On a Mac, a system-wide search and launch feature called Spotlight is just a shortcut away from Command + Space. Thanks to PowerToys, Windows 10 can have a similar search and output bar when you press Alt + Space. Here’s how to set it up.
The power of Microsoft PowerToys
With a PowerToys module called PowerToys Run, you can press Alt + Space and see a quick pop-up search bar appear from anywhere in Windows 1
To get this handy search bar, you need to install PowerToys, a free collection of Windows 10 utilities from Microsoft. You can download it from Github.
Once PowerToys is installed, launch PowerToys Setup and select “PowerToys Run” from the sidebar. Then make sure that “Enable PowerToys Run” is enabled.
After that, close PowerToys Setup and try your new search bar. Press Alt + Spacebar and a minimalist search bar will appear in the center of your screen.
After entering a search, you can press Enter to immediately start (or open) the first result, or you can use your mouse or cursor keys to choose from the results in the list and press Enter.
You can also use various “power user” buttons that appear next to each result to perform certain useful actions. This is what they do.
- Copy icon: This copies the file path to the clipboard (only applies to documents).
- Box with a shield: This runs the app as an administrator (only applies to programs).
- Folder: This will open the folder that contains it and reveal the location of the file or app in File Explorer.
- C: Box: This opens a path to the file or document in a command prompt.
But don’t think of PowerToys Run as just a glorified search bar. You can also use the PowerToys Run box as a replacement for the Windows + R “Run” dialog. Just pull up the box with Alt + Space, type a command and hit Enter and the program will run immediately.
It’s one more way that PowerToys provides an easier and more powerful Windows 10 experience. If you like PowerToys Run, it is worth taking the time to explore other PowerToys features. New ones are often added to the suite over time, so make sure to stay up to date with the latest updates on Github. Lots of fun!
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