If you’re running out of space on your Mac or just want to clear out software that you don't use, you’ll want to know how to remove apps. Those coming from a Windows background will be looking for the uninstaller wizard, but you won’t find those on Apple computers. So, here’s what to do if you want to uninstall apps on a Mac.
How do I delete unwanted programs from my Mac?
Send Mac apps to the trash
For most instances, all that’s required for uninstalling apps is to go to the Applications folder and drag the app’s icon/folder into the trash or right click (two-finger click) the app and select Move to Bin.
Some apps do have uninstaller programs, so be sure to check the folder first to see if it contains a file called Uninstaller or similar.
With the app in the trash folder, right click (or two-finger click) the trash can and select Empty Bin to remove it from your system.
Remove Mac apps with Launchpad
Launchpad is a shortcut to the applications installed on your Mac. You can access it by either clicking on the F4 key or by performing a grabbing motion with your fingers and thumb on the trackpad.
This will bring up a grid of icons showing all the apps available to you. Press and hold the Option key (it’s also the left Alt key) and the app logos will begin to jiggle. Any that can be uninstalled from Launchpad will display in its top left corner a circle with a cross inside.
Click this then select Delete from the menu that appears to remove the app.
Can I remove Mac apps manually?
While most apps are self-contained, some place supporting files in a few other folders and these can be left behind when using the above methods. The folders where you might find this files are ~/Library/Preferences, ~/Library/Application Support, and ~/Library/Application Support.
To access these, you’ll need to make the Library folder visible, as macOS keeps it hidden by default. To do this, go to Finder, click on the Go option in the Menu bar at the top of the screen then press and hold the Option key. The Library option should now appear, allowing you to select it and access the data inside.
Next, find the folders pertaining to the application and drag them to the Bin. That should remove all traces of the software from your system.
How do I clean up my Mac?
To save you spending time locating files or working out which applications you no longer use, we recommend trying optimisation software. These suites not only aid you in removing apps but often come with other tools that can help speed up your device and clear up storage space on your hard drive or SSD.
Our current favourite is CleanMyMac X by MacPaw, which costs £29.95/$39 and has a wide range of features that can get your Mac back into top shape in no time.
For more options, read Best Mac cleaner software and optimisation utilities.