Uninstall Apps on Your Mac

uninstall apps mac

How to Safely Uninstall Apps From Your Mac (and Be Sure They’re Gone!)

When you purchase a new Mac, it comes preloaded with a number of applications. Moreover, as you put your Mac through the daily grind of life and work, you are likely to download many more applications. Over time you may find your Mac running significantly slower than it used to and this may be—in part—caused by too many applications installed on your machine.

We recommend regularly checking the applications on your Mac and removing unused or outdated applications.

So, how can you uninstall apps from your Mac? There are a number of ways to accomplish this task.

Simple Delete

You can delete some apps directly from the Apple Launchpad. To do this click the Launchpad icon in the Dock, click and hold the icon until all the icons on your screen begin to jiggle, then click the X in the upper left-hand corner (if it appears).

I the X does not appear in the left-hand corner then this app cannot be uninstalled in Launchpad and you need to use an alternative method.

Drag to the Trash

For some apps, you can drag and drop them in the Trash Can to delete them. Navigate to the program via your file structure: Finder > Applications. Grab and “hold” the icon and drag it over to the trash and release. This deletes the application. Empty the Trash immediately following this action.

Note: Leaving behind related files is one of the biggest issues with uninstalling apps via Simple Delete or Drag to the Trash. For example, you may install a photo editing program. If this program came with several read only files and/or bonus features, you may overlook these files when you delete the main app. These smaller files are often buried in your file structure.

Mac Cleaning Program


I’m always paranoid that I will mess up my uninstall or leave behind related files. For this reason I use a Mac cleaning program. These programs obviously clean your Mac, but they also have an uninstall feature. Many Mac cleaning programs will do the dirty work of uninstalling a program you select. This ensures you uninstalled an app correctly and that no related files remain on your hard drive.

I personally use Clean My Mac 3 for this task. To remove a program you can simply open Clean My Mac 3, select a list of Applications, and select the one you want removed. Click uninstall and the cleaning program will let you know when the job is done. Voilà!

Hint: you can download Clean My Mac 3 and uninstall programs for free as part of their trial program! So, get it, uninstall your pesky problem apps, and if you don’t love the cleaning program you can get rid of it.

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About the Author
Kylie Larson is a content wrangler, helping both small businesses and large organizations get their message up and out. When she's not writing and organizing online, you'll find her walking the dog, with a camera in hand, riding the Chicago blue line, and in the midst of a home renovation project that never ends. Connect with her at KylieLarson.com.
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