Absolutely Incredibly Essential Utility of the Month

A couple months ago I wrote a column about two “Indispensible” utilities, one of which was Launchy.  I  had to issue something of a retraction:

Update June 23, While this program is incredibly useful, I’ve noticed [what]  looks like a nasty memory leak, and while I do like this program, I’ve suspended it for now.

Subsequently I’ve learned of a wonderful, stupendous substitute: FARR (Find And Run Robot).

It has it all.  Set  up takes zero time.  The defaults are excellent so you can just run it.  If you want to tweak it, there are more options than on the space shuttle.  And it is wicked fast, and does a lot more than finding your applications, but it does that incredibly well.


Hit the Launch FARR key combination (either Pause or, as I like to do, control-space) and up pops the search window with your most recent choices.

Start typing and as you type FARR starts narrowing in on the application you want.


Even better, it learns.

The first time I typed Visu, Visual Studio was number 5 (fair enough, it’s real name is Microsoft Visual Studio.  Once I launched it, however, the next time I searched, it was top of the list.

Even Better you can highlight a word in your document and hit search, and it will search for that word.

Even Better, you can hit control-space, see what is #1 and just hit enter to get that.

Or you can scroll to the one you want.

Or pick its number from the number pad.

Want more? take a look at these options:


You can use the default heuristics or change them in any way that makes sense to you.

Okay, there’s a lot more, but I love this program already.  You do want/need a license key, which is free, but which reminds you that it would be perfectly okay to make a donation. I did, you should.

Free?  Yes, if you want.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

About Jesse Liberty

Jesse Liberty has three decades of experience writing and delivering software projects and is the author of 2 dozen books and a couple dozen Pluralsight & LinkedIn Learning courses. He was a Senior Technical Evangelist for Microsoft, a Distinguished Software Engineer for AT&T, a VP for Information Services for Citibank and a Software Architect for PBS. He is a Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer and a Xamarin MVP and a Microsoft MVP.
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