Do You Use It? Launchpad on the Mac

When I update apps that I got from Mac App Store (like the iWork apps, Mactracker, etc.,) the Launchpad icon on the Dock displays the status bar, and notifies (by the jumping icon) when the update is complete. That’s the only way I use Launchpad. I use other methods for launching apps (mainly via Keyboard Maestro: ctrl-opt-cmd-M for mail, ctrl-opt-cmd-S for Safari, ctrl-opt-cmd-G for Google Chrome, ctrl-opt-cmd-J for Jedit text editor, etc.)

I’ve shown Launchpad to a few folks that I’m the (informal) Mac IT person for, and they will say, “oh cool” or whatever. But if I ask if they’ve used it six months later, the answer is always, “no, what’s that?”


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Apple’s help pages only go back to High Sierra, but the Launchpad feature was actually introduced in Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion).

See also:


I wonder how use of the Launchpad correlates with the number of apps people use. At first glance it looks like it might most useful for people who use many apps.

I would think it’s just the opposite.Once you need to scroll screens, Launchpad would be a drag to use. As I previously said, I lauch using Spotlight. You start typing the name of the app and possible selections narrows down qite quickly. If it’s one you use often, it will be preselected so that you don’t even need to go down the list of possibilities. Just tap and go.


You can group icons into folders, just like on iOS. For the approximately 150 apps on my Launchpad, they all fit on one screen. My most commonly-used apps on the main screen, and the rest organized into folders:

You can also configure the number of rows and columns for it. As you can see, my system has 10 columns, vs the 7 columns (and 5 rows) in the default layout. To make this change, in the Terminal, type:

defaults write springboard-columns -int 10
killall Dock

Killing the Dock process causes it to restart, loading the new configuration.

See also: macos - How can I change the icon size in Lauchpad? - Ask Different


I use LaunchBar, or if I’m on a computer that doesn’t have it, I’ll end up using Spotlight since the key combo that brings up LaunchBar on my computer is the default for invoking Spotlight.

The Dock and Spotlight for me.


Applications folder for me and I keep an alias to it in the dock (grid view). Obviously the apps I use daily live in the dock but otherwise I just follow the alias to get to what I’m looking for.

The only time I’ve ever used Launchpad is after installing a new App through the App Store and it bounces in the dock and highlights the new app.


What I have always done is simply park the Application folder (and my Documents folder) down in the dock for easy access. Just one click and you have access to your applications.


Caught! :-) I saw that was the extent of the help pages and assumed. Fixed now.

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Is it just me or does Launchpad look like it doesn’t belong in macOS? Apple may be trying to make macOS resemble iOS, but just because they can doesn’t mean they should.

Launchpad just looks awkward and cumbersome. It’s a good thing we have the option to not use it. I’m also not too fond of what they’ve done to System Preferences by calling it System Settings.

Some things are better being left alone.


To give an alternative opinion on this, I would think that many people come to macOS for the first time after having used iPhones and/or iPads for many years. For them having an optional interface that they understand for launching and uninstalling applications may be desirable. As for System Settings, I’d agree that Apple has some work to do to improve the interface, but having a system settings interface that better matches the one used in iOS and iPadOS, which together have far more users than macOS, is probably a good choice for Apple to make.


For many, many people the power of an iPhone (and/or an iPad) is all the computer they need or want. Admittedly without benefit of actual statistics, I would postulate that very few iPhone/iPad users eventually migrate to Macs. Certainly fewer than one would expect to drive major design decisions.

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Like many here, I use Command-Space and the the first letter or two of the app name–much faster. I guess Launchpad could be useful if you’ve forgotten the name of an app.

I have a " utility" folder that I keep in the Dock, I have filled it with aliases to apps that I frequently use.

I don’t think LauchPad is the result of iOS influence over the Mac, instead it’s the descendent of “At Ease.”


There’s always been a place for such things. I remember carefully crafted Config.sys and autoexec.bat files popping a menu of shortcuts to apps on launch in the early DOS days.

I don’t think Apple has ever quantified it, but just as an example, from MacRumors last year:

During today’s earnings call covering the second fiscal quarter of 2022, Apple CFO Luca Maestri said that the company has been growing its install base. There was a March quarter record for upgraders, and half of all Mac buyers during the quarter were new to the product.

So of course it’s likely that very few iPhone and iPad users migrate to Mac - there are hundreds of millions of them - but that doesn’t mean that a significant number of people who are buying Macs have never owned one but instead owned iPhone or iPad first. Both can be true.


I thikn @ddmiller has hit the nail on the head:

Apple probably never intended that long-time Mac users would use Launchpad and doesn’t care that many don’t. TidBITS readers largely fall into that category, and with a few exceptions of people for whom Launchpad scratches a particular itch, aren’t using it.

And of course, even if the percentages are fairly low, as someone else pointed out, the raw numbers could be quite large.