Launch Apps

Launching apps with Alfred is as easy as typing the first few letters of an app's name, choosing the correct result and hitting "Return".

Try it now: Call up Alfred with your hotkey and start typing "safari", then launch the browser with "Return".

Alfred Learns


Alfred learns your preferences with just a few searches. If you consistently use the same keyword for specific applications (this works for file searches as well), Alfred will remember and sort the results based on this internal knowledge.

In the example on the right, we've been using the keyword "S" to open Skype and "Sk" to open Skitch. Similarly, you could train Alfred to always offer Google Chrome first when you type in "C" and iCal when you type in "Ca".


All it takes is launching your application a few times with your desired keyword and Alfred will learn to predict what you're most likely searching for.

Launching multiple apps

Sometimes you may want to launch several apps at the same time. Maybe they all relate to the same project and you're ready to start working on it. In this case, you don't need to open your applications one at a time.


You can set this up easily with a Powerpack Group extension - just go into Preferences > Extensions and click the plus sign at bottom left corner.

Alternatively, Assign the same Spotlight Comment to each of these apps (as explained above) and then set a keyboard shortcut in Alfred that will Action all visible results (under Preferences > Advanced > Keyboard).

For example, as a writer I may want to launch Safari, TextEdit, Pages, Dictionary and Scrivener to get my creative juices flowing! Adding the Spotlight Comment "wwrite" will then allow me to search just for these (see screenshot above) and hitting Cmd+Return will launch all of them at once.

If you don't want to use the app's full name…

You may want to find Applications using more ambiguous search terms rather than the app's full name in which case you should be looking at Fuzzy Matching and Spotlight Comments.

Fuzzy Matching

By enabling fuzzy matching in our Preferences > Features > Applications, Alfred will match non-continuous characters of Application's name, therefore 'ff' will match Firefox and 'tm' will match TextMate. This can have an adverse affect on Alfred's performance, returning more results than necessary.

Enabling "Anchored" makes Alfred fuzzy match from the beginning of the string, making this function more precise and perform better.

Spotlight Comments


You can also assign Spotlight Comments to your applications, making it easy for Alfred to search by this comment as well. This can be done in Finder - select the app you want to create the shortcut for and then Ctrl-click to select "Get Info" where you can add your new comment (such as 'ff' for Firefox).

If you're having trouble entering Spotlight Comments for your System-owned applications, have a look at this help page.

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