I'm surprised how much I use Launchpad after upgrading to Lion both to launch and switch to applications, to the extent that I rarely find myself showing the Dock anymore. I do have one problem, however:

In Launchpad, when one clicks on an application icon, the computer exits the Launchpad screen and launches or switches to the application. When one clicks near but not on an application icon, the computer exits the Launchpad screen and returns to the frontmost application before Launchpad was activated. These are two very different behaviors separated by a small space in terms of pixel targets.

Is there a way make a missed click in Launchpad result in remaining in Launchpad, or to expand the clickable target around the icons?

If the answer is no, that isn't possible, I'd be happy to accept that as correct; I just want to know if there's something I can do to make Launchpad more usable by reducing the wondering after I clicked whether I hit the target or not.

  • 1
    I don't think it's possible. This behaviour frustrated me enough to discontinue using Launchpad.
    – user479
    Aug 15, 2011 at 6:59
  • I don't think you can fix this, but Apple can, if you file a bug report. I 100% agree, it's very annoying. If you're not going to report it, I will! Aug 15, 2011 at 7:49

2 Answers 2


The behaviour is intentional, and works much the same within Expose and Mission Control etc.

It's the way out of Launchpad, and if clicking elsewhere other than on an icon doesn't exit you from it, then the only way would be to start a new program or use a keyboard shortcut or mouse gesture.

If you know the gesture or keyboard shortcut that starts it without having to use the dock, then you will likely know how to reverse the action. But for the (possibly majority) users who happily enter it from the Dock icon this could be very confusing and frustrating as the Dock is removed while Launchpad is displayed, depriving the user of the chance to use it. The fact that there is a new icon for it suggests that Apple expect people to learn about the feature, and at least start using it, via the dock.

If you find yourself regularly missing the icons, perhaps you could look into scaling them up, that may be a possibility, they are huge on my 24", but I'm not sure if this is user customisable.


No, unfortunately this isn't possible, but I agree it is annoying. File a bug if you'd like to see this changed (developer account required, I believe).

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