3 Best Fixes for Launchpad Not Working on Mac

Like the Start icon on Windows PCs, you can access all the apps installed on your Mac using the Launchpad. It will list all your installed apps, let you put them in folders, and uninstall them from your Mac when required. The Launchpad shortcut is present at the bottom-left corner of the Dock on your Mac by default.


Some users complain that the Launchpad shortcut is not working on Mac, preventing them from accessing all installed apps. If you are also facing any issues with using Launchpad, keep reading this post to follow the best ways to fix Launchpad not working on Mac. These solutions apply to all Mac models.

1. Delete Launchpad Preference Files

Preference files in macOS are like app cache that gets stored over time. These files are the rules or parameters that dictate the working of apps on your Mac. So, if the Launchpad is not opening or showing on your Mac, you can start by deleting its Preference files. These files may have been corrupted, causing issues with Launchpad.

Step 1: On your Mac home screen, click on Go at the top Menu Bar and select Go To Folder.

go to folder home screen mac

Step 2: Type ~/Library in the Search bar and press Return.

Screenshot 2023 10 12 at 9.13.55 AM

Step 3: In the Library window, click on the Application Support folder from the list of folders.

application support library folder mac

Step 4: Click the Dock folder from the list of folders.

dock applications folders library mac

Step 5: Select all the files ending with ‘.db’ and delete them.

delete preference files launchpad mac

Step 6: Close the window and empty the Trash Bin.

empty trash bin mac

Step 7: Once done, restart your Mac.

restart mac 3

After your Mac restarts, open Launchpad to check if it works. Read our post if you cannot empty the Trash Bin on your Mac.

2. Reset Launchpad Using Terminal

Another way to reset the Launchpad is using the Terminal app on your Mac. You can change the performance of your Mac or make system-level changes to your Mac using Terminal. It will also help in resetting the Launchpad. This is another advanced solution, and you have to be extra careful while entering Terminal commands. One wrong command can cause harm to the everyday performance of your Mac.

Step 1: Press Command + Spacebar keyboard shortcut to open Spotlight Search, type Terminal, and press Return.

open terminal on mac 1

Step 2: Type the following command in the Terminal window and press Return.

reset launchpad on mac using terminal
rm ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dock/*.db ; killall Dock

Step 3: After running the command, close Terminal and restart your Mac.

restart mac 3

After your Mac restarts, try opening the Launchpad to see if it works now. You can also refer to our post to learn the best Terminal command tricks for your Mac. These tricks will help you perform operations like open folders and change the default screenshot location on your Mac.

3. Update macOS

If you are still facing issues with Launchpad, you can try update it by installing a new version of macOS on your Mac model. Since Launchpad is a system feature, the current macOS version may have some bugs that are preventing its smooth functioning. Here’s how.

Step 1: Click the Apple logo at the top-left corner and select System Settings from the list of options.

system settings mac 1

Step 2: Select General from the left menu.

Step 3: Click on Software Update on the right side.

Step 4: If an update is available, download and install it on your Mac.

Step 5: After the update is installed, open Launchpad and check if the problem is solved.

In case you continue to face any more issues with Launchpad, you reach out to the Apple Support team, and they will guide you to fix the problem.

Prepare the Launchpad

These solutions will help if the Launchpad is not working on your Mac. Apart from Launchpad, the Spotlight Search feature is also a quick way to access your Mac apps. You can also access files and folders using the Spotlight Search feature on your Mac. But in case you cannot find something specific or if the feature fails to work on your Mac, we have prepared a list of solutions to detect and fix issues with Spotlight Search on your Mac. These solutions apply to all Mac models, including iMac, Mac Studio, and MacBooks.

Last updated on 12 October, 2023

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