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Ellp automates PC tasks with a click

18 December 2016, Mike Williams

EllpEllp is a free tool which delivers very simple, script-free automation of common PC and other tasks.

There are no menus, no complex dialog boxes, no command-line arguments, nothing to learn at all. You can get started in seconds and leave Ellp to do all the real work.

The program opens by displaying these ten “cards”, each representing a task you’d like to automate.

“When my hard disk is getting full, free up space.”
“When I plug in my headphones, play some music.”
“When I download the same file twice, let me know.”
“When it’s time, perform a privacy cleanup.”
“When I turn on my PC, open my favourite website.”
“When I’m tagged in Facebook photo, download a copy.”
“When my email is involved in a data breach, alert me.”
“When it’s time for bed, mute the sound on my PC.”
“When I plug in my headphones, open Skype.”
“When it’s time, turn off my PC.”

Clicking any of these cards gives you some basic options. “When my hard disk is getting full…” allows you to set the threshold when a cleanup is launched (15% or less free space by default); “open my favourite website…” asks you which website to open; “turn off my PC” asks for the scheduled time, and so on.


Each “card” represents a task you can automate

These controls are generally very limited, and not always what they seem. The “Privacy Cleanup” task doesn’t display any fine detail over what it’s going to do, for instance; the “When I plug in my headphones, play some music” only works with USB headphones, and opens a website rather than plays any local file or playlist.

The task logic also appears to be very basic. We enabled the “duplicate downloads” task, launched Chrome and were able to download the same file over and over again. Why? Ellp only monitors the system Downloads folder, and we’d set up the browser to download somewhere else.

This is a very early release, to be fair, so there’s probably a lot more power to come. What you do get is extremely ease to use, and the background automation engine doesn’t require too much RAM (barely 60MB on our test system).

It’s also good to see the program reaching outside the local system with tasks like “download Facebook photos where you’re tagged” or “get an alert when your email address is involved in a data breach”. These also aren’t too advanced – the latter just passes your email address to, which you could easily do yourself – but if Ellp adds more tasks like this, it could become very interesting.

Ellp is a free tool for Windows 7 and later.

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