How to customize the macOS Launchpad to quickly access your most-used apps

Opening apps is a frequent activity for most macOS users. Here’s how to best use Mac Launchpad to speed up everyday access to commonly used programs.

Image: PixieMe/Adobe Stock

Although you don’t often consider the process, how you interact with your Mac makes a huge difference in how quickly you open apps, access files, and complete tasks. Shortcuts, such as using Mission Control to quickly lock the display, and key combinations (COMMAND + TAB remains a favorite for quickly switching between open apps) can become major conveniences if you get familiar with them first. with these features and create habits using them.

SEE: Windows, Linux, and Mac Commands Everyone Should Know (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Take the time to learn new ways of working, and I predict you’ll find a macOS tip that pays ergonomic dividends and continued time savings. Launchpad, when used, eliminates several traditional steps of locating and opening apps. The macOS app can even be more convenient than selecting a program from the Dock, which can quickly become cluttered.

Instead of opening Finder, navigating to the right directory, then locating the corresponding app, which you then have to double-click to open, Launchpad makes opening an app one-click. By configuring Mission Control to provide quick access to the Launchpad – such as automatically opening the Launchpad whenever the mouse is placed in the upper left corner of the screen – individual applications can be opened quickly, with just one click.

To implement such a configuration, first configure Mission Control to activate Launchpad whenever you place the mouse in a specific corner of the screen. Follow these steps to configure Mission Control:

  1. Open System Preferences by clicking the Apple icon in the macOS menu bar and clicking System Preferences.
  2. Click Mission Control.
  3. Click the Hot Corners button, as shown in Figure Ain the lower left corner.
  4. Select Launchpad from the drop-down menu for one of the respected corners (such as the upper left corner, as shown in Figure B).

Figure A

macOS users can configure Mission Control to provide quick access to Launchpad activation.

Figure B

Hot Corners allows you to customize several actions when the cursor is moved to a respective corner of the screen.

Thereafter, whenever you move the cursor to the upper left corner of the Mac, the Launchpad opens, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Launchpad collects apps and lets you create program folders to quickly organize and open commonly used apps.

Launchpad itself can also be customized. With Launchpad open, simply click on an icon or folder. After two seconds, icons and folders will start shaking, an X will appear in the upper left corner of each app or removable folder, and you can start placing apps on top of each other to create folders or on top of folders existing to move the correspondent. program to this group. Clicking the X removes the app from Launchpad but does not remove the program from macOS.

You can group apps adjacent to each other based on type, such as productivity apps. Or you can create folders that collect specific programs, such as a Microsoft folder containing Edge, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Remote Desktop, To Do, and Word. Remember that when creating folders in Launchpad, an extra click is required to access apps in those folders.

Other ways to open Launchpad also exist: You can always press the F4 button. You can also open Finder, select the Applications directory, navigate to the Launchpad entry, and double-click it. Or, if you’re like me and use a programmable mouse, you can program a gesture or button to activate Launchpad.

Whichever method you choose, try to get into the habit of using Launchpad. The macOS program makes it faster and easier to open commonly used applications. While it’s true that only a few moments are recorded each time you open an app using Launchpad, given how often you open apps, the convenience quickly adds up, becomes second nature, and speeds up your efficiency while eliminating unnecessary movements and clicks.


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Steven L. Nielsen