If you’re familiar with using iOS after 4.0 came out, then Launchpad will likely come as second nature to you. That said, many people don’t know the fundamentals of keeping this interface organized and efficient. When you first upgrade to Lion from Snow Leopard, you may have also noticed that there are a lot of apps installed on Launchpad that you can’t seem to get rid of. Thankfully, there is a solution for that. Here are some tips on how to keep Launchpad organized:
First, there are a few basic steps you can take to sort through all these icons and arrange them in a way that makes the most sense to you. To begin arranging them, simply launch Launchpad (no pun intended), single-click on an icon you’d like to move, and hold that click until all of the icons begin to wiggle. This indicates that Launchpad has gone from launch mode to management mode. To move the icon to another location at this point, all you need to do is drag it where you’d like it to go and the other apps will arrange themselves around it.
If a simple arrangement doesn’t reduce the confusion much, you can arrange the applications into folders using the same process. The only additional steps you need to take begin with dragging the picture over another icon you’d like to group together. While holding down the left-click, you should see a grey box surround the application you’re pairing with. All you need to do here is drop it in place and a folder is created. You can move more associated apps into that folder in much the same way by dragging them over the folder and dropping them in place.
A folder can be renamed by opening it and clicking its name as it appears on the left-hand side. Creating folders for categories of apps such as productivity, games, entertainment, and others is a great way to quickly reference and find the app you’re looking for.
Removing apps from Launchpad is easy, but take care. Apps downloaded through the Mac App Store are uninstalled when removed from Launchpad, which means that you’ll need to reinstall them before they can be used again. Some apps exist on the Launchpad simply because they exist within your applications folder. You may not want to delete the apps themselves, but it would be nice to have the option to kick them off Launchpad if you wanted to. The best solution I’ve found, aside from a risky series of Terminal commands, is a free app called Launchpad-Control that allows you to hide (and unhide) apps from Launchpad without having to worry about them disappearing from your drive.
Over all, Launchpad is a great application for managing your Mac apps and accessing them in a hurry without having to dig through your hard drive to find them.