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PowerToys adds a few small but helpful functions to your Windows system. You can bring up a quick keyboard shortcut guide, for example, or search between your open windows by name. These aren’t exactly the circular saws and jackhammers of the Windows world, but spending 5-10 minutes figuring out PowerToys will probably change the way you interact with your computer at least a bit.How to get started with PowerToys
Downloading and setting up PowerToys in Windows 10 is pretty easy:
1. Download the latest version from the GitHub releases page (you’ll probably want to download the .msi file) or by using Chocolatey (directions available on their main GitHub page).
2. If you downloaded the .msi file, install it and launch PowerToys.
4. Here, you can toggle the features on and off and also control whether PowerToys runs at startup. At least initially, I recommend that you turn on everything and let it run when you start your computer – it shouldn’t slow your machine down much.Window Walker
It sounds like an epic fantasy character, but it’s actually one of the most useful PowerToys functions. Window Walker is basically like Alt + Tab, except instead of having to cycle through all your open windows, you can just start typing in the program you want to bring up. If you typically have 10 to 25 windows open at a time (guilty), it blows alt-tabbing out of the water.
1. Make sure Window Walker is activated in PowerToys.
2. Press Ctrl+Windows.
3. Type in the name of a currently running program.
4. Select the correct program and hit Enter.
That’s it! You are now a Window Walker.FancyZones
If you’re a big fan of using the Win+ arrow key trick to split your screen between multiple windows, FancyZones takes that to the next level. You can actually divide your screen into several premade zones of varying sizes that will autofit the windows you drag into them and allow you to bounce things around the screen more easily.
For instance, if you specifically like having your text editor on the right, a documentation window on the bottom left, and a browser showing your live server on the top left, you can set up a FancyZone with that layout and drag your programs into the correct zones. Once you have an initial zone layout, you can cycle windows between areas in the zone, or even cycle between different layouts with just a few buttons.
1. Make sure FancyZones is enabled in PowerToys.
2. Press Win + ` to bring up the zone editor.
3. Choose the screen layout you want from the defaults or create your own custom layout.
4. Apply the layout.
This is really just the beginning, though: if you poke around in the FancyZone settings, you’ll find all kinds of other features. For example, you can choose to override the default Windows-arrow key behavior of splitting a window off to the right or left half of the screen and instead use them to cycle windows through zones, enabling you to quickly change focus.Image Resizer
Sometimes you just need to cut a bunch of images to the same length/width specification. If you have PowerToys, you have a nice, basic option right there in your context menu: Image Resizer.
1. Select all the images you want to resize.
3. Choose the image size and check the setting you want.
4. You can change the filetype, naming convention, and other things in the additional settings menu.
5. Hit Resize to get your altered images!
It doesn’t completely replace more powerful third-party programs, but it’s fast and simple enough for basic tasks.PowerRename
Much like the Image Resizer, PowerRename is pretty basic compared to other available programs, but this brings it a bit closer to being the native Windows function it arguably should be. You can rename files and folders using search-and-replace or, for more control, regular expressions.
1. Select all the files you want to rename.
3. Enter what you want to search for and the text you want to replace it with.
4. Choose your options, like whether or not you want to include files in subfolders.
5. Choose which files in the Preview you want to rename.
6. Hit “Rename” to make your changes.Shortcut Guide
Keyboard shortcuts come with a bit of a learning curve, but at least PowerToys can help you out. With the Shortcut Guide activated, holding down the Win key for about a second (because maybe you forgot the shortcut you wanted?) will pop up with an overlay that tells you which keys map to which functions.File Explorer
You know that preview pane in File Explorer that shows you a file’s contents without having to open it? It doesn’t support every single file type, which is why Microsoft is using PowerToys to create a way for developers to add support for types they want to be previewable.
Currently, enabling this will add support for .svg (vector) and .md (markdown) files, but it may be expanded to more in the future.And there’s more!
PowerToys is still a work in progress, with Microsoft engineers and open-source contributors actively developing and improving the available tools. When it was first made available in September 2023, it was just FancyZones and ShortcutGuide, but they’re adding more tools and features all the time, including an upcoming replacement for the “Run” dialogue launcher. Keep an eye on the GitHub page and keep the program up to date to get the latest toys.
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Note: We’re republishing this story from Sept. 6, 2023, because an update has added multiple-monitor support to FancyZones, which resolves one of its few outstanding issues.
If you don’t know what Snap does, head to a PC and open any window there—this story will do. Then press the Windows key and one of the directional arrows. If you hit Windows + the left arrow, for example, Snap snaps a window as a column attached to the left side of the screen. If you drag it toward any corner, the window will snap to that corner, allowing you to create a 4-window tiled effect.
But if those windows are a little smaller than what you want? Or if instead of two columned windows, you want three? Until now, you’d have had to create your own, dragging and resizing windows manually. Now you don’t have to.
Microsoft’s PowerToys were a beloved staple of the Windows 95 era, allowing users to add vetted extensions to the basic operating system. Others, like SyncToy’s tool for syncing folders, emerged as PowerToys for Windows XP and Vista. Now, PowerToys is back, and each app even has the code available on GitHub for suggested modifications. There are two initial PowerToys apps: a Shortcut Guide, and the FancyZones app. You’ll need to download the PowerToys installer, then select which apps you’ll want to install. You don’t even need to be on a Windows 10 Insider build to get it—this is open to anyone.
Windows PowerToys’ Shortcut Guide.
The Shortcut Guide is basically a cheat sheet to what’s going on in your Windows screen. With the Shortcut guide enabled, depressing the Windows key for more than a second will turn on the available Windows shortcuts for what you’re currently seeing on your screen. The implication is that Shortcut Guide is somewhat context-aware, and will display what action those shortcuts will take given the current state of the desktop and active window. If, after you’ve triggered an action, you still hold down the Windows key, those shortcuts will adjust to reflect what you’re seeing.FancyZones includes Snap templates, or you can create your own
When you Snap a window to the side or corner of the screen, what you’re doing is telling the window to shrink (or expand) to a predefined region of the screen. What FancyZones does is allow you to select from a list of templates of predefined zones, or you can create your own.
What’s great about the predefined templates is that it creates useful layouts right away: three columns of text that might be well suited for a widescreen monitor, for example—or, alternatively, a “priority grid” that widens the middle column.
You can create FancyZones from scratch, creating and resizing windows…
When we originally wrote this story, there was just one catch: it only worked on a single display. Now, that’s changed, and FancyZones works on multiple monitors. It’s still a little awkward: there’s a toggle switch in the FancyZones Settings that allows the app to “follow mouse cursor instead of focus when launching editor in a multi screen environment”. I’d suggest flipping that to “off,” dragging the zone configuration screen to the appropriate monitor, and setting up the Zones that way.
…or you can “subtract” them from existing predefined regions.
Microsoft is now rolling out Windows 10 build 16188 for PCs enrolled in the Fast ring of the Windows Insider Program. In this new test version of Windows 10, part of the Redstone 3 update (version 1709) due in September, delivers a number of new features and improvements over the previous build.
Windows 10 build 16188, according to Microsoft, introduces new PDF features for Microsoft Edge. Cortana finally gets its own settings page in the Settings app, and the Magnifier settings page gets updated with a number of new options and changes.What’s new on Windows 10 Redstone 3 (build 16188) for PC Microsoft Edge
In this new flight, Microsoft Edge introduces a new PDF Reader with a bunch of new features, including:
PDF Form filling: You can now edit PDF forms on the web, save and print as necessary.
Viewing and navigation: Some PDF files, such as those that are scanned documents, may not have proper orientation. The new PDF Reader includes a button to rotate the document. Using the “Layout” flyout menu on the toolbar, now you can switch from one page to two page layouts and change to page-wise scrolling for a better navigation experience for longer documents.Cortana Magnifier
Microsoft is also announcing that is improving the experience for low vision users as well as for user who casually use the Magnifier.
On build 16188, the Magnifier settings page is getting updated with a bunch of new options and changes, including:
You can now easily follow Narrator around the screen with Magnifier by selecting “Follow the Narrator cursor”.
There is an embedded list of all the available Magnifier shortcuts into the Settings page for quick reference.
You can now zoom using your mouse wheel by using the Windows key + Ctrl keyboard shortcut.
A new option has been added to open the Magnifier settings from anywhere in Windows 10, simply use the Ctrl + Windows key + M keyboard shortcut.
You can now set your preferred Magnifier mode in Settings.
A new option has been added to select your preferred zoom increment when using Magnifier.Windows Update
On Windows 10 build 16188, you’ll no longer see a popup dialog box when a new update is ready to be install. Instead, a new toast notification will replace the old dialog box, so it doesn’t interrupt your work.Windows Defender Application Guard
Windows 10 Enterprise PCs enrolled in the Fast ring can now try Windows Defender Application guard for Microsoft Edge.
Windows Defender Application guard is a new feature that sandboxes web pages to offer maximum protection level from malware and zero day attacks on Windows 10.Other improvements and known issues
Alongside the new features, Windows 10 build 16188 adds a few new improvements, such as universal dismiss of Cortana reminders is now enabled across Windows devices on this build or higher, and localized apps on localized x64 Windows 10 Insider Preview builds will now work.
As for known issues, in this flight the PC Reset feature will not work for now-English testers. Surface 3 devices fail to update to new builds if a SD memory card is inserted. Computers may hang during restart, and navigation the Settings app may crash the experience.
Microsoft is also releasing Windows 10 Mobile build 15210 to the Fast ring, but it only includes a few minor improvements and a couple known issues.
Microsoft is listing the complete set of fixes and known issues for build 16188, and build 15210 for phones, at the Windows Blog. In case you missed it, you can read all the changes for Windows 10 build 16184 in this article.
You can also use the following resources:
How to fix Error adding payment method on Oculus [Solved]
Even if the Oculus technology is promising, errors adding payment methods still bug users.
If you’re one of them too, you’ll see below how simple is to add or remove the payment method for VR Gear.
You can also try using a virtual card software that is meant to let you make secure and quick online payments.
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It’s been a while since we’ve been introduced to the Oculus tech, with the added feature of you purchasing your games through their platform.
It goes without saying that all your Oculus devices share the same payment method, be it Paypal or other online means.
But no service is fully foolproof, and some issues regarding payment have arisen. An issue that has been affecting old users and new alike.
I just went to checkout with the Adventure Pack, upon adding my card details it tells me that there is an error adding this card, try another.
But fear not, for we have a list of possible workarounds this issue. As they might fix the trouble you’re experiencing when working with your Oculus store. So let’s get to it, shall we?
If you to be able to make quick and safe transactions online, we suggest you try Revolut. It generates your own unique virtual card that is completely safe to use for online payments.
You can use it to create a temporary card for safe online payments. It is completely free. Add the exact amounts you plan on paying and then enter the card information into your Oculus account.
The service is compatible with 30+ currencies. You can convert to and from any combination. Verify your payment history, get insightful reports, create budgeting plans and store your own vaults.
Make safe online payments, transfer money anywhere, create budgets and get insightful spending reports.
Free DownloadHow can I fix Error adding payment method on Oculus? 1. Try a virtual credit card software
A wide array of features is waiting to be enjoyed, including the ease of managing your money, free withdrawing from ATMs worldwide, and avoiding those terrifying errors regarding adding your card.
Virtual credit card software generally include mobile apps that you can use to pay with your phone and also see real-time balance reports.
On top of that, they include additional features such as conversion to different currencies, money transfers, split bills, and more.2. Add or remove the payment method for VR Gear
Open your Oculus app on your mobile device.
Press on More and then press Payment Method.
Select the Add Payment button.
Press on Add a credit card or Add a PayPal account.
Now just enter your payment info to add your payment method.
In order to remove any payment method, simply press the Remove.3. Add or remove payment methods for your PC
You know what to do when getting an Oculus error while adding a payment method or if the Oculus payment failed.
You should check out this Oculus section too for more comprehensive tips to follow.
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As part of the 19H1 development, Windows 10 build 18272 is now rolling out for testers with devices enrolled in the Fast ring of the Windows Insider Program. This is the eleventh preview that Microsoft is making available, and it includes a number of new features and improvements over the last preview.
Windows 10 build 18272, according to the software giant, introduces changes to set up Windows Hello using the Settings app. The SwitfKey technology expands to more languages. The Indic Phonetic keyboards are not available for computers, and there are some new Narrator improvements.
Here are all the changes and improvements expected to arrive with version 1903 in April 2023:Start menu Sign-in options
Starting with build 18272, Windows 10 is designing the Sign-in options settings page has been updated to make it easier for users to set up a Windows Hello authentication method.SwitfKey
The SwitfKey feature for the touch keyboard experience is now expanding to more languages, including:
English (Canada) – en-CA
English (India) – en-IN
French (Canada) – fr-CA
French (Belgium) – fr-BE
French (Switzerland) – fr-CH
Portuguese (Portugal) – pt-PT
German (Switzerland) – de-CH
Spanish (United States) – es-US
If you’re using a hardware keyboard, text suggestions are also supported with the above languages.Indic Phonetic keyboards
In addition to the Indic Traditional INSCRIPT keyboards already available, with this flight, Windows 10 is adding Indic Phonetic keyboards for Hindi, Bangla, Tamil, Marathi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Odia, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.
“How does a phonetic keyboard work? Basically, it’s a convenient way of typing that leverages the English QWERTY keyboard – as you type, we use transliteration to suggest possible Indic text candidates. For example, if you typed “namaste” using the Hindi Phonetic keyboard we would suggest नमस्ते.”Narrator
On build 18272 and moving forward Narrator will now alert you when you’re accidentally typing with Caps Lock turned on. The setting is enabled by default. To adjust this setting, open the Narrator Settings (Ctrl + Win + N), then navigate to the “Change how much content you hear” heading and review the combo box for “Change when you receive Caps Lock warnings while typing”.Additional changes
Alongside the new features and improvements, Windows 10 build 18272 includes a few additional smaller changes. For example, the “Forget” option for Wi-Fi profiles is now available for standard users.
Ctrl + Mouse Wheel Scroll to zoom in text is now supported in Command Prompt, PowerShell and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).
When using dark system theme, the scrollbars for Command Prompt, PowerShell and WSL will now become dark as well.
The options to change your default app mode and enable or disable transparency have moved to the top of the “Colors” settings page to make it easier to find.
Microsoft is listing the complete set of improvements, fixes, and known issues for Windows 10 Insider Preview build 18272 at the Windows Blog.Download Windows 10 build 18272
Alternatively, you can download the ISO file for Windows 10 build 18272 from this Microsoft website.
Warning: Although the data loss-related issue has been fixed, it’s not recommended to install pre-releases of Windows 10 on your primary machine. If you’re planning to test this build, make sure to create a backup of your files before proceeding.
You can also check out these resources:
There are myriad reasons why you may want to configure your keyboard to use as a mouse. Maybe you use a battery-powered wireless mouse, and it’s run out of charge, or your mouse has stopped working, and you need to make changes within Windows 10 to fix it … but you can’t because your mouse doesn’t work!
Perhaps more importantly, controlling the mouse with a keyboard can be helpful for people with mobility issues in their hands, as pressing keyboard keys is easier than zipping your hand across a desk.
Whatever your needs, we’re here to show you how to control your mouse with a keyboard in Windows 10.
Note: Linux users can check out this article to use Mouse keys in Ubuntu.Control Your Mouse with a Keyboard
The keyboard mouse control feature is actually built into the “Ease of Access” settings in Windows 10. Go to the Window Settings app. (You can just type “settings” into the Start menu to find it quickly.)
You’ve now switched on “Mouse Keys.” By default, you need to have Num Lock active for this to work, at which point you can use the Num Pad at the right side of your keyboard to use Mouse Keys.
We recommend increasing the Pointer speed slider to maximum – otherwise the pointer is very slow. Ticking the “Hold the Ctrl key” box is also a good idea, as this lets you speed up and slow down the pointer speed using the Ctrl and Shift keys as modifiers.
Here are the numpad keys and their corresponding functions:
To move the mouse pointerPress
Up and to the left7
Up and to the right9
Down and to the left1
Down and to the right3
Speed up pointer movementHold Ctrl
Slow down pointer movementHold ShiftWhat If You Don’t Have a Numpad?
Not everyone’s lucky enough to have a numpad. The fact is that they’re not that frequently used, so many laptops and some standalone keyboards don’t include them.
Fear not, though, because you can get a third-party MouseKeys-type app that lets you set your own keys, and it’s overall much more robust than Windows Mouse Keys.
Enter NeatMouse. Using this lightweight app you can set whatever keys you want to act as mouse directions.
You can also change the key that activates the keyboard-as-mouse functionality, while the “Emulate only with” drop-down lets you set a button to hold in order for it to work.
You can even set multiple profiles using the green “+” icon, having different setups depending on what software you’re using and so on.Conclusion
Some people don’t like installing third-party apps when they don’t have to, but if you want a more customizable and smooth way of emulating your mouse functionality to your keyboard, then we’d pick NeatMouse over Windows Mouse Keys. Other than giving you more control, the mouse pointer runs much more smoothly as well, where the Windows option can be a bit choppy.
It’s your call, though, and at least now you know you have options!
Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.
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