How to enable Windows Spotlight Search like MacOS?

Windows users always had a wish to get a fancy search bar on their system, similar to the Spotlight of Mac. Thanks to PowerToys by Microsoft, their desire finally comes true.

PowerToys, the tool from Microsoft, provides users with quicker, better, and different ways of performing tasks on Windows 10. The tools provided by PowerToys make working on Windows more efficient and productive.

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One of its features is PowerToys Run. Like the Spotlight of Mac, the PowerToys Run lets you search and launch system-wide files, folders, and applications. It is like the windows search bar, but more precise, quick, and funky.

This post will guide you on how to enable and use the PowerToys Run tool.

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How to enable PowerToys Run?

To enable the PowerToys Run, first, you need to install the PowerToys on your Windows 10 OS. You can download and install the PowerToys in the following ways:

  • The first way is by downloading it from Microsoft’s official Github account and then installing it. 
  • The second method is through Winget. Run the following command on the Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell – WinGet install powertoys. This will instantly install the PowerToys without any need for an installer.

After installing the Windows PowerToys, follow these steps to enable the PowerToys Run:

  1. Run the PowerToys application with the administrative rights

  2. Look for the PowerToys Run on the left pane and select it.PowerToys Run Tool

  3. Toggle the button to enable it, and then choose your preferred settings.Enable PowerToys Run

  4. Close the application

This would enable the PowerToys Run, and now you can launch and use it on the desktop or any app window.

How to use PowerToys Run to Search?

After enabling it from the main application, now you can use PowerToys Run to search and launch your application.

  1. Press Space + Alt to open the search bar on the screenlaunch PowerToys Run
  2. Type the app, file, folder that you want to search and launch.
  3. When you search for anything on the PowerToys Run, it will provide you the following options.Search on PowerToys Run
    • Run as Administrator
    • Open containing folder
    • Open path in the console like Command Prompt or WindowsShell, whichever is your default.
  4. Choose your preferred option by clicking on it.
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What more can PowerToys Run do?

Besides searching and launching for an application, you can perform a few more tasks on PowerToys Run.

You can launch your favorite website from it. Just type its name on the search console. It would open the website on your default browser.

open website from PowerToys Run

The PowerToys Run can also perform the task of the traditional Run Command Window. All the run commands work well on PowerToys Run.

run commands on PowerToys Run

Final Words

Windows PowerToys is one of the best applications for Windows 10. PowerToys Run is just one of the many tools of it. If you like it, you must try other tools of PowerToys like Color Picker, FancyZones, File Explorer, Image Resizer, and others. These tools can help you immensely in enhancing your work productivity and make your Windows 10 experience better.

How to get PowerToys for Windows 10?

Getting the Windows PowerToys is not a big task. You can download the latest installer file from GitHub. It is an open-source program so available to download for free. Or you can also use the WinGet install powertoys command on the Command Prompt to directly install it.

How to update Windows PowerToys?

There is a check for updates option in the PowerToys settings. Click on it to check for the updates and install if there is any available. You can also enable the auto-update from the settings.

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2 thoughts on “How to enable Windows Spotlight Search like MacOS?”

  1. “Everything” combined with “SnipDo” (the recently renamed Pantherbar) available from their own github pages or microsoft store are extremely worthwhile alt mentions.
    Everything is free, the other free with restrictions, or a cup of coffee payment for the (well worth it) full version. There also is a plugin that combines the 2 enhancing their usefulness.

  2. For a more powerful search utility, try Listary, which is an even more versatile launcher cum search utility with plenty of other tricks.


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