Can’t Find My Applications Folder on Mac? How to Fix?

You are currently viewing Can’t Find My Applications Folder on Mac? How to Fix?

If you’re a Mac user, you may have encountered the frustrating situation where you can’t find your Applications folder. This folder is essential for managing and accessing all the apps on your computer, so it’s crucial to know how to locate it and restore it if necessary. In this blog, we’ll explore some solutions to help you find your missing Applications folder and get back to using your Mac smoothly.

Why can’t I find my Applications folder on my Mac?

If you can’t find your Applications folder on your Mac, it could be due to several reasons:
  1. Accidental removal from the Dock: The Applications folder icon might have been accidentally removed from the Dock, making it less visible and easily accessible.
  2. Sidebar preferences: The Applications folder may be hidden from the Finder sidebar due to changes in the Finder preferences.
  3. User error: It is possible that you might be looking in the wrong place or using an incorrect method to access the Applications folder.
  4. System glitch or corruption: In rare cases, a system glitch or corruption could cause the Applications folder to disappear or become hidden.

6 Ways to Fix Can’t Find My Applications Folder on Mac?

Fix 1. Check the Dock:

First and foremost, check the Dock at the bottom of your screen. The Applications folder might still be there, just not immediately visible. Look for an icon that resembles a grid of blue squares with the letter "A" in the center. If you find it, you can click on it to access your Applications folder.

Fix 2. Use Finder:

If the Applications folder isn’t in the Dock, open Finder and check the sidebar. The Applications folder should appear under the "Favorites" section. If it’s not there, follow these steps:

a. Click on "Finder" in the menu bar.

b. Select "Preferences."

c. In the "Sidebar" tab, check the box next to "Applications" to make it visible in the sidebar.

Fix 3. Access the Applications Folder Directly:

You can access the Applications folder directly by using the "Go" menu in Finder. Follow these steps:

a. Click on "Go" in the menu bar.

b. Select "Applications" from the Dropdown menu.

Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut "Shift + Command + A" to open the Applications folder.

Fix 4. Use Spotlight Search:

Spotlight search is a quick way to locate files, folders, and apps on your Mac. Press "Command + Space" to open Spotlight, then type "Applications" and hit "Enter." The Applications folder should appear in the search results.

Fix 5. Create an Alias:

If you’ve managed to locate the Applications folder but want it to be more accessible, you can create an alias to place on your desktop or in another convenient location. To do this:

  • a. Locate the Applications folder using one of the methods mentioned above.
  • b. Right-click (or Control + click) on the folder.
  • c. Select "Make Alias."
  • d. Drag the newly created alias to your desired location.

Fix 6. Reset the Home Folder:

If none of the above methods work, you may need to reset your home folder to restore the Applications folder. This process requires some technical knowledge, so proceed with caution and make sure to backup your data first.

Follow these steps:

  1. Restart your Mac and hold "Command + R" during startup to enter Recovery Mode.
  2.  From the "Utilities" menu, select "Terminal."
  3. Type "resetpassword" (without quotes) and press "Enter."
  4. Select your user account and click "Next."
  5.  In the "Reset Home Folder Permissions and ACLs" section, click "Reset."
  6.  Restart your Mac and log in. The Applications folder should now be visible.

Troubleshooting a Missing Applications Folder on Mac

The Applications folder is a critical component of any Mac, as it houses all the installed apps on your computer. If you ever find yourself unable to locate your Applications folder, it can be both confusing and frustrating. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the possible reasons behind a missing Applications folder and offer expert tips and tricks to help you troubleshoot and resolve this issue on your Mac.

  • Verify System Integrity:

Sometimes, a missing Applications folder can indicate an issue with your macOS installation. To check and repair your system files, you can run First Aid in Disk Utility:

  1. a. Open "Spotlight" by pressing "Command + Space" and search for "Disk Utility."
  2. b. Select your main system drive (usually named "Macintosh HD").
  3. c. Click on "First Aid" and then "Run" to begin the verification and repair process.
  4. Check for Hidden Items:

It’s possible that your Applications folder is hidden. To show hidden items in Finder:

  1. a. Open "Finder."
  2. b. Press "Command + Shift + Period (.)" to toggle hidden items.
  3. c. Check if the Applications folder is now visible.
  • Search for Orphaned Applications:

If you still can’t find the Applications folder, try searching for individual applications using Spotlight or Finder. This may help you locate any orphaned apps that have been misplaced.

  • Rebuild the LaunchServices Database:

The LaunchServices database manages the associations between apps and file types on your Mac. Rebuilding it might help restore the Applications folder:

  • a. Open "Terminal" (you can use Spotlight to find it).
  • b. Paste the following command and press "Enter":

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

  • c. Wait for the process to complete, then restart your Mac and check for the Applications folder.

How do I add an application folder to favorites on Mac?

To add the Applications folder to the Favorites section in the Finder sidebar on your Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Open Finder by clicking on the Finder icon in the Dock.
  2. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click "Finder" to open the Finder menu.
  3. Select "Preferences" from the dropdown menu to open the Finder Preferences window.
  4. Click on the "Sidebar" tab in the Finder Preferences window.
  5. Look for the "Applications" option in the list under the "Favorites" section.
  6. Check the box next to "Applications" to add it to the Favorites section in the Finder sidebar.

Now, when you open a new Finder window, the Applications folder should be visible in the Favorites section of the sidebar. You can click on it to quickly access all your installed applications.


Losing your Applications folder on a Mac can be frustrating, but there are several methods to locate and restore it. By following the steps outlined in this blog, you should be able to find your missing folder and get back to using your Mac as usual. If you continue to experience issues, consider contacting Apple Support for further assistance.