Several Easy Ways To Launch Programs On Windows
It’s easy to get stuck in ineffectual routines. We do something every day, it works, and we aren’t very motivated to explore alternative ways of doing things that might make our lives better. So, I’m going to do the work for you, at least if you want to learn easier ways of opening programs on your Windows PC.
Taskbar Keyboard Shortcuts
This is one of my favs. The Windows 7 Taskbar was an excellent addition to the operating system, and it serves double-duty as a keyboard-based app launcher. To launch an app, press the Windows key in conjunction with a number that corresponds to an application’s order on your Taskbar.
For example, pressing Windows key+4 will launch the fourth application in your Taskbar. If the application is already open and not the active application, pressing this key combination will switch to it.
Start Menu Search
Another excellent addition to Windows 7 was Start Menu Search, primarily for the fact that it actually works. All you have to do is press the Windows key and start typing the first few letters of the application’s name, and it will pop up in the search results. Once the correct application is highlighted, press Enter to launch it.
Custom Shortcut Key
This one is a little more geeky, but it’s not that hard to setup and allows for the ultimate in customization. First, find the application of interest, either on your desktop or through the Start Menu, right-click its shortcut, and choose Properties.
Next, in the Shortcut key box, enter the custom keyboard shortcut you’d like to enter to launch the application. Press Apply and then OK to close out the box and save your setting. Now, you can use this command anywhere in Windows to launch this application.
The Run Dialog Box
Perhaps the geekiest way of all for launching Windows applications is the tried and true Run Dialog box. As long as you know the name of the program’s executable file, all you need to do is press Windows key+R, type the name of the file, and press Enter.
Launchy Or Other Third Party Launchers
For Windows, the most popular application launching program is probably Launchy. This free app is very easy to setup and use. Once installed, just press Alt+Space anywhere within Windows to bring up the Launchy window.
Next, type in a search term and hit Enter to launch the application, open a file, or even visit a website. Although its functionality is similar to that of the Windows Start Menu Search box, Launchy is a little bit smarter in recognizing your queries (e.g., entering ffx will match Firefox).
In addition, Launchy includes useful extras, e.g., a quick calculator and plug-ins for searching your bookmarks.
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