It is a much maligned feature of macOS but there are times when LaunchPad is useful. Such as when I want to scan my apps for recent additions that warrant a review. Sure, I can just open the Applications folder, but LaunchPad is a much easier presentation.

But, it does have its issues: for one, the inability to delete non-Mac App Store apps. This is a quick post on a method I found that allows you to do just that.

When searching for a solution, there were numerous older posts online that talked about issuing database deletes but many noted this didn’t work in more recent releases of the OS and indeed I found this to be true of Sierra.

Then I found this post at OS X Daily which offered what appeared at first to be a simple rearrangement of icons rather than removal of specific ones. However it turns out it does exactly what I needed. If you delete an app from your Mac and then follow this tip, the icon will be removed from LaunchPad.

So, here’s the sequence of steps required.

  1. Delete the app. If you have AppZapper or AppDelete, use one of those. If you have Hazel, simply drag the app to the trash and let Hazel clean up the extras*.
  2. Empty the trash. The one time I didn’t do this, weird things happened.
  3. Execute the below command in Terminal. If your browser wraps the line, just copy it as one and paste it into Terminal and it will be fine.
defaults write ResetLaunchPad -bool true; killall Dock

That’s it. You may notice when you next open LaunchPad that some of the icons are absent momentarily but they will appear before you have time to worry.

A side effect is that the first page will have the default layout of Apple apps and subsequent pages will have all the extra apps previously present (less those deleted) in alphabetical order.

The one time I didn’t empty the trash, most of the icons were drawn as dotted rectangles, hence my step 2.

*Hazel has a feature called App Sweep. I’m not sure if this is turned on by default. You can find the setting in the Trash tab of the Hazel preference pane.

Categories: How To


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