How to reset Launchpad in Mavericks

How to reset Launchpad in Mavericks

Launchpad is the application launcher that Apple has included in OS X since Lion was released in 2011. It makes it dead easy to find and launch applications on your Mac, regardless of where they're installed. Apps you've installed using the Mac App Store are really easy to remove - you just click and hold the icon, similar to what you'd do on the Springboard interface of an iOS device.

But apps you've downloaded elsewhere can be a bit trickier. Occasionally, the database that Launchpad uses can get corrupted, and you may find links to "dead" apps that are no longer installed, or missing apps that you know are on your Mac. Here's how to fix that problem:

  1. Go to the Finder.
  2. Hold down the Option key and click on the the Go menu.
  3. Select Library.
  4. Look for the Application Support folder. Open it.
  5. Look for the Dock folder. Open it.
  6. Locate files ending in ".db". Drag them into the Trash.
  7. Go to the menu and select Restart...
  8. Click on the Restart button.

(Alternately, you can simply log out and log back in, if you prefer.)

Once your Mac has restarted, it will automatically rebuild the Launchpad database and repopulate it with an accurate count of the apps you have on your Mac.

There you have it! Now you can rebuild Launchpad and get a fresh listing of the apps on your Mac. Did this help you clear out the cobwebs? Let me know in the comments.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

How to reset Launchpad in Mavericks


That's actually a handy little tip! I'm still getting to know all the little secrets & shortcuts embedded into OS X as I was a Windows user for decades. I did notice the behavior of the app launcher changed once I did this. Swiping between screens of apps always had a stall where it would seem to get hung between the screens. After this little trick the stalling effect has vanished. I'm not sure if that was related to those .db files I deleted but I'll take it. Nice!

Thank you for this post. I have been having this issue since the 7th and was really annoyed by the non updating app that just sat there. You rock!