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Launchy – Application Launcher

Posted by Sankar on July 25, 2007

Launchy is an application launcher for windows. It is similar to Quicksilver for the Mac. Though limited in features, it offers a lot of stuff that most of us will end up using. If you are person like me who uses the keyboard a lot and prefers it that way, this is a boon. It definitely speeds up launching applications and opening documents etc. I have been using it for a while now and have really found it useful.

Here are some of the features of the application.

After installing the application, to bring up the launcher, just hit Ctrl + space. This just brings up the window that you see below right up front (on top of all windows that you have open now).


Type the name of any application that you want to open and it will display potential matches on the right side. Just hit enter once you are done and that will open the application. In the examples below, when I want to open MS Word, I just need to type word and it will display the match to the right and pressing enter opens up word. Likewise for paint too.



I know there are other ways to achieve the same functionality for opening up applications. You can setup the shortcut key for the application by editing the application shortcut. But this is just the beginning for Launchy.

You can also open up files and documents that you might have in various folders in your computer. This is where I use it the most. There are some files that I open very often and I don’t want to open up windows explorer and then navigate to the folder and then choose the file. The “Documents” option from the start menu only has a limited list of documents.

Let’s say I have a file called temp.txt and I need to open the file. Just type the name of the file and you can open it right away.


The application works like Google Desktop etc. It indexes the files/information from a set of folders that you specify. By default, the application indexes the start menu and hence all the shortcuts are available. You can also add folders to the list of indexed folders and also specify the file types that you want indexed. With that, you will be able to open up the specific documents that you would use regularly.

When there are multiple matches for the string that you type, Launchy displays a drop down with the list of all possible matches as below.


I will probably write another post about customizing launchy. You can also check out the site for more information. Meanwhile, here are some of the positive aspects of the application.

  • It is very small in size – just about 1MB.
  • The application is not intrusive.
  • It does not sit in the application tray. This is something that I really like. I hate applications that sit in the system tray. Kinda makes me get rid of those ones right away….
  • Does not take too much memory too. It was taking about 20 megs in my machine.

2 Responses to “Launchy – Application Launcher”

  1. sowmya said


    This information is very much useful and I launched the launchy.its amazing.Thank you very much 🙂

  2. Eric said

    Launchy was a great program years ago, but I think Keybreeze has pulled ahead in the application launcher department. It can do everything Launchy does and more — macros for automation, sticky notes, system tasks, text insertion, and plug-ins. It’s also free.

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