Launch your apps with Program Starter

Launch your favorite programs with a single click with this super-simple freeware.

Program Starter by A-B Tools is a freeware program launcher. It lets you organize your most frequently used apps in a customizable tree view menu for superquick access, and it launches tools very quickly with a single mouse click. It handles both installed and portable apps and even launches programs from desktop shortcuts.

Program Starter's interface is about as simple as they come: a compact dialog with a plain white background and a tree view displaying the icons of some of our most popular tools under folder headings such as Audio/Video, Internet/Downloader, Messenger, and Other tools. Clicking any of the entries immediately opened the app. Right-clicking a program let us delete it or edit its name or path; right-clicking a folder let us add or delete programs to it as well as add and delete categories. We were a little surprised that we couldn't drag and drop programs into Program Starter since drag-and-drop is so common these days, but we had no trouble adding or deleting programs from the list. We could drag the window anywhere on the desktop as well as resize it with the cursor until it's about two folders high. Program Starter's system tray icon stayed active when we closed the main view; we could recall the desktop interface by clicking Show on the tray icon's menu, which also let us change the interface language, configure updates, set always-in-front, and back up our list. Program Starter also includes a proper Help menu.

Program launchers such as Program Starter tend to be personal preferences, though we can think of more than a few reasons to use one, such as letting you keep your desktop cluttered (we're giving you credit for wanting it that way) while enabling quick access to a variety of programs organized just the way you want them to be organized. It's also convenient for opening portable applications, which are just as useful as installed apps but are too often forgotten in their folders.

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