Launchy: Take Me To My App


Lately, as I’ve bogged my computer down with with a bunch of new applications, I’ve gotten back into using a little Windows utility that I used to use all the time: Launchy. Launchy is a free, open source utility for launching applications or going to web pages on the fly, and you can download it here for either Linux or Windows.

Launchy has the slick look of many Mac applications, and you can pop it up on your desktop at any time by hitting Alt-Space. You can also customize its look with skins. There are many of these available for free in Launchy’s forum, with various types of themes.

While I try to stay on top of the mess, I occasionally have so many applications and documents right on my desktop that Launchy is just the fastest, most efficient way to go get what I want. It loads automatically up on startup, and the Alt key and Space key I use to bring it up and search are right next to each other on my keyboard.

Like browsers, Launchy is pretty good at guessing what you mean before you type a whole search string in. It also creates a drop-down list for terms you search for where it guesses at what you mean. For example, if I start typing “Google,” I’ll see, GoogleTalk and other options in my list.

How useful you’ll find Launchy depends on whether you use a whole lot of applications and how you organize them. It’s definitely worth a try, though. The footprint of the application is only a few megabytes, and the price is right.

Do you have any favorite utilities?



Launchy is in my top freeware applications. I use it everyday. I recommend to to anyone – I assign it to Alt+Space and type any app to and there it is! Perfect.

– Jaz


You should try out FARR by Mouser on DonationCoder. Super configurable.

Scott Blitstein

I’m a big fan of Launchy, the beauty of it being so simple and also so powerful. As a launcher it’s fantastic, but it is capable of so much more.

I hate sitting down at a new PC and getting no response to my alt-space.

I haven’t tried SlickRun but it sounds interesting, I’ll give that a look.


Michael Thompson

You’d do well to re-map Launchy’s key bindings to Win+Space (or Super+Space, if you’re under Linux).

Alt+Space is traditionally used for managing the current window.


I use SlickRun which is much better than Launchy.
– Launchy has a bloated interface – why do you need such a big window anyway?!.
– It doesn’t allow me to quickly set up new “magic words” using an “eye dropper” to select an application ala SlickRun.
– It adds all my files so if I type Firefox, I get links to Firefox Central, Firefox Start Page etc.
– It can’t display the current date/time when not in use.
– And its slow!

I’ll be sticking to SlickRun, thanks.


Glad to see launchy coverage! I think the biggest thing to remember is that it can launch any type of file. I love using it to create shortcuts to scripts or other custom code.


I use Launchy every day. Its great and perfect for time-saving tasks. I do thinks like create shortcuts to sites where I want to search via the HTTP GET parameters. Its just perfect for things like this.

What amazes me the most is how command-line interfaces are back in! A lot of people would rather type what they want than click around and find it. I found this very interesting:

Command line is back!

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