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Launch Multiple Programs with One Click

Speed up your workflow by launching your favorite programs in one click using batch (.bat) files.

To launch multiple programs with a click on PC/Win:

  1. Create a folder and add shortcuts to your favorite programs
  2. Rename the shortcuts so that each consists of a single word
  3. Create a text file and change the name to something.bat
  4. Right-click on the batch .bat file and select “Edit”
  5. Paste the code below, and customize with your favorite programs :)
rem   comments should begin with rem
rem   note: this file launches all of my favorite apps!
rem   note: replace the names below with your own..

@echo off

   start %SystemRoot%\system32\cmd.exe
   start firefox http://google.com/
   start dreamweaver
   start photoshop
   start winamp
   start notes.txt

@echo on

That’s all there is to it! Of course, there are many other neat things you can do with batch files, but we leave that for you to discover elsewhere. You may want to create additional batch files for various kinds of work. For example, you could create one batch file for web-development apps, another for graphic-design apps, and so on. All shortcuts and batch files may be placed in the same folder. Then simply customize shortcuts to your various batch files and use them to consolidate your quick launch and clean up your desktop!

Jeff Starr
About the Author Jeff Starr = Web Developer. Book Author. Secretly Important.
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8 responses
  1. This was helpful !! thanks !! Good work !

  2. nonhocapito October 17, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

    For those who want to use this in a batch file with commands surrounded by quotation marks, such as, for example

    start “c:\program files\mycommand.exe”

    well, it wont’ work unless you also indicate the title for the cmd window!

    It must be the first thing you give to the Start command otherwise Start will take your command as the title, and won’t find anything else to launch.
    So the right syntax should be:

    start “my title” /B “c:\program files\mycommand.exe”

    The /B switch will tell cmd to also close its window right away.
    Hope this helps someone, it took me a few to figure it out.

  3. Jeff Starr

    @nonhocapito: Thank you, Sir! That is very kind of you to share with us! Cheers! :)

  4. Neat O

    I would like my little tiles on my task bar to be in a certain order. If I run it as described, the order is dependant on how fast the app can load. I wanted to put a small delay between each launch. I found CHOICE, but it seems to hang if the batch file’s window looses focus:

    echo Hello Word
    choice /cY /tY,10 /n
    start "Starting Outlook" /B "OUTLOOK.LNK"
    choice /cY /tY,10 /n
    start "Starting IE" /B "IE.LNK"
    echo and so on…

    The choice after outlook hangs, I have to press the Y instead of it defaulting in 10 seconds

  5. Jeff Starr

    Mad skills, Robert — thanks for sharing! The delay would definitely help reduce processor loads and prevent crashes, especially for older computers and/or when many programs are being launched. Too bad there’s not a way to keep the window focused or “Always on Top”..

  6. A better way of delaying a batch job (an old trick) is to ping localhost. you can change the duration of the delay by increasing or decreasing the number of pings using the /n # switch. (#) being the number of pings.

    For example:
    ping localhost /n 2

  7. There’s also a program that lets you write a text file with each line being either a file, program or web page URL and after you give the text file a .multifire file extension then when you double-click on it everything will be opened. You can download the Multifire software at http://sites.google.com/site/spiveyworks/multifire

  8. Jeff Starr

    Interesting and useful, Michael — thanks for sharing :)

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