What is the Launchpad?

Applies To: Windows Home Server 2011

The Launchpad is a small application that is installed on a computer the first time the computer connects to the server. The Launchpad provides authenticated users with access to key features of the server, including computer backups, shared files and media, and Remote Web Access. The Launchpad also provides real-time information and notifications about the health of the computer.

Administrators can use the Launchpad to open the server Dashboard, even if the computer is not connected to the network.

The following operating systems support the use of the Launchpad:

  • Windows 7: All editions.

  • Windows Vista: All editions with Service Pack 2 installed.

  • Windows XP: Home and Professional Editions with Service Pack 3 installed.

  • Macintosh: The server provides a set of Launchpad functions that are specific for computers that run a Macintosh operating system.

The following operating systems do not support the use of the Launchpad:

  • Additional servers: You cannot run the Launchpad on any additional computers that run a Windows Server operating system.


Click Backup to open the Backup Properties for the computer. On the Backup Properties page, you can:

  • Start or stop a backup.

  • View the status and details for the most recent backup.

  • Specify how to manage computer power when backup runs.

For information about how to use the Launchpad to back up your computer, see Start a backup from the Launchpad.

Remote Web Access

Click Remote Web Access to open the server’s Remote Web Access site. Remote Web Access enables you to connect to other computers and to access some of the resources from your network or when you are away using a web browser on a device with an Internet connection. For more information, see Use Remote Web Access.

Shared Folders

Click Shared Folders to open the shared folders on the server. For information about sharing files and folders, see the topic Understanding shared folders.


Click Dashboard to open the Sign in page for the Dashboard. After you sign in, a Remote Desktop connection to the server Dashboard opens.


To use this feature, you must have the proper permissions to log on to the server.

Computer Health Alerts

Alerts that appear on the Launchpad provide a quick status as to the immediate health of the computer. To view information about a health alert, click an alert indicator to open the Alert Viewer. Health alerts appear in the Alert Viewer based on level of severity. The most severe alerts appear first in the list. Less severe alerts appear later in the list. For more information about computer health alerts, see Understanding alerts.