Microsoft releases PowerToys v0.72.0 with new plugins and a massively reduced footprint

Microsoft PowerToys

A PowerToys release cycle focused on stability and improvements may not sound terribly exciting, but with the newly hatched PowerToys v0.72.0 Microsoft has delivered significant updates that you won't want to miss out on.

Although there are no brand-new modules to explore, PowerToys Run has new plugins to work with. There are also a huge number of bug fixes and improvements across pretty much all areas of the utility, and a great new feature for Mouse Highlighter. On top of this, Microsoft has managed to dramatically slash the installation footprint of the PowerToys collections.

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It is the new components that will be of greatest interest to most people, and PowerToys v0.72.0 does not disappoint. Microsoft shares the fact that Mouse Highlighter has a new feature to have a highlight always follow the mouse pointer, and says that PowerRename has been reworked to support a bigger number of files without crashing.

PowerToys Run gains a new plugin in the form of Value Generator which can be used to generate hashes and GUID values.

But while these additions are what will delight most users, Microsoft is rather more hyped up about the reduced footprint for the app. The company says that it has:

Greatly reduced the PowerToys installed space by having utilities share the same installed path. When compared to 0.71, the 0.72 x64 machine installed version of PowerToys reduces the size reported in the Installed Apps screen from 1.15GB to 785 MB and the size in File Explorer properties for the installation folder from 3.10GB to 554 MB.

Here's the full changelog for PowerToys v0.72.0:


  • Shared dependencies between applications in order to greatly reduce the installed size.
  • Added missing icons and icon sizes. Thanks @niels9001!


  • Fixed an issue where FancyZones wouldn't register a change to the "Switch between windows in the current zone" setting.
  • Added a Setting to enable the behavior of clicking the middle mouse button to toggle multiple zone spanning.

File Locksmith

  • Fixed a File Explorer crash when deleting a file, updating PowerToys and then trying to right-click the background of a folder in File Explorer.
  • UI tweaks. Thanks @Jay-o-Way!

File Explorer add-ons

  • Updated the Monaco dependency for Developer Files Preview, supporting new file extensions and fixing issues. Thanks @Aaron-Junker!

Hosts File Editor

  • Consolidated the way the Hosts application is launched. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • UI tweaks. Thanks @Jay-o-Way!


  • Refactored the Monaco dependency inclusion. What to install is now being generated automatically.
  • Removed hardlinks and simplified the installer files, now that many utilities use the same paths.

Mouse Highlighter

  • Added a feature so that a highlight follows the mouse even if no mouse button is being pressed. Thanks @hayatogh!

Mouse Pointer Crosshairs

  • Added a setting to hide the crosshairs when the mouse pointer is also hidden. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • Added a setting to select a fixed length for the crosshairs, which also spans across screens. Thanks @Epp-code!

Mouse Without Borders

  • Switched to a UWP mouse input API to fix mouse pointer lag issues that were reported.
  • A toast notification will appear when the service can't be started and Mouse Without Borders will try to start in non-service mode instead.
  • Fixed a bug where the service path wouldn't update to the new binary path when trying to re-enable service mode.
  • Fixed some grammar errors in the Mouse Without Borders user facing strings. Thanks @KhurramJalil!
  • Allow changing the shortcuts in the same way as other utilities and changed them to better defaults to avoid conflicting with Alt Gr+letter combos on international layouts.


  • Also benefits from the Monaco dependency update when peeking into files supported by the Developer Files Preview. Thanks @Aaron-Junker!
  • Fixed a flash on PowerToys starting due to the Peek window activating and hiding right away. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • Updated icon design. Thanks @niels9001!
  • Fixed flipped content issues on systems with RTL languages.


  • Reworked the UI and resource consumption to fix crashes and hangs when trying to rename a huge number of files.
  • Added the Mica background material and some UI tweaks. Thanks @niels9001!

PowerToys Run

  • New plugin: Value Generator - generates values like hashes and GUIDs. Thanks @IHorvalds!
  • The default input smoothing values were changed to the recommended values. Thanks @SamMercer172!
  • Fixed tab navigation issues when using Shift+Tab to go backwards. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • Fixed a crash caused by images not being found in the image cache due to racing conditions.
  • Fixed synchronization issues in the WindowWalker plugin. Thanks @davidegiacometti!
  • Fixed a synchronization crash when getting localized system paths.
  • The PowerToys plugin is now activated by default. Thanks @davidegiacometti!

Quick Accent

  • Added the ("ḍ", U+1E0D) unicode character. Thanks @SamMercer172!
  • Fixed an issue causing the left and right keys being discarded even when Quick Accent didn't activate.

Registry Preview

  • Fixed a bug causing DWORD values to not be shown correctly. Thanks @randyrants!
  • UI tweaks. Thanks @Jay-o-Way!


  • Show a warning asking the user to restart the computer after updating the PowerToys version.

Screen Ruler

  • UI tweaks. Thanks @Jay-o-Way!


  • Fix an unused Expander in the File Locksmith settings page.
  • Added an info box to better explain what the extended context menu is.


  • Projects were restructured to allow sharing the same folder and dependencies and to avoid resource name conflicts.
  • Added scripts to CI to guard against applications having conflicting resources.
  • Added scripts to CI to guard against depending on different versions of the same dependency.
  • Test projects now build to a separate path.
  • Dependencies updated across the solution to ensure every project is using the same dependencies.

You can download this latest edition of PowerToys from GitHub, from the Microsoft Store, or by updating your current version.

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