Is there a way to delete unwanted app icons from Launchpad without using any management app?

This is possible in Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) using some commands in the “Terminal;” but what about Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)?

  • Why no management app? You know any that does this?
    – slhck
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 18:37
  • @slhck Neither Launchpad Manager nor Launchpad Control are compatible with Yosemite, I've tested them both. I hope that there is a way of controlling this via the terminal.
    – Benjamin R
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 9:47
  • Right, but you would also be fine with using a management app if there was one? That was the point of my question.. I just wasn't sure why you would want Terminal only.
    – slhck
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 12:29

8 Answers 8


I came up with a solution via terminal. The location of the SQLite database was changed in Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite).

You can still delete apps from the Launchpad with this “Terminal” command. Just replace the APPNAME with the app you want to delete.

sqlite3 $(sudo find /private/var/folders -name com.apple.dock.launchpad)/db/db "DELETE FROM apps WHERE title='APPNAME';" && killall Dock

I tested if it is still deleted after reboot. So far it seems to work.

  • That will only work if there's only one user. You should add -user <username> to the find command so that you get just a single result if there are multiple users, or use find ... -exec to run it for all of them, if that's what you want. Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 18:24

Apparently you can search for things in spotlight and hit Command-Enter instead of just Enter, and it pulls up the file location, so I promptly deleted it!


Follow these steps:

  1. Open Finder,
  2. Open Applications,
  3. Search for the name of the application which you want to remove from launch pad,
  4. Drag the application to Trash.
  5. Process complete.

Clicking on an Icon or holding the option key until icons start jiggling, only works for Apps downloaded from the App Store,

I would caution against following answers where you are Trashing the Icon, as often deleting it is not what you want, it has a function it just doesn't belong in Launchpad deleting it could cause further problems down the road.

The Best option for just removing the Icon from Launchpad, but not deleting it is the terminal command posted by davidtrautmann.


So, David's answer was pretty close but for some reason it didn't work properly on my computer. (OS X 10.11.6) The find didn't want to recursively search for the database. Since I have knack for poking around where I shouldn't be, I did find a solution that worked. This will require some manual work.

In my case I wanted to remove the Dashboard app since I have it disabled. I frequently use Dash, an offline API documentation app, but Dashboard is the first thing in the list of apps when I search from launchpad. This means I can't just hit ENTER when searching, I have to use my trackpad. And I don't like having to do that. You also can't remove it by click-holding apps because it's a built-in app. Pretty annoying, right?

Search for the folder

In my account, the database was in a subdirectory from /private/var/folders/cn. After reading Tim's comment on David's answer, I realized that multiple folders will exist here; probably one per user. I haven't tested this myself, but I've modified my answer to check first which folder belongs to you.

In the Terminal, copy-paste ls -l /private/var/folders/cn and hit ENTER. Look for the one where your account name shows up by it. Jump to the "Open the DB" section.

(If you want to search with Finder)

If you're not Terminal-savvy and/or prefer to search with Finder, you can create a shortcut. (Please remove it when finished. We're venturing into dangerous territory!) To create one, copy-paste ln -s /private/var/folders ~/Desktop/private into the Terminal and hit ENTER. Open Finder, navigate to your Desktop, open the shortcut, and browse through the folders until you locate com.apple.dock.launchpad. It'll probably be in the cn/(gobbly-gook name)/db folder. If you have several folders under cn, highlight one and hit Command + i and view the owner. Search until you find which one has you as the owner.

Putting it into action in Terminal

Open the DB

You'll want to copy-paste sqlite3 /private/var/folders/cn/(folder name)/0/com.apple.dock.launchpad/db/db into the Terminal, replacing the (folder name) with the one you found. (Remove the parenthesis.) Hit ENTER to open the sqlite3 shell.

(If cn is not the folder, all I can say is to try another one in that /folders directory.)

Remove Apps

Copy-paste DELETE FROM apps WHERE title='APPNAME'; into the Terminal, replace APPNAME with the application you want to remove. Keep the quote marks! Repeat this for as many apps as you need to remove. You can remove system-defaults.

Exit and kill dock

Type .exit to return to bash. Now type sudo killall Dock and hit ENTER. Give the system a moment before opening Launchpad. All the apps you wanted to remove should be gone!


I found that my applications were duplicated on the secondary drive and normal procedures only deleted them from the primary drive. I had to remove the files from the secondary drive as well by going into user>applications then delete them from that folder.

good luck!

  • This does not appear to be an answer for the question that was asked. Please read questions carefully before answering and make sure that your answers are correct for the needs of the question. Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 18:57

Hold down the option key causes the launchpad icons to shake and some will be removable by clicking the "X" in their corner. Perhaps that is obvious, but in my case it allowed me to rid my launchpad of the icon I was attempting to remove.

  • This will only delete MAS app icons.
    – ruslaniv
    Commented Mar 1, 2015 at 6:25

In Yosemite open Launchpad, hold down control key and click on icon you wish to remove. A question mark should appear over the icon. Just drag and drop to Trash.

  • You need to hold down the "Alt" key. An "X" will appear in the top left icon corner. And this will inly delete MAS app icons
    – ruslaniv
    Commented Mar 1, 2015 at 6:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .