Confusion is the theme

Skip this poorly designed program launcher.

Although it's touted as a program launcher, we found this free program to be more of a way to group programs and other items in one place on the desktop. Toolbox isn't for the novice, though, if only because of the knowledge required to understand all of its settings and options.

Toolbox has a busy user interface that features menu options at the top of a small window, and two tabs--one for creating toolboxes and another for application settings. You can go the easy route and add a desktop Toolbox with preset components like My Computer and the Control Panel, and the process takes only a couple of clicks. You can also group your own programs in a Toolbox, which is nearly as easy with support for drag-and-drop functionality, and a very brief wizard for creating a new toolbox. The settings tabs is just as busy as the one for creating Toolboxes, but check boxes make it easy to set the options you want. Novices might not understand those for Shortcuts from LNK files, or some of the other settings packed into the tiny window, but experienced users should have Toolbox customized in no time to open at Windows start-up or place Toolboxes in the right spot.

Toolbox works as promised, but our feelings were divided about the program's capability to simplify program access for the user. Users who have an organized desktop without a lot of clutter won't see the benefits of adding more items to it, but those looking to clear up an overwhelming amount of files and programs might find Toolbox to be useful. The good news is that Toolbox is free, so more experienced users can see if its organizational methods can help them tame desktop clutter.

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