Want to learn a simple tip that saves 2 seconds of your time? I’ll show you how to launch multiple programs from a single shortcut. Some apps go together naturally. For instance, Steam and Raptr, VLC and Last.fm, MS Word and Photoshop, etc.
Depending on what you do on your PC, you’ll notice that you are constantly using two or more programs at the same time always. After reading this guide, you’ll learn how to bundle these apps to launch when you double-click one shortcut.
Launch multiple programs with one shortcut
We’ll categorize the process into three easy steps:
- Get the programs’ target paths.
- Create a batch file.
- Create a shortcut with the batch file.
Read on, as we go through the detailed steps for configuring a shortcut that opens multiple windows programs at once.
1] Get the programs’ target paths
The first step to opening multiple programs with one shortcut is to get the target paths of all the programs. Here’s how to find the program paths.
Press the Windows button and search for the programs. When the application shows up in the search results, right-click on it and select the Open file location option. This takes you to the directory in which the application’s executable file resides.
Right-click on the shortcut and go to the Properties option. In the Properties window, switch to the Shortcut tab. Copy out everything in the Target field and paste in a Notepad note in the format below:
Enter cd, paste the full path to the application, and hit ENTER. This changes the directory to that of the program. Example:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe"
Enter start and the name of the file. It’s always the last part of the path after the last slash (\). Start launches the executable file. Example:
Carry out the above steps for all the programs that you want to open with the shortcut. Hit ENTER after the paths to each of the applications.
2] Create a batch file
With the application paths saved in your Notepad, you now have to create the batch file from which we can run both programs at once.
Open the Notepad on which you saved the paths to all the applications you want to open with a single click. Modify the content of the note following the guide below:
@echo offto the top of the note. With this, commands won’t display in the Command Prompt while executing the batch file.
exitat the bottom of the note to quit the batch file after executing the batch file.
The content of your Notepad should now look like this:
@echo off cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application" start Chrome.exe cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\Wunderlist2" start Wunderlist.exe exit
The script above is an example of one done for starting Google Chrome and Wunderlist at the same time.
Finally, go to File > Save as, and in the Save as type, choose All files. Append .bat at the end of the File name. For example, we used batchfile.bat.
Note where you save the batch file. You’ll need to path to this batch file when creating the shortcut in the next step.
3] Create a shortcut with the batch file
Launch File Explorer and go to the directory in which you want the shortcut that opens multiple apps. You can do it on your desktop. Right-click on the white space and select New > Shortcut from the context menu.
Enter the path to the newly created batch file in the Type the location of the item field. Alternatively, hit Browse to find the file. After getting the location, click on the Next button below.
Give the shortcut a name that you’ll remember and hit the Finish button.
How do I open two programs at once in Windows 11?
To open two programs at once in Windows 11, you need to create a batch file first. Before that, obtain the target paths of those programs and create a shortcut with the batch file. A detailed guide is mentioned above in this article, and you can follow it to get the job done.
What is the shortcut to open multiple windows?
As of now, there is no in-built option to open multiple windows at once. However, you can press Win+Tab to open a new window or desktop. After that, you can click on the New desktop option to create a new desktop and transfer your apps from one window to another.
That’s all it takes! On double-clicking the new shortcut, your computer will open all the programs whose shortcuts are in the batch file.
Read next: How to open second or multiple instances of the same program.