How to install PowerToys Run launcher on Windows 10

Microsoft releases PowerToys Run to bring a Spotlight search experience to Windows 10 to replace the legacy Run dialog box.

PowerToys Run launcher for Windows 10
PowerToys Run launcher for Windows 10

PowerToys Run is a launcher experience like the Apple’s Spotlight launcher but for Windows 10 meant to replace the legacy “Windows key + R” shortcut.

The launcher is one of the many tools available with the PowerToys app, and it lets you perform quick search for apps and files on Windows 10. It’s also possible to find running processes and plugins like a calculator.

The benefits of the PowerToys Run launcher is that not only brings a modern take for the existing Run dialog box, but eventually, it’ll get support for plugins, snippets, web searches, and more.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to install, enable, and use the PowerToys Run launcher on Windows 10.

How to install PowerToys Run on Windows 10

The new Run experience is part of the PowerToys tools, and you’ll need to install it to access the Spotlight-like experience on Windows 10.

Install PowerToys

To download and install PowerToys, use the steps:

  1. Open PowerToys page.

  2. Under the “Assets” section, click the PowerToysSetup-x.xx.x.msi link.

    Download PowerToys installer
    Download PowerToys installer
  3. Save the link on your device.

  4. Double-click the .msi file to begin the installation.

  5. Click the Next button.

  6. Click the Next button again.

  7. (Optional) Check the Create a shortcut for PowerToys on the desktop option.

  8. Check the Automatically start PowerToys at logon option (Recommended).

    PowerToys setup options
    PowerToys setup options
  9. Click the Next button.

  10. Click the Install button.

  11. Click the Finish button.

Once you complete the steps, the PowerToys tool will install on Windows 10, and you can now enable the launcher.

Enable PowerToys Run

To enable the Run launcher on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open PowerToys.

  2. Click on PowerToys Run.

  3. Turn on the Enable PowerToys Run toggle switch.

    Enable PowerToys Run
    Enable PowerToys Run
  4. (Optional) Under the “Search & results” section, select the maximum number of results you want to see.

  5. (Optional) Under the “Shortcuts” section, specify the keyboard shortcut you want to use to open the run experience. (You can’t use the Windows key + R.)

After you complete the steps, the launcher is ready to search for files and apps like with the Run dialog box.

Use PowerToys Run

To use the Run replacement on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Use the Alt + Space keyboard shortcut.

  2. Type your query as if it was the old Run dialog box.

    PowerToys Run launcher results
    PowerToys Run launcher results
  3. Select the result to open the program or file.

  4. (Optional) Use the up and down arrows to navigate all the results.

  5. Press the Esc key to exit the experience (if applicable).

When the item is highlighted, you’ll notice some quick options on the right, such as button to run the app as administrator, open folder location, and copy the path.

The finder is in the early stage of development, which means that it only support basic search capabilities, but the company has plans to bring more functionalities in future releases.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and