Lost your mouse cursor? Microsoft's PowerToys 0.55 has you covered – with a massive crosshair
Forget the Blue Screen of Death. How about the Red Lines of Discovery?
Although the majority of Microsoft's desktop trumpeting is about Windows 11, the company's PowerToys project has quietly become a very handy addition to the user's toolbox.
Now at version 0.55, the suite of utilities has swelled since its early days. After kicking off with the FancyZones windows manager and Shortcut Guide, PowerToys now comprises a dozen components, including the near-essential "Awake" utility to keep a PC running without faffing about with power and sleep settings, and Video Conference Mute to kill microphone and/or camera during a conference call regardless of where the focus is.
Tech pros can do all these things themselves, either by finding the appropriate bit of freeware or by simply maintaining situational awareness during the fifth Zoom call of the day, but the suite undeniably makes life a bit easier. And, of course, there is the simple retro-delight of the PowerToys brand. Just without the same potential for disaster as a careless play with TweakUI under Windows 95.
A considerable amount has changed over the years since PowerToys first graced GitHub, although a 64-bit Arm version is missing for now. The suite is downloadable from the Microsoft Store and features a considerably more useful settings panel nowadays.
More toys turned up in version 0.55: some additional File Explorer add-ons for the STL file format and developer files (via the Monaco Editor) and a handy tool for finding the mouse pointer via some crosshairs. The mouse utility had landed in the latter part of last year, with tools to speed to cursor hunting. The new crosshairs function builds on these.
PowerToys is not without its rivals. Parallels Toolbox for Mac or Windows springs to mind, although it does require parting with some cash. PowerToys, on the other hand, remains free from the Microsoft Store or downloadable from GitHub.
64-bit Arm users, however, need not apply for the time being. ®