Derek Hatchard writes on the theme of "improving experiences" which includes managing technology, user experiences, life hacking, and some business related stuff. Derek has a software development blog at and a product review site at He is a Principal Member of Technical Staff (PMTS) at Radian6, a company. All views expressed are his alone (or those of any guest writers) and do not represent the views of Radian6 or

Run Multiple Desktop Shortcuts At Once

Several times a day I find myself launching a set of desktop shortcuts at the same time:


I had keyboard shortcuts set up but it was still a multi-step process for opening up my main communication tools (HootSuite, my email account, and my email account).

Here’s a simple way to create a master shortcut to launch everything:

1. Find the .lnk files

Right-click on each shortcut and go to the General tab of the Properties window:


The shortcut is actually a .lnk file.  The General tab will show you the location of the file.  This will normally be either your desktop (e.g., C:\Users\derek\Desktop) or your computer’s shared (“public”) desktop (C:\Users\Public\Desktop).

My shortcut called “ Mail” is actually located in the file “C:\Users\derek\Desktop\ Mail.lnk”.


2. Create a New Text File

Next start Notepad.  Depending on your computer, do one of the following:

i.) Select Run from the Start menu.  Type notepad and press Enter.

ii.) Press {Windows Key}+R.  Type notepad and press Enter.

iii.) Open the Start menu and type notepad and press Enter.

Enter the full path to each of your .lnk files on separate lines.  At the beginning of each line add start "" /b.  You will end up with a file that looks something like this:


start "" /b "C:\Users\derek\Desktop\ mail.lnk"
start "" /b "C:\Users\derek\Desktop\HootSuite.lnk"
start "" /b "C:\Users\derek\Desktop\ Mail.lnk"


3. Save the File With a .BAT Extension

This next part is really important.  In Notepad, go to the File > Save menu.  Change the Save As Type box to "All Files (*.*)" and then enter launch.bat as the File name (or whatever name makes you happy, as long as it ends with .bat).




Make sure the location is your desktop and click Save.


4. Test the Master Shortcut

On your desktop you should now have a file called launch.  Depending on your computer’s settings, you may or may not see the .bat extension on the file:


Double-click the file and all your programs should open up.  You can even make a shortcut to the .bat file and add it to your Start menu or the Windows quick launch bar.

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4 Responses

  1. atruman says:

    great work boss!

    can you please tell me how to do this in mac, I am new to mac so i don’t know how to this in mac

  2. Thanks a lot!!!
    It works very well with Flight Simulator X Add-ons.

  3. Abdul says:

    Thanks. This is very useful.

  4. Kasun says:

    Great job. thanks

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