Installation is a snap- simply download and run the installer of the latest version of LaunchLater by clicking on the Downloads tab on the Codeplex page. The installer works just like any other Windows installer you’ve ever used; you’ll
be fine, I promise.
If you are upgrading from a previous version of LaunchLater, the new installer will overwrite the old version and automatically import your previous configuration. No need to back-up or manually re-enter your existing list of startup apps.
If for some reason you are unable to install LaunchLater with the current version’s installer, PLEASE notify me by posting in the Discussions section of the Codeplex page! Doing so would be an enormous help to me and to future users of the software!
Configuration and Usage
Once you’ve got LaunchLater installed, it will be time to put it to work!
LaunchLater consists of two separate pieces, the configuration manager, and the LaunchPad. The configuration manager is where you will customize your startup apps and determine how long after Windows boot up you want them to begin. You can set
arguments to be passed to the apps here, as well as disable certain apps from automatically starting altogether. The LaunchPad is the piece you will see running on your system tray every time you reboot your Windows computer from now on. It will
notify you as to which application is starting up, as well as let you pause, resume, cancel, or preemptively execute any application that you’ve configured in LaunchLater.
To get started, the first thing you’ll want to do is open up the configuration manager. It will be located in the LaunchLater folder on your Start Menu. When you run it for the very first time, you’ll see that the Windows Calculator
is already configured there. You probably don’t want the calculator to start automatically with Windows, unless perhaps you’re a bigger nerd than I am, but I wanted you to see this app first to get an idea of how apps are configured.
Feel free to play around with its settings by clicking on the Edit button.
Once you’re ready, go ahead and delete the Calculator example and start importing your own start up apps. I recommend clicking the “Import Startup Items” button. This will search your computer for existing startup apps that
LaunchLater will recommend taking over for you. Carefully read this list and be sure not to checkmark security applications or virus scanners. LaunchLater will allow you to schedule those items, but it is definitely not a best practice. When
you’re done check-marking all the apps you’d like to import, just click the “Import” button at the bottom of this window. You’ll see all of your apps brought into the configuration manager.
If there are any other apps that don’t automatically start with Windows, feel free to add those too using the “Add App” button. You’ll simply browse to the .exe file that you want to add to your startup configuration and click
Once you have the list of apps that you want to automatically launch with Windows, edit each one of them to set the amount of minutes and seconds you’d like each of them to delay. Take into consideration how soon you think you may need access
to a given app. Also think about how much time it takes for that app to launch- I personally save the slower-to-start apps for later when possible, so that they stay out of the way while my smaller apps start first.
When you’re finished, close the configuration manager, being sure to say “Yes” when asked if you’d like to save changes. Now then, reboot your computer and see how much faster you get to your Windows desktop!
It is perfectly normal to observe the boot process and decide to fine tune your LaunchLater configuration. You might go through a few revisions of your schedule before you get your boot process tuned specifically to your needs, and that’s okay.
What’s important is that you’ve just spent a few minutes that you will earn back quickly each time your computer starts up. Your hard drive will also thank you, since it won’t be getting thrashed quite so severely during startup.
But what if you really want one of your scheduled apps to start “right now!”? Easy- simply right-click on the LauchPad’s icon on your system tray, select your desired app, and click the Execute button on the popup menu.
Similarly, you can pause/resume and cancel any of your apps individually, or all of them at the same time. Once the LaunchPad has finished starting all your apps for you, it will close down to free memory back up to the operating system.
If you have any questions or issues with LaunchLater, please read the FAQ below. If your needs still aren’t met, let me quickly apologize for the inconvenience, and allow me to refer you to the
Discussions tab on the Codeplex page. Please feel free to add any questions, concerns, or remarks here and I will do my best to address them.
Thanks for giving LaunchLater a try! As with all open source software, please feel free to use it, change it, improve it, share it, publish it, or even hate it.
Q: “I hate your stupid software so I uninstalled it! Now where are my startup apps?”
A: That’s easy- they are right where you left them, but now there isn’t anything telling them to start up. The easiest solution to this problem is to reinstall the latest version of LaunchLater. Then go into the configuration
manager and delete each app that you want returned to normal startup. When deleting each app, you will be asked if you’d like for it to be returned to its original configuration. Click ‘Yes’ and then save your changes when you
close the configuration manager. Uninstall LaunchLater again and your apps will be started automatically by Windows.
Q: “I scheduled this one app to run 5 minutes after startup, but sometimes I need it immediately! Do I always have to wait 5 minutes for it to load?”
A: Nope! You don’t have to wait! Sometimes, you really do need your apps to LaunchSooner! Simply right-click on the LaunchLater icon on your system tray, then mouse over the app you would like to launch immediately. Use
the context menu that flies out and click ‘Execute.’
Q: “I don’t see the LaunchLater app in my system tray when my computer boots up. How am I supposed to right-click on it and interact with the schedule of apps as they are loading?”
A: This is likely because the LaunchLater app is configured to be hidden by default in your Windows configuration. Click on the little up arrow to the left of your system tray and click ‘Customize…” This window will allow
you to configure which apps are allowed to show their notifications and icons. Find the LL_LaunchPad app and be sure it is set to ‘Show icon and notifications.’
Q: "I configured an app to run with LaunchLater, but it is still starting up immediately when Windows starts! Why??"
A: Some applications have their own internal settings that allow them to control when they start up. Dropbox, one of my personal favorite apps, is like this. You have to enter the settings for that application and tell it explicitly NOT
to automatically start with Windows. Once you've set this, LaunchLater will run it when you want just fine.
Q: “LaunchLater did something weird! I don’t like/understand/approve-of/appreciate this!”
A: Then tell me about it- in as much detail as you can! Use the Discussions tab on the Codeplex page here. Be verbose!