Jumplist Launcher: Excellent program launcher that mimicks Windows 7 Jump Lists

Not so long ago, I found myself on a restless search for the best program launcher ever know, so far, by mankind. I’m glad to announce that I’m taking a break from my endeavor now that I’ve found Hedgehog’s Jumplist Launcher.

I’M SORRY, HEDGE WHO?

Hedgehog. Not sure if he’s a DJ that does some programming or a programmer that does some DJing. In any case, he’s the creator of Jumplist Launcher.

WHAT IS JUMPLIST LAUNCHER AND WHAT DOES IT DO?

In Windows 7 Microsoft introduced a new feature called Jump Lists. Jump Lists are the menus that pop open when you right-click an icon in Windows taskbar/superbar. The issue with Jump Lists is they aren’t very customizable. This is where Jumplist Launcher (JL) comes in.

JL is a great freeware application that lets you create customizable jump lists that you can pin to your Windows 7 taskbar, just like any other other shortcut/icon. Once pinned to the taskbar, the jump lists created by JL are accessible by right-clicking the respective icon, just like how native Win7 jump lists open when you right-click an icon, for example Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Windows Explorer.

The following screenshot shows an example of a jump list created by JL (this is my jump list — I use a different Windows theme than default Win7):

Look at that, my Windows is in Portuguese…

WHY IS JL SO GREAT?

Because I say so. Okay, really, I’ll tell you why:

  • No installation needed; here’s nothing to install here. JL is a portable application who’s files are kept in a folder:

  • You can add any files, folders, and applications to the jump list (to a maximum of 60 items per jump list), all perfectly organized in groups; or, if you prefer, a categories-free tasklist. The names and the icons of each item in the jump list are fully customizable. You can even set items to launch with parameters.
  • You can have as many jump lists as you want. To create more than one jump list with JL, just make a copy of the folder where JL is located (be sure to give the new folder and EXE file a different name):

  • And finally, for the cherry on the top of the JL cake, after you create and pin your JL to the taskbar, it takes zero (as in none) resources to function and, by the power of Grayskull, function it does. (Technically J: does use minimal resources when you click on a jump list — it has to, to work. However, it doesn’t constantly consume computer resources because it doesn’t “stay on”.)

Using Jumplist Launcher

Creating a jump list with JL is extremely easy. After you download and extract JL files (remember, no installation necessary), double-click JumplistLauncher.exe to open the jump list editor:

From this editor you can either use the Add File and Add Folder buttons to add files/folders to the jump list, or you can drag n’ drop files/folders directly from Windows explorer. As mentioned earlier, you have the option to categorize jump list items by group (use the Add Group button to create a group). This is also the window where you control the maximum number of items you want in your jump list — the highest that number can go is 60. (Be sure to hit Save after you have this number.)

If you want a jump list that has no categories and is not limited to the maximum number of jump list items that you set, checking Create Tasklist (no categories) does that for you.

When all is set and done, hit the Update Jumplist button to save your jump list.

After you have saved your jump list, simply drag the EXE file onto your Windows taskbar and you are good to go — you have your very own custom jump list. Left-clicking on the jump list icon will open the jump list editor while right-clicking on it will open the actual jump list. Take note if you want to change the icon of your jump list (such as when you are creating multiple jump lists), you can do that by creating a shortcut of the jump list EXE file, right-clicking the shortcut and going to Properties -> Shortcut -> Change icon.

SOUNDS GOOD BUT WHAT’S THE CATCH?

So far while using JL I’ve encountered four issues:

  • When you change the number of jump list items it changes the number of recently used files (and consequently the size of the start menu) all across Windows 7. According to Hedgehog this happens because of how Microsoft programmed Windows 7 (something about numbers being shared in the registry), and I’ll take his word for it.
  • I was unable to get all 60 jump list entries — it just does not let me (maybe I need a bigger monitor).
  • When Windows restarts, you need to manually launch JL’s EXE file (in my case, all the 5) and click Update Jumplist button otherwise the icons don’t show on the taskbar.
  • JL only works on Windows 7 (it may work on Windows Server 2008 and Windows 8). The reason for this is obvious: Jump lists were introduced in Windows 7 and JL works within the Windows taskbar framework, so it isn’t possible for it to work on anything lower than Windows 7.

WHAT ABOUT A VIDEO OF JL?

Glad you asked, here it is (please don’t make fun of Hedgehog’s English):

CONCLUSION AND DOWNLOAD LINK

Jumplist Launcher is by far at the top of list of favorite my applications launcher list. If, like myself, you want a lightweight, straight to the point, no fuss launcher then Jumplist Launcher is the way to go. The most recent version available (v7.2) is 2.5 years old but Hedgehog has announced he will release an updated version very soon.

You can grab Jumplist Launcher from the links below:

Version reviewed: v7.2

Supported OS: Windows 7

Download size: 476.6 KB

Malware scan: VirusTotal malware results (0/43)

Jumplist Launcher homepage [direct download]

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27 comments

  1. Nebo

    ti works now :D I am not sure what I done.. possible changing “Max. Jumplist-Items” to lover level… or after checkin “Creat Tasklist (no categories)”…

    But however, it works fine now with any option :)

  2. Nebo

    Hi,

    This app works great.. but I have one error now. When I try to add new app to list (I don’t have to..) and when I click “Update Jumplist” it show me error:

    EOleException error raised, with message : Unspecified error

    ALso after click “OK” it show me another one:

    Couldnt create the Jumplist.
    This issue should be fixed by now.
    Please post details about your system in my blog..

    My windows is 8.1.. it is possible that after update from win 8 this error showed.. but I don’t think that is problem..

    I have been using this jumplist program for like 1 year and it was working fine.

  3. RobCr

    PS
    I actually have my own Clip Pasting and launching programs (took me about 5 months to write), but I keep my eye out for Launchers, just in case I dream up a use for them.
    I just thought of a use (for me, who’s cup already runneth over) -
    With the recent discussions on Screen Capture programs, I will create shortcuts to my collection (of screen capture programs), which can conflict with each other (Hot keys).
    Rather than having them all starting with Windows, and then fighting amongst themselves. I will just have shortcuts to them in either Quick Cliq or SyMenu, and then readily start the one I want. (EG Janetb says FastStone has the better Scroll capture)

    PPS I intended to add this to the above post. I was within the count down time, but Edit said the time had elapsed (Closed) ? ?

  4. RobCr

    @Giovanni:
    You might consider adding SyMenu to your list -
    http://www.ugmfree.it/SyMenu.aspx
    It is in the same category as Quick Cliq
    It too is free, and portable (needs NET Framework present)
    Left click of SysTray Icon will bring this one up.
    Also Alt F1 brings it up.
    If that surprises you a little (it did me), and you experiment to see what happens (in Windows) when you try Alt F2 and Alt F3, be wary of Alt F4 as that will close whatever program that has focus.

  5. RobCr

    @Giovanni:
    ‘Quick Cliq’ is nice find.
    I was saving it’s web pages (.mht), and downloading, when I noticed some brief instructions, including Win + Z to show it. Thought I better pre-check to ensure that key combination was available, and discovered I already had it ‘installed’ (cough), and running.
    I must have tripped over it in the past, and never used it properly. From what little I have read today, I will treat it with more respect. The developer shares my philosophy regarding ‘no Install’, and a few other techniques.
    I am not a fan of mouse gestures, but right mouse button dragged down one inch is cool.
    I am definitely going to explore the program more thoroughly, now that I see the author is pretty legit.

    I just sent this off to the author -

    Hi,
    I share your philosophies -
    - No Install
    - Interaction techniques
    I have been using VB6 (and earlier versions) for about 15 years.
    I try to make my programs ‘No Install’, which I can do most times, as the VB6 runtimes are already present in Win 98 SE onwards.

    Can the user (me) change your systray Icon ?
    Also I like to be able to show things with a single left click of the SysTray Icon.
    In the case of your application, I would be expecting the menu to appear (The same display as Win + Z shows)
    I generally allow such a single left click, to hide the menu, if it is already showing.
    (I also use escape key a lot in my applications, but it is also a nice touch to allow that single left click to do a reverse.)

  6. Mike

    A freeware alternative to this is: 7Stacks. http://alastria.com/software/7stacks/

    I haven’t used 7Stacks recently (I had used it with Windows Vista), but it seemingly does not have the start-up “issue” as Jumplist Launcher and launches automatically. I do note that it is limited to 10 stacks on the taskbar, although this likely is more than enough for most users’ grouping together of programs; also, some earlier commenters had noted some small timelags (which I had noticed as well)–I don’t know if subsequent updates have handled this.

    Certainly worth a try, if you need/want program lists available via the taskbar under Windows 7. (One would have thought that Microsoft would have built this into Windows 7, to help conserve real estate on the taskbar and to prevent “icon bloat” there. Perhaps Microsoft thought that one simply could click the Start button and search under the lists there instead, if one needed more than just a few quick launch icons.)

  7. Giovanni

    Other cool FREE launcher apps are also the following ones:

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Launchers-Shutdown-Tools/LaunchDock-Pulsar.shtml
    http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Launchers-Shutdown-Tools/FreeLaunch.shtml

    Ever used them before?

    But how about a launcher which can recognise any program you want to run through MOUSE GESTURES?? Too good to be true?? Certainly not:

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Launchers-Shutdown-Tools/Gesture-Magic.shtml

    For a quick access to folders, files, programs, links etc… just use this excellent portable freeware which definitely outclasses this freebie (Jumplist Launcher) thanks to its unique features which cannot be found anywhere else:

    http://apathysoftworks.com/software/qc

    Screenshots:
    http://www.softpedia.com/progScreenshots/Quick-Cliq-Screenshot-173103.html

    Alternatively or in addition to it you can also try a nice free shortcut docker called LINX:

    http://code.google.com/p/linx-lists/

    Enjoy!!

    Giovanni – King of Freebies

    P.S. Hey Ashraf…what if I opened a section in this website called “Giovanni Freebies”? I believe it would be a great addition to your marvellous website…one FREE GEM a day keeps the Doctor away, you know?? Don’t worry…Same pay as your new dottechie reviewers!!! LOL! What do you make of it??

  8. Patara

    @Leandro:

    No Leandro I have no lag at all for any of the Toolbars that contain normal files. The only one that does lag for a few seconds and it only happens for the first use after a bootup is my Program Shortcuts Toolbar . I just hold the click down until they appear or at times I let go and click again and they appear immediately. I do have 159 shortcuts in that folder so that may be slowing it down. I intend to sort all the shortcuts into groups and place into seperate folders within the parent folder and I think that will speed it up a lot plus make it quicker for me to reach one. At present the list is so long I need to scroll down to see them all.
    I also changed some settings in Win7 to bring back the older style Quick Launch bar in the TaskBar and have that underneath the normal Win7 Icons. In the Quick Launch section I have placed shortcuts to 7 of my drives and my most used programs. My Folder Toolbars continue on from the Quick Launch Section.

  9. Leandro
    Author/

    @Patara:

    The “Left Click and Drag Upwards” works like a charm, only 1 (long) click is needed now, you just can´t beat that! Thank you for pointing it out.

    Just like yourself, I also used Folder Toolbars but it had (sometimes) this extremely annoying lag (between the click and the actual opening of the menu) that was just killing me. Does it happens to you too?

  10. RobCr

    @Bruce Fraser:
    I agree with the organizing of the start Menu.
    In XP, in classic mode, you can have top level categories (same Level as Programs, NOT sub menus under programs).
    I can find any program with a mouse click (of Start Button), a wee navigate around (mouse move), followed by my 2nd click.

    In windows 7, there is of course no Classic mode.
    Also creating those categories (In Windows Explorer), is a bit of a (Win 7 PIA) challenge, but can be done (call me).
    However if you then persist in using the Windows 7 Start Menu, it is a PIA when attempting what I described above (a click, a navigate, a click).
    However there is a free program, Classic Windows Start Menu. There are a couple of similar programs with the same name, The one that most people are familiar with, IS NOT THE ONE.
    The one that I have, can have fancy Aero and graphics, but you can also get it to run in classic mode (with small Icons).
    Once it is tailored correctly (call me), it is BETTER than XPs Classic Menu. The reason being, you can control the font Selection, Size, Boldness
    I can do my click, navigate, click again.
    It is portable (no Install), so you just place it into a folder, and create a desktop shortcut to it.
    When running, it floats it’s own Start Menu button on top of the Win 7 button (obscures the Win 7 one). One of it’s menu items, allows you to show the original Win 7 Start Menu. You might like to revert to that, to use it’s Search box. However once you organize your start Menu, you will never have to Search again.
    The web site is gone (not charging enough for the sales of this free program).
    We can work out a way for you’se to get it from me, if anyone is interested.
    Anyone tempted to try it, need not worry, as it makes no changes to Win 7.

  11. chinaguy

    @rikishi19 @Mike
    You might be able to launch them automatically with the task manager in Windows. At least you could set the JL launcher’s exe to launch automatically. And if you have more than one exe to launch do it that way. You would maybe still need to push the update jumplist button each time but then you would have one less step to do manually each time.

  12. Patara

    @Patara:
    I was referring to the normal Win7 Jump Lists of course in my last comment, not the program discussed here. I use no programs to set up my Taskbar, and I can access any program, user folder or file from my Taskbar in 2 clicks, no matter how deep they are.

  13. Bruce Fraser

    Personally, I’ve never understood the appeal for launcher programs. A well-organized Start menu seems to me to do the same thing. The Start menu can have programs, files, and folders; they can be put in groups; items on the menu can have hotkeys; and more. I have about 150 programs installed on this system, and they can all be started with 5 keystrokes or less (Win key, “P” for programs, then up to three more to navigate groups and their items); the commonly used programs, of course, are available with just two keystrokes.

    If someone would like to point me to a website with a demonstration of the virtues of launchers (any launcher, not just JumpList), I’d be happy to have a look. (The video with JumpList certainly didn’t do it.)

  14. Patara

    @Ashraf:
    Left click can be used Ashraf by using Left Click and Drag Upwards. The jump list will appear.

    To have my program shortcuts handy on the Taskbar I use Folder Toolbars. I make a folder and place the required shortcut icons in it and then make that folder a Toolbar. I click on the Chevron next to the Folder name on Taskbar and up pops a list giving me access to all programs within that folder. I also use Folder Toolbars for many of my main folders so I can reach any file on my computer, no matter how deep with 2 clicks. One click on the Chevron and then one click on the file in the fly out list. Having a wide monitor helps with this.

  15. RobCr

    @vandamme:
    Just about to go to bed (weird hours)
    I did a quick Google.
    Is that a linux OS you are suggesting, instead of Windows ?
    (because MS is getting annoying ?)
    I am still in love with XP.
    Which historians will look back on, to judge it the best OS for -
    - Business use,
    - People who are not enamored by visual excesses,
    - People who are not interested in change, just for the sake of change.

    Regards,
    Rob

  16. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    @Johan: That video was created by the developer, not me or Leandro (the author of this article). So can’t really say.

    And you are welcome!

    @rikishi19: I’m wondering the same. Hopefully Leandro will jump into the comments and share with us where he got those icons.

  17. rikishi19

    This is a program that seems to be the answer to my desktop organisation. I have set-up folders on my desktop that serve the same purpose, but this is even better. However the issue with manually having to enable the jumplists on boot-up is a downer for me. This is on my watchlist until the time comes startup is automated. Great article!

    P.S. what are/where did you get the blue icons you are using?

  18. Johan

    Hi,

    I noticed in your video how you zoom in and out very smoothly, and as needed.

    What do you use to accomplish that?

    Thanks for your outstanding site, and all the nice tips & tricks.

    Keep it up!

  19. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    Extremely well written article! And very nice program. Good job.

    @Rob (Down Under): I don’t think that is possible because that is how the taskbar works but I’m no programmer…

    @mikycomputers: Glad you like it.

    @Mike: Yeah, I agree. That is the biggest drawback I saw, too. Hopefully the latest version of the program can fix this.

  20. Mike

    Very nice. The main downside I see, however, is the need to manually “start” each of your jumplists each time you start your computer, rather than have them start up automatically on booting up. I wonder if this can be automated, as I see many people understandably not using the program for that reason.

  21. Rob (Down Under)

    Ah! it is a pity I hate Windows 7
    If I were using it, I would prefer the left click to show the list, and right click to Edit it.
    (Or is that breaking one of the plethora of Windows 7 new conventions ?)