Do you use LaunchPad?

Sparked by the latest MPU episode, I figured I’d be on the ball and start the poll. Do you use launchpad?

I use launchpad for easy access to applications that I don’t use keyboard shortcuts for, or have on my dock. I find it incredibly useful, especially when you can use the four finger pinch gesture and start typing the title of the app you’re looking for, hit enter, and it launches the app.

what do y’all think?

I know @joebuhlig hates launchpad with a passion, but I find it a great alternative to searching through finder or using spotlight.

Do You use LaunchPad?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Using LaunchPad seems pointless to me.

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why? can you expound?

Extra steps. A swipe from the top of the screen and typing one or two letters of the name of the app I want, and 95% or more of the time Spotlight serves up what I need in a second or two.


(As I typed elsewhere) just for “Calculator.” A quirk; I’m not saying this tic would make sense to someone else.

Spotlight is my friend!

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Launchbar, yes! Launchpad, eh, no…

I use Alfred for 100% of my app launching. Launchpad is a nice solution for users who want to do most usage with the mouse, though, especially once they take the time to do some iOS-style folders.


LaunchPad was introduced in an era when Apple was eager to integrate iOS features back into OS X. I think the time has proved it was not a very successful move, and, even if it’s meaningful, should not be done in such a cosmetic way. I more often than not find myself launch applications with LaunchBar or a docked /Application folder.

That being said, if you want to make LaunchPad more accessible, you may consider configure it to be triggered by one of the four “Hot Corners.” I chose the top left corner to simulate the behavior of Ubuntu.

I use Alfred/Spotlight.

I usually only use Launchpad to uninstall MAS apps.

I find Launchpad to be a clunky interface (putting apps in virtual folders is tortuous, ugly and impossible to see what’s in a folder without opening it), especially since I have so many apps installed - it shows me 17 screens’ worth of apps. Ridiculous.

But Novation Launchpad - that’s another story! :upside_down_face:


Also ridiculous. But the good kind.

When I first encountered Launchpad, it was one of several moments I’ve had in recent years in which I had to come to grips with the fact that this just isn’t the same Apple I think of when I think of what drew me to Apple products. That isn’t meant to be nearly as complain-y as it probably sounds. The world changes. Companies change. Interfaces change. I get that.

But it was the first time (that I can recall) when an interface element in the Macintosh OS made me stop and think, “OK, where exactly am I?” It’s not the Finder. It’s not really an application — at least not in the way I had come to understand applications. It just kind of insinuates itself into your view in some new layer that I didn’t know existed. There’s no there there, if you will. Maybe it’s not really that different from Dashboard. But I didn’t use Dashboard, for pretty much the same reason.

I realized that Launchpad was quite possibly designed by people who may rarely — or never — have used a Mac before they worked at Apple. At any rate, it was designed by people who didn’t expect the same experience that I expected when turning on a Macintosh computer. That’s not automatically a bad thing. But it can be.

Some of the “discoverable” interface elements of iTunes evoked a similar reaction when I encountered them. I didn’t get why I needed to hover the cursor over the sidebar to make the word “Hide” appear. I don’t want my computer interface to be a game that I have to figure out. I want it to be reasonably transparent and obvious.

All that said, I now use LaunchBar (Freudian typo too good to fix)… er, Launchpad from time to time. I don’t open it; I just right-click on the Launchpad dock icon when I want to launch an app that I don’t use much. That gives me a quick list of my applications that I can scroll through pretty easily. I can see where that wouldn’t be the best way to open apps if you have tons of them, but I don’t have so many that it’s unmanageable.


That’s the way I felt with the Dashboard, which I’ve had deactivated since 2005, when it first arrived in MacOS 10.4 Tiger. Thankfully, it’s deactivated by default in Mojave, but I think the only person I know who still uses it is my mom, who likes to use the weather widget. :roll_eyes:


Dashboard looks like something that was supposed to be deleted from OS X a decade ago, but the guy whose job it was to remove it cashed out of some Apple options, went on a cruise, and decided not to come back. No one on the OS team at Apple could decipher his notes, so they figured customers wouldn’t notice, and they moved on and left Dashboard plugged in.

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I don’t even know if Dashboard is still accessible by default. :slight_smile: I run that terminal command to disable it when I set up a Mac and it’s been awhile.

Actually I do use LaunchPad from time to time.
I’ve got all my apps in folders:

  • Apple (All Apple apps, incl. the unused ones)
  • Tools (BetterTouchTool, iStat Menues etc.)
  • Media (MP3tag, Handbreak etc.)
  • Office (MS Office, LaTeX tools, PDF tools etc.)
  • Design (Adobe, Affinity, Skitch)
  • Code (VS Code, iTerm, FTP Tools, Remote Desktop tools etc.)

And a lot of my most used apps are on the main screen, below those folders.

But I maybe use it once every two days to look for an app that I not use regularly. Most other apps (IINA player, Keka archive extractor, Soulver files) are linked to file types and everything else gets started via Alfred :ok_hand:

I NEVER use launchpad, relying primarily, in order of frequency: Alfred, Dock, Applications folder in Dock.

I do see a surprisingly large number of people using Launchpad, which, to me, means it is probably a good thing that it exists. It’s existence has never gotten in my way, personally, and if its the way a large number of users like to launch their apps, then great!

My suspicion is that when you started using macOS is a strong determinant of whether or not use use Launchpad. I came to the Mac in 2007, and had used the Mac for years prior to getting an iOS device, and thus I think I have a lot of habits and tendencies associated with old school macOS usage (and I’m not even that Old School!). Launchpad just wasn’t a thing for my formative macOS years. For users whose first experience with an Apple product is iOS, and who came to macOS more recently, they probably have habits, expectations, or a predilection towards things that resemble their experience on iOS.
It’s worth remembering that iOS users far outnumber Mac users, and the number of people whose first Apple product was an iOS device and who later buy a Mac is likely a growing proportion off overall Mac users (I’d almost dare to say at this point that number may be greater than the number of Mac-first users?). It isn’t crazy to think that the majority of users might have their expectations of macOS set by iOS!

I use spotlight/Alfred as my main app launching method of launching apps despite the fact that I used an iOS device before I started using OS X (I’ve got classic Mac OS experience, but that was a long time ago).

In my case I think my habit of using the keyboard to launch applications actually comes from Windows Vista, of all places. I moved from XP to Vista fairly early on, and when I did, I aggressively adopted using the search box in the Start Menu to launch applications. When I moved to Mac, it wasn’t that big a change to go from “Windows key > type name of program” to “command-space > type name of application”.

I find launchpad to be the quickest way to launch an app if I am using the trackpad (Magic Trackpad or laptop) in the same way that spotlight (or Alfred…) is the fastest way to launch an app if my hands are on the keyboard. While using the trackpad I just quickly pinch in with four fingers and tap once on the app I want. It is very useful if you take a moment to organize your most used apps on the first screen — especially if you are using a 12” or 13” laptop and your most common apps do not all fit comfortably on the dock. Definitely faster (for me) than moving my hands up to the keyboard to lauch spotlight and type an app name.

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I actually stated using MacOS in the OS8 days on my moms old Power Mac G3.

My first real regular use was on a Mac mini core solo with Tiger (10.4.11)

If I’m using a keyboard and mouse, I don’t use launchpad. When I’m on my MacBook however, launchpad is available with a quick pinch, so it can actually be faster when my hands aren’t on the keyboard.

I also find myself using launchpad if I’m using an unfamiliar device and don’t specifically know what apps I have available to me. (Word or Pages or LibreOffice, etc.)

Since launchpad shows every application installed on the device, including system services (disk utility and the like)