NirLauncher: Portable application launcher for 100+ portable NirSoft (and SysInternals) programs

Made popular by his password recovery tools and maintained popularity with a boatload of lightweight, and portable utilities, NirSofer is a developer that makes dozens (hundreds?) of useful programs; some of which I am sure dotTechies have heard of or used in the past. In fact, a few NirSoft programs have even been featured on dotTech before (VideoCacheView, WebVideoCap, BlueScreenView, Volumouse, and probably a few other ones which I can’t remember off the top of my head). NirLauncher is an application launcher – also created by NirSoft, duh =D – that allows users to use 100+ NirSoft portable utilities without so much as breaking a sweat:

Keeping true to its nature, NirLauncher is portable and it combines all of NirSoft portable utilities with an easy-to-navigate interface which requires a simple double-click to launch any available utility. These are all the utilities that currently come with NirLauncher:

(Click on image to view it in full size.)

The list of available utilities may change as new NirLauncher editions are released, so users can keep up with the rolling list at NirLauncher’s utilities page.

Since some NirSoft programs require to be run as administrator (in Vista/Win7) users can right-click -> “Run As Administrator” (or go to “File” -> “Run As Administrator”) for those programs that need to be run as administrator. Right-clicking on a utility also gives access to other features such as the respective Help file of a program and the ability to change the parameters of how a program is launched:

“Advanced Run” is the option that allows users to change the parameters of how a program is run:

Take note that the settings you set under “Advanced Run” are only applied when you launch a program via “Advanced Run”. Changing the settings under “Advanced Run” then launching the program via a normal double-click will not active the settings you set under “Advanced Run”.

Similar to how “Advanced Run” is for each individual application, “Default Run Settings” (found under “Options”) sets the exact same parameters as “Advanced Run”, but as a default for all applications (i.e. the parameters set under “Default Run Settings” will be applied to each application when they are launched normally via a double-click):

I do hope in future updates NirSofer adds an option in NirLauncher will allows users to change the default run settings for specific programs only, as opposed to only having the option to change the default settings for all programs. Until NirSofer adds that option, as a compromise, users can set NirLauncher to run “Advanced Run” via double-click, as opposed to normal run, making it a bit more convenient to launch programs with customized parameters. This change, among a few others, can be made via “Options” -> “Advanced Options”:

If users prefer to leave normal run via double-click, NirLauncher has a button bar at the bottom of the program window that allows for one-click access to features such as “Advanced Run”:

After using NirLauncher, one feature which I found to be lacking in NirLauncher is the ability to search. With so many utilities in one program, it would be rather nice to be able to search for a program – and access it quickly – as opposed to looking for it manually, which can a little bit of time depending on how familiar you are with the launcher.

Last but not least, NirLauncher has this incredible ability to integrate other portable software into the launcher. Ever heard of SysInternals Suite (you probably have)? NirLauncher allows you to integrate that into NirLauncher. Ever heard of joeware utilities (you probably have not)? NirLauncher allows you to integrate that into NirLauncher.

Integrating SysInternals Suite and joeware utilities is very simple (directions are available at NirLauncher’s download page but I am summing them up here for everyone):

  • Download the respective package (from their own websites) and place it in a subfolder in NirLauncher’s folder.
  • Download the respective .NLP script (from NirLauncher’s website) and place it in NirLauncher’s folder.
  • Drag + drop the .NLP script into NirLauncher’s main program window, or load the .NLP script via “Launcher” -> “Add Software Package”.
  • Once the package has been added, you can switch between package via “Launcher” -> “Next Software Package”/”Previous Software Package” or via the F3/F4 keys.

All in all, coming in at an incredibly small 8 MB (8 MB is small considering how many utilities it has), NirLauncher should be a part of everyone’s computing circle. You may download and access NirLauncher via the following links:

Version reviewed: v1.06.11

Supported OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Win7

Special note: Some NirSoft utilities have different versions for 32-bit and 64-bit. NirLauncher automatically detects if you are running 64-bit and automatically uses 64-bit versions for you (the download for NirLauncher is the same for 32-bit and 64-bit users).

Download size: 8 MB

NirLauncher homepage [direct download]

[SysInternals Suite .NLP script]

[Joeware utilities .NLP script]

Update: Be warned NirLauncher – and many other NirSoft utilities – triggers false-positive readings from many anti-malware programs. NirSoft is one of the most widely recommended, respected, and popular developers out there. Many AVs will cry wolf but I assure you NirLauncher is 100% clean; I stake my reputation on it. Please read http://blog.nirsoft.net/2009/05/17/antivirus-companies-cause-a-big-headache-to-small-developers/ for more information.

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31 comments

  1. Rob (Down Under)

    OOPs
    Just about to compare with NirLauncher.
    Probably Apples and Oranges (not the same thing)
    So my post about SuperLauncher, should have gone elsewhere.
    Anyone care to post it in the correct spot (where it will be preaching to the converted)

    Thanks,
    Rob

  2. Rob (Down Under)

    Some of you may be interested in trying SuperLauncher ($29)
    Free for the next 14 hours at BitsDuJour
    It is hardware locked. Thus the key can only be inserted into the PC that was running it in Trial mode. Whilst in Trial mode you you request an emailing to you, of the reg key.

    All my PCs are old (and they die), so I am requesting the key for each PC, and registering them.
    I used the same name and email address for all of them, without any problem.

    I have one more PC to do, so I have not had time to compare with NirLauncher yet.

    I resent programs that register hot keys without my permission, but it has been very easy for me to edit out the hot keys. So no residual resentment.

  3. Ruby

    I’m not able to see Sysinternals working, I loaded the .nlp file (I tried 2 and 3) I even drag and dropped the file but all I got is a Sysinternals top menu but a blank page, so no any software is displayed!

  4. Hashan Gayasri

    wow this got to be awesome..
    can you believe I actually downloaded almost all portable apps by NirSoft one by one each!!!
    This is unbelievable.. My favorite freeware collection in a single file!!
    Thank you so much NirSoft and Ashraf too for makin this popular..

  5. hipockets

    Many thanks to Ashraf and to all of today’s commenters.  A great article and a ton of helpful information.
    I apologize if this is a duplicate post.  I did something to momentarily lose this page, and my first try was lost in the infinite universe of the world wide web….wonder where it went…..

  6. Soulflare3

    I did not include this in my previous reply, but you may have to force your antivirus to stop blocking and removing the files. It will be somewhat aggrivating to fight with the AV pogram, but you will be able to use all of the applications afterward.

  7. Soulflare3

    I agree. Every virus detection with either NirSoft or SysInternals are false. I have been using them for years and have had NO problems. In fact, it is the exact opposite. These programs have helped me do many tasks (and a few have been fun, like SysInternals Bluescreen Screensaver… ^_^). Another good program by SysInternals is like task manager, but more detailed and even has a hierarchy to show what program started each process.

    Even greater still, all programs can be copied to a flash drive and run from anywhere, on any windows computer.

    I promise as an advanced computer user and a freelance software developer that there is absolutely NO malicious software, spyware, malware, or viruses in this download. It is 100% clean and there is nothing wrong with it. Microsoft and your antivirus may say otherwise, but this is not true. There is nothing wrong with any of these programs.

  8. Darthyoda

    I’ve been using Nirsoft products for years, but the Nirsoft Portable for only a few months.  There’s nothing wrong with any of the programs.  The reason they get flagged by av/spyware scanners is that some of the programs reveal passwords (shocked) which when used by virus writers can send them the passwords, since the programs are meant to be ran by clicking, or by the command line.  They’re flagged because in the past they’ve been used wrongly, so now they get flagged.  Usually the description by the av is something like “not a virus, password stealer” or some such line.  Which is the truth, since they are supposed to reveal passwords.

  9. OldElmerFudd

    @Dragan: I run the straight AV from Eset (not the Security Suite) and didn’t have a problem. It may be because I’ve been to Nir’s site many times before. You might try disabling it to get the download.

    @tejas: I also use Vipre on another box and it didn’t fuss either. Only found out about them about a year ago – pretty good AV in my estimation.

    All that aside, it worked pretty well. I was able to load Joe’s tools without much difficulty, but the Sysinternals .nlp didn’t show in the window, in spite of showing as available to load. Have to spend a little more time with that.

  10. akbar

    When I clicked the NirLauncher homepage [direct download] I got following page:
    This website has been reported as unsafe
    download.nirsoft.net
     
      We recommend that you do not continue to this website.
       Go to my home page instead 
     
       This website has been reported to Microsoft for containing threats to your computer that might reveal personal or financial information.
     
         More information
    This website has been reported to contain the following threats:
    Malicious software threat: This site contains links to viruses or other software programs that can reveal personal information stored or typed on your computer to malicious persons.
     Learn more about phishing 
     Learn more about malicious software
     Report that this site does not contain threats
     Disregard and continue (not recommended) 
     
    I have sent a report to Microsoft saying the site is safe! 
    They replied:
    Thank you for submitting your feedback.
    What to expect next?
    We continually analyze customer submissions to improve product performance and to better help protect consumers from phishing websites and malicious software.
    Your experience on this website may not change while the analysis is underway.

    Ashraf’s reputation is at stake!

  11. peterc

    @Garth: LOL Thanks for that, Garth..that WOULD explain why I got this problem!  I’m using a pugin on firefox which, in light of what you pointed out, is causing the issue.
     
    Guess I can try logging out and using another ISP account I have with a different company..that might work..or use one of the kids laptops.
     
    Thanks for pointing that out to me!
     
    PeterC

  12. Garth

    @peterc:
    The NirSoft download site has a warning (below) that may be causing your problem:
    Notice: Don’t use any aggressive download manager that opens multiple connections. If you do so, your IP address might be blocked from downloading this package.”
    Regards

  13. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @peterc: Hmm, honestly I don’t know why you can’t download it. Sorry =(

    @Dragan: I understand; I am here to inform… it is your final decision if you want the software or not. (As a side note, avast! doesn’t bug about NirLauncher.)

  14. Dragan

    @Ashraf: Maybe all that is true, but I can’t uninstall my antivirus. I am already using some of NirSoft’s tools and my antivirus (Nod32) doesn’t detect them. I never had any problems. But this time Nod32 detected 16 treats. That’s too much. I would rather  skip this one.

  15. peterc

    Thanks for the swift reply, Ashraf! :- )
     
    Nope..tried both IE and Firefox with no joy.
     
    Forgot to mention it did start to download from the direct link the first time, but stalled at around 2mb..and wouldn’t download anymore.  I then canceled the download and refreshed firefox..as in emptied temp files, cache etc..only to get the message I told you about above.
    Then I tried IE and got the same message.  Don’t know what to make of it.  Maybe the site is busy or something after you sending out the “heads up” about this..don’t know.

    PeterC

  16. peterc

    Hi,
    I just followed your direct download link for NirLauncher and got the following message..
    “You cannot download this file”
    I came back here and then clicked on the website link you have listed and then tried from the NirLauncher site, but got the same gray screen with the same message as before!  Any idea what is going on?
     
    Thanks as always for the reviews and downloads..long may you keep em coming!
     
    PeterC

  17. mukhi

    love portable apps, gonna try it. my flash drive is full of portable apps, like firefox open office, fscapture, etc.

    @Dragan
    it’s a problems that many portable apps are recognized by AVs as viruses while they are not.