I've got my first ever Mac and was wondering how to remove Finder and Trash from my dock (and put them in Launchpad instead).

I've tried some of the solutions on other questions but they don't seem to work on my Mac. Ideally I would like the icons to be removed automatically on start-up too.

Thanks :)

  • What OS? What are the 'other solutions' you allude to?
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 24, 2019 at 10:52
  • How would having Trash in the Launchpad be useful?
    – nohillside
    Feb 24, 2019 at 11:29
  • the solution that i found was on this link: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/30415/…
    – Danny
    Feb 24, 2019 at 12:52
  • only want Trash in Launchpad so that i can empty it - i can send files to the trash by right clicking on them
    – Danny
    Feb 24, 2019 at 12:53
  • You can Empty the Trash from the Finder's application menu. Another reason to use the Finder! The solution you link to won't work now as Apple has locked down the System. You can turn off the lock (look up "disable SIP"), but remember that every time there's an OS update, Apple will restore what you've changed.
    – benwiggy
    Feb 24, 2019 at 13:00

1 Answer 1


The Finder in MacOS is 'always on'. There is no need to Launch it in normal operation, so having it in Launchpad is fruitless. Any app currently running will normally appear in the Dock: so the Finder, being always on, will always be in the Dock.

The Dock provides functionality as follows: by right clicking on the Finder's icon, you can bring to the foreground any open Finder window, and perform other tasks like creating a new window or connecting to a server. You can also control whether the Finder is linked to a particular display or Desktop space.

Right-clicking will also show if the Application is Not Responding, in the event of a problem, and is a useful troubleshooting technique. (Admittedly, there are other methods of performing all these functions, but the Dock is arguably the easiest.)

Similarly, the Trash icon is only to be found in the Dock. You can of course send files and folder to the Trash with a key command, but the only way of dragging a file to the Trash is onto the Dock. Clicking on the Trash icon is the easiest way of opening the Trash to recover trashed files. You could not drag a file from a Finder window into the Trash within LaunchPad.

There is always a compromise to be struck between "ways I'd like to do things" and "ways that the OS is designed to do things". Sometimes it's possible and desirable to modify the defaults; and sometimes it's not possible (without making significant alterations that may cause unforeseen difficulties, limitations or even 'damage' to the OS).

Customisations to Apple's System files are possible, but require regular maintenance to ensure that new system updates have not restored Apple's original data, or changed things so that the customisation no longer works or even causes problems.

  • 3
    I want to remove the Finder and Trash icons from the dock for the sake of minimalism - where only the apps I use daily appear on the dock. However I realise that I do still need to access Finder and Trash so I was hoping that there is a way that instead i can find them in Launchpad with the other apps when I want to open a document or empty the trash.
    – Danny
    Feb 24, 2019 at 12:48
  • You don't use the Finder every day? Any running app will be shown in the Dock. It is possible to add a "quit Finder" menu item, so that you can kill the process, but I don't think that will remove the icon from the Dock. Apple is very strict about some things - you can't even remove the Chess application without considerable effort.
    – benwiggy
    Feb 24, 2019 at 12:55
  • 3
    Finder is pretty much the worst file explorer on any operating system. I do not blame anyone for wanting to replace it with a better one, and that means removing the finder icon from the dock. Sep 4, 2019 at 14:53
  • 6
    This does not answer the question at all. It's just a rant. It doesn't appear there's an easy way to do this. Items in the dock appear in ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.dock.plist but Finder isn't there, so it's probably hard-coded somehow Oct 23, 2019 at 19:51
  • 2
    I could have just written "It doesn't appear there's an easy way to do this," I suppose.
    – benwiggy
    Oct 24, 2019 at 14:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .