Over the past year, Microsoft has quietly released new built-in Windows 10 command line apps and free apps from the Microsoft Store that enhance the functionality of the operating system.
Microsoft hasn’t officially announced these new tools in some cases, and they were discovered by users instead.
In this article, we are going to highlight these new programs and apps so that power users can better control Windows 10.
The Pktmon Network Packet Sniffer
Windows 10 now includes a built-in network packet sniffer called “ Pktmon ”, with two new features recently added in the Windows 10 May 2020 Update.
As first reported by BleepingComputer, in the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, Microsoft quietly slipped into the real-time network traffic monitoring tool called Pktmon.
In Windows 10 2004, Microsoft added two additional features to Pktmon; the ability to view sniffed packets in real time and convert Pktmon logs to PCAPNG support.
As PCAPNG is supported in many network monitoring software, such as Wireshark, it provides users with additional options for analyzing logs.
Winget Package Manager
This year, Microsoft released a Windows 10 package manager called Winget that allows users to install and manage apps directly from the command line.
To install applications with winget, you type commands such as “winget search” to search for an application or “winget install” to install one, as shown below.
Microsoft has created an organized repository containing hundreds of apps that can be installed and managed using Winget.
Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2)
Windows 10 2004 ships with the new Windows Subsystem for Linux 2, which provides increased performance and greater compatibility with a wider range of Linux applications.
Unlike the first generation WSL 1, WSL 2 includes a true open source Linux kernel based on Kernel.org version 4.19. WSL 2 also allows full access to normal system calls, improves Linux application compatibility, increases file system performance, and more.
WSL 2 includes the following features:
- Full Linux kernel
- Increased file I / O performance
- Full compatibility of system calls
- WSL 2 uses a smaller amount of memory at startup
If you are already using WSL, you can upgrade your installed Linux distributions to WSL 2 using the
wsl --set-version order.
Windows File Recovery Tool
Microsoft has also introduced a new Windows 10 File Recovery command line tool that allows you to recover deleted files from hard drive, USB drive, and SD card.
“Accidentally deleted an important file? Wipe your hard drive by erasing? Not sure what to do with corrupted data? Windows File Recovery can help you recover your personal data,” reads the tool’s description. free.
The tool is a command line executable named winfr.exe, and its help file can be seen below.
By default, Windows File Recovery Tool comes with three modes of operation: “Default”, “Segment” and “Signature”, each with its strengths.
PowerToys for Windows 10
Windows 10 PowerToys is a suite of open source tools that allow you to extend the capabilities of File Explorer, optimize app windows for large monitors, resize images, and more.
Some of the PowerToys include:
- Image resizer
- Windows File Explorer View Pane
- Replace slow Windows search with a tool similar to Run.
- Change keyboard shortcuts
- Batch file rename
- Color picker
Learn more: How to supercharge Windows 10 with PowerToys.
Windows Terminal is an open source multi-tab console program that allows Windows 10 users to launch multiple shell / console tabs in the same Windows.
For example, Windows Terminal might have one tab with a PowerShell console, another with the Windows 10 command prompt, and another with an Ubuntu WSL shell.
The Windows Terminal is highly customizable, with hyperlink support, mouse support, desktop backgrounds, and the ability to map keyboard commands.
If you are continually using the command line or other shells, Windows Terminal is a tool you want to install.
Microsoft also released PowerShell 7 with a range of new features including automatic new version notifications, structured data like JSON, CSV, XML, and other improvements.
New features include:
- Pipeline parallelization with
- New operators:
- Ternary operator:
a ? b : c
- Pipeline chain operators:
- Null merge operators:
- Ternary operator:
- A simplified and dynamic view of errors and
Get-Errorcmdlet for easier error investigation
- A compatibility layer that allows users to import modules into an implicit Windows PowerShell session
- Automatic new version notifications
- The ability to call DSC resources directly from PowerShell 7 (experimental)
PowerShell 7 can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store.