How to Completely Uninstall or Delete Apps on Mac [5 Ways]

A simple stepwise guide to Completely Uninstall or Delete Apps on Mac explaining multiple methods. Read through to understand how to uninstall apps on Mac completely:

How do I uninstall apps on Mac? This is a common question among macOS users. Understanding how to delete apps on Mac is crucial for everyone using macOS.

Maybe the apps you installed way back are now taking up vital space on your hard drive. Or perhaps you no longer want to play a game that you installed a while ago. Regardless of the reason, there will likely come a time when learning how to uninstall programs on Mac will come in handy.

However, Mac app removal is not as straightforward as you may believe. You must uninstall the application itself, as well as all program components, including linked and hidden files. So, how to completely uninstall apps on Mac?

Keep reading to find out.

How to Uninstall Apps on Mac – A Complete Guide

How To Completely Uninstall Or Delete Apps On Mac

Uninstall or Delete Apps on Mac: 5 Methods

Method #1: Deleting Apps Through Finder

The easiest approach to uninstall an application on a Mac is to move it to the Trash. To perform this action, you need to enter Finder and look for the Applications folder. The program cannot be uninstalled by dragging its Dock icon to the Trash bin alone.

Follow the steps below to execute this method:

Step #1: Launch Finder and navigate to Applications in the left pane.

Step #2: Find the application you wish to uninstall, perform a right-click, and select ‘Move to Trash’. Or drag the program directly to Trash. A third option is to select the application and execute Command-Delete on the keyboard.

Step #3: Clean up the Trash folder.

If you are using macOS Ventura, you must first clear leftovers to delete applications fully.

Here’s how to do that:

Step #1: Go to the Finder’s Go menu and select Go to Folder.

Step #2: Go through the below folders and make sure to delete any files related to the uninstalled programs:

  • /Applications/
  • ~/Library/Application Support
  • ~/Library/Caches
  • /Library/Caches
  • ~Library/Internet Plug-Ins
  • ~/Library/Preferences
  • ~/Library/Preferences
  • ~/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter
  • ~/Library/Saved Application State

Method #2: Deleting Apps Through Launchpad

If you want to get rid of apps you’ve downloaded from the AppStore, this can be done through Launchpad.

Here is how:

Step #1: Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock. Alternatively, you can select the Applications folder from Finder to locate it.

Step #2: Locate the app you want to uninstall. Click on it and hold until the app icon starts jiggling.

Step #3: Click the X at the top right of the application icon.

Step #4: To confirm the deletion, click the Delete button.

Method #3: Deleting Apps Through the Native Uninstaller

Some programs have dedicated uninstallers that you can use to uninstall those applications. This is the correct method for removing Internet-downloaded third-party applications.

Here is how to go about it:

Step #1: Head to Finder, and select “Applications”.

Step #2: Open the app that has a folder named ‘(the app name) Uninstaller’ or ‘Uninstall (the app name)’.

Step #3: You can locate the uninstaller, launch it, and begin the uninstallation process.

Method #4: Deleting Apps Through MacBook App Uninstaller

When removing software from your Mac, you have the option of using a system-provided uninstaller or looking for a third-party uninstaller for that purpose.

Numerous uninstallers, such as AppDelete, BuhoCleaner, CleanMyMac X, and AppCleaner, are available for purchase. You can use one of these apps to delete apps or programs from your Mac without much hassle.

Method #5: Deleting Apps Through the Mac Terminal

Terminal is a robust macOS tool that lets you type commands to perform a number of functions. You can also use this tool to get rid of apps. So, how do you use Terminal to get rid of apps on a Mac?

Here are the directions:

Step #1: Enter ‘Applications’. Choose ‘Utilities’. And select ‘Terminal’.

Step #2: Enter the following command: ‘sudo uninstall file://’.

Step #3: You may show the program path in the Terminal window by dragging the app you wish to delete there.

Step #4: Once you press Enter and type in your password, Terminal will get rid of this app.

Uninstall Mac Apps Using the App Cleaner and Installer

App Cleaner & Uninstaller is a Mac application that assists users in uninstalling applications and removing residual data. It offers an easy-to-use interface that can locate and remove all linked files, including those that may be hidden deep within the system.

It can assist customers to eliminate unnecessary data from their Macs, such as system logs and caches, in addition to uninstalling apps. The free edition of App Cleaner & Uninstaller is already pretty effective, but there is a paid version that adds capabilities like deleting browser extensions, managing startup items, and forcing apps to leave.

Suggested Reading => Comparison of Top PC Cleaner Tools

Uninstall Mac Apps Using the Cleaner

CCleaner is a well-known program for cleaning and optimizing Mac computers. While it is not primarily intended for program removal, it does offer an Uninstall tool that can assist users in removing unwanted apps from their Macs.

Users can also manage startup items and delete superfluous files such as caches, logs, and temporary files. CCleaner includes a free version with restricted capabilities. The professional edition, which costs $29.95 a year, provides more advanced features including real-time monitoring and automatic updates.

Overall, while CCleaner isn’t as focused on app removal as App Cleaner & Uninstaller, it can still be a valuable tool for keeping a Mac clean and working efficiently. There is one more tool, Nektony. It is one of the best Mac Cleaning Software. It offers the functionalities of App Cleaner & Uninstaller, Duplicate file finder, memory cleaner, etc.

How to remove third-party application icons from the Mac menu bar?

Some applications may add menu bar icons. It may be useful if you frequently use the app, as it can be readily launched from there. But what if you wish to streamline your menu bar or have no need for third-party program icons?

The solution is simple – remove those icons.

The issue, however, is that you cannot simply drag these icons and drop them into the Trash. Therefore, you must navigate to the settings of each app and disable the Show in the menu bar option.

Simply right-click the application icon and select Settings from the menu bar’s right-hand side. If it doesn’t work, open the application and select Settings from the menu bar’s left side. Keep in mind that these steps will only get rid of the icon and not the application itself.

How to remove apps that you cannot delete?

Unfortunately, manual techniques will miss some things. Some applications will refuse to be deleted because they are currently open (even though this is frequently untrue), while others are preinstalled macOS components that are protected by the system.

So, how can you get rid of Mac programs that won’t go away? Try the manual removal after restarting your Mac or forcing the problematic software to quit (click Command-Option-Esc and shut down the app if it appears on the list). In the event that you are still unable to delete it, your Mac may already have it preinstalled.

Manually Uninstalling Apps on a Mac

Downloaded apps from the Mac App Store are sandboxed. These applications isolate their supporting files by storing them in a single Containers folder. Therefore, manually deleting such programs is preferable to those downloaded through other sources.

Most of the time, caches, logs, and other files that come with programs downloaded directly from developers’ sites are kept in different folders, some of which you can see and some of which you cannot. With files all over your hard drive, it is much harder to uninstall these programs completely.

Uninstall Programs Downloaded via the App Store

To manually get rid of apps you have downloaded through the App Store, follow the steps below:

Step #1: In Finder, open the folder called “Application”.

Step #2: Choose the program you don’t need; drag this program icon into the Bin.

Step #3: Choose “Go” from the menu bar.

Step #4: Keep the Option key pressed down and choose the /Library option.

Step #5: Open the folder called Containers in the Library folder.

Uninstall Mac - Step5

Step #6: Delete the surface folder for the application that you just deleted. You need to know the deleted program’s bundle ID in order to locate its surface folder.

Step #7: Empty the Trash Bin.

As you can see, it’s much easier to get rid of apps downloaded through the App Store than any other kind of app.

Also Read =>> Most downloaded apps of all time

Manually Uninstalling Non-Sandboxed Programs on Mac

When you install a program that you downloaded from the developer’s site, it puts a lot of files in different folders, some of which you can see and some of which you can’t.

If you want to remove the unwanted program manually, you should first go to the developer’s website and look for instructions on how to do so. Follow the instructions they give you.

However, if there are no instructions available or you cannot find them, you can manually uninstall any program using this method:

Step #1: Quit/stop the program.

Step #2: In Finder, navigate to the Applications folder.

Step #3: Select the program to be uninstalled and press the Command + Delete keyboard shortcut. With this, the unwanted app enters the Trash Bin, and you can now uninstall its leftover components.

Step #4: Use the Cmd+Shift+G shortcut while in Finder.

Step #5: Input the command ~/Library, and hit Return (Enter).

Uninstall Manually step5

Step #6: In order to uninstall an application, you must first locate all of its associated files and folders in the Library area and delete them. All files and folders with references to the removed program in their names must be removed.

You should know what files are in this folder before you delete them. These folders often contain hidden files, and you should be cautious about deleting them. If you accidentally delete hidden files, it could hurt your Mac.

Check out these Paths:

  • Library/Application Support/[program name=””][/program]
  • ~Library/Caches/com.[program name=””][/program]
  • ~Library/Containers/[program name=””][/program]
  • ~Library/Preferences/com.[program name=””][/program].plist
  • ~Library/Logs/[program name=””][/program]

Removing Mac Preference Panes

The Preferences dialogue box is used by several apps to store user preferences. ‘Preference panes’ is the technical term for these dialog options.

To get rid of them, launch System Preferences by clicking on the corresponding menu item, then right-clicking the icon and selecting “Remove Preference Pane” from the contextual menu that appears. Next, enter your administrative password to complete the removal.

Removing Mac preferances

After eliminating all unwanted folders and files, empty the Recycle Bin. Well done! The program is now entirely gone.

Top Tips and Hacks for Mac Users

#1) Screenshot a particular part of your screen

Screenshots are useful in many situations, but rarely do you need to screenshot the whole screen. Taking a screenshot of a specific region of the screen is a breeze on a Mac: type Shift>+>4 on your keyboard.

To take a screenshot, simply click and drag the box to include the area you want to grab. Once the tab is released, the picture will be downloaded to your computer’s desktop. If you wish to take the entire display, however, you need to use the shortcut Cmd + Shift + 3.

#2) Run Windows on the Apple Machine

In spite of what most people think, it is possible to run Microsoft Windows on Macs. Also, it is surprisingly easy to do.

Go to your Mac’s Applications folder and then its Utilities folder. Boot Camp is a program that will be a part of that folder. The program will “partition” your hard drive (divide the drive between Mac and Windows). You can decide how to split the ratio but keep in mind that storage given to one OS can’t be used by the other. To start the process, click Partition.

Your Mac will request a Windows installation CD upon restarting. If you do not have a Windows 10 PC, you will have to purchase one. When prompted where to install, choose the partitioned portion of the hard drive.

Once finished, your Mac will begin to boot into Windows. Going forward, you simply need to long-press the Options button anytime you turn on your computer, to switch between OS X and Windows. Remember that switching OS on the fly is not possible, so be sure you select the correct option to avoid having to restart.

#3) Rename large groups of files simultaneously

At best, renaming files is time-consuming. Renaming hundreds of holiday pictures in a single sitting can be the very definition of torture. Thankfully, you only need to take one easy step to accomplish this on a Mac running Yosemite or a later version of the operating system.

After you have ctrl-clicked (or right-clicked) on all of the files that you wish to rename, go ahead and click the Rename button. You now have three different renaming options available to you. Using Replace Text, you are able to modify a series of files such that, for example, the ‘IMG’ component is replaced with something that is more pertinent.

As a result, “IMG 01,” “IMG 02,” and so on are renamed as “Bro’s birthday 01” and “Bro’s birthday 02” or something like that.

#4) Sign Digital Documents

If you’ve ever been required to return a digitally-sent official document, you’ll know the challenge associated with having to sign it. With macOS, though, there is an easy way to do it.

Launch the Preview program and open the document to be signed. Click on the pen icon, followed by the signature icon in the submenu that opens.

Putting your signature on a laptop’s trackpad (which actually works) or snapping a picture of it with your camera are both viable options.

Put the sign on a blank sheet of paper before clicking Camera on your Mac. Then, hold the paper in front of the webcam. The signature will be recorded. If everything seems good, just click the ‘Done’ button, and your Mac will store the changes.

To insert the sign, click the signature button again, and select your signature in order to put it in the document.

#5) Switch Windows within a single application

Using Cmd + Tab, you may swiftly move between open applications. If, for example, you have four open Word documents and wish to switch between them, you will need a different keyboard shortcut.

Cmd + ~, will instantly toggle between several windows of a single program. This shortcut can be used for any app or program.

#6) Change volume without making noise

Apple keyboard volume keys are useful, but there is one significant drawback to using them: when you press them, they make a noise, which means that any attempt to covertly silence your Mac is immediately foiled.

However, not many people are aware that you can silence the sound by pressing those volume keys while holding down the Shift key at the same time.

#7) Find the lost password for a program or website

Your login name and password information will be safely tucked away, buried within the keychain of your Mac, for practically all of the applications that are installed on it. This is also true for most websites you access through a Mac. Don’t worry, they are encrypted and only the Mac user can see them.

If you forget any of these passwords but still know the one for your Mac user account, you can retrieve them.

Go to your Applications in a fresh Finder window after opening one. There should be a Utilities folder inside this one. Open the Keychain Access application there. Every login that has been saved on your computer are now visible. You can use the search bar in the top-right corner to find the one you’re looking for or sort them through type or name.

If you want to view any of these passwords, you will first have to enter your login and username – just like when you install a new program or change your Mac’s security settings.

#8) Annotate an Image or a PDF

PDFs are the most common type of file used for business communications, and it is frustrating to not be able to edit them easily—or, rather, it was, until now.

If you double-click your PDF file, it should open in Preview, which is your computer’s default PDF viewer (if it doesn’t, you can find it in the Applications folder). Once your document is open, select the ‘pen’ icon. This will bring up the menu bar to mark up the document.

Using the tools in that bar, you can make notes or highlight the text.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q#1) Is it possible to delete apps on Mac?

Answer: Yes, it is possible to remove Mac applications. There are various ways to do this, including using the Finder, Launchpad, and the app’s native uninstaller. (if it has one). Third-party programs, such as App Cleaner & Uninstaller and CCleaner, can also assist you in removing unwanted apps and associated files from your Mac.

Also Read => Best alternative to CCleaner

Q #2) How can we completely erase a program from Mac?

Answer: You can either do it automatically with specialized third-party programs like CleanMyMac X or manually move the app in question to the Trash and delete all remaining components.

Q #3) How do I uninstall IOS apps on Mac?

Answer: Because iOS apps are meant for usage on iOS devices, such as iPhones and iPads, and not macOS, they cannot be removed from a Mac. If you wish to delete an iOS application, you must do so from your iOS device.

Q #4) Why can’t I uninstall apps on Mac?

Answer: There are a number of reasons why you may be unable to uninstall programs on a Mac. The software may still be functioning in the background, blocking its deletion.

Another possibility is that the application is system-protected and removal requires administrator access. In some instances, the software may lack an uninstaller, making its removal difficult.

Q #5) Why are some apps not removable?

Answer: Some apps require administrator privileges to be deleted. If you possess this privilege and are still unable to uninstall the program from your Mac, it is likely that it was installed automatically and should remain there.

Q #6) Is uninstalling an app the same as deleting it?

Answer: Unless you use built-in or third-party uninstallers, the two terms are different. After deleting the app, you still need to get rid of the remaining components in order to fully uninstall it.

Q #7) Which apps should you delete?

Answer: This depends on the programs you have on your Mac and the functions you need to perform. We suggest uninstalling:

  • Apps downloaded from unreliable platforms
  • Apps that use too much memory (RAM)
  • Apps you don’t use or apps that perform the same functions as other apps you have installed

Q #8) How can we force-delete on Mac?

Answer: Terminal can be used to uninstall an app on a Mac or erase files entirely, including app remnants. To do so, launch Terminal from Applications and enter the command ‘sudo uninstall file://’.

Q #9) What if we accidentally uninstall an app on Mac?

Answer: In this situation, the deleted program can be restored using a Time Machine backup.

Apps and files downloaded through Apple Books, iTunes Store, or the App Store are typically accessible for re-downloading. If the app is part of macOS, then reinstalling the OS will resolve the issue.

Q #10) Do I require app-specific uninstallers if I have a cleaning program installed?

Answer: Some applications have specialized uninstallation software that removes all system files concurrently while conducting system storage cleanup and uninstalling the application entirely. You shouldn’t need to utilize these unless the aforementioned techniques are unable to install the apps.

But if that happens, the tool must be downloaded from the developers’ website.

Even if the “undeletable” application appears to have no effect on the operation of your Mac at the moment, it is usually preferable to remove it immediately. Otherwise, you may encounter a sudden storage scarcity in the future, and it will be more difficult to determine the cause.

How to Completely Uninstall or Delete Apps on Mac – Comparison Table

1. Deleting Apps through Finder#1) Launch Finder and navigate to Applications in the left pane.
#2) Find the application you wish to uninstall, perform a right-click, and select ‘Move to Trash’.
Or drag the program directly to Trash.
#3) Clean up the Trash folder.
Easy and straightforward method.Doesn't always remove all associated files.
2. Deleting Apps through Launchpad#1) Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock or select the Applications folder from Finder.
#2) Locate the app you want to uninstall and click and hold until the app icon starts jiggling.
#3) Click the X at the top right of the application icon.
#4) Confirm deletion by clicking the Delete button.
Quick and easy method for AppStore apps.Can't remove non-AppStore apps.
3. Deleting Apps through the Native Uninstaller#1) Head to Finder and select ‘Applications’.
#2) Open the app that has a folder named ‘(the app name) Uninstaller’ or ‘Uninstall (the app name)’.
#3) Locate the uninstaller, launch it, and begin the uninstallation process.
Removes all associated files.Not all apps have dedicated uninstallers.
4. Deleting Apps through MacBook App UninstallerUse a third-party uninstaller such as AppDelete, BuhoCleaner, CleanMyMac X, or AppCleaner to delete apps or programs from your Mac without much hassle.Can remove all associated files.Requires downloading and installing additional software.
5. Deleting Apps through the Mac Terminal#1) Enter ‘Applications’, choose ‘Utilities’, and select ‘Terminal’.
#2) Enter the command 'sudo uninstall file://' in the Terminal window.
#3) Drag the app you wish to delete to the Terminal window.
#4) Press Enter and type in your password to confirm deletion.
Can remove all associated files.Requires familiarity with Terminal and use of commands.


Deleting applications on a Mac can be a laborious process. Hopefully, the ways and steps discussed in this guide will make the app-deletion process significantly easier and simpler for you.

While deleting, make sure to only get rid of the apps that you do not need anymore, and that you do not accidentally get rid of any important apps or those that are integral to your Mac’s functioning.

Research Process:

  • Time Taken to Research this article on How to Uninstall Apps on Mac: 4-6 hours
  • Un-installation Methods Researched: 10-15
  • Un-installation Methods Covered: 5