FSL Launcher: a tabbed, mouse-activated launcher


If you need a good launcher for apps, files, folders or URLs and would like the option to organize your files and shortcuts into tabs then check this one out.

FSL Launcher is a free, tabbed launcher activated by clicking on the top left corner of the screen with the mouse. It supports the dragging and dropping of icons into the interface and allows for a range of useability customizations.

Another nice launcher. I’ve been using this one for a few days and am very pleased with it. I like that it can easily be used as an organizing tool; for example, you can easily organize your desktop icons into tabs you create in FSL Launcher and get rid of desktop clutter.

I also like that it automatically reconciles shortcuts you drag to it and links to the original icon (you can, for example, drag a shortcut on the desktop to FSL Launcher and then delete that shortcut, the icon in FSL Launcher will still work). Here are more notes on this one.

  • Adding icons: select the appropriate tab and simply drag and drop icons (shortcuts, files, folders URLs) to the interface.
  • Tabs: users can freely add or edit tabs. Tabs (called “groups” in the program terminology) exist as folders placed inside a specific location within the FSL Launcher installation folder, you can move files in or out of these straight from Explorer if you so choose.
  • Cussomizable: in many ways (optional single click icon launch, optional stay on top, can minimize if user clicks outside the interface or will optionally stay open, icons+text can be displayed or icons only, can tweak icon sizes, etc.)
  • Resides in the system tray: once minimized.
  • Navigating tabs: aside from clicking on tabs with the mouse, I like that you can switch across tabs using the “Tab” button. Or you can use “<” and “>” keys.
  • Free vs. Supporters versions: the “supporters” version seems to be the full version of this program and is made available to users who donate to the author. Has a number of additional features, such as customizing the mouse click location to launch the program, and the ability to launch the app using a keyboard shortcut.
  • Skins: there seems to be (a) skin support, and (b) a skin development contest going on. However, I couldn’t figure out how to change the skin or how to download new skins.

Wish list (or how this program can be even better)

  • The ability to link to any folder to use as a group: it would be great, for example, if I could link to my “D:’data’” folder and use that as a tab in FSL Launcher. I tried placing a folder shortcut in the “groups” folder in the hopes it might work in lieu of an actual folder, but it did not.
  • The ability to customize where the “groups” folder resides: currently it is located in the Windows user folder on the main (c) partition. I would like the ability to move it to another partition and to a specific location.
  • The ability to custom order tabs in the interface: currently it simply uses alphabetical sorting from left to right.
  • Portability: the ability to use this app to launch apps on a USB drive would be great. May be available in the so-called “supporters” version; I am not sure.
  • Launch by keyboard shortcut: a feature which is offered in the supporters version.

The verdict: I like this one very much. As a launcher it works great, and I especially like the fact that you could use the tabs to organize your work; I was recently trying to de-clutter my desktop and FSL Launcher really came in handy, and I was able to simply move a lot of icons out of the desktop and into the appropriate tab on the launcher. And while there is a full “supporters” version as well as the free version reviewed here, I still strongly feel that the free version is excellent and adds a lot of value (and is not crippleware).

Thanks to user Guy for letting me know about this one!

Version Tested: SR1

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7; 32 bit or 64 bit.

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 3.13 megs).

  • Woogah

    Typo “Cutsomizable”

  • Deebee

    Nice to see FSL Launcher has been featured on Freeware Genius. I have used the free version for years and it works great for me. I actually suggested having a look at it in a review of another launcher,Runit, I think. It may not be for everyone,but I find it the easiest launcher to configure and use.

  • Samer

    @ Woogah: type fixed, thanks.

    @ Deebee: I also have a review of RunIt from a few weeks ago (http://www.freewaregenius.com/runit-a-nice-quick-access-launcher-that-you-will-like/)

  • jfjb


    Surf’s up, dude.

    I do remember your review about RunIt, as well as my then-comment about Emerge Desktop, the replacement shell for MS Windows.

    I think strongly (to avoid the preposterous verb ‘to believe’) that it merits a presentation/review here just about the same as many other add-ons sought after by users who want to enhance their work and pleasure experience for free between (ahem) their chair and keyboard.

    This product is free, light, easy to use and replaces many desktop enhancements in a single package with a minimalist look to it. Meaning, no glamorous bells and whistles from color-candy memory-hungry whatchamacallit and other thingamajigs.

    P.S. The ‘Says’ family is growing. Congratulations, dad. (wink, wink)

  • Cyke64

    Not a luck ! typo again –>

    Cussomizable instead of customizable

  • Michael

    Ha ha! Looks like Windows 3.0!!