The Dock, Launchpad, and Mission Control

Learn about the OS X Mountain Lion Dock, OS X Mountain Lion Launchpad, and OS X Mountain Lion Mission Control in this lesson.


Launchpad displays all of the apps installed on your Mac. They are arranged into one or more pages, and you can switch to a different page by using the arrow keys, by clicking and dragging to the left or right, or by using a swiping gesture (if you have a Magic Mouse or trackpad).

To get the most out of Launchpad, you'll probably want to reorganize it. For example, you may want to move all of your favorite apps to the first page so you can open them more quickly. You can also create folders in Launchpad to house similar apps.

To reorganize Launchpad:

  1. Click the Launchpad icon on the Dock to open it. Alternatively, you can use a thumb and three-finger pinch (if you have a trackpad).

    Screenshot of OS X Mountain LionOpening Launchpad
  2. You will see icons for each app that is installed on your computer. Click and drag an icon to change the ordering.

    Screenshot of OS X Mountain LionRearranging Launchpad

You can move an icon from one page to another by dragging it to the right or left edge of the screen. The page will turn, and you can drop the icon on the new page.

To create a folder in Launchpad:

  1. In Launchpad, click and drag an icon directly onto another icon. The two icons will be placed into a new folder. Once the folder has been created, you can drag more apps into it if you want.

    Screenshot of OS X Mountain LionCreating a folder in Launchpad

If you're used to using an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, the process of creating a folder in Launchpad may seem familiar to you. It is essentially the same as creating folders on those devices.

To remove a folder in Launchpad:

  1. In Launchpad, click on the folder to open it.

    Screenshot of OS X Mountain LionAn open folder
  2. Click and drag the apps out of the folder area. Once the folder is empty, it will disappear automatically.

    Screenshot of OS X Mountain LionDragging an app out of the folder area