shortcut could be added any time soon, but you never know...

Image credit: George Melin / Shutterstock

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