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I've been having this problem for a while now and it really starts to bother me. Every once in a while, a lot of my app icons go missing in the dock, launchpad, finder, cmd-tab switcher, just everywhere.

Some pictures:

icons missing from finder icons missing from dock icons missing from launchpad

Obviously this is really annoying. I already tried a lot of stuff to solve it.

  • I tried relaunching the Finder
  • I tried relaunching the Dock (terminal: killall Dock)
  • I tried clearing icon cache

The only way I can (temporarily) solve this by doing the following:

  • Reboot, now the icons have reloaded in finder and launchpad, dock icons are still missing

  • go to Library/preferences/com.apple.dock.plist & delete the file

  • open terminal: killall Dock

This way everything is fixed, but I have to rearrange my dock again since I removed the preferences file. It is only a temporary fix though, the issue keeps coming back and I always have to do this, which is very annoying.

Does anyone know what causes this? How could I solve it permanently? It’s really getting frustrating!

Thanks a lot!

2
  • This happened to me today (macOS 10.13.1), and the affected icons were all for apps that I'd updated via the App Store over the past couple of weeks (since my last reboot). Logging out and back had no effect, but a fresh restart restored all the icons. I'm almost certain that the icons didn't immediately become generic after updating, although I wasn't paying attention for that at the time. Also, when I updated another App Store app today after the restart, the icon didn't become generic.
    – Gaultheria
    Dec 1, 2017 at 5:40
  • For me - setting the icon cache was all I needed: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/280877/…
    – Corfitz.
    Jul 5, 2019 at 7:13

7 Answers 7

13

How to Rebuild Launchpad Database in OS X Yosemite (10.10) and Later

  1. Go to Library folder, which is hidden. To access it, click anywhere on desktop and make sure you see word 'Finder' in the top menu near Apple logo.
  2. Press and hold alt/option key and in the top menu bar select Go and finally Library.
  3. In the Library folder, locate and open the Application Support folder.
  4. In the Application Support folder, locate and open the Dock folder.
  5. You'll find a number of files in the Dock folder, including one named desktoppicture.db, and one or more files starting with a dashed set of capital letters and numbers and ending in .db. An example file name is FE0131A-54E1-2A8E-B0A0A77CFCA4.db. Grab all the files in the Dock folder with the dashed set of letters and numbers that end in .db and drag them to the trash or press ⌘/command + delete keys.
  6. Launch Terminal, located in the /Applications/Utilities folder.
  7. In the Terminal window, enter the following:

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

Launchpad has now been reset. The next time you open Launchpad, the app will rebuild the databases it needs. Launchpad may take a bit longer than usual to launch the first time, and the Launchpad display will now be in its default organization, with Apple apps shown first, and third-party apps next.

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  • 1
    This is a complete solution, tested on High Sierra. Thank you. Jul 13, 2018 at 18:37
  • 2
    Didn't fix it for me in 10.14.2 :(
    – Nate Glenn
    Feb 5, 2019 at 10:57
  • 1
    The issue is it's not just the dock. Icons are missing in the Application folder as well. This didn't work for me on mojave
    – ctilley79
    Mar 24, 2019 at 17:24
  • 3
    @Dimser I'm on 10.14.6 and also could not get it to work, however the above plus clearing the icon cache did the trick - sudo rm -rfv /Library/Caches/com.apple.iconservices.store; sudo find /private/var/folders/ -name com.apple.dock.iconcache -exec rm -rfv {} \;; sudo find /private/var/folders/ -name com.apple.iconservices -exec rm -rfv {} \;; killall Dock; killall Finder; Oct 15, 2019 at 16:53
  • 1
    This is complete solution. Tested for Catalina 10.15.4
    – n1ckolas
    May 29, 2020 at 7:34
6

Rebuilding the macOS internal launch services database might help.

/System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Versions/A/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain local -domain system -domain user

Once completed, you may need to restart Finder.

Sources:

3
  • Thanks! I'll try this. I can't know immediately if it works, since it only happens once in a while, but if it stops happening I'll let you know :)
    – JoJo
    Nov 26, 2017 at 19:34
  • Sadly, not fixed. All my icons disappeared again in my launchpad and finder. The dock still looks fine though, so I only needed to reboot.
    – JoJo
    Dec 2, 2017 at 9:03
  • Running this command did not help for me. Mar 29, 2018 at 16:27
2

resetting the icon cache worked for me.

  • Launch Terminal
  • Enter the following commands, one at a time:
sudo find /private/var/folders/ -name com.apple.dock.iconcache -exec rm {} \;
sudo find /private/var/folders/ -name com.apple.iconservices -exec rm -rf {} \;
sudo rm -rf /Library/Caches/com.apple.iconservices.store
killall Dock
1

Use app Launchpad manager app and press Regenereate button on the menu

0

This issue may be caused by League of Legends.

https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/bug-report/rA0p1rYx-client-updating-on-mac-high-sierra-messes-up-other-application-icons

Unfortunately, it seems that no solution have been found yet.

-2

Eventually this is a MacOS software issue. You need to boot the mac into recovery mode and reinstall MacOs to fix the icons. It wont delete any information since its only rebuilding the system files. That should fix the missing icons.

-2

To replace the generic dock icons with the actual application icon, here's what I did:

  1. Right click on the generic dock icon
  2. Choose Remove from Dock
  3. Open the application from the Applications Folder in Finder
  4. Drag the application back to the Dock

The new dock icon should be the proper one.

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