How to Get a System-Wide Color Picker on Windows 10

In August last year, Microsoft updated PowerToys with a system-wide color picker to help users easily pick and extract color codes anywhere on Windows 10 devices. Today, we will be taking a look at how you can install PowerToys and use its color picker feature on your Windows 10 machine.

Get System-Wide Color Picker on Windows 10

PowerToys is a powerful tool to customize your Windows 10 PC. If you have already installed PowerToys on your system, feel free to switch to different sections using the table of contents tool below. Also, check out our in-depth article on PowerToys features that showcases all the features that you can access using this awesome add-on.

Download and Install PowerToys

To use the system-wide color picker, you need to download and install PowerToys. To do so, visit PowerToys’ GitHub page. From the Assets section, click on the latest .exe file to download it. After the download completes, run the installation file to install the application on your computer.

download powertoysOnce you’re done with the installation process, you’ll be treated with the PowerToys app’s home page. If you want to always access the color picker, do not forget to enable the ‘Run at startup’ toggle.

enable run at startup for powertoys

Enable PowerToys Color Picker

1. From PowerToys’ sidebar, switch to the Color Picker tab. It is the second option from the top and the eighth option from the bottom. On this page, flip the ‘Enable Color Picker’ toggle to ‘On’ state.

enable color picker powertoys

2. As you can see in the image below, you can activate the color picker using the keyboard shortcut Win + Shift + C. You can also remap this to any other shortcut you prefer. To change the shortcut, click on ‘Activate Color Picker’ field and press the new keyboard shortcut combination. For demonstration, I’ve changed the hotkeys to Win+Shift+J.

remap keyboard shortcut color picker

3. Before getting started with the tool, you can choose to customize the activation behavior. The available options are Color picker with editor mode enabled, Editor, and Color Picker only. Color picker with editor mode first opens the color picker interface and then opens the editor when you pick a color, while editor directly opens the editing mode, and color picker mode remains in the color picker screen even after copying the color.

color picker activation behavior

Use PowerToys Color Picker

Now that you have downloaded and enabled the color picker, let’s get to the exciting execution part. To get started, press the keyboard shortcut you’ve defined in the app. As soon as you press the shortcut, a color picker interface appears, urging you to pick the color from the screen.

color picker interface

When you pick a color, the HEX color code automatically gets copied to your clipboard. Furthermore, you can view the HEX, RGB, and HSL codes along with your recent color picks in the editor mode.

powertoys editor

PowerToys has also packed an option to let users slightly tweak the picked color. This should come in handy if you are looking for a lighter/darker shade of a particular color you just picked from your screen.

colorpicker editor adjustment

Pick Colors Anywhere on Windows 10

So, that was our quick guide to introduce PowerToys’ system-wide color picker tool on Windows 10. We hope this convenient tool helps you pick colors without any hassle. For more such Windows 10 tips, do not forget to check out our article on the best Windows 10 tips and tricks.

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