How to delete apps from Launchpad on your Mac

Launchpad is one of those features in macOS that you either use all the time or probably are barely aware that it exists. If you download apps from the Mac Apps Store, you’ll know that you can monitor their progress from Launchpad as they download, and then click to open them. But how do you go about removing apps from Launchpad? Read on to find out.

What is Launchpad?

As its name suggests, Launchpad is a launcher for macOS. If the Dock isn’t big enough to hold all the apps you use regularly, and you don’t use a launcher like Spotlight or want to navigate to your Applications folder, it’s a quick way to start an app.

  Click the rocket


You can invoke it by clicking the rocket icon in the Dock or by pressing its dedicated key on the keyboard. To navigate, use the search bar, click one of the dots at the bottom of the screen, or swipe left on your trackpad. Launchpad looks a lot like the Home screen on an iPhone or an iPad and, as you’ll see below, it works in a similar way when it comes to removing apps.

Most applications are displayed on one of the main Launchpad screens. However, those that are stored in the Utilities folder in Applications, and some other tools, are in a folder in Launchpad called ‘Other’. To see those, just click Other and it will open.

Launchpad on Mac

How to use Launchpad to launch an app

There are three ways to invoke Launchpad.

  1. Click on its icon in the Dock
  2. Press F4.
  3. Use a thumb and three-finger pinch gesture on a trackpad.

Once Launchpad is on-screen, use the search bar at the top to find the app you want to open, or click on the dots at the bottom of the screen, or swipe left on a trackpad. When you find the app you want, click on it to open it.

How to remove apps from Launchpad

The first thing to note about removing apps from Launchpad is that it doesn’t only remove them from Launchpad, it deletes them from your Mac. So, if you follow the steps below, you won’t be able to launch them from anywhere else.

How to delete files from Launchpad

How to remove apps from launchpad


  1. Hold down Command⌘ and click any app.
  2. Apps will start shaking.
  3. Click the ‘x’ next to the app you want to remove.
  4. This will delete an app

The app will now be removed from Launchpad and from your Applications folder. However, remnants will remain in your Library or user Library folder.

But here’s a thing

Although it removes the app from your Mac, it doesn’t get rid of all of its associated files. So, if you use this as a way to uninstall applications, you will be left with a lot of unnecessary and junk files on your Mac. It’s much better to use a dedicated uninstaller. You can either use one provided by the app developer or a universal uninstaller like CleanMyMac X, which can uninstall multiple apps quickly and easily. We’ll show you how to use it later in the article.

Note:

Only apps downloaded from the App Store can be removed by deleting them in Launchpad.

For other apps, you need to remove them manually in the Finder or use an uninstaller like CleanMyMac X. This app is created by MacPaw, a popular Mac app maker. It’s also notarized by Apple.

How to use CleanMyMac X to uninstall apps

As we said above, the simplest way to completely remove apps from your is to use an uninstaller. CleanMyMac X is perfect for the job. Here’s how to use it.

  1. Download the free version, install and launch CleanMyMac X.
  2. Choose the Uninstaller module from the sidebar.
  3. Check the box next to the apps you want to uninstall.
  4. Press Uninstall.

How to remove apps from Launchpad using the application’s uninstaller

Some applications, such as those in Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite, come with their uninstallers. Here’s how to use those to uninstall an app.

This works for apps that appear as folders in your Applications.

How to uninstall apps
  1. Navigate to the Applications folder.
  2. Check to see if the application you want to uninstall is in a folder.
  3. If it is, open the folder and look for an uninstaller.

If it’s not, use Spotlight to search for an uninstaller for the app on your Mac. And if you can’t find an uninstaller for the app, go to the developer’s website and look for one.

If there isn’t one on the developer’s website, the best thing to do is to use CleanMyMac X to uninstall it. And finally, if you find an uninstaller on your Mac or can download it from the developer’s website, double-click it and follow the instructions to uninstall the app.

How to remove applications from your Mac manually

If you’ve followed the instructions above to remove apps from Launchpad, you can now move on to getting rid of the files they have left behind.

  1. In the Finder, click on the Go menu and choose Go to Folder.
  2. Type or paste each of the following paths into the window, one at a time

~/Library/Application Support
~/Library/Caches
~/Library/Logs
~/Library/Preferences
~/Library/Containers
~/Library/Cookies

How to uninstall apps manually
  1. At each location look for files or folders that have the same name as the application you want to uninstall and drag them to the Trash.
  2. Once you have removed all the files, the app will be uninstalled.

Caution: This method may break things, so double-check what you’re deleting. 

As you can see, that’s a much longer process than using CleanMyMac X.

It’s easy to remove apps from Launchpad but it’s only possible for apps downloaded from the App Store and when you do, you won’t remove all traces of the app from your Mac. To completely uninstall any application, it’s simplest to use and uninstaller like CleanMyMac X.

Laptop with CleanMyMac
CleanMyMac X

Your Mac. As good as new.