Microsoft released PowerToys 0.63 this week, a stability release that does not introduce new features. What makes this game special is that Microsoft managed to reduce the size of the PowerToys installer and installation folder on the Windows device significantly.
Most PowerToys users may not even notice the chance, if they update using the built-in updating functionality of the application. Some may spot it afterwards, when checking the storage distribution using tools such as WizTree or Treesize Free.
Here are the details on the achievement: The PowerToys installer size went from a whooping 125 Megabytes to 83 Megabytes in this release. It has been cut by about a third, which is a substantial decrease, especially for users on low-speed connections who download the installer.
The installation size of PowerToys went down from 817 Megabytes to 587 Megabytes, which is about a quarter less. The developers managed to do this by “sharing the Windows App SDK, VC++ redistributable and PowerToys Interop runtime files between utilities”.
One could argue that PowerToys is still quite big for what it does, especially if only one or two tools are used frequently. One of the great things about software is that there is always a choice when it comes to it. If you don’t want the still-huge PowerToys on a system, you could check out alternatives that replicate just a single tool.
PowerToys features 12 utilities in total right now in the stable version, and it is easy enough to replicate most. Take Always on Top as an example. Instead of using the PowerToys tool, you could use Window TopMost Control, OnTopper, OnTopReplica, or any of the dozen other “always on top” programs.
PowerToys 0.63 includes a number of fixes to various tools and the underlying code of the entire tools collection. Check out the official release notes to find out more about them.
Now You: do you use PowerToys or something else?