Steps To Permanently Uninstalling Apps On Your Mac

uninstall mac apps

Steps To Permanently Uninstalling Apps On Your Mac

Key Points:

  • Removing apps can be useful for many reasons, including freeing up some space on your device.
  • Don’t forget to remove your trash after you have moved an app there.
  • A special program called an Uninstaller is actually need to help fully remove the support files of the app.

Trying to remove Mac apps is often a challenging and confusing process. There are several approaches you can take when you are trying to permanently uninstall Mac apps. If you are new to using Mac OS and you’re wondering how to get rid of an app forever, then follow the steps below.

Removing app from the Launchpad is a good place to start.


Remove Apps Using Launchpad

Mac OS has a built-in tool for uninstalling apps. To access it, open Launchpad and find the app you want to delete. Hold down on the icon until all of the icons begin to jiggle. Then, click on the “X” in the corner of the icon.

Once complete, this will delete the app from your system and unload it from Launchpad. As with uninstalling apps using the Finder, you’ll need to empty the trash in order to permanently remove the files associated with the app. There are a few options for removing apps, and the version of Mac OS you’re using may alter the steps required.

Uninstalling apps on your Mac is a simple process that only takes a few seconds. However, it’s important to make sure that you empty the trash afterward in order to permanently delete all of the files associated with the app. With these steps, you can easily uninstall any app on your Mac without any worries about leftover files taking up space on your system.

The App Store Uninstalls Basic Mac Apps

uninstall mac apps
The App store can be used to effectively uninstall apps from your mac.


Mac OS comes with several handy tools for managing files and apps on your system. In some cases, you will need to use more complex applications to make sure your system is clean of old files and folders. However, the App Store is handy for removing a large number of applications.

When trying to remove an app from the App Store, simply open the App Store and locate your desired application. If you are having trouble finding the app you want to uninstall, you can search for it in the App Store using the search bar at the top of your screen. Once you’ve located the app, you will see a button to uninstall or remove the app from your device.

As with any other uninstall process, you’ll want to be certain that you empty the trash after removing your chosen app from your Mac device. Forgetting to empty the Trash is a common source of headaches for those trying to permanently remove apps.

Use Trash to Remove Certain Apps

Uninstalling apps on your Mac is simple and straightforward. However, there are a few things you need to do to make sure that the process is permanent. First, open the Finder and go to the Applications folder. Locate the app you want to uninstall and drag it to the trash. This will unload the app from your system, but it won’t delete it permanently.

To do that, you need to empty the trash. Right-click on the trash can icon in your dock and select “Empty Trash.” This will remove all of the files associated with the app from your Mac. If you ever want to reinstall the app, you’ll need to download it again from the internet.

In some cases, simply uninstalling an app this way may not be enough. For example, if you installed an app from the App Store, its associated files may still be taking up space on your hard drive. To remove these files, you can use a special uninstaller tool like AppCleaner. This tool will scan your system for all traces of an app and delete them for you.

By following these steps, you can make sure that any app you uninstall is completely removed from your Mac. This will free up valuable space on your hard drive and help keep your system running smoothly.

Use an Uninstaller

When trying to delete apps from your Mac, you may discover you need special tools. From the first Mac device to the latest Macbook, removing apps presents some unique challenges. While Mac OS native tools are sufficient for many cases, certain apps leave trails that require more involved removal tools. You can either delete the app from your Applications folder or use a dedicated Uninstaller.

If you delete the app, it will leave behind any preferences or support files it created. These files aren’t harmful, but they can take up space on your hard drive and slow your system. An Uninstaller will remove all traces of the app, including these support files.

Choosing The Right Uninstaller App

There are many different uninstallers available, but we recommend AppZapper or AppCleaner. Both are easy to use and will do a thorough job of uninstalling your apps.

There are a number of different uninstaller tools available for Mac OS, so find the one that works for you. AppCleaner helps you completely remove an app from your system, including all of its associated files. Simply drag and drop the app into AppCleaner and it will start scanning for all of the associated files. Once it’s done scanning, simply click “Delete” to remove all of the files from your system. AppCleaner is a free download from the Mac App Store, so there are no costs associated with it.

Once you have chosen your favorite uninstaller app, you can follow its documentation to locate and remove your chosen program. Be sure you stick to the program’s necessary steps and you will mitigate errors along the way.

Finder Is Your Friend

uninstall mac apps
The Finder application can help you locate all the hidden files of apps.


Sometimes removing apps from your Mac machine is a matter of locating the relevant files. As with most operating systems, Mac OS uses hidden or “behind the scenes” files to install and uninstall several popular Mac apps. In some cases, locating these files is the key to making sure that any program they are associated with is permanently removed from your machine.

At this point, you are probably wondering how you are supposed to locate these files, especially if you are not a Mac expert. This is where a very simple but very powerful tool comes into play.

The Finder tool is your best friend when you are navigating around your Mac OS. Finder can not only be used to locate personal files such as photos and notes, but it is also handy for locating hidden files.

Identify and Remove Hidden Files

On a Mac, hidden files are typically stored in two places: the Library folder and the /Users/<(your username)> folder. To access hidden files in the Library folder, open Finder and press Command + Shift + G. This will open a “Go to the folder” window.

Type in ~/Library and press Enter. This will take you to the root Library folder. To access hidden files in your username folder, open Finder and press Command + Shift + H. This will take you to the /Users/<(your username)> folder. From here, you can access all of the hidden files associated with your account.

Once you have located the hidden files you want to remove, simply select them and move them to the trash. Be sure to empty the trash when you’re done to permanently delete the files from your computer.

Remove Leftovers in Terminal

While it’s true that there are a number of ways to hide files on a Mac, there are also a number of ways to remove them. Removing scraps and leftover files is usually best achieved in the Terminal. While this approach is a bit more technical, it certainly removes any possibility of lingering programs and files.

Before proceeding with actions in the Terminal you need to be aware of the fact that accessing this part of your system requires caution. Without the proper approach, you can end up deleting necessary files and producing issues with your operating system. When working in the Terminal, be prudent about your actions and don’t make any changes if you are not supremely confident in them.

To remove leftover files and uninstall Mac apps using this method, the first thing you’ll need to do is open the Terminal application. You can find this in the Utilities folder in your Applications folder. Once the Terminal is open, you’ll need to type in the following command:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool true

This command will tell the Finder to show all files, including hidden ones. Once you’ve done this, you can simply use the Finder to locate and delete any hidden files on your Mac. Keep in mind that some of these files may be important system files, so be sure you know what you’re doing before deleting anything. When you’re finished, you can return to the Terminal and enter the following command to hide hidden files again:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool false

Be sure to restore any other settings you changed if you made alterations to your system in Terminal. If you do too many alterations in the Terminal, you can cause more damage to your machine, leading to system-wide failures.

As you can see, there are several ways to uninstall Mac apps. Remember these tips the next time you need to be sure your Mac apps stay uninstalled.

Check out the video below to learn more about permanently deleting apps on your Mac.

Up Next…

We’ve got plenty more articles with plenty more details on how to clean up your Mac!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an additional program to remove Mac apps?

You can install most apps without using an external program. However, some uninstaller apps may be helpful when removing certain apps.

Can I drag apps to the trash to delete them on Mac OS?

No. Dragging apps to Trash will delete them, but not permanently and completely. For a complete uninstall, be sure to utilize Launchpad or the App Store.

How do I find extra files associated with my apps?

Use the Finder tool to locate any additional apps associated with your Mac OS apps.

Do different Mac OS versions require different processes for deleting files?

Besides versions of Mac OS that are more than seven years old, all versions use the same approach for deleting files.

Can I uninstall apps using the App Store?

Yes. You can uninstall most apps that you download through the App Store.

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