With Launchy you can search for installed apps rather than browse for them manually in your start menu.

Launchy is invoked/dismissed by a hotkey (alt+space by default).

It is pre-set to index your start menu links, but can be customized to index any location on your hard drive for any type of file.

For example, I typically tend to put a lot of files that I am working on on the desktop.

I therefore set launchy to index the desktop (and all sub-folders recursively) to the types of files that I want that I typically deal with (xls, csv, jpg, mp3, exe, zip, rar, etc.)

I used to use a very similar program called Find and Run Robot, but I find that this one (a) is more customizable and flexible, and (b) has a much better look and feel overall (it also has tons of skins).

More Launchy Skins

This is a very interesting launcher that takes very little system resources to run. It is a must if you, like me, have a ton of installed applications and a lot of files that you work with.

Version tested:  1.0

Go to download page for latest version. The program home page.

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Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started
  • I use it for some time now. It is really great app 🙂 Quick and smart!

  • Great App.
    Always wanted a keyboard shortcut to launch firefox, certain files etc.
    Launchy seems to provide this and more

    Thanks very much

  • Sachin Arora

    Very cool application. Thanks for the introduction.

  • Nandu

    There’s another one like this.. It’s called Ava Find.. Try it also… It’s not freeware.. The only limitation in trial version is that u can’t do stuff like delete, rename etc.. But it’s pretty good..

  • Igg

    I use Colibri (also freeware), which sounds very similar. I don’t think that you can set folders to index though… I may have to try Launchy.

  • Siegfried

    Thanks for a great website. Looks like the FastStone Capture program is now shareware with 30-day trial.

  • Paul

    Check out Keybreeze. It’s probably the best application launcher for Windows — more features and more settings than Launchy.

  • Christine

    How do you download it??

  • Samer

    Click on the link where it says “Go to download page for latest version”. This will always be the last row of text in any review.

  • Apatt

    Try Find & Run Robot. Similar to Launchy but with more features:

  • Ali

    Enso is an awesome replacement for launchy

  • Burque

    In the interest of those who may prefer something else, SlickRun has replaced Launchy on all my machines. Although it may lack some of Launchy’s features, it has many of them, and for my purposes it works much better (i.e. I launch programs and web pages with it.) It is very customizable, and doesn’t do one thing Launchy has done–eat up 90% of system resources when the the machine is left unattended for several days (which is frequent). Memory for SlickRun (sr.exe) use as I write this is 7.8MB.
    Both are fine programs.

  • I’m finally giving this one a shot. It seems like everyone is recommending it.

  • jfjb

    I just noticed: is everyone from the Said family in here?
    ( smiley )

  • Samer

    @ jfjb: that’s really funny 😉

  • Great open source application ,i like it.

  • Rob

    I use this application just for a while, but I love it! I didn’t know about it before.
    I wrote a post on my blog, how to use launchy with application references (that are different than the normal shortcut’s)

    Great tool, that great, that the functionality is build-in in Windows 7.

  • M

    well i use vista and there is a search bar at the bottom of the start menu which sounds like it functions something like this app. Can someone tell me the difference between these or is this app just for non-vista operating system??

  • elwoode

    I tried a whole bunch of these type of Programs and prefer Find and run robot (FARR for short). It used the least amount of memory of any that I tried and that is important for me. I find it easy to use and its the one I kept on my machine.

  • billy

    I Found Find and Run Robot to be the best, Keybreeze and SlickRun were close 2nd and 3rd. I have tried a LOT of these apps. Including Launchy. I found launchy too limited compared to the others and used a lot more memory than Find and run robot and Keybreeze and SlickRun. I dont know why its so popular!