Review: Autostarter X3 automates your regular computer operations with batch files
At a Glance
When you switch your computer on first thing in the morning, what do you do? I bet you open the same browser, open the same Web pages (email, Facebook, news), and start up the same software apps. We are all creatures of habit after all. However, opening up all of these things takes time and effort. Wouldn't you prefer your computer to do all this for you, by the time you come back to your desk with a cup of coffee? If so, the free AutoStarter X3 will be of interest to you.
AutoStarter X3 is a neat little app that allows you to make what is called a batch file (bat). Batch files are text files with a list of commands for your computer to do certain things. You can double-click them for the commands to be instantly carried out, or you can place them inside the Windows start menu for the batch files to be executed during the Windows boot-up process.
This means, for example, that you can tell your operating system that, during Windows start-up, you want your browser to be opened with a certain list of Web pages pre-opened. Or you want a directory in Windows Explorer pre-opened for you. Or a certain file to be opened. You can even make batch files that start music playlists. Imagine booting your computer up, then sitting back as your browser opens, your Web pages open, and your favorite music instantly starts to play. All without you doing a thing. These are just some of the potential benefits of batch files and AutoStarter X3 helps you set it all up.
What is great about Autostarter X3 is that it is a small portable app requiring no installation. Just pop it on a USB stick, or in Dropbox, or simply on your computer desktop. Double-click it and when the simple user interface opens up, click "add" to begin a new batch file. If you have something that you have already worked on in the app, you can open it up to edit it.
Clicking "add" shows you many of the potential uses for a batch file. Simply choose the one you want, and the app will tell you what information it needs next in order to make the batch file. At any time during the process, you can click "test" to see if what you are trying to make is working out. When the batch file has been made, and it works as planned, simply click on “batch" in order to save the “bat " file to your system.
Now go ahead and double-click that bat file. Does it work? If so, great. If not, re-open in Autostarter X3 and edit it until it does.
Making batch files start up automatically upon Windows start-up requires a little bit of work, especially if you are running Windows 8. First of all, you have to ensure that you're logged in as an administrator. If it can't, then the file cannot be automatically started upon Windows boot-up. This is one of the major drawbacks of the whole deal.
Assuming you are able to run the bat file as an administrator, right-click on the bat file and choose “properties ". Then choose “security " and tick all the permissions boxes for the administrator. Then click “apply " and "OK" ".
Then you need to place the file inside the Windows start-up folder. In Windows 8, it is at :
C:\Users\User Profile folder name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
Just replace "User Profile folder name" with your Windows username.
In that folder, drag and drop the batch file. Then restart your computer, and if you have done everything correctly, the batch files will be executed during boot-up.
AutoStarter X3 is a sweet little app, made even more so by its lack of installation, and the fact that it is completely free. The downside is, of course, the fact that you need administrator privileges in order to use it. So anyone working in an IT-locked-down office will be out of luck. But if you're on a PC that's completely under your own control, try it out now and see if it saves you time and clicks.
Note: The Download button on the Product Information page takes you to the vendor's site, where you can download the latest version of the software.