Windows PowerToys strikes again with a brand new update, introducing a huge change to how ChatGPT works through the Windows 11 operating system.
Windows Central reported that the PowerToys Widget will introduce a new plugin to allow direct access to the Open AI-based app without having to run a browser first. This is a huge development, as it makes ChatGPT more accessible for Windows 11. It also allows users to bypass any aggressive Microsoft Edge browser promotion, which has become a noticeable issue in recent years.
The developer of the ChatGPT plugin, Simone Franco, is the originator of the plugin and published the process via the GitHub page for PowerToys. The plugin integrates via PowerToys Run, a search launcher for files, folders and apps. Although it’s still in its infancy with a lot of tweaking to do before it’s ready, it’s a promising tool that allows users to go straight from desktop to ChatGPT.
Edge and Bing don’t stand a chance
Microsoft has become more aggressive in promoting its Edge browser and, by extension, the Bing AI app that goes with it. For example, after a browser update, Edge will ask you with a full-page ad asking you to make Edge your default browser.
And with a recent Windows 11 update adding an AI-powered search box to the taskbar, it turns Bing into advertising, forcing people to use the default Microsoft search engine. However, with this new tool, users can completely bypass forced ads and go directly to the app they want. In this case ChatGPT.
It’s not perfect of course, because you need an OpenAI account as well as a randomly generated OpenAI API key, but both steps only need to be done once, and then you have access near instant to AI chatbot tool. And even better, you only need a hotkey to summon it, which makes it even more convenient.
PowerToys Drops Great Windows Updates
It’s almost ironic then that a widget that works through the Microsoft OS helps you get around Microsoft OS issues, although it helps that PowerToys is a open-source suite of tools rather than a browser or search engine.
As such, this isn’t the only time we’ve gotten some handy new functionality through the widget. For example, in February 2023, it introduced the much needed “Paste in plain text” option both Windows 11 and Windows 10, which works in any application where PowerToys runs.
Another great feature, introduced in February 2022, was the mouse crosshair tool that allows users to quickly find their mouse cursor using the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Alt + P). And bundled in that same update, two new File Explorer add-ons have dramatically increased the number of file types supported by the preview pane.