From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Screenshot of launchy2.png
Original author(s) Josh Karlin
Initial release January 22, 2007 (2007-01-22)
Stable release 2.5 / April 4, 2010 (2010-04-04)
Development status Inactive
Written in C++ (Qt)
Platform Windows, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, and Linux
License GNU General Public License

Launchy is a free and open-source application launcher for Windows, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, and Linux. It indexes shortcuts in the start menu, and files in specific folders to allow quicker access to programs without opening the start menu itself, or browsing to the relevant folder.[1][2][3]

Program usage[edit]

Launchy automatically loads itself on boot and waits for the user to call it by pressing Alt + Space or a custom user hotkey. The user then starts typing the name of the program or file they wish to launch. Launchy automatically searches its list of programs for the closest match as the user types. When it finds the desired program, the user hits enter and it is automatically launched.[4]

Launchy can add folders and file formats to its catalog for indexing, so it can launch almost anything on a computer, including programs, URLs (also from bookmarks) and documents; as well as run Google, Wikipedia, MSN, and Yahoo searches, bringing the results up in the default browser.

Launchy can be extended with plug-ins.[3]


Launchy was originally written in C# (ver. 0.5). Since version 0.6, it is developed in C++.[5] The latest release, version 2.0, has been completely rewritten using Qt. This has resulted in incompatibility between this version and older skins and plugins.

Included plugins[edit]

The following plugins are included with the 2.0 release:


  • Adds control panel items to the catalog


  • Allows to search the web
  • Can launch web URLs, also from bookmarks


  • A simple calculator

Community Plugins[edit]

Plugin development[edit]

Launchy 2 has a C++ API[6] for developing extension plugins. Plugins can add new types of objects to the catalog.

Community-developed bindings for other programming languages are provided as plugins:



  • SourceForge.Net Community Choice Awards, Honorable Mention: Best New Project[9]
  • PC World 15 Best Downloads of the Year: Powertools[4]
  • CNet Download.Com Top Ten Downloads of the Year[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Rosenblatt, Seth (December 22, 2007). "The 10 best downloads of 2007". CNet. 
  2. ^ Dolcourt, Jessica (December 20, 2007). "Launchy 2.0 quick-starts apps with class". CNet. 
  3. ^ a b Spector, Lincoln (October 21, 2007). "Fifteen Great Time Saving Utilities". PC World. 
  4. ^ a b Gralla, Preston (December 24, 2007). "The 15 Best Downloads of the Year". PC World. 
  5. ^ Project Details - Programming Language
  6. ^ Launchy 2 Plugin API
  7. ^ PyLaunchy: Python plugins for Launchy
  8. ^ Launchy#: .NET plugins for Launchy
  9. ^ "SourceForge.Net Community Choice Awards". 2007. 

External links[edit]