5 Best Fixes for Launchpad Not Working on Mac

Learn how to troubleshoot and fix Launchpad problems on your Mac with these step-by-step solutions.

By Abhishek Chandel
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5 Best Fixes for Launchpad Not Working on Mac

5 Best Fixes for Launchpad Not Working on Mac

Launchpad is the convenient interface on every Mac that displays all your installed applications in one place. However, at times Launchpad may fail to open or not show all apps properly. Before panic sets in, there are a few troubleshooting techniques you can try to get Launchpad working again. This article will cover the top 5 fixes to resolve issues with Launchpad not working on Mac.

1. Delete Launchpad Preference Files

Over time, the Launchpad database files that store your app icons and layout can become corrupted. Deleting these preference files gives Launchpad a fresh start, often resolving strange behavior.

Here is the step-by-step process to delete the Launchpad preference files:

  1. Click on Finder and select "Go" in the menu bar.

  2. Choose "Go to Folder".

  3. Type in exactly "~/Library" and click Go to open the hidden Library folder.

  4. Navigate to Application Support → Dock.

  5. Select all files ending in ".db".

  6. Right click and delete files.

  7. Empty Trash and restart your Mac.

Once your Mac finishes rebooting, try opening Launchpad again. Many users find deleting the Dock database files fixes issues with Launchpad crashing or not showing apps.

2. Reset Launchpad Using Terminal

More technically inclined users can reset Launchpad at the system level using Terminal commands. The terminal provides direct access to OS X processes.

Resetting Launchpad via Terminal involves deleting the database files and restarting the Dock system process. This forces Launchpad to rebuild its icon cache.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open Spotlight Search (Command+Spacebar).

  2. Type “Terminal” and press Enter.

  3. Copy and paste this command:
    rm ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dock/*.db ; killall Dock

  4. Press enter to run command.

  5. When done, close Terminal and restart your Mac.

Terminal deletes the Launchpad files and restarts Dock to clear out any corrupted data. After your system reboots, test if Launchpad opens properly again.

3. Update macOS

Issues with system processes like Launchpad often stem from bugs in the current OS version. Updating your Mac to the latest macOS release fixes problems with Launchpad.

Here is how to update your Mac OS:

  1. Click on the Apple menu and choose System Settings.

  2. Go to General and select Software Update

  3. Click "Update Now" to install any macOS updates

  4. Follow the prompts to complete the installation

  5. Restart your computer after updating

With the latest bug fixes and optimizations, an OS update may resolve your "Launchpad not working" issues.

4. Create a New User Account

Another option is to create a separate new user account and check if Launchpad works properly in the new account. Sometimes account configuration errors or corrupt profile files can cause problems with system apps like Launchpad.

Follow these instructions to set up a test account:

  1. Go to System settings > Users & Groups

  2. Click the + icon to create a new user

  3. Specify the account details and password

  4. Log out of your current account

  5. At login screen, switch to the new test user account

  6. Check if Launchpad opens and displays applications

If Launchpad is working fine in the new account, the problem lies with your original user profile. You can migrate data over from the old account or delete it if you wish to continue using the new working account.

Creating a separate test account isolates whether issues with Launchpad persist across user profiles. This helps identify if corrupt configuration files are causing the problems.

5. Contact Apple Support

Contact – Official Apple Support (IN)

Trying the above troubleshooting steps first before seeking help avoids wasting time. However, if Launchpad still does not work properly after attempting these fixes, you should contact Apple Support.

Apple's technicians can run diagnostics, check system logs, and rectify problems better than DIY troubleshooting. Save yourself frustration by seeking professional assistance at the Apple Genius Bar or calling their support line.


I hope this overview of the top 5 fixes for Launchpad not working or opening helps you diagnose and resolve any issues. Remember to try the simpler solutions first like removing preference files and updating macOS before moving to more complex steps. If the problems continue, seek assistance from Apple Support to determine if corrupt files or another underlying issue is causing Launchpad to fail.

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