Making Application Groups in Launchpad

Launchpad, out of the box, is a jumbled mess, and if you're anything like me, you took one look at it, panicked, and decided you never wanted to go there again.

You might want to give Launchpad another look. With a little effort, you can organize things to make Launchpad work for you.

One of the biggest issues is how to make groups of applications in Launchpad, or to un-group already-grouped applications.

Making Groups in Launchpad

Grouping applications together in Launchpad is easy. Just grab an app with your mouse cursor and drag it on top of another app. A group is automatically created, with a Launchpad-supplied name based on the first app in the group. You can easily rename the group to something that makes sense for you, and you can drag the group to any other Launchpad screen.

Here's a screen recording I made of grouping applications in Launchpad.

Un-Grouping Apps in Launchpad

You might also want to un-group apps in Launchpad. This is just as easy. You click on the group's icon to open up the group, grab the icon you want un-grouped, and drag it outside the group's boundaries. Then decide where on the screen you want that icon to be, and drop it there.

Here's a screen recording of un-grouping applications in Launchpad. Notice that when I remove the next-to-last app from the group (so that there's only one app left), it becomes not-a-group, and I don't have to remove that last app or delete the group.

If you're like me, you want to group bunches of worthless and garbage applications together and move them to your last Launchpad screen. Here's a screenshot of my grouped "crap."

My "crap apps" in Launchpad groups

My "crap apps" in Launchpad groups

The "Adobe Crap" and "Microsoft Office Crap" groups are all those extra non-application apps that are part of the Adobe and Office installations. Uninstallers, equation gallery, clip editors, and crap like that. My main Adobe and Office apps are on my first Launchpad screen.

My daily-use apps are in the first two rows on the first Launchpad screen, with succeeding rows taken up with my several-times-a-week apps. My second launchpad screen has my regular but infrequent apps, and my last Launchpad screen has my never-use apps plus my worthless-crap groups. Now that I have Launchpad arranged to work with me, rather than agin' me, I'm finding that I like it. The upper left corner of my screen is my Launchpad hotkey — I slam my mouse up and to the left, Launchpad appears almost instantly, and I click the app I want. In and out, bam, done.

I think Apple has come up a real winner, but Launchpad badly needs a better out-of-the-box experience. I was horrified the first time I launched Launchpad.

BTW, that's my cowdog Luke in the desktop picture in the videos. Wasn't he the most adorable puppy?


  1. you’re right. launchpad as it is, is far from useful. good thing there are some thoughtful users who provide us with useful tools like launchpad control to clean after apple’s mess. i bet apple tested launchpad only on a fresh new lion install and didn’t even think some apps have uninstallers, helper apps, etc.
    now, if there was a way to set an icon for groups, instead of having the 9 useless small icons, launchpad could be fairly useful.

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