What is the Launchpad?

Published: April 26, 2010

Updated: March 30, 2011

Applies To: Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials

The Windows SBS 2011 Essentials 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 Windows SBS 2011 Essentials including computer backups, shared files and media, and the Remote Access Web site. Users can access these features from either domain-joined computers or non-domain joined computers. The Launchpad also provides real-time information and notifications about the health of the computer. Administrators can use the Launchpad to access the server Dashboard, even if the computer is not connected to the network.

OEMs and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) who develop add-ins for Windows SBS 2011 Essentials can use the Launchpad to extend add-in functionality to computers on the network.

The following Windows operating systems support the use of the Windows SBS 2011 Essentials 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.

The following operating systems do not support the use of the Windows SBS 2011 Essentials Launchpad:

  • Additional servers: You cannot run the Windows SBS 2011 Essentials Launchpad on any additional computers that run a Windows Server operating system.

The following links and information are available on the Windows SBS 2011 Essentials Launchpad:


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 Launchpad to back up your computer, see “Start a backup from the Launchpad.”

Remote Web Access

Click Remote Web Access to open the web browser to the Remote Web Access site. The Remote Web Access enables you to connect to other computers and to access some of the network resources from within the office or from any remote location with an Internet-enabled computer. For more information, see “Use Remote Web Access.”

Shared Folders

Click Shared Folders to open Windows Explorer to the location of 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 access to the Windows SBS 2011 Essentials Dashboard. After you sign in, a Remote Desktop connection to the server Dashboard opens.

To use this feature, you must have the proper access or 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 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 the topic “Understanding and managing alerts.”