How to Reset Launchpad Layout in Mac OS Catalina, Mojave, Sierra, OS X El Capitan & Yosemite
Launchpad serves as a quick way to open applications on the Mac from a familiar iOS-like icon grid interface.
If you’ve customized the way these app icons and arranged in Launchpad, you may decide you’d like to start from scratch and reset their order to how things appear when you first get a Mac.
Resetting Launchpad layout can also be helpful if you want to rearrange the way Launchpad icons show up, but it can also be helpful to resolve some display bugs with Launchpad, particularly if an icon doesn’t show up or is displaying incorrectly.
In prior versions of MacOS X, users were able to refresh Launchpad contents by dumping a handful of database files, but in Mac OS and MacOS X 10.10.x onward, you’ll need to use a defaults command string to reset Launchpad contents and layout instead.
How to Reset Launchpad Layout in MacOS Catalina, Mojave, Sierra, El Capitan, etc
- Open the Terminal application and enter the following defaults write command string:
- Hit return and wait for the Dock to relaunch and Launchpad to reset
defaults write com.apple.dock ResetLaunchPad -bool true; killall Dock
When you open Launchpad again, the layout will have returned to the default, placing all bundled apps onto the first screen of Launchpad, and third party apps onto the secondary (and third, if applicable) screens.
You can now rearrange the icons and layout of Launchpad as you see fit, or just keep the default layout of Apple apps on the first screen, with third party apps and additions on the later screens.
This defaults command string was found on stackexchange, though the user who mentioned it still listed the old database dumping trick as a necessary step – in testing, that latter Launchpad database removal command is not necessary to simply reset the Launchpad layout in modern versions of Mac OS from OS X Yosemite 10.10.x +.