What Is The Best Way To Launch Apps On Your Mac?

There are many ways to launch apps on your Mac: LauncPad, Spotlight, double-clicking apps or documents, the Dock, Siri and more. So which is best? Let's look at each one of them and weigh the advantages and disadvantages.

Comments: 9 Responses to “What Is The Best Way To Launch Apps On Your Mac?”

    Douglas Brace
    10 months ago

    One that I recommend is to add the “Applications” folder to the “Dock” and set it to “Display as > Folder” and “View content as List” (or “View content as Grid”).

    Laraine Barker
    10 months ago

    I’ve always liked to use keyboard shortcuts to launch an app or switch to another one. In the old days I used Now Utilities/Action Utilities and I now use Keyboard Maestro. I hated the dock when it came out and haven’t changed my mid.

    Kurt Szeluga
    10 months ago

    I use the four-finger pinch on the trackpad to open the launch pad, then swipe left/right as needed to find and select the app I want. This works for me because I have arranged my apps so that most of the apps I use are on a couple of pages and I sort of have their location memorized, so I can find them quickly. I do like your Spotlight method and may use that as well.

    Robert Rutledge
    10 months ago

    A mix of situation dependent methods serves me best but my main tool is Keyboard Maestro for which I have 4 row (modifiers) 20 column reference matrix mounted behind my keyboard for opening a variety of file, apps, folders, URLs, etc. – great time saver.

    10 months ago

    CMD-Space is my favourite, doesn’t get much easier than that, most apps come up with auto-complete after a couple keystrokes.

    Philip Noguchi
    10 months ago

    Besides the builtin keyboard shortcuts, my favorite launcher is Alfred 4. While Alfred 4 does have a Power something module that is fairly expensive, you don’t need that module to launch applications, so it is a free app launcher. The default keyboard option-space calls up a window where you can start to type in the name of an app; only a few letters are needed most of the time to get a scrolling list of potential applications..

    Tim A
    10 months ago

    7:26 minutes in…
    Actually, just as double clicking on a TextEdit file opens it in TextEdit so too will double clicking a Safari .webloc open it in Safari.

    Gerry Taylor
    10 months ago

    Setting up Launchpad as a “hot corner” (settings > dock > hot corners @ lower left corner) is pretty quick. Hot corners is a nice choice for lotsa things if you’re a track pad person.

    Ed Adams
    10 months ago

    I’ve used Alfred for years and it easily the best way to do all of spotlight and a lot more.

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