How to Organize Your Apps Using LaunchPad in OS X

Introduced with OS X Lion, the Launchpad on your Mac allows you to organize and manage your installed applications just like you would on an iPad or iPhone.

Launchpad also allows you to see apps currently downloading from the Mac App Store, and you can delete apps from it should you choose to do so.

You can open Launchpad on OS X using the icon in your Dock; if you can’t find it there, you can also launch it from the Applications folder.

Launchpad-Dock

Depending on which Mac / keyboard you’re using, you might also have a keyboard key to do so. For example, on my Macbook Pro, I can fire up Launchpad by pressing F4 on my keyboard.

Launchpad-Icon

Once Launchpad opens, you’ll see an iPad-like screen that’ll show you all of the currently installed apps.

For those of you using a Trackpad, to navigate Launchpad and swipe through the different screens, simply swipe left or right with two fingers. If you’re using a mouse, click and drag left or right to change screens.

The basic concept of Springboard / Launchpad is that an icon can be rearranged once they’re wiggling. And to make an app icon wiggle, hold down on one of them, and they’ll start wiggling. Once they do, you can simply drag and rearrange the icons on the same screen or a different one.

Launchpad

To create a new folder in Launchpad, click and hold on any of the app icons, and when they start wiggling, drag and drop any one on top of another which will result in a new folder being created.

The name of the folder will be automatically set to the category of the two applications that you have added. If you want to change the name, simply open up the folder by clicking on it, and then click on the title to rename it.

Launchpad-New-Folder

Launchpad-Rename

Note: creating folders in Launchpad won’t affect the directory structure of your apps in the Applications folder, so there is no need to worry about that.

Tip: since OS X allows the use of emojis in file names, you can use the exact same tip to add emoji icons in Launchpad folder names. This will allow you to quickly identify folders with the use of these emoticons.

Apple has included the option to delete apps from within OS X, but this method has 2 downfalls. This uninstaller won’t work for non-App Store apps, and it won’t delete application preferences from your system.

With that being said, you can delete an application by clicking and holding on an icon until it begins to wiggle, and then click on the “X” in the top-left corner of the application icon. OS X will confirm whether you wish to delete the application; clicking on the Delete button will permanently remove the application from your Mac.

If you have any additional tips we missed, be sure to let us know as always in the Comments section below! Also let us know if you found this article useful or not.