Trying to track the number of times a program has been executed from the Quick Launch toolbar.

Posted on 2009-07-07
Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I need to track the number of times over a time period that a program has been launched from the Windows Quick Launch toolbar. Additionally I need to know the last access time, etc. I need a method in C# to acomplish this either by reading the registry or by obtaining the information from the toolbar itself.

Question by:iolodev
LVL 76

Accepted Solution

arnold earned 500 total points
ID: 24803585
Replace the quick launch short cut with a counting app that will launch the app.
I.e. instead of the shortcut staring 'app'. It runs an incrementing script which  starts the program.
I do not believe there is a registry or anything that windows tracks that deals with which short cut was clicked on to launch an application.

example in logic for bat file that will not work as written

@@echo off
Do some work to increment the count for the user clicking this short cut
start the application


Expert Comment

ID: 24817250
if you dont have control or source code of the desired application you must create the launcher  as arnold suggest, you can also create a service or always running monitor that detects if certain process is running and do almost the same thing. Both ways are easy.

Create a launcher in C# application to do everything you need.
1. Launch the application.
2. Count the # times.
3. Record the datetime.


to Create the Service.
1.create Run and stay in memory program. (windowless)
2.make the application search for certain running process and record the time when it was found
3. check if the desired process goes off and record that time also. know the # times it went on off just check how many times it pass from off to on,
5. you will know also how much time it was running and when was the last running time.

--examples from

--Example 1. Running a command line application, without concern for the results:

private void simpleRun_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e){



--Example 2. Retrieving the results and waiting until the process stops (running the process synchronously):

private void runSyncAndGetResults_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e){

 System.Diagnostics.ProcessStartInfo psi =

   new System.Diagnostics.ProcessStartInfo(@"C:\listfiles.bat");

 psi.RedirectStandardOutput = true;

 psi.WindowStyle = System.Diagnostics.ProcessWindowStyle.Hidden;

 psi.UseShellExecute = false;

 System.Diagnostics.Process listFiles;

 listFiles = System.Diagnostics.Process.Start(psi);

 System.IO.StreamReader myOutput = listFiles.StandardOutput;


 if (listFiles.HasExited)


  string output = myOutput.ReadToEnd();

  this.processResults.Text = output;



//check for a running process:

//Example from

//Namespaces we need to use

using System.Diagnostics;

public bool IsProcessOpen(string name)


	//here we're going to get a list of all running processes on

	//the computer

	foreach (Process clsProcess in Process.GetProcesses) {

		//now we're going to see if any of the running processes

		//match the currently running processes. Be sure to not

		//add the .exe to the name you provide, i.e: NOTEPAD,

		//not NOTEPAD.EXE or false is always returned even if

		//notepad is running.

		//Remember, if you have the process running more than once, 

		//say IE open 4 times the loop thr way it is now will close all 4,

		//if you want it to just close the first one it finds

		//then add a return; after the Kill

		if (clsProcess.ProcessName.Contains(name))


			//if the process is found to be running then we

			//return a true

			return true;



	//otherwise we return a false

	return false;


//hope this help.

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