Asya Karapetyan
Content marketer, who specializes in Mac how-to guides
November 2, 2021
7 minutes to read

The Launchpad is an application launcher for macOS. This feature was created to help users run applications faster. You can easily organize the Mac Launchpad, move the app icons, group them, and remove apps that you don’t need anymore.

In this article, we will show you how to remove apps from the Launchpad correctly.


  1. What is Launchpad for Mac?
  2. How to delete icons from the Launchpad.
  3. How to delete apps on Mac that won’t delete.
  4. How to correctly remove applications from the Launchpad.

What is the Mac Launchpad?

Launchpad is an application launcher within the macOS that helps you open, locate and organize your apps. It displays all applications from the Applications folder as a grid, just as on the iOS device screen.

Launchpad clearly and intuitively presents the applications installed on a Mac. Plus, it gives you the ability to organize your apps in a convenient order to quickly access the apps you need.

What should I know before removing an app from the Launchpad?

Before you remove an app from the Launchpad, it’s important to know the removal options and to consider how this may affect your Mac’s performance. We would like to share two methods for removing apps from the Launchpad:

  1. How to delete icons from the Launchpad
  2. How to remove apps from the Launchpad completely

You can use both of these methods and the unneeded app will disappear from your Launchpad, and from your Mac in general. However, you should note that there is a great difference between these two methods.

When you just delete icons from the Launchpad, all the service files of the deleted program will still remain in hidden folders on your Mac. These junk files usually consume your storage space and can make your Mac run slowly.

We recommend keeping your disk space free of clutter and junk files by removing the app completely. To learn how, follow the instructions on how to remove apps from the Launchpad completely.

How to remove icon from Mac Launchpad

To remove icon from the Launchpad, follow these steps:

  1. Open Mac Launchpad
  2. Press the Option (⌥) key
  3. When you will see the “X” next to unneeded icon, click on it
  4. Confirm the deletion to remove an icon from Launchpad

Launchpad screen

What to do if there is no “X” next to the unnecessary icon in the Launchpad

Launchpad only allows you to remove apps downloaded from the Mac App Store. This means that the “X” button will only appear next to apps downloaded from the App Store.

If you want to remove an app downloaded from a developer’s site, we recommend using the automatic removal method. Read on to learn more.

How to delete apps on Mac that won’t delete

Sometimes, you are trying to remove an unnecessary application from Launchpad, but your Mac just shows you an error message and the application remains in place. There are two reasons why you can’t delete app on Mac:

  • You may not have permission to edit this file.
  • This app can be locked.

In order to check if you have permission to edit the application, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open the Applications folder in Finder and find the application you can’t uninstall.
  2. Right-click on it and choose the Get Info command from the context menu.
  3. Expand the Sharing & Permissions section and check whether your user account has Read & Write privilege. If so, then the reason why you cannot uninstall the application is different and most likely the app is Locked.
  4. Get Info window showing Sharing & Permissions section

  5. If your user account has no Read & Write privilege, you should click the small Lock icon -> enter user password -> select your user account from the list -> select Read & Write privilege.
  6. Get Info window showing Read & Write privilege

Once you’ve configured this, you can uninstall this app.

If your user account has Read & Write privilege, but you still cannot delete an unnecessary application, most likely this application is blocked. In order to unlock it, follow the instructions below:

  1. Find the unwanted application in the Applications folder.
  2. Right-click on it and choose the Get Info option.
  3. Expand the General section and untick the Lock checkbox.
    Get Info window showing Locked checkbox

That’s it! After that, you can uninstall the unneeded application from your Mac.

How to remove apps from Launchpad completely

When you run any application on your system, it creates service files and stores them on your disk. These service files include cache, logs, preferences, launch agents, login items and other extensions. Service files are essential to make apps work quickly and smoothly.

When you delete apps from the Launchpad using the method described above, the service files remain on your Mac and still occupy disk space. It is important to uninstall programs on a Mac completely in order to keep from cluttering your disk space with junk files.

From our previous article, you can learn three possible ways to completely uninstall apps from a Mac. Or just read on to learn the easiest way to remove an app from the Launchpad and from Mac in general.

How to remove apps from Launchpad on a Mac

Use the special tool, App Cleaner & Uninstaller, to delete apps from the Launchpad correctly. This tool automatically finds the service files of any program and allows you to delete them along with the unneeded app in just a few clicks. Here is how it works:

  1. Launch App Cleaner & Uninstaller to remove Mac apps correctly
  2. Select the app you want to remove from the Launchpad
  3. Click the Uninstall button
  4. Confirm the removal.

App Cleaner & Uninstaller showing default Apple app


As you can see, deleting icons from the Launchpad doesn’t remove the entire app, as it does not actually remove all program files. In order to remove an app from the Launchpad, you should uninstall it completely from your Mac.

We recommend using App Cleaner & Uninstaller to safely and correctly remove apps from your Mac. This tool identifies and removes all junk files related to the app you want to uninstall. With fewer junk files and less disk clutter, this method of complete app uninstallation contributes to your Mac’s performance.

FAQ about the Launchpad on Mac

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What is Launchpad Mac shortcut?
How to restore Launchpad on Mac?
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