A Beginner’s Guide to Uninstalling Apps On Your Mac

New Mac users may have trouble figuring out how to uninstall apps. For most apps, it is just a matter of using LaunchPad. This will allow you to easily and cleanly uninstall apps that you obtained from the Mac App Store. You can also usually just put applications in the trash and delete them like normal files. In some situations you may need to run an uninstaller that came with the original app, or follow some instructions at the official app website. But you should not use any third-party special uninstaller or cleaner apps.


Comments: 10 Responses to “A Beginner’s Guide to Uninstalling Apps On Your Mac”

    Darrell
    1 year ago

    Thanks for this Gary; very useful info even for someone who isn’t a beginner.

    Simon D Young
    1 year ago

    Thank you for this! I’ve used Macs for years, and never knew how simple is to get rid of unwanted apps. Much appreciated!

    Harold Appel
    1 year ago

    I use the free AppCleaner which removes all that “dust” safely as far as I can tell. Am I dumb?

    1 year ago

    Harold: Unnecessary, You don’t need to use any “app cleaners.”

    Shirley
    1 year ago

    I too use a free AppCleaner from freemacsoft.net and have been happy with it for years as it shows the cruft that it deletes as well as the app.

    Ken Hoyle
    1 year ago

    Hi Gary,
    I Have to disagree. I have often done what you say only to find Folders in Application Support, Launch Agents/ Daemons, caches/ logs as as well as prefs. I have used AppCleaner for years and find it removes 90% of the stuff left behind by your simple method. I have also found that even ‘Uninstallers’ can leave behind Folders and files which are difficult to find by “Newbies” Agree to avoid MacKeeper. Very few Apps come with an Uninstaller and it can be hard to locate!

    Randy Miller
    1 year ago

    I use clean my MAC 3 – Is this an unnecessary piece of software?

    1 year ago

    Randy: In my opinion, yes. I don’t use any “cleaners” at all.

    Mac Carter
    1 year ago

    I also disagree regarding not using certain TRUSTED 3rd party apps to remove the support files stored in various library folders. I too have often done what you say only to find app related folders in Application Support, Launch Agents/ Daemons, caches/ logs, preferences, etc. I have used AppDelete for many years and find it removes 95% of the stuff left behind by your method. I also find that ‘Uninstallers’ leave behind folders full of support files and sometimes do not delete the app itself.

    Nate
    1 year ago

    I agree with Gary. The so-called “cruft” that these apps remove represents merely an infinitesimal reduction in the content of a Mac’s hard disk, at the risk of removing functions shared with remaining applications. If you read carefully the claims of users boasting reductions of many GBs, it is usually because they have chosen to also remove content which they may later regret having removed. When I do a spotlight search, it quickly turns up valuable relevant data from 10-20 years ago.

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