Instead of building thumbnails of each application's icons each time the app is launched or a page is turned, Launchpad maintains a database that includes the app icons, where the app is located in the file system, where the icon should be displayed in Launchpad, plus some other bits of info necessary for Launchpad to perform its magic.
Luckily, Launchpad failures aren't as destructive as mishaps at Cape Canaveral. Or, lastly, when you create a folder of apps in Launchpad, the icons return to their original location the next time you open Launchpad. In all Launchpad failure modes that we are aware of, no harm is ever done to the Mac or any installed application. While problems with Launchpad can be annoying, they're never a catastrophic issue that can cause harm to your data or Mac.
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The fix to Launchpad problems involves a deleting system and user data, so before proceeding, make sure you have a recent backup. As mentioned above, Launchpad uses a database to store all of the information needed for the app to perform, which means that forcing Launchpad to rebuild its internal database can repair most of the problems encountered. The method for getting the database rebuilt varies a bit depending on the version of OS X you're running, but in all cases, we're going to delete the database and then restart Launchpad.
Launchpad will go to grab information from the database and quickly discover that the file containing the database is missing. Launchpad will then scan for apps on your Mac, grab their icons, and rebuild its database file. Quit Launchpad, if it's open. You can do this by clicking anywhere in the Launchpad app, as long as you don't click on an app icon. You need to access your Library folder, which is hidden by the operating system.
Once you have the Library folder open and visible in the Finder , you can continue to the next step. In the Library folder, locate and open the Application Support folder. In the Application Support folder, locate and open the Dock folder. You'll find a number of files in the Dock folder, including one named desktoppicture.
Grab all the files in the Dock folder with the dashed set of letters and numbers that end in.
Either method works fine. The next time you open Launchpad, the database will be rebuilt. Launching may take a bit longer the first time, while Launchpad rebuilds its database, but other than that, Launchpad should be good to go. OS X Yosemite adds a bit of a wrinkle to the method of removing the Launchpad database.
Yosemite and later versions of OS X also maintain a cached copy of the database kept by the system, which also needs to be deleted. At this point, you've deleted the. Copy a saved image.
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Find an image file you'd like to use as an icon and open it. If you only want to use part of the image, hold down the mouse button and drag to make a box around that section, then use the Copy command. You can now use it as an icon.
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Take a screenshot. Your cursor should turn into a crosshair. Hold down the mouse button and drag to select an area of the screen to screenshot. That image will now be saved to your clipboard copied. If you'd also like to save a copy to your Desktop, use the same key combination without "control. Look for more icons. If you want to change an icon but aren't sure what to replace it with, look for icon collections online.
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Find the icon you want to change. Go to the folder that contains the file you'd like to alter. You can change the icon of most folders, applications, and documents.
Certain special icons cannot be changed this way, including the Finder and Trash icons. You can change them with the system folder method , or using downloadable software such as LiteIcon or Candybar for older OS X versions. Open the information window for that file.
Select the file by clicking on its name or image. Control -click the file and select Get Info from the drop-down menu. A new window should open with information about that file. Select the image in the top left. The file icon is in the top left corner of this window. Click it to select it, and you should see it highlighted in blue. Paste your copied image. This should change the file icon to the image you copied earlier. This will only change the icon for that specific file, not for all files of that type.
If a window pops up asking for a password, you are trying to change a file you do not have full access to. These files can only have their icons changed if you enter an administrator password, or if you log on to an account with access.
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If you think your account should have access, expand the "Sharing and Permissions" section at the bottom of the Get Info window. Know the risks. This method shows you how to access the folder where all system icons are stored. This lets you change the icons for special items such as Finder and Trash, or to change default icons for an entire file type.
Overwriting important icons or making a mistake here can make your computer very confusing to use. Log in to an administrator account. Only an administrator account can access this folder. Open the Go to Folder window.