Launching applications with a DOS batch file


This is not groundbreaking but hopefully this can help someone. In my case, I use a batch file to launch applications while my laptop boots up. This is useful because it takes a while for my corporate laptop to get up to speed as it launches an anti-virus, remote management client, firewall, etc… I do not want to add those applications to the Startup menu because sometimes I want to boot without launching them. The advantage of the batch file is that I have only one shortcut to click to launch multiple applications.

Anyway, the most important part of creating such a batch file is that you need to point to shortcuts and not the executable itself. The reason for this is that if you point to the executable, you will be stuck on the first application as it will not release the handle until the application is closed. Basically, it ties the command prompt to your application.

All you need to do is create a shortcut to the application which you can do by right-clicking on the executable and choosing “Create Shortcut” from the context menu. This will create a file with the .lnk extension. This is the file you want to target in your batch commands.

So, a batch file to launch, lets say, Outlook and Firefox could look like this if we moved the shortcuts to a startup folder on the C: drive:

“C:\startup\outlook.lnk”
“C:\startup\firefox.lnk”

You can save this text file with a .bat extension. You can now either create a shortcut to this file, or save it to your desktop for easy access.

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