Lightning Launcher



This is the online help for Lightning Launcher. A few howtos and video tutorials are presented here. It also provides details on each LL settings: in the app, enter the setting screen, then long tap on an option to reach the associated help topic.

This help text may contain some language errors and typos. Apologies, I (Pierre Hébert, author of LL) am not a native English speaker. Do not hesitate to drop me an email to request a better explanation when needed, or even provide a better help text, should you feel inspired by this project ;-)



More than a simple launcher, Lightning is a fast, light and extremely customizable tool to build the perfect home screen. To build your home screen.

No other launcher can compete with Lightning when it comes to customizability. Have a look at the full list of features and you will be convinced ;-)

And if an extreme customizability were not enough, Lightning is also very light on memory and a blazing fast launcher. It works like a charm on all phones and tablets, from Android 2.2 up to newest Android versions.

Under the hood, Lightning is propelled by a powerful and unique engine allowing you to arrange your apps and widgets using the best possible flexibility and style.

With its wide range of features, Lightning perfectly copes with all kind of home screens: classic, minimalist, gesture based, with side bars or moveable panels,... Lightning doesn't limit you to a particular scheme: it aims to free your creativity instead.

Key Features (not an exhaustive list):

Things to be aware of (please read this notice):

Lightning is in constant evolution thanks to a continuous and incredible user feedback (first release in August 2011). All comments, suggestions and bug reports are welcome. Please email your questions and bug reports to Pierre Hébert -, or join the Lightning Launcher Community at

Full ChangeLog:

Enjoy !



Lock the desktop

Locking the desktop will prevent from inadvertent touch

This is achieved by configuring the long tap event with the «Do nothing» action:

  • Open LL settings
  • Select «General»
  • Select Events&Actions
  • Press «Long tap on an item»
  • Choose «Do nothing (lock)»

Pin items (dock)

When an item is pinned, it will never move nor scale. You may scroll the desktop or use the pinch zoom, but pinned items will always remain at the same place. This is particularily useful for items you always want to see. All items can be pinned: shortcuts, folders and widgets too.

  • Long tap on an item
  • In the popup menu select «Position...»
  • Select «Pin» (or «Unpin»)

In «Edit Layout» mode, a pinned item will display a small lock icon in the upper left corner.

When using the long tap popup menu, the item is pinned vertically and horizontally. However, in the advanced item customisation screen (Customize / More...), it is possible to pin the item either horizontally or vertically (only on a single axis).

Desktop bookmarks

Desktop bookmarks are links to a given position on a desktop. This is used to create custom navigation scheme. A desktop bookmark is created as a shortcut that you can later customize without the full set of Lightning Launcher options. In order to create a desktop bookmark:

  • Long tap on an empty space
  • Select «Add shortcut»
  • Select «LL - Desktop & position»
  • Finally select the desktop that this shortcut will point to
The newly created shortcut will remember the current position of the desktop. Hence, before to create the shortcut, make sure your desktop is scrolled/zoomed as you need.

Rotate items

All items can be fully manipulated: enlarged, rotated, scaled. However this feature is available in «Free layout mode» only, not in grid mode where all items are regularly aligned in cells.

First, switch to free mode (if not already done):

  • Enter LL settings
  • Select «Current desktop»
  • Select «Layout»
  • Check «Free mode»

Once in free mode, edit the layout and tap on an item. Handles will appear around the item: these handles are used to resize the area of the item. Tap again on the same item, handles will change: these handles are used to rotate the item. Tap a third times and handles will again change to scale the item.

Folder's window background

The folder's window can be customized the same way as items, using a box model. To do this, follow this procedure:

  • First open the folder
  • Long tap on empty space or the folder title
  • Select «Customize folder»
  • Select «This folder's window»
The screen will show a box view where you can configure background (content) as well as borders, margins and spacing.


Tips & Tricks


Video tutorials