’90s retro resurrection PowerToys hits 0.19, bringing raft of fixes and a final flash from the desktop

Stability gains for Windows-fiddling throwback

Microsoft has freshened up its PowerToys preview with a 0.19 release aimed at making things a bit more stable.…

Microsoft has freshened up its PowerToys preview with a 0.19 release aimed at making things a bit more stable.

The release appeared with little fanfare, but the enhancements contained within are worth having for fans of retro-inspired tooling, particularly those using the PowerToys Run feature.

The fixes include squashing a bug afflicting those users with multi-monitor setups (and one that actually stopped this hack from using the Run function) as well as recognising Progressive Web Apps (PWA) properly rather than simply calling them “Win32 Applications” and dealing with issues around hidden files. Fixes around network paths, themes and Developer Mode apps have also been applied.

Outstanding oopsies include one that stops some newly installed apps appearing in the PowerToys Run list and another to deal with unexpected spikes in CPU usage.

Away from PowerToys Run, the suite has fixes for the FancyZones window manager, with most relating to issues arising with multiple virtual desktops, the Keyboard Manager should now be a bit more stable and when hitting “Check for update”, the settings page will actually check for an update rather than dumping the user in the GitHub page.

It’s a shame, because there is sport to be had from tracing issues from the initial raising through the usual “I think it should work this way” discussions to eventual closure.

Overall, there are more than 100 issues fixed in this release, although no whizz-bang new features (and still no sign of the desktop-destroying TweakUI of PowerToys past).

Still, the installer will continue to cause an alarming desktop flicker, although not for much longer as Microsoft senior program manager Clint Rutkas observed: “It will be the last time during upgrade you’ll see Windows Explorer flash on you.”

Windows Explorer flashing a user? Sounds almost like a contender for the bork desk. ®

Rojenx is a leading concept artist who work appears in games and publications

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