How to Uninstall Apps on Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

When using our Mac, there may come a time where we need to uninstall an application for various reasons. But how do we do it without causing any harm to our system? In this article, we will guide you on how to uninstall apps on Mac and give you some tips and tricks to ensure a smooth process.

Steps to Uninstall App in Mac

Step 1: Close the Application

Before uninstalling an app, make sure to close it first. Click the app and then click on “Quit” from the dropdown menu. If the app is not responding, you can force quit it by pressing “Command + Option + Escape”.

Other apps running in the background can also affect the uninstallation process, so make sure to close any other open applications before proceeding.

Step 2: Locate the App in Finder

Open Finder and go to the “Applications” folder. You can also access it by clicking on the Finder icon on your Dock and selecting “Applications” from the left sidebar.

Once you have located the app you want to uninstall, click and drag it to the Trash icon on your Dock.

Step 3: Authenticate the Process

If the app is locked or if you receive a message stating that the app is “in use”, you will need to authenticate the process. Click on the app and then press “Command + I”. Under the “Sharing and Permissions” tab, make sure your user account has “Read & Write” privileges.

If you need to make changes, click on the lock icon, enter your password, and then select the appropriate permissions.

Step 4: Empty Trash

Once the app is in the Trash, right-click on the Trash icon and select “Empty Trash”. This will permanently remove the app from your system.

Note: Make sure that you have selected the correct application to avoid accidentally deleting important files.

Step 5: Uninstall Apps with Built-in Uninstallers

Some applications come with their own uninstaller. To use it, go to the application’s folder, look for an uninstaller file, and double-click it to initiate the process.

If you can’t find an uninstaller file, check the app’s website or user manual for instructions.

Step 6: Use Third-Party Uninstaller Apps

Third-party uninstaller apps such as AppCleaner, CleanMyMac X, and AppDelete offer a more comprehensive uninstallation process.

Simply download and install the app, select the app you want to uninstall, and let the program do the work for you.

Step 7: Uninstall Apps from Launchpad

Launchpad allows you to uninstall certain apps by holding down on the app until it starts shaking and then clicking the “X” icon in the corner.

Note: This method only works for apps that have been downloaded from the Mac App Store.

Step 8: Remove Widgets from Dashboard

While not technically an app, widgets can also take up space on your system. To remove them, simply click and hold on the widget until it starts shaking and then click the “X” icon in the corner.

Step 9: Check for Leftover Files

Sometimes, when you delete an app, there may be leftover files that take up valuable space on your system. Use Spotlight to search for any files related to the app and manually delete them.

You can also use a third-party app like CleanMyMac X to clean up any leftover files.

Step 10: Disable Login Items

Some apps may have a login item that starts up every time you log in to your Mac. To disable it, go to “System Preferences” and then click on “Users & Groups”.

Select your user account and then click on the “Login Items” tab. Select the app and then click on the “-” button to remove it from the list.

Step 11: Use Terminal

If you are comfortable using the Terminal app, you can uninstall apps using command lines.

Type in “sudo rm -rf” followed by the application’s name and then press enter. You will need to enter your administrator password to authenticate the process.

Step 12: Reinstall macOS

If you are still having issues with uninstalling an app, you may need to reinstall macOS. To do this, choose “Reinstall macOS” from the “Utilities” menu in the recovery mode.


Now that we have gone through the steps to uninstall apps on Mac, let’s explain some of the terms used above.

The term “Authenticate” refers to the process of verifying the identity of a user before allowing access to a resource or action. This is done to prevent unauthorized access or changes to the system.

“Login Items” are apps that automatically start up when you log in to your Mac. Disabling unnecessary login items can help improve the startup time of your system and free up resources.

“Terminal” is a command-line interface that allows you to interact with your computer using text commands. It can be used to perform various tasks, including uninstalling apps.

Tips and Tricks

1. Use CleanMyMac X to easily uninstall apps and delete leftover files.

2. Always double-check before deleting an app to avoid accidentally deleting important files.

3. Use a password manager to keep track of your passwords and make authentication processes easier.

4. Always close any running applications before uninstalling an app.

5. Use a third-party app like Hazel to automatically clean up leftover files after uninstalling applications.

6. Create a backup of your system before uninstalling any apps.

7. Read user manuals or check the app’s website for instructions on how to properly uninstall the app.

8. Use Spotlight to search for any leftover files after uninstalling an app.

9. Be cautious when using Terminal, as entering commands incorrectly can cause damage to your system.

10. Reinstall macOS only as a last resort, as it can be time-consuming and may result in data loss.

We hope this guide has been helpful in teaching you how to uninstall apps on your Mac. By following these steps and tips, you can ensure a smooth and safe uninstallation process.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Uninstalling Apps on Mac


1. Clears up space: One of the biggest advantages of uninstalling apps from your Mac is that it clears up valuable space on your hard drive. This can improve overall system performance and help your computer run more efficiently.

2. Easy to do: Uninstalling apps on Mac is a relatively simple process that can be achieved in a few clicks*. This makes it easy for even beginners to manage their computer’s storage space.

3. Reduces clutter: Uninstalling apps that you no longer use helps to reduce clutter on your computer and makes it easier to find the apps and files that you do use.

4. Improves security: Some apps can put your computer at risk of malware or hacking. Uninstalling them can improve your computer’s security and reduce the risk of data breaches.

5. Saves money – Some apps can use up system resources and slow down other tasks that are more important.


1. Loss of functionality: Uninstalling some apps can mean losing access to certain functionality or features that you may need. This can be especially important if you rely on certain apps for your work or productivity.

2. Time-consuming: Uninstalling multiple apps can take a long time. Additionally, if you are unsure of what to uninstall, it may take up even more time to research each app and decide if it’s necessary.

3. Deleting important files: If you are unfamiliar with how apps are installed and uninstalled on a Mac, it’s possible that you may accidentally delete important files or data while uninstalling an app.

4. Difficult to reverse: In some cases, uninstalling an app is irreversible. If you later realize that you need the app or functionality that it provides, it may be difficult or impossible to reinstall it and restore its features.

5. Uninstalling system apps can be problematic: Some apps are essential to the Mac operating system and should not be uninstalled. Removing these apps can cause system instability(*).

*Note: It is recommended that you do not remove system apps or use any third-party uninstaller apps, as they can cause more harm than good if used incorrectly.


1. How do I uninstall an app on my Mac?

To uninstall an app on your Mac, go to the Applications folder and drag the app icon to the Trash. You can also right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”, or use a third-party uninstaller app.

2. Will uninstalling an app delete all its files?

No, uninstalling an app by dragging its icon to the Trash only removes the app executable file. Some apps may leave behind settings, preferences, or associated files. To fully remove all traces of an app, you may need to delete additional files manually.

3. Can I recover an app that I uninstalled by mistake?

Yes, you can recover a deleted app from the Trash. Open the Trash, right-click on the app, and select “Put Back”. The app will be restored to its original location.

4. What if an app won’t uninstall?

If an app won’t uninstall using conventional methods, such as dragging it to the Trash or using “Move to Trash”, it may be because the app is currently in use or has system-level permissions. Try closing the app and any associated background processes, or using a third-party uninstaller app.

5. How do I uninstall apps downloaded from the App Store?

To uninstall apps downloaded from the App Store, simply drag the app icon from the Applications folder to the Trash, or right-click and select “Move to Trash”.

6. How do I uninstall system apps on my Mac?

System apps are integral parts of macOS and cannot be uninstalled without potentially causing system instability or other problems.

7. Can I uninstall multiple apps at once?

Yes, you can uninstall multiple apps at once by selecting them in the Applications folder and dragging them to the Trash. Alternatively, you can use a third-party uninstaller app that supports batch uninstallation.

8. Will uninstalling an app free up storage space on my Mac?

Yes, uninstalling unused apps can help free up storage space on your Mac. However, some apps may not take up much space, and other files on your system may be consuming more storage.

9. How do I uninstall apps from the Launchpad?

To uninstall apps from the Launchpad, click and hold on the app icon until it starts to wiggle, then click on the X icon in the app corner. Alternatively, you can use the Applications folder or a third-party uninstaller app.

10. Should I use a third-party uninstaller app?

Using a third-party uninstaller app can simplify the process of removing apps and their associated files, but it is not always necessary. If you decide to use an uninstaller app, make sure it is from a reputable source and has good reviews.

11. Can I reinstall an app after uninstalling it?

Yes, you can reinstall an app after uninstalling it by downloading it again from the App Store or the app developer’s website.

12. How do I check if an app has been completely uninstalled?

To check if an app has been completely uninstalled, use a file search tool or check for hidden files and directories that may have been left behind. Alternatively, you can try reinstalling the app to see if any settings or preferences are still present.

13. How can I prevent leftover files when uninstalling an app?

To prevent leftover files when uninstalling an app, use a third-party uninstaller app that can scan for and remove associated files. Alternatively, manually search for files and directories related to the app and delete them.

How to Uninstall App in Mac

Uninstalling an app in Mac is relatively easy. Whether you want to delete an app you no longer use or free up space from your Mac, you can do it in just a few steps. Below we list the steps on how to uninstall an app in Mac.

Step 1: Go to Applications folder

The first step is to navigate to the Applications folder on your Mac. You can find this folder by clicking on Finder on the Dock and selecting Applications from the sidebar. Alternatively, you can also access it by pressing Command + Shift + A.

Step 2: Locate app to uninstall

Once you’re in the Applications folder, search for the app you want to uninstall. You can simply scroll down the list or use the search bar at the top right corner of the window to find it easily.

Step 3: Remove app from Mac

To uninstall the app, simply drag the app icon to the Trash bin located in the Dock. You can either right-click on the app icon and select Move to Trash or use the keyboard shortcut Command + Delete. After you do this, an alert message will pop up on the screen asking if you want to delete the app permanently. Click on Delete or press Enter to confirm.

Step 4: Remove app leftovers

After deleting the app, you might want to remove any leftover files or folders associated with it. Some apps might leave behind preferences or cache files, which can still take up space on your Mac. To remove these, go to Finder > Go > Go to Folder and type “~/Library/” in the search bar (without quotes). This will take you to the Library folder. Look for the files or folders that correspond to the app you just uninstalled and delete them manually.


Uninstalling an app in Mac is a simple process that everyone can do. All it takes is a few clicks and your Mac can be free of any unnecessary or unused apps. Remember to also remove any leftovers or associated files for a more thorough cleaning.


We hope that this article on how to uninstall an app in Mac has been helpful to you. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you for reading and we’ll see you in our next article!