Ways To Launch Mac Apps

One thing we all do in our Mac workflow is to launch Apps. I am launching, using and closing Apps all day long. There are several ways to launch an App on the Mac. I will show you all the macOS ways to launch and the third-party Apps that I used to launch certain applications.

Dock

Probably the most used way to launch Apps in macOS is the Dock. Most people keep their main workflow Apps in the Dock.

Dock

You just click on the App and it opens for you. Or, if the App is already open, clicking on it brings it to the front.

Applications Folder

Let’s say you wish to launch an App that is not in your Dock. You can do this in several ways. You can navigate to the Applications Folder in the Finder and double-click an App to launch it.

Applications Folder

There are different ways to get to the Applications Folder using the Finder or the “Go’ menu, but you get the idea.

Launchpad

Another way to launch an App that is not in the dock is to use Launchpad. In macOS Big Sur Launchpad looks like this.

Launchpad

Launchpad provides a full-screen display of your Apps.

Launchpad Screen

All you have to do is click once on an App icon to launch it. If you have several Apps on your Mac, there will be multiple screens in Launchpad. Just swipe or scroll right to get to additional screens. I find it easier to just use the “Search” box at the top of the window to find what I want.

Spotlight

You can also launch macOS Apps using the Spotlight feature. Many people prefer this method even to the Dock.

Spotlight

Just launch Spotlight by clicking on the spy glass in the menu bar, then type in the name of the App you wish to launch. Once the App is selected in the list below, hit “Return” ⮐ and the App is launched.

Alfred

I use a few third-party Apps to launch applications that are not in the Dock. One of those is the excellent Alfred system utility. When you bring up the Alfred search window, all you have to do is start typing the name the App.

Alfred

Hit “Return” ⮐ and the App is launched.

PMenu

There is one last third-party App that I use to launch some of my applications. That App is PMenu. The Pmenu App is a dropdown type launcher that you use on your Desktop.

Pmenu

When you use the activation key combination on your Desktop, PMenu drops a list of the Apps you have placed in the program. This can be a list of folders as well. I have always really liked this method of launching Apps ever since the FinderPop days. I place several Apps that are not in the Dock in this PMenu list.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many ways to launch Apps in macOS. I probably use the Dock and third-party Apps the most. What is your favorite?