How to Reset Launchpad in Mac (Including macOS Big Sur and Older)

The Launchpad in macOS is the place where you can find all your installed applications. Whether you download apps from the App Store or install them from dmg files via the internet, every Mac app finds a place in the Launchpad. However, there are times when an app is missing from the Launchpad. Or maybe there’s an icon for an app you have deleted already. Well, in such a case you have to reset and restore the launchpad in Mac. Fortunately, it’s easy to do. Here is how to reset launchpad in Mac.

Reset Launchpad to Default in Mac

There are a couple of ways to reset launchpad in macOS. You can use the Finder method, or, you can go ahead and use the Terminal to restore launchpad layout on Mac. We will discuss both these methods in this article so you can use the method that’s most suitable for you. There are also differences in which method you should use depending on the version of macOS you are using.

Note: We have tested these methods on a MacBook Pro running macOS Big Sur. However, they will work on older versions of macOS (OS X) as well. So if you are using OS X Yosemite, or macOS High Sierra, Catalina, etc, you can use these methods.

Reset Launchpad Using Terminal

The reason I’m mentioning the Terminal method first is that it works perfectly on macOS Big Sur. However, you can try it on older macOS or Mac OS X versions as well.

  • Launch the Terminal and type in the following command
defaults write ResetLaunchPad -bool true; killall Dock
  • Hit ‘enter’ on your keyboard and wait for your Dock and Launchpad to be reset.

That’s it. This command will restore Launchpad on your Mac completely. Now your Launchpad should show up all the installed apps in proper order, and any icons that should not be there will be removed.

As mentioned above, this method works on the newer macOS versions including Big Sur. However, you can safely try this out to reset Mac Launchpad in Catalina and others.

Use Finder to Restore Launchpad on Mac

If you are trying to reset Launchpad in macOS High Sierra, macOS Mojave, or older versions of macOS, there is a chance that the Terminal command might not have worked for you. If that’s the case, you should use this easy Finder method to fix Launchpad on your Apple computer.

  • Launch Finder. Press and hold ‘option’, click on ‘Go’, and select ‘Library’.

finder go to library


  • Here, open the ‘Application Support’ folder.

reset launchpad in mac step 2

  • Open the ‘Dock’ folder and delete all “db” files that you see.

reset launchpad in mac step 3

  • Empty your trash, and restart your Mac.

Your computer will now rebuild the Dock and Launchpad database, which means it will sort out any issues with Launchpad. This should definitely restore Launchpad to a normal working state.

Easily Fix Launchpad Problems on Mac

While we have done our testing for these methods, if you are unable to reset Launchpad to default on your Mac, you can try clearing out the db files and then using the Terminal command mentioned above. There are reports online that using both the steps has fixed the problem for some people. So make sure you give that a try. If you are unable to solve your issues, let us know in the comments and we will try and help you out.

Meanwhile, check out our other articles on Mac and macOS Big Sur:

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