Launchpad is a very handy feature in macOS that allows you to display applications as a set of icons, similar to the iOS desktop. The problem is that the program displays ALL your applications in random order.
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The search bar makes it easier to find, but you could just as well use Spotlight to launch the application you want. Fortunately, you can customize Launchpad to your liking, such as creating folders and organizing your apps as you like.
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What is Launchpad
Launchpad is a special mode in the Applications folder on Mac that displays all applications in a grid (similar to the iOS home screen). Programs can appear on multiple pages if there are too many to fit on one screen. Switching between pages is done by swiping with two fingers to the right or left on the trackpad, or with one finger using the Magic Mouse.
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How to customize Launchpad to launch comfortably
Launchpad can be launched in several ways: using the trackpad, the function “Hot corners” or key combinations.
To activate or deactivate the Multi-Touch gesture, go to “System Preferences” → “Trackpad” and check the box next to the Launchpad option. You cannot change the gesture, but you can turn it off.
Once enabled, Launchpad can be invoked by pinching your thumb and three fingers together.
Triggering with Hot Corners
To customize the launch of Launchpad using the function “Hot corners” (the ability to launch programs by hovering the mouse pointer over one of the corners of the application window) open the section “System Preferences” → “Desktop and screensaver” → “Hot corners”…
In the dropdown menu, assign any active corner to launch Launchpad (we recommend the upper right)
To add a keyboard shortcut, open “System Preferences” → “Keyboard” → Keyboard shortcuts and check the box. Select the section in the left column Launchpad and Dock… Then double click on the Launchpad option and assign a keyboard shortcut like ⌘ + §…
You can also control Launchpad screens using your keyboard, for example, the cursor keys (arrow keys) help you navigate between application icons or switch screens (⌘ key + left / right toggle keys). To exit the program, press the Escape key; to launch the selected application, press the Return key.
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How to organize apps in Launchpad
To organize your apps, simply grab them with your mouse or trackpad and drag and drop.
If you want to transfer the program to another page, drag it to the edge of the screen and wait until the page switches automatically. If you’ve ever organized your iPhone home screen icons, doing the same in Launchpad is easy. Launchpad lets you create iOS-style folders (by dragging one icon on top of another) and renaming them. This way you can hide unnecessary applications and better organize your workspace.
If you need to uninstall an application, click and hold the icon of any program (like iOS). After a few seconds, all the icons will begin to wiggle, however, you can only delete applications downloaded from the Mac App Store. Remember, apps are removed entirely, not just from Launchpad.
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How to search for apps in Launchpad
In reality, Launchpad’s search function isn’t all that bad. You can start typing text right after starting the function without having to click on the search box. When the screen displays the apps you are looking for, select the one you want and press Return to launch the program.
You may not find Launchpad as effective as Spotlight or Dock, but this feature is definitely a great alternative to wandering in a folder. “Programs” in search of the desired application.