Computer

Microsoft PowerToys bring back this long-awaited tool

The development of these PowerToys is divided into two different versions. On the one hand, we have the odd versions, which we could consider the stable versions, while, on the other hand, we have the even versions, or experimental versions (betas) of the program.

Earlier this month, Microsoft released the version 0.45 of these PowerToys. This version did not stand out for anything in particular, but it was a maintenance update focused on correcting errors and improving the general design of the appearance of the program menu according to the appearance of Windows 11.

Before the release of the next stable version, which will be 0.47, Microsoft has released a new experimental version of its program, the 0.46. And this once again brings us the long-awaited tool to control the camera and the video conferencing microphone with simple keyboard shortcuts.

Video Conference Mute reappears in PowerToys

This new tool is not exactly new, far from it. Although the ideal time to launch it would have been around April 2020, when people started working from home because of the pandemic, Microsoft did not present for the first time until the spring of this year. However, since then, it has done nothing more than appear and disappear in the versions, never being ready.

What this tool does, broadly speaking, is create 3 new keyboard shortcuts:

  • Win + N: activate or deactivate camera and microphone at the same time.
  • Win + Shift + A: turn the mic on or off.
  • Win + Shift + O: turn the camera on or off.

In addition to working with keyboard shortcuts, it also allows us enable a quick access bar on the desktop from which we can toggle the status of these elements.

Again, Microsoft will use this experimental version to test the operation of the new Toy to give us more control over video conferencing and see if users are really interested in it or not. If all goes well, the next stable update of these PowerToys may finally bring the Video Conference Mute tool. Or maybe not, that can only be decided by Microsoft.

How to test (again) this new toy

At the moment, Video Conference Mute is only available for users who want to try the experimental version, of tests, of this program. Therefore, we only recommend trying it if we really know what we are doing and are willing to assume that we may have certain problems and errors.

The version 0.46 of these PowerToys We can download it for free from the following link. If we already have a previous version installed, such as the latest 0.45 stable, this will be installed on top of it. If we have not installed these tools before, they will be installed from scratch and, once the installation wizard finishes, we can start using them.

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