Oolauncher: take complete control of your startup programs’ loading order, time delay, etc.

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Ever wished you could determine the order in which your items are loaded on startup, or the priority, or to set specific time delays before some programs launch, or specify the window state upon launch (e.g. minimized, hidden), or to load some items only when the PC is idle, etc.

Oolauncher is a free program that can do all of this and more. It provides a degree of flexibility that is unusual for most startup managers.

It does this by importing all of your start programs and removing them from their original position, allowing itself full control to manage your start programs precisely the way you want it to.

How this program works: Oolauncher imports startup programs from the four standard locations (Registry/current user, Registry/local machine, Start folder current user, and Start folder all users), removes them from their original location, and displays them in the Oolauncher interface, and then lets the user manage them from its interface. Users can select any entry in the list (or all) and with a single click restore them to where they originally came from. Oolauncher is designed to run in the background and intercept any new additions to the Windows startup to add them to its own list instead; alternately it can be run once on startup to do it’s thing and then shut down afterwards. Oolauncher is portable, so unzip it in an appropriate place, run it, and then set to auto

PROS:

  • Gives control over loading order: which, in some instances, is needed. In fact this is the functionality that I was looking for that lead me to this program in the first place.
  • Can be set to auto-close when done: via the system tray icon.
  • You can restore any item to their original startup locations: simply select it/them and click restore.
  • Light footprint: approximately 6 megs in memory. Can be shut down after startup as mentioned above.

CONS:

  • You need to conduct a test: to see if your startup items work ok. Because items load in order, a single problematic item can bog down the process, effectively preventing the rest of the items from loading (this happened to me with the Java update scheduler, not sure why).
  • Duplication: you will invariably start seeing items in the Oolauncher list as well as the original location. Not a practical problem for most applications (that will only run a single instance), but a bit messy.

Wish list:

  • The ability to manage items in Oolauncher and the original location both: i.e. to have two panes instead of one, such that you could drag and drop items to move them across the two locations / systems.
  • The ability to uncheck items rather than delete: in order to re-instate programs later on if you needed to.

The verdict: an excellent program that gives an unusual degree of control over your startup programs that is not to be had with too many programs like it.

Version Tested: v1.0.0.6

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7.

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 65K).