Mac Basics: Launchpad is the fast way to find and open your apps

Launchpad helps you find, organize, and easily open your apps.

Entering Launchpad

To open Launchpad and quickly access your apps:

  • Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock.
  • Press the launchpad key on your keyboard if present.
  • Pinch together your thumb-and-three-fingers in gesture on your trackpad.

Navigating Launchpad

When you enter Launchpad, OS X shows you all of your apps. To open an app, simply click its icon.

launchpad overview

By default, items in Launchpad are in alphabetical order. You can re-arrange icons on Launchpad by dragging them in the order you want.

If there's not enough room to show all of your apps on one screen, Launchpad creates multiple pages. The dots at the bottom of the Launchpad screen show you how many pages of apps there are, and which page you are currently viewing.

launchpad dots

To move between pages:

  • Press the right or left arrow on your keyboard.
  • Click a dot at the bottom of the Launchpad screen.
  • Swipe left or right with two fingers on your trackpad.

In OS X Mountain Lion and later, you can also search for an app by entering its name in the search field at the top of the Launchpad window.

launchpad search

Launchpad Folders

You can organize your apps into categories in Launchpad. Just drag and drop one icon onto another.

launchpad folder creation

To see the contents of a folder in Launchpad, just click it. The other icons move out of the way so you can see the apps in the folder. You can also rename the folder by clicking its name in this view.

launchpad open folder

You can also move items from a folder, back to the main Launchpad screen. Simply drag an icon out of the Launchpad folder and let go.

drag out

If you remove all of the icons from a Launchpad folder, the folder goes away automatically.

Leaving Launchpad

To exit Launchpad, open an app. If you want to exit without opening anything:

  • Press the Escape (esc) key or Launchpad key on your keyboard.
  • Click the Launchpad icon, or another app icon in the Dock.
  • Use the Application Switcher or Mission Control to select another app.
  • Pinch outward using your thumb and three fingers on your trackpad.

Launchpad and Mac App Store

When you purchase an app from the Mac App Store, it automatically appears in launchpad.

launchpad new icon

If you later want to uninstall an app that you purchased, you can remove it from your Mac using Launchpad.

  1. First, click and hold your pointer on an icon in Launchpad until all of the icons on your screen start to wiggle. Or, press the Option key on your keyboard.

  2. Click the remove button (X) in the upper left of the icon of the app you want to remove.

    Note: If there is no "X" icon, the app wasn't installed from the Mac App Store, or the app is included as part of OS X. Check the documentation that came with the app for more information.
  3. Click Delete to confirm you want to remove the app.

Tip:You can use the Mac App Store to install the app again if you want it back.

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