Want to get a system-wide search bar that’s easy-to-access like Spotlight on Mac? Check out this free, lightweight alternative to software like Alfred for Windows 10.
If you’re on Windows and you’ve been missing Spotlight search on Mac, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a great (free!) software you can use. We consider this the best alternative to Alfred for Windows, and it’s made by Microsoft!
It’s called Microsoft PowerToys, a suite of tools that improve the Windows 10 user experience by adding functionality like bulk renaming, image resizing on File Explorer, and yes, a system-wide search bar you can instantly access with just a couple of keys.
Here’s how you can use it.
How to get Alfred for Windows using Microsoft PowerToys
To access PowerToys, you need to download an .exe file from Microsoft’s official GitHub page.
Here’s a direct link to the Releases page, in which you’ll find an Assets panel. There, you’ll find the .exe file:
Obviously, the version will change beyond press time, but this is the file you’re looking for. Download it and install.
Once installed, you’ll have to check in the Settings that your search is turned on. To access this, click on the PowerToys application, and make sure that the PowerToys Run feature is toggled On.
You can also change the binding, which is set to Alt + Space by default.
Test it out by hitting the Alt + Space keys. If it doesn’t work, you might need to restart your PC/laptop. PowerToys Run can search any local file and apps. Like Spotlight and Alfred, you can also key in a URL and launch your browser.