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Get An iPad Like App Launcher On Windows

Microsoft experimented with a full screen app launcher back in Windows 8 that it called the Start Screen. The launcher didn’t fare well with users and Microsoft eventually had to get rid of it. If the idea of a full screen app launcher appealed to you, PaperPlane is a free app launcher for Windows that mimics the launcher on the iPad. The great thing about the app is how easy it is to launch it. It doesn’t interfere with any normal desktop functions and you can add files, folders, apps, and web links to it.

Install PaperPlane and double right-click on the desktop to open it or hit F12. It will automatically add a few apps to the launcher and you can click on any one of them to launch the app. The search bar at the top will let you search the apps added to PaperPlane.


To add more apps to PaperPlan, right-click inside the launcher and add a URL, a System app, a file, folder, or any other app.

paperplane add

The app offers lots of customization options including a different way to add files, folders, or apps to the launcher i.e. via drag & drop. You can enable this mode from the General tab in the app’s settings. You will need to switch to the desk mode in order to add files and apps via drag & drop. You can also customize the animation style.

PaperPlane Settings

To customize the size of the app icons, how they are arranged, and how many icons should appear in a row and column, go to the Layout tab. If the default launch shortcut for PaperPlane is interfering with another app, you can set a custom shortcut from the Activation tab. To customize the background of the launcher, go to the Appearance tab and select any background picture from your hard drive. You can also change the blur radius that the app adds.

PaperPlane Settings_apperance tab

Last but not least, you can add PaperPlane to the right-click context menu on your desktop, or you can add it to the Send to menu in the right-click context menu.

Download PaperPlane For Windows


  1. PaperPlane offers to download a zip file. Who does that anymore? And who would take the risk to harm its computer by opening this zip file?

    • If the zip file is for distribution of portable version of app, it is very desirable. Portable apps are much more convenient than installable apps and while they are not using registry, I think they are more safe too. Of course, one have to use antivirus software and download those apps just from trustworthy source.

    • I strongly second this. I’ve always searched for the portable version of any software I’m about to test, and I’m quite reluctant when I don’t find any. It’s more secured, more “contained” and safer.

      So I will download and test this PaperPlane, because it does have this zip file (among other reasons, of course).

    • unfortunaly this zip file is just the setup.exe not the portable app search for xlauncherpad for the original app if you want the portable version, you can find it on the forums

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