Do you like the OS X Launchpad feature? Have you ever wished of the same functionality for your Windows installation too? You will be happy to know about WinLaunch. More about the app below but first let me give you a small introduction about Launchpad.
If you’ve ever used Apple OS X Lion, you must have used Launchpad, the new way to launch applications that borrows heavily from the iOS. Application launchers are not new for users. They are better way to launch frequently used applications in one-click.
Now, not all the application launchers are visually very pleasant but if you’re looking for a cool looking launcher that’s functionally effective too, WinLaunch is the one you should install. WinLaunch is an application launcher for Windows users that resembles and functions just like OS X Launchpad. The app is designed for all 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows.
As said earlier, WinLaunch not only looks like Launchpad but it works just like it. You can customize it to the core and even create your own themes. You can also get the iOS group folders like feature. The app even supports the Windows 8 operating system since the launcher is fully optimized for touchscreens and tablet PCs.
How to use WinLaunch?
After you have downloaded it from the official website, you’ll find two folders inside the zip archive. If you’re running 32-bit edition of the operating system, extract the
x86(32bit) folder else if you’re running 64-bit, extract the
After extracting the correct folder, run the application launcher for the first time. You’ll be presented with a small help and the option to choose between three visual themes.
You will now need to configure the app, for entering the configuration mode, press F on the keyboard. You’ll notice the application is now windowed. Now, drag and drop files, folders and applications into the user interface. You can also drag one application launcher over the other to create a group. You can name the group for easily recognizing it.
The main functionality of the app can be activated in many ways. You can start the app by double-clicking on its executable file, place the WinLaunchStarter.exe in your taskbar, you can move the mouse cursor to the upper left corner of the screen (you can customize this hot-corner behavior in Options), you can also use the keyboard shortcut Shift-Tab, you can activate Synaptics and use three finger tap on the touchpad, or you can activate the middle mouse click in Options and use it.
To change between pages, simply click on the left or right mouse button and drag the pages. You can also use the left and right arrow keys or the mouse wheel or if Synaptics is enabled, use a two finger swipe.
To remove items or folders, first activate jiggle mode by pressing the F3 function key or by holding the left mouse button down on an item or folder. Now, simply press the small cross (x) in the top-left corner of the item or folder.
You can get access to settings by clicking the middle-mouse while the application is active. Through settings, you can change display settings, enable tablet mode or enable support for multi-monitor systems. From here, you can change the startup hotkey, enable custom backgrounds or if you’re using your laptop touchpad, you can also enable Synaptics support.
If you want to exit WinLaunch, press F on your keyboard to enter windowed mode. Press the red (x) exit button on the top-right corner of the window.
WinLaunch runs very smoothly, especially considering it’s still in beta stage and the developer is actively working on it, introducing new features. The app can update itself from within Options. If you’re looking for a functional portable app launcher that looks and feels somewhat Mac Launchpad, you’re going to love WinLaunch.
WinLaunch is a portable application and it requires Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 to be installed in your system. It can be downloaded from the developer website.