How to Clean Out Your Mac OS X Launchpad

Mac Launchpad

The Macintosh OS X Launchpad is a feature that was added in OS X Lion. It was intended to make the operating system ready for touch screen devices by putting all your applications in one place. However on most people’s Macs it quickly becomes a mountain of icons with no order or sense. Unfortunately, Apple provided only minimal tools for managing this feature, so in this tutorial you will learn a workaround for cleaning it out and about a free tool that works well to help you manage your Launchpad.

1. Open Launchpad by clicking on the Spaceship icon in your Dock.


2. Hold down the Option key. The icons will start jiggling and a small x will appear above the icons that can be removed. Click on the X to remove them, or move them around. You can also stack icons to put them into folder groups.

look for the little x

3.Open Terminal if you want to remove all of the Launchpad icons more quickly.


MORE: How to Quit Open Applications in OS X

4. Type in Terminal: sqlite3 ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dock/*.db "DELETE from apps; \ DELETE from groups WHERE title<>''; DELETE from items WHERE rowid>2;" \ && killall Dock

type in code

But you may get an error message.

error message

5. If you get an error message, go to Launchpad Cleaner and download and install the Launchpad Cleaner app.

launchpad cleaner

You can then use Launchpad Cleaner to delete apps, move apps to folders, organize your Launchpad, and even save a backup of your layout for later use or on another Mac.

Using Launchpad Cleaner

Jennifer Kyrnin
Jennifer Kyrnin
Jennifer Kyrnin has been building websites since 1995, and teaching others how to do it since 1997. She's written several books on the topic, and is probably working on another one right now. And she does it all on her beloved iMac and sometimes her MacBook Air.
Jennifer Kyrnin on
Facebook Twitter Google+
Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options