If you want to streamline how you use Windows, the Flow Launcher utility is one of the best things you can install. Not only does this make it easier to search for almost anything, but it can also make launching apps and software more efficient.
Here’s how to get the most out of this popular productivity tool.
How to install Flow Launcher
You’ll need to download and install Flow Launcher from GitHub instead of the Microsoft Store. You can choose between an installed version and a portable one. We used the installed version for this guide.
With setup complete, you’re almost ready to start using Flow Launcher to get things done more efficiently. But before doing this, it is worth changing some settings. Right-click the Flow Launcher icon in the system tray and choose Settings.
In the General tab, uncheck the box next to Hide Flow Launcher when focus is lost. This prevents the search box from automatically closing when not in use. You can still hide and reveal the box using the hotkeys you set earlier.
You can also change the number of results shown in the search box when you start typing. The default ranges from 5 to 17. Showing 8-10 search results should be the most efficient amount for most people.
And if you prefer your apps in dark mode, you can change the way Flow Launcher looks in the Themes tab. You can also use the slider to change the width of the search/results window.
Finally, you can change the location where the Flow Launcher window opens by clicking on the frame and dragging it into position. As long as the Remember last launch location setting is checked, it will always be in this state.
If you’re looking for more ways to improve productivity in Windows, we’ve got some helpful tips.
How to launch apps with Flow Launcher
Flow Launcher makes it easy to find and open almost anything, including apps. No need to hunt through the Start menu apps list; Just find, click and open.
Open the Flow Launcher window by pressing the hotkey you chose during setup. If you find it awkward or hard to press, you can change it in the settings.
Start typing the name of the app. You don’t need to click in the search box before typing because Flow Launcher will be in focus when it’s opened.
As soon as you see the required app in the list, you can click it or press the displayed shortcut to open it, e.g. Alt + 2.
How to find files more effectively
Flow Launcher is great for exploring your PC. It manages to find everything Windows Search can find, but displays the results in a much less cluttered and more efficient way.
To start the search, type in the Flow Launcher window. Results are displayed with an icon next to the title to make it easy to tell what it is. It can find apps, files, settings, images, and more. You can then click on the result you want to open or press the displayed keyboard shortcut.
If Flow Launcher fails to find a matching file, app, or setting on your computer, it will offer a Google search for the query. Clicking it will open a new tab to search the Internet in your default browser.
There are several ways to refine searches in Flow Launcher. For example, to find something on a specific website, you can include the name of the site in the search query, eg. youtube david bowie.
When you start using Flow Launcher, you may see a result like Allow web search plugin. This will activate an existing plugin available within Flow Launcher. You can also download and install additional plugins from the Store.
How to Add Extra Features with Flow Launcher Plugins
Flow Launcher has several plugins already installed and activated. You can enable and disable these whenever you want in Settings. You can also easily add additional plugins to further expand the scope of the utility.
uninstall flow launcher
If you have Flow Launcher installed on your PC, you can uninstall it just like you would any other app. See our guide on how to uninstall programs on Windows if you need some help with that.
Of course, if you’ve decided to use Flow Launcher in portable mode, you won’t need to uninstall it. If you are using the utility in this mode, it is advisable to enable the Portable mode option in the Settings. This ensures that all search data and settings are stored in a single folder, making this data equally portable.
Improve Productivity in Windows with Flow Launcher
Flow Launcher is an outwardly simple tool that might make you wonder why you need another search box. But delve a little deeper, and you should immediately see how powerful and helpful it can be. If you’re looking for ways to improve your productivity in Windows 10 or 11, this is a great place to start.