How To Use ChatGPT In Microsoft PowerToys Run

ChatGPT is perhaps the hottest topic in tech right now. Everyone wants to try it out or has already tested it by asking this OpenAI product weird questions.

Microsoft recently introduced it to Microsoft Edge as well as the Bing search engine. Now, Microsoft is working on adding it to their tool PowerToys. An add-on of PowerToys, known as “PowerToys Run,” will now incorporate ChatGPT into its results, making ChatGPT easily and conveniently accessible to all Windows users.

PowerToys Run is a search box that appears in the middle of the screen when called upon using the shortcut keys. Right now, you can search for apps, files, folders, and processes, or directly onto the web using your default web browser. However, according to end-user feedback, they want to have ChatGPT as well.

Microsoft has heard their request and is now working to include ChatGPT as part of PowerToys Run.

Read about the new Registry Preview feature in PowerToys as well.

ChatGPT Plugin in PowerToys Run

The PowerToys Run tool is a combination of different plugins. The Run utility performs tasks and shows results in correspondence with the enabled plugins. For example, the Run tool will only show a calculation result if the “Calculator” plugin is enabled.

Therefore, ChatGPT will also only work if the ChatGPT plugin is added and enabled.

Note: At the time of writing this post, the ChatGPT plugin for PowerToys Run was still in the making and not publically available. We will update this article once it is available.

With that, let us continue to see how to activate and use ChatGPT in PowerToys Run.

Enable and Use ChatGPT in PowerToys Run

To be able to use ChatGPT, not only should the plugin be enabled, but PowerToys must also be running in the background. This is a basic requirement for PowerToys Run to appear on the screen at the press of a button (more precisely, a keyboard shortcut).

Go through the following steps to enable and use ChatGPT directly from PowerToys Run.

  1. Start by downloading and installing PowerToys.

    Here is a PowerToys keyboard shortcut guide.

    You can download PowerToys from GitHub, from Microsoft Store, or by running the following command in Command Prompt:

    winget install --id Microsoft.PowerToys
  2. Once installed, click PowerToys Run on the left.

    Open the PowerToys Run tab
    Open the PowerToys Run tab
  3. Toggle the slider in front of “Enable PowerToys Run” into the On position.

    Enable PowerToys Run
    Enable PowerToys Run
  4. Change/set a keyboard shortcut to launch PowerToys Run.

    Set a keyboard shortcut to launch PowerToys Run
    Set a keyboard shortcut to launch PowerToys Run

    You can also use the default Alt + Spacebar keyboard shortcut to launch PowerToys Run.

  5. Scroll down and enable the ChatGPT plugin under the Plugins section.

  6. Now, press the configured keyboard shortcut to launch PowerToys Run.

  7. Inside the Run field, type in “??” (without the inverted commas) to trigger ChatGPT, followed by your query, and then press Enter.

    Query ChatGPT through PowerToys Run
    Query ChatGPT through PowerToys Run

    The “??” is used to invoke a ChatGPT query. However, the developers of this plugin plan to change this activation keyword. Without these keywords, PowerToys Run will perform a simple web search, and not query ChatGPT.

AI and Microsoft

Microsoft had already integrated AI in Bing, and Microsoft Edge. They had also brought the Bing search engine to the Windows taskbar search box. This leads us to believe that AI is the future for both Microsoft Windows and Windows Servers.

Microsoft’s integration of ChatGPT in PowerToys is proof that Microsoft plans to base its products on artificial intelligence. There are also rumors that the upcoming Windows 12 will have significant AI-based tools and features.

That being said, having the option to query ChatGPT from anywhere within Windows could potentially impact the overall computer industry. It might even attract macOS users to Windows.

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Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).

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