Customizing the OS X El Capitan Launchpad

By Bob LeVitus

Launchpad in OS X El Capitan is configurable, just like home screens on iDevices. As you’re about to see, you can rearrange app icons on a page, move them from one page to another, organize them in folders, and delete them. Say it all together now: “Just like on iDevices.”

For those who are unfamiliar with iOS or devices that run it, here’s how these things work on your Mac:

  • To find an app: Type the first few characters of its name in the search box at the top of the screen.

  • To rearrange app icons: Click and drag the app to its new location.

  • To move apps to the next or previous page: Click and drag the app to the left or right edge of the screen. When the next page of apps appears, drag the app to its new location on that page.

  • To add an app to your Dock: Click and drag the app onto the left side of the Dock.

  • To create a folder for apps: Drag one app’s icon on top of another app’s icon to create a folder.

  • To add an app to a folder: Drag the app onto that folder to add it.

  • To move an app out of a folder: Click the folder to open it and drag the app out of the folder.

  • To change a folder’s name: Click to open the folder, click the current name, and then type a new name.

  • To uninstall apps: Click an app’s icon, but don’t release the mouse button until all the icons begin to wiggle. Apps that can be uninstalled display a Delete button (X); click to uninstall the app.

  • To stop the wiggling: Press Esc.

If an icon doesn’t have a Delete button, it’s installed with OS X El Capitan and can’t be uninstalled.

And last but not least, some items in the Applications and Utilities folders on your startup disk will be found in a folder named Other in Launchpad. Why? Which apps and for what reason? Who knows?