Work more comfortably with the launchpad

Work more comfortably with the launchpad

Uwe Albrecht

The launchpad is not exactly one of the most used functions of MacOS Big Sur.You can find out how to get everything out of the app starter on the following pages.

Enlarge The launchpad can be a practical tool.

© Apple

The launchpad - in German 'launch ramp' - has been an integral part of the Mac operating system since Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. It is modeled on the user interface of the iPhone and iPad and should thus offer the user a uniform user experience. Not only the representation corresponds to that on the iPad and iOS devices, but also the operation. Apps - if your Mac also has a trackpad - are started with a tap. They switch between the different sides of the launchpad via wiping gestures and the creation of folders as well as moving and deleting the symbols are made in a comparable way. Nevertheless, the launchpad tends to have a shadowy existence for many users - but wrongly. Because if you have used it to use the launchpad regularly, set up there in accordance with our tips, and integrate it into your workflow, then it can simplify and accelerate work on the Mac.

Enlarge the launchpad of MacOS Big Sur.

The launch pad in action

You can call up the launchpad in different ways.The fastest way to do this is via the "F4" function key on the keyboard of your Mac or MacBook.You can also click on the launchpad symbol in the dock or in the "Programs" folder (several different colors).Of course, it is also possible to start the launchpad via Spotlight by typing the corresponding search term into the search field and pressing the input key (see below).

On the launch itself, start the apps by clicking or tapping on their symbols.Since more apps are usually installed on the Mac than fits on a side of the launch pad, switch between these pages by wiping on the right or left on the trackpad.Alternatively, click on the small white dots below.

Search apps

With many installed apps, a certain application cannot always be localized straight away.In this case, the search field of the launch pad will help you.As soon as you enter the first letters of the search term there, the first suitable apps are listed.To start the app, a mouse click or finger tip is sufficient.Alternatively, you can also click on the launchpad symbol in the dock and open the context menu with the secondary mouse button.There you will also find the apps on the "launch ramp".

Enlarge Enter the name of the app in the search field of the launch pad and the right apps are displayed immediately.

Sort and arrange apps

The ordering and sorting of the apps in the launchpad is not very user -friendly.So you are forced to sort the apps manually.To do this, proceed in the following way, which you also know about iPad or iPhone.

Click or tap on a symbol until all the symbols start to shake.

Pull the symbol to the desired area and, if necessary, to another side.

You can sort the symbols in folders.To do this, simply pull one symbol on the other and the folder is automatically created.

Enter the right name, such as "Apple" for all Apple aid programs.

The apps on the launch pad can be sorted "manually".

Install and delete apps

For apps that you install from Apple's App Store, the symbols automatically end up on the launch pad.In addition, the installation progress is displayed by a course bar above the symbol.With apps from other sources, however, it can happen that their symbols do not initially appear on the launch pad.To correct this, proceed as described in the tip below.

Please note that only apps that come from Apple's App Store can be deleted directly in the launchpad.You have to remove other apps with your installation program or a third -party unit program.

In the case of an app from the Apple App Store, proceed as follows.

Click or tap the symbol of the app and wait until it starts wobbling.

A small cross appears at the top left of the symbol.Click on this.

The question "should [name of the program]" are really deleted, they confirm.

The program is removed from your Mac - and not only from the launch pad, but also from the "programs" folder.

Komfortabler mit dem Launchpad arbeiten

Only enlarge apps that have been installed via the App Store can be completely installed on the launchpad.

Adjust the launchpad with secret commands

With a few tips and tricks you get more out of the launch pad.So, which is officially not intended, you can automatically sort symbols or symbols that have disappeared and are not displayed back onto the launch pad.Furthermore, the size and number of symbols can be adjusted on the launch pad.

Reset the launch pad

If you have problems with the launchpad, do not display symbols or simply want to restore the original display, you can reset the launchpad in the following way.

Open the "Urban Services" folder in the "Programs" folder and start the terminal app.

Tap the following command (without quotation signs): "Defaults Write Com.Apple.dock Reseta launchpad True;Killall Dock ”.

It is best to mark this command, copy it via the context menu and then insert it in the terminal app.

Use the Enter key and, if necessary, enter the administrator password.

Now all changes to the launchpad, including any folders, are removed again and the apps are sorted as originally.This means: On the first page you will find all Apple apps and the other third -party apps

Enlarging The launchpad can be reset using a terminal command.

Smaller symbols on the launch pad

You can also change the size of the symbols on the launch pad with terminal commands.In this way, more symbols fit on one side:

Open the "Urban Services" folder in the "Programs" folder and start the terminal app.

There, first tap the following command to determine the columns of the launchpad: "Defaults Write Com.Apple.dock Springboard -Columns -ST XX".

Instead, use this command to determine the lines: "Defaults Write Com.Apple.dock Springboard -Rows -St XX".Instead of "XX", enter the desired number, such as "Colunms" 10 and as "Rows" 15.

It is best to mark the commands here, copy them via the context menu and add them to the terminal app.Then adjust the number of columns and lines as desired.

Use the input key and, if necessary, enter the administrator password.

Then restart your Mac or enter the "Killall Dock" command again in the terminal.

Adjust the launchpad with the launch pad manager

If the use of the commands presented above seems too complicated or prone to errors, use the "Launchpad Manager" app instead.You can buy this from the manufacturer for just under $ 8 (approx. 6.60 euros).A severely restricted version is available free of charge on the manufacturer's website.With the app you can not only reset the dock settings and sort symbols, but also create, save and recall different layouts.

Enlarge with the "Launchpad Manager" app, configure the launchpad more comfortably.

Spotlight or Alfred as a launchpad alternative

If you prefer the operation of your Mac with the keyboard and keyboard commands, then use the "Alfred" app instead of launchpad.

Start with Spotlight apps

Spotlight call a mouse click on the magnifying glass symbol in the top right or press the key combination [CMD empty button].Enter the name of the app and press Enter the application will start immediately.

You can also enlarge apps via Spotlight.

Use Alfred 4 as an app starter

Alfred download from the manufacturer.After installation, start the app and make the desired settings.Later they call Alfred via the menu bar or the key combination [Alt empty button].You can change the key combination if necessary.Alfred not only offers you to adapt to the appearance according to your wishes, you can define further short commands to operate the Mac.For example, they indicate the content of the paper collar with the "Trash" command, which they enter in the input field of Alfred.To start apps, enter the name of the app there and press the input key.On request, you can determine that Alfred will be loaded when you start your Mac.

Alfred 4 also serves as an app starter, but offers far more options.