Uninstalling For Mac

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Apple unveils a new MacBook Air during an Apple launch event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Oct. 30, 2018 in New York City. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Removing programs from a Macintosh can be very easy. In many cases, all you have to do is drag the application's icon to the Trash. Sometimes, though, applications store the files they need to run in other locations on your computer's hard drive, and finding them can take some detective work. If you are used to the uninstall option in Windows, you have a little culture shock — macOS does not have this feature built in.

Why would you want to uninstall a program? For the same reason you occasionally tidy your office or clean your garage. Clutter breeds inefficiency. Applications take up space on your hard disk and can slow your computer. Also, a new version of a program may not work correctly unless you get rid of the old one [source: Ritchie].

Mac OS X, version 10.3 and earlier: uninstallflashplayerosx10.2.dmg (1.3 MB) (updated 05/27/08) Choose Window Downloads to view the downloaded uninstaller. Save the uninstaller file in a. To uninstall Office for Mac 2011 move the applications to the Trash.Once you've removed everything, empty the Trash and restart your Mac to complete the process. Before you remove Office for Mac 2011, quit all Office applications and make sure there's nothing in Trash that you want to keep. Leave Office applications closed while you go through this process. Open the Avast Security user interface using one of the following methods: Click the Avast Security.



Most of the time, uninstalling is this simple:

  1. Exit the program you want to delete.
  2. Open the Applications folder, which you'll find by opening a new window in the Finder, or clicking on the hard disk icon.
  3. Drag the icon of the program you want to uninstall to the Trash.
  4. Empty the Trash.

When files for the application you want to delete are all stored in one location, dragging the icon to the Trash will take care of most of the work. In Mac talk, apps like this are 'bundled.' To see the files in an application's bundle, click on its icon while holding down the Control key. You should see an option that says, 'show package contents.' Uninstalling applications downloaded from the Mac App Store is even easier — just delete the application from the Applications Folder and its accompanying folder in UserLibraryContainers [source: Tanous].

For some other programs, removal is more complicated. When installed, these programs create files in several locations, often in the System Folder. The first step in removing them is to check the program's documentation to see if there is an uninstall utility. If your program has an uninstall utility associated with it, it may have been installed with the program or included on the disk that came with it. If you downloaded a disk image to install the software, sometimes you'll find an uninstaller there. Running an uninstall utility can make removing a program much easier.

You should be aware that removing an unbundled program by moving it into the Trash can leave behind orphan files on your computer. Preferencefiles are usually small and you might want to ignore them if you're just trying to free up disk space. Background files or support files can be larger, especially for multimedia programs like GarageBand [source: MacRumors]. These files are likely to reside in Library folders in your hard drive or Home folder. They will usually be labeled with the name of the program, like Office or Acrobat, or the developer, such as Microsoft or Adobe. You can search for the relevant names using Spotlight, which is included with the Mac OS. Drag the files you find to the trash to get rid of them [source: Tanous]. .

Check out the next page for tips to make your uninstallation go even more smoothly.


If searching through obscure corners of your computer for what could be hundreds of files sounds like something a machine could do better than you, you're right. There are plenty of software programs that do just that. They're usually your best bet for really cleaning an app off your Mac, and some of them are free. Popular examples include AppTrap, Appcleaner, and AppZapper.

Some of the files that a program might create on your hard disk are invisible. It may be tempting, especially for neat freaks, to find and delete these files. But some files are deliberately hidden because they are essential to the computer's operating system. Deleting the wrong file could land you in deep trouble [source: Landau]. The best advice is not to go where even experienced techies fear to tread. Uninstall utilities can search out and destroy these files, but doing so on your own invites trouble.



Another important thing to do is empty your Trash when you're finished uninstalling. Moving a program's icon to the Trash doesn't actually remove the files from your hard disk or clear up any space. Only when you empty the Trash is the application really gone.

Here are some other important tips:

  • When you install a program, check to see how to uninstall it. Make a note if it has its own uninstall utility or instructions.
  • Before you begin any uninstalling process, check to make sure your Trash is empty or contains nothing you might want to save.
  • Log on as your computer's administrator whenever you uninstall. If you're uninstalling at work and don't have administrator privileges, you'll have to consult with your tech people [source: Ritchie].
  • If you opt for a third-party uninstall utility, look at the features. Some developers charge for their software, but you may not need the bells and whistles. Free utilities may work fine.
  • It often makes sense to leave preference files alone. If you ever reinstall the same software, you won't have to set the preferences.
  • Suites of software from a developer, such as the Office suite from Microsoft, often share files. Removing the files of one component may affect the others, so it's good to be cautious with these [source: The X Lab].
  • If, after you remove a program, the icon is still in your dock, you can get rid of it by simply dragging it off the dock and letting it go [source: Tech-FAQ].

Removing software from your Mac is a lot less of a hassle than cleaning your office or garage. But clearing away computer clutter and making space on your hard disk can be just as satisfying.

Originally Published: Aug 8, 2011



Related Articles


  • Landau, Ted. 'Tutorial: Now you see 'em, now you don't: Invisible files in Mac OS X,' cnet.com, May 19, 2004. (Feb. 14, 2019) https://www.cnet.com/news/tutorial-now-you-see-em-now-you-dont-invisible-files-in-mac-os-x/
  • FacRumors. 'Uninstalling Applications in Mac OS X,' MacRumors.com. (Feb. 16, 2019) https://web.archive.org/web/20170715163609/http://guides.macrumors.com/Uninstalling_Applications_in_Mac_OS_Xp
  • Ritchie, David. 'How to Uninstall Mac Programs,' TheMacLawyer.com. October 13, 2010. (Feb. 16, 2019) http://www.themaclawyer.com/2010/10/articles/guest-posts/guest-post-how-to-uninstall-mac-programs/
  • Tanous, Jim. 'How to Uninstall & Remove Mac OS X Programs and Applications,' The Mac Observer. Feb. 1, 2013. (Feb. 16, 2019) https://www.macobserver.com/tmo/answers/how-to-uninstall-remove-mac-os-x-programs-and-applications
  • Tech-FAQ. 'How to Uninstall Programs on a Mac,' Tech-FAQ.com. (Feb. 16, 2019) http://www.tech-faq.com/how-to-uninstall-programs-on-a-mac.html
  • The X Lab. 'Uninstalling applications,' TheXLab.com. (Feb. 16, 2019) http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/uninstallingapps.html

Most people have this wrong conception that uninstalling apps from Mac is not an easy task. However, this is not true. If you know the right way to do so then you can get rid of any app that you want from your Mac laptop without any problem. Apps that have short-cuts can be easily uninstalled from your Mac. All you need to do is drag the app icon to the trash and it will be uninstalled.

What about the applications that doesn’t have any short-cut? How do you uninstall such apps from your Mac laptop? Well, to answer your question we have listed the steps below in this article.

Steps to Uninstall Apps from Mac PC:

If you are willing to know the right way of uninstalling applications from your Mac then you have come to the right place. Go through the steps below and you will be well aware of the procedure.

  1. The first thing that you need to do is open the Launchpad on your Mac device. It is a small rocket icon available in your Macos Dock. Click this launchpad icon and it will open all the software/apps installed in your Mac OS.
  1. Now go to the app that you want to uninstall or remove from your device.
  2. Press and hold the icon of the app until it enters the jiggly mode.
  3. Now click on the X that is displayed on the top left corner of the app icon.
  4. Hit on the delete button when as soon it is prompted on the screen. Now, the app will be removed from your Macos and it will be sen to Trash (Recycle Bin). So, to go to Trash and remove its application from there too. It will be permanently removed from your MAC OS.

Well, that’s all you have to do or you can also choose to opt for the alternative ways I have listed below.

Alternative Ways to Uninstall Mac Apps

  • You can uninstall an app from your Mac by opening the Finder Window and then clicking on the Applications option that is shown on the sidebar. Then you need to right click or control click the app icon and then move it to the trash bin by selecting the move to trash option. Well, it’s that simple.
  • You can also go for the alternative way which is considered to be the easiest way of uninstalling apps from your Mac device. All you need to do is drag and drop the app that you wish to uninstall to the trash bin.

With the help of these two steps, you can uninstall most of the applications on your Mac device. Once the app is moved to the trash bin you can empty the trash bin by selecting the empty trash option. Once you do that you can get rid of the app and it’s files completely. One needs to know that you cannot remove built-in apps from your device. Also, there are applications that may ask you for your password. Well, this happens because these applications were installed using Mac package installer.

If you try to remove any such app then the changes made by the app in your device will also get removed. You need to keep these things in mind before you head forward to uninstall any app from your device.

Thus, you can see that uninstalling an app from your Mac device is not a hectic task if you know the right way to do so.

Uninstaller For Mac Free

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