eCat1Creating a batch file to start multiple applications

What for...

Why do I want to do this?

Maybe you don't. I have simply found that I would rather click one time than many. Or, if you have a keyboard with programmable buttons, just hit one button.

I hope you will find this useful! :-)


How to...

Create a batch file in Windows to start multiple applications.

1. Start by creating a new folder on your hard drive. Call it whatever you want, but something descriptive is best. For example: batchlinks or just batch.
Batch file Tut

2. Next, create shortcuts of the applications you want to start together and place the shortcuts inside your newly created directory. Once there, rename them by removing the 'Shortcut to' and the file extension (.exe). Your file names should look like the screenshot.

2a. To create a shortcut, navigate to the folder containing the executable file for each application. Use Windows Explorer for this. Right click on the executable and choose 'create shortcut' from the context menu. This will create a shortcut in the current folder called 'Shortcut to YourApp.exe' Cut and paste the shortcut into your batch file directory created in step one. You can also just open your 'batch' directory and choose File | New | Shortcut. A short wizard will walk you through the process.
Shortcut Outlines

3. Next up - Open Notepad.
Batch file Tut
Enter the path to your files as shown above. Include the cls command at the end of your file list. Note: If your path contains spaces, you will need to enclose your path in quotes. Ex: "c:\batch links\dreamweaver.lnk" Also note the difference in the file name. We have added .lnk to the end of the file name in the batch file.

4. Save the file as your_filename_here.bat. You may want to save this file with a short name in the root of your drive for easy access. From the run line is is quite easy to type in c:\go.bat, for example.

5. Test it! Make sure it works. Call the file from the run line or double click on it in Windows Explorer. You should see something like this:

If all is well, your applications will start en masse.

6. Now that your little batch file is working, you can choose what to do with it. Send a shortcut to the desktop for easy double click access to your most used apps or, if you have the capability, program a special keyboard key to open your batch file.

7. Experiment with the number of applications you try to open at once for the best performance. You can always make another group to run in a separate batch file.