The io.Connect embedded launcher is an app which acts as a central hub for managing interop-enabled apps, Layouts, Workspaces, search, notifications and various io.Connect Desktop settings. io.Connect Desktop comes with two options for an embedded launcher - a Floating Toolbar and a Launchpad. Both launchers have certain advantages and disadvantages and are meant to present you with a choice depending on your specific requirements and preferences.

Floating Toolbar

The io.Connect Floating Toolbar is always visible, can be minimized or dragged to any position on the screen. The io.Connect Desktop trial edition is configured to start with this toolbar. If you prefer using a launch bar in the style of the Windows Start menu, which hides when it loses focus, see the io.Connect Launchpad.

The Floating Toolbar is an entirely customizable io.Connect Desktop app that can be implemented to suit your demands in regard to managing the apps, Workspaces and various io.Connect Desktop settings available to the user. The toolbar UI and functionalities can be designed in accordance with specific user needs and requirements.

In the example below, you can see several helpful functionalities of the Floating Toolbar:

  • moving the Floating Toolbar, switching from vertical to horizontal view and vice versa;
  • switching the theme from the Settings;
  • listing apps from app stores;
  • using apps, choosing favorite apps;
  • Workspace and Layout save and restore options;
  • feedback form;
  • notifications button with a notifications counter;
  • shutdown button for io.Connect Desktop;




The io.Connect Launchpad is a Windows style launcher that is hidden on startup of io.Connect Desktop and the user can open it via a keyboard shortcut whenever necessary. The Launchpad is non-intrusive, as it shows up on the screen only when the user needs it, and doesn't need to be moved or minimized manually. If you prefer using a free-floating toolbar that is always visible and can easily be moved to any location on the screen by dragging, see the io.Connect Floating Toolbar.

The Launchpad is especially beneficial for power users who feel comfortable working mainly with keyboard shortcuts. Use the TAB and the arrow keys to navigate through the sections and their items. Select an item with the ENTER key, or by clicking on it, and the Launchpad will close automatically. You can also press ESC or click anywhere outside the Launchpad to close it without selecting an item.

In the example below, you can see some of the main functionalities of the Launchpad:

  • activating the Launchpad through a configurable shortcut;
  • using the search bar to find apps or Layouts;
  • starting apps;
  • saving, restoring and removing Layouts;
  • marking favorite items;
  • pinning the Launchpad so it stays always on screen;
  • using the Launchpad Menu from where you can restart or shutdown io.Connect Desktop, save Layouts, see system info, send feedback and more;



The io.Connect Desktop trial edition is configured to use the Floating Toolbar by default. To use the io.Connect Launchpad instead, you have to modify the global system configuration from the system.json file of io.Connect Desktop located in %LocalAppData%/ Desktop/Desktop/config and also the Launchpad configuration file, named launchpad.json and located in %LocalAppData%/ Desktop/Desktop/config/apps.

In the system.json file, set the "useEmbeddedShell" top-level key to false:

    "useEmbeddedShell": false

In the launchpad.json file, set the "disabled" top-level key to false:

    "disabled": false

Restart io.Connect Desktop for the changes to take effect. To use the Floating Toolbar again, reverse the configuration changes and restart io.Connect Desktop.

The default shortcut for the Launchpad is SUPER + \ (Windows key + backslash). To change it, edit the "shortcut" top-level key in the launchpad.json file:

    "shortcut": "ctrl+alt+space"

The users can resize the Launchpad by dragging its borders and its new bounds will be saved when io.Connect Desktop shuts down or restarts. If you want the Launchpad to always start with the bounds specified in the launchpad.json file, set the "ignoreSaveOnClose" top-level key to true:

    "ignoreSaveOnClose": true

The Placement of the Launchpad by default is set to the bottom left corner of the screen. To change it, modify the "placement" property of the "details" top-level key. The following example demonstrates how to place the Launchpad at the top left corner of the screen and how to set its width to 30% of the screen width and its height to 40% of the screen height:

    "details": {
        "placement": {
            "snapped": true,
            "verticalAlignment": "top",
            "horizontalAlignment": "left",
            "width": "30%",
            "height": "40%"

Custom Launcher

The source code for the Floating Toolbar is available on GitHub. You can use it as a template for creating your own custom launcher.

The Launchpad is available as a React Component on NPM - @interopio/launchpad-ui-react. You can use the component in your own apps and also modify it by passing different options. For more details, see the README file of the @interopio/launchpad-ui-react package.

Once you have implemented a launcher, you must host it, create an app definition file for it and add it to your app store. Make sure to set the "shell" top-level key to true:

    "shell": true

To make your launcher start automatically when the platform is initiated, also set the "autoStart" top-level key to true:

    "shell": true,
    "autoStart": true

To disable the default io.Connect Desktop launcher, modify the system.json system configuration file of io.Connect Desktop located in %LocalAppData%/ Desktop/Desktop/config. Set the "useEmbeddedShell" property to false:

    "useEmbeddedShell": false

Restart io.Connect Desktop for the changes to take effect.