Top 7 Unknown Free Launcher Applications for Windows

Will Mueller 02-08-2008

Top 7 Unknown Free Launcher Applications for Windows rocketAs we find a need to make thing faster as well as easier, application launchers assist that view. Some may find them products of pure laziness, yet I find them quite helpful.


Posts have previously been written on Make Use Of on application launchers such as: Enso Launcher and Launchy How To Be More Productive with Launchy Program Launcher Read More , but I will talk about some other application launchers that may assist you in achieving the goal of ultimate ease!

Here are a few of them (in no particular order):

(1) DE Launcher

DE Launcher is somewhat of a cheap version of RocketDock. It features a taskbar that is aligned on the top of your screen with the same intent as the Mac taskbar. It features built-in optional features such as: Calculator, Command Line, Key State, Clock, Uptime, and Username/IP.

You are, as well, given the option to drag applications to the taskbar to have quick access to applications. You can drag folders, yet you are unable to see them, unless they have an icon previously set for them.

(2) M2 Launcher

M2 Launcher is a type of scheduled application launcher. The small 444kb application allows the user to schedule a time for an application or batch file to be run with other timing features.

M2 Launcher

(Note: The website is rated as a “Red” or “Dangerous” site by McAfee, yet that is due to their linking to an unsafe website, not the freeware on their website, so it is safe.)

(3) Useful Launcher

Useful Launcher is more of a useful system tool then an application launcher. It features the option to minimize all visible windows, kill applications quickly, make a window transparent, make the taskbar transparent, take screenshots, small “WinLogoKey” shortcuts simulator, start a Windows screensaver, quickly launch common Windows applications, find system information, or shutdown the system.

Useful Launcher

As you may already be able to tell, this application is extremely useful. Unfortunately, the host website has discontinued this application, yet it is still available through Softpedia.

(4) RK Launcher

RK Launcher is another imitation of the famous “Mac Dock.” It is also similar to RocketDock, except there are still a few problems with it.

RK Launcher

When I attempted to minimize a program, it either duplicated the application to the dock and kept it open or didn’t work at all. Applications were still able to be launched, yet that problem existed.

Another huge error in RK Launcher was that it was non-existent in some applications. i.e. I went back to Firefox and RK Launcher seemed to have been unavailable.

(5) FSL Launcher

FSL Launcher is a neat, small application that seems to be extremely effective. Simply drag your applications into the corresponding group in the application and then exit the application.

FSL Application Launcher


Whenever you need to access one of the applications simply hold your cursor on the top left-hand side of the screen and FSL Launcher will pop up on the screen.

(6) 8start Launcher

8start Launcher – 8start Launcher is similar to FSL Launcher. It is a small window that allows for the user to add shortcuts to it in different sections to allow for quick access to programs and commonly used applications.

8start Launcher

You are even allowed to add links to websites in the launcher.

One cool feature of 8start Launcher is the option to change skins. You may select one of the downloaded ones or get more on their website.


During installation, if the application is going to be used on the go, you can select to add it to your USB drive with the “Portable” option.

(7) Colibri

Colibri is similar to Enso Launcher. It allows the user to click on the icon for Colibri in the taskbar and type in a search term. Colibri then searches for what you are typing for on demand in an accurate manner.

Colibri Application Launcher

What do you use as an Application Launcher? Tell us in the comments.

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  1. Nick
    August 20, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    I recently started using 7APL - it's an application launcher made specifically for Windows 7 with some great features (hot keys, JumpList support, thumbnails, profiles, etc).

  2. Purpz
    December 20, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    i'm using Magic Words.. it looks similar to SlickRun but is an Open Source project.. it gets the job done for me..

  3. diogo
    August 10, 2008 at 11:11 am


  4. gadget00
    August 6, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Im a die hard fan of Enso Launcher. Ive been using it since february and never looked back ever since. I had to get accostumed not to use the caps lock as often as I did, but the result is worth it. Now my desktop doesnt have any shortcut for applications, and the usability is quite "humane" as they propose. Im just waiting for them to finish opening the source code, to see how they do that and what else can be done with it.

  5. ryan
    August 3, 2008 at 9:07 am

    You forgot the unknownest [sic] of them all!
    The one everyone has, and none has to install.
    It is quick, simple, and free for anyone on Windows.
    (now you're thinking, "what is this?")

    What I'm talking about is creating a Windows Toolbar. You should try it!

    Here's how:
    1. Create a folder wherever on your computer, with whatever name.
    2. Fill that folder with shortcuts to what ever (create shortcuts by right-click>New>Shortcut and/or copy and paste shortcuts from your start menu)
    3. Unlock taskbar (blue bar on bottom in XP) by right-clicking taskbar and unchecking "Lock the Taskbar"
    4. Create new toolbar by right-clicking taskbar>Toolbars>New Toolbar...
    5. Select folder you created. It will now appear on the rightside of the taskbar (by the clock).
    6. Drag the toolbar onto your desktop (don't drag onto program). It'll become a box window.
    7. Drag the box onto the side of your screen (either left, right or top) and it'll dock itself.
    8. Right click it to control it. For example, large/small icons, text/no-text, autohide/no-autohide, always on top or not, etc.

    It's fast and you can create many of them (just repeat steps). You can dock them together or separately. You can also just make them a part of your start menu.

    It's just not flashy, and doesn't have variable icon sizes (just two sizes). But very useful nevertheless.

  6. Sean M.
    August 3, 2008 at 12:24 am

    I'm personally a Launchy fan, although I can see how some people might prefer different styles and methods of launching applications. For me Launchy is everything I could want in a small, free, nice looking package.

  7. PerkW
    August 2, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    With all respect to Alfred, he misses the thrust of this post. Launchy was mentioned in the beginning of the post and is extremely popular, but there are some people whose organization gene just favors other, less-traveled methods. Poster "heart", for instance, favors jetToolBar (a utility I have used), which is nothing like Launchy.

    And I, too, have tried Launchy/FARR/SlickRun, but found that I need a program launcher that is more static and organized, not so free-form. I use two programs that have been around for years but never seem to make it on anyone's radar: DonationCoder's Launch Bar Commander and PowerPro 4.8 by Bruce Switzer. With the former I have a thin (25-pixel-high) stay-on-top strictly-text Mac-like toolbar at the top of the screen with drop-down menus and sub-menus that organize and sub-organize the dozens and dozens of programs that I have on my computer. With the latter I have a pop-up graphic-icon button-bar that hides at the bottom of the screen and has the couple-dozen programs I use most often (and, this program falls into the "geeky" stage where the more you delve the more you find that it does). Interestingly, each program can have multiple toolbars which can be either text-based or graphic-based - I use them according the way I view their strengths. Your mileage may vary...

  8. Womble
    August 2, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Another vote for Launchy.

    I suppose it depends how many apps you have on your computer but Launch bar's/Menu's are a thing of the past for me, they are just too inefficient if you have a lot of software installed.

  9. Ram
    August 2, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    Microsys launcher is just what I need.
    It sits in the taskbar and gives me a pop-up menu that has my customized lists of application shortcuts. It aslo allows virtual folders and links to files. What more do you need? Type in the name of the application? Too much effort, I'd rather click through.

    Get it at:

  10. Alfred
    August 2, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Lol. The rest of these launchers look like crap compared to launchy... I use launchy and it get's the job done.

  11. Rarst
    August 2, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    My choice of launcher is SmartStartMenu. It's unknown enough to not make into this list of unknown launchers so certain fit. :)

    • Aibek
      August 3, 2008 at 1:06 pm

      In case someone interested here is the link

      [Broken Link Removed]

  12. heart
    August 2, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    I have been using for 5 or 6 years jettoolbar. really, on any computer where I have to work and don't have it, i get frustrated to wade through the windows menu to find a specific software:
    it might not look as pretty as all other docks, but it has tabs , and is freeware!