Sometimes my Launchpad just look like this without any app icons. What causes this problem and how can I solve it?

I am using 2011 11″ MacBook Air with OS X 10.9.1


  • Has anyone encountered this kind of problem? Mar 18, 2014 at 8:50
  • The problem is missing the icons? The question is pretty vague.
    – Rob
    Mar 19, 2014 at 7:33
  • 1
    This happens to me sometimes too specially when my mac has pretty much to do.
    – idmean
    Apr 7, 2014 at 17:17
  • You could take a look at apple.stackexchange.com/a/286549/18660 and see if that helps
    – conny
    Jun 12, 2017 at 6:47

5 Answers 5


This didn't work for me,
Finder did not respond, clicking on Apps gave this error

Could not obtain valid temporary directory for sandboxed app ...

I also had to open a terminal and run:

cd /var/folder
sudo rm -rf *

Searched for and opened Activity Monitor, stopped the com.apple.IconServicesAgent service and rebooted.

My icons came back in launchpad and dock.


A less intrusive way to tell LaunchPad to reset it's settings and regenerate app listing and icons is to perform this command line step:

defaults -currentHost write com.apple.dock ResetLaunchPad -bool true; killall Dock

Your screen desktop may blank and the dock will go away momentarily. If this doesn't work, the next step is to log out and back in. A reboot also could help further in some limited cases.

See more discussion at https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/194073/5472 and https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/150973/5472

  • For me, I tried many ways, only this one works for me. Thanks! Jul 24, 2019 at 18:46

Delete the Dock database files and relaunch Dock:

rm ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dock/*.db && killall -HUP Dock
  • 2
    I don't recommend to delete these files, to my know this resets the while dock.
    – idmean
    Apr 7, 2014 at 17:16
  • @wumm Yes it will reset the dock, but it is also likely to fix the problem. You can always make a backup of the files first and restore them if the problem was not fixed.
    – grg
    Aug 16, 2014 at 17:44

i read on another website if you type the following in terminal the launch pad gets back to normal:

rm ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dock/*.db; killall Dock

i had the same problem and this worked so hope it helps anyone else with the same problem.

  • This does help BUT ! only for a few days. Then the problem returns.
    – ILIV
    Nov 1, 2017 at 8:31
  1. Open Finder
  2. Go to "~/Library/Application Support/Dock".
  3. Find file *.db, delete it,
  4. Open Terminal, type killall Dock, and all icons return.

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