Color Picker utility

A system-wide color picking utility for Windows that enables you to pick colors from any currently running application and can copy it in a configurable format to your clipboard.


Getting started


To start using Color Picker, enable it in the PowerToys Settings (Color Picker section).


Once enabled, you can choose one of the following three behaviors to be executed when launching Color Picker with the activation shortcut (default: Win+Shift+C).

ColorPicker behaviors.

  • Color Picker with editor mode enabled - Opens Color Picker. After selecting a color, the editor is opened and the selected color is copied to the clipboard (in the default format - configurable in the Settings dialog).
  • Editor - Opens editor directly, from here you can choose a color from the history, fine-tune a selected color, or capture a new color by opening the color picker.
  • Color Picker only - Opens Color Picker only and the selected color will be copied to the clipboard.

Select color

After the Color Picker is activated, hover your mouse cursor over the color you would like to copy and left-click the mouse button to select a color. If you want to see the area around your cursor in more detail, scroll up to zoom in.

The copied color will be stored in your clipboard in the format that is configured in the settings (default: HEX).

Selecting a Color.


To select the color of the non-hover state of a element:

  • Move the mouse pointer close, but not over the element
  • Zoom in by scrolling the mouse wheel up (image will be frozen)
  • In the enlarged area, you can pick the color of the element

Editor usage

The editor lets you see the history of picked colors (up to 20) and copy their representation in any predefined string format. You can configure which color formats are visible in the editor and in what order that they appear. This configuration can be found in PowerToys Settings.

The editor also allows you to fine-tune any picked color or get a new similar color. Editor suggests two lighter and two darker shades of the currently selected color. Clicking on any of those alternative color shades will add the selection to the history of picked colors. It will appear at the top of the colors history list.

The color in the middle represents your currently selected color from the colors history. By clicking on it, the fine-tuning configuration control will appear, where you can change HSV or RGB values of the current color. Pressing Select will add newly configured color into the colors history.

ColorPicker Editor window.

To remove any color from the colors history, right click a color and select Remove.


Color Picker has following settings:

  • Activation shortcut
  • Behavior of activation shortcut
  • Format of a copied color (HEX, RGB, etc.)
  • Show the name of the color. The shown color name will be a high-level representation of the color. Example: Light Green, Green, Dark Green.
  • Order and presence of color formats in the editor

ColorPicker Settings screenshot.


  • Color picker can't be displayed on top of the start menu or action center (you can still pick a color).
  • If the currently focused application was started with an administrator elevation (Run as administrator), the Color Picker activation shortcut will not work, unless PowerToys was also started with an administrator elevation.