Hot Corners: launch favorite apps, files and folders by touching the corners of your screen

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This program provides an interesting way to access favorite folders and files or performing any of range of functions (running any program, running the screensaver, searching Google, showing the desktop, etc.) by hovering over any of the four corners of your screen, which apparently is inspired by

Obviously, you can launch no more than 4 items this way, but the program offers another method of launching shortcuts via mouse movement, by pressing a hotkey (Win+X) and then moving the mouse in any of the 4 directions.

Hot Corners is particularly well suited as a launcher for frequently used items, especially those that run in the background such as a notes program or an email client. Accidental launching (as, for example, when your mouse touches the corners while doing other things like closing windows) can be avoided by adding a “delay” in the settings, requiring your mouse to linger for a few milliseconds before the program activates..

Hot-Corners-Screenshot2Hot-Corners-Screenshot config

[Update 10/7/2010] The program reviewed here is different from the program that was featured when this post was first published. Though they both have the same name and perform the same function, the earlier program had some poor CPU usage issues that caused me to remove and replace it with this one, which in any case is the better program all around.

PROS:

  • Does the job that it sets out to do very well
  • Lightweight: consumes less than 4 megs in memory
  • The configuration screen: is simple and user friendly.
  • Hot corners delay: can be set such that the mouse in the corner has to linger for up to half a second before the launcher kicks into action (anywhere between 100-500ms). This can effectively eliminate accidental triggering of this program and makes it much more useable.
  • Wide range of commands: including run any program, open any folder or fie, trigger screensaver, show desktop, search Google, stand-by, lock the PC, show control panel rn any folder, minimizing/closing/switching across active windows, etc.

Cons:

  • Could not point it to a folder on a secondary (D:) partition: for some reason, the program could only browse folders on (C:) and could not see any other partition. The solution: I simply typed in the full path of the folder I wanted on (D:), and that worked.
  • Mouse-move launch hotkey not customizable, conflicts with Windows 7 hotkey: Win+X, which is the hotkey for the “Mouse Move” function, is taken in Windows 7 and by default used to launch the Windows Mobility Center. Hot Corners does not allow for customizing this hotkey, rendering the function completely inaccessible on Windows 7. But it is no great loss IMHO; the “hot corners” is the more interesting function anyway.

The verdict: this is a very handy way to access frequently used apps or folders. After using it for a while to access my (frequently used) download folder in the upper right hand corner I came to find it both practical and addictive. I also found the delay function to be extremely valuable in avoiding accidental triggering, which makes this program infinitely more useable than it would have been otherwise. The two issues in the “cons” section above notwithstanding, Hot Corners does an excellent job overall (and hopefully these will be ironed out in future versions of the program anyway).

Note: this app is virus free. It is an AutoHotkey script, and some virus killers wrongly identify these as malware. You can view its VirusTotal profile here.

Version tested: 2.2.2.0

Compatibility: WinAll. Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 528K).