How to Remove Apps from Launchpad in Mac OS X

By Richard Mallion

Launchpad is the iOS-like application launcher that came to Mac OS X with the release of 10.7 Lion.
I want to love it, but in its present format its not perfect. One of the biggest issues I face its that it has every application on my hard drive, 8 pages worth. Not only does it have all my main apps but as an example it has 18 different Adobe uninstaller applications as well.
Launchpad can also be difficult and inconsistent when deleting apps from it. Apps that where purchased from the Mac App store can be easily deleted by holding the option key and once the icons start jiggling click the “X” shown in the corner of icons that you want to delete. Be careful as this also uninstalls the app from your hard drive. However applications that were not purchased from the Mac App store cannot be removed via the UI.
Using the command line there is a way to either remove all the apps or selectively remove apps from LaunchPad, regardless of where they where purchased. LaunchPad maintains a SQLite database. We can edit this database directly to remove any app or all apps we wish.
Using the Terminal – remove a single application

Open Terminal and use the following command, replacing “APPNAME” with the name of the application you want to remove from Launchpad:
sqlite3 ~/Library/Application Support/Dock/*.db "DELETE from apps WHERE title='APPNAME';" && killall Dock
For example, removing “TextEdit” would be:
sqlite3 ~/Library/Application Support/Dock/*.db "DELETE from apps WHERE title='TextEdit';" && killall Dock
Launchpad will automatically refresh, open it to see the changes.
Using the Terminal – Remove All Applications from Launchpad

Using the Terminal again, the entire Launchpad database can be wiped free of all apps, giving you a fresh start. To do this, enter the following commands in the Terminal:
sqlite3 ~/Library/Application Support/Dock/*.db "DELETE from apps;"
sqlite3 ~/Library/Application Support/Dock/*.db "DELETE from groups WHERE title<>'';"
sqlite3 ~/Library/Application Support/Dock/*.db "DELETE from items WHERE rowid>2;"
killall Dock

Note that there is no undoing this unless you have a backup of the database, once you have done this you will have to manually add any applications by dragging them into the Launchpad dock icon but at least you end up with a leaner Launchpad with just the apps you want.