How to Delete Programs from Mac

When it comes to maintaining your Mac’s system, one of the most important tasks is deleting programs that you no longer need. Not only does it free up space on your hard drive, but it can also help speed up your computer’s performance. However, for those who are new to using a Mac, the process of deleting programs may seem daunting. In this article, we will share with you 12 easy-to-follow steps on how to delete programs from your Mac.


Step 1: Close all open applications

Before you start deleting programs, ensure that you have saved and closed all your important files and applications. This will prevent any data loss or damage to your files.

Step 2: Go to the Finder

Next, go to your Mac’s Finder by clicking the Finder icon located on your dock at the bottom of the screen. Alternatively, you can press the Command + Spacebar keys on your keyboard, type “Finder” in the search bar, and hit enter.

Step 3: Click on “Applications”

Once you are in the Finder, click on the “Applications” tab located on the left-hand side of the screen. This will display all the applications currently installed on your Mac.

Step 4: Select the application to be deleted

Select the application you wish to delete by clicking on it. You can also use the search bar to find the application you want to delete if you have many applications installed.

Step 5: Drag the application to the Trash

Drag the application icon from the Applications folder to the Trash icon located in your dock at the bottom of the screen. Alternatively, you can right-click on the application and select “Move to Trash.”

Step 6: Empty the Trash

After moving the application to the Trash, click on the Trash icon to open it, and then click on “Empty Trash.” Confirm the action by clicking “Empty Trash” again when prompted.

Step 7: Enter your administrator password

If you receive a message stating that the program cannot be deleted because it is required by your Mac, enter your administrator password. This is the password you use to log in to your Mac.

Step 8: Delete related files

Some applications may leave behind related files, such as preferences, caches, plugins, or logs. To delete these files, search for them using Finder or a third-party cleaning tool.

Step 9: Remove startup items

If the program automatically launches on startup, you may also want to remove its startup items from the System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items menu.

Step 10: Use a third-party uninstaller

If you have trouble deleting a program using the built-in method, you can use a third-party uninstaller like AppCleaner, CleanMyMac, or AppZapper to ensure that all related files are removed.

Step 11: Reboot your Mac

Once you have deleted the program and its related files, it is recommended to reboot your Mac to refresh the system and free up any memory that might be utilized by the deleted program.

Step 12: Repeat the process

Repeat this process for any other programs that you want to delete from your Mac.


Deleting programs may seem straightforward, but it can have consequences if not done correctly. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Firstly, removing an application only deletes the application itself and might leave behind related files that can occupy valuable disk space and slow down your Mac. These files can include preferences, caches, plugins, or logs that are stored outside the Application folder.

Moreover, some applications might require additional permissions to be deleted. That’s why you might need to enter your administrator password, which verifies that you have sufficient authority to delete the program and its files.

Lastly, some applications might have startup items, which means that they can launch automatically when you turn on your Mac. Removing these items can prevent the program from loading and free up memory on your Mac.

Tips and Tricks

Here are ten tips and tricks to help you delete programs from your Mac more efficiently:

1. Use Spotlight to find applications:

Instead of opening the Finder and navigating through the Applications folder, you can use Spotlight by pressing Command + Spacebar, typing the name of the application, and hitting enter.

2. Know which applications you can delete and which ones you can’t:

Don’t delete applications that are critical to your Mac’s performance or functionality, such as the System Preferences app or the Terminal app. Removing native apps that are part of the macOS might cause unforeseen issues.

3. Check for updates before deleting:

Before you decide to delete an application, you should also check if there’s an available update as updating the app might resolve any issues you’re having and reduce the need to delete it.

4. Keep your Mac clean:

Regularly deleting unused programs can help your Mac run faster and free up valuable disk space.

5. Use third-party apps for bulk removal:

If you want to delete multiple applications at once, use third-party apps like AppCleaner or CleanMyMac, which can efficiently remove related files.

6. Use the keyboard shortcuts:

Learn the keyboard shortcuts for moving files to Trash, Emptying Trash, and opening Spotlight to save time.

7. Use the Activity Monitor:

If you’re unsure which applications to delete, use the Activity Monitor app to determine which apps are taking up the most CPU and memory resources.

8. Backup your files before deleting:

Create a backup of your important files before deleting any programs, just in case you accidentally delete a file that you still need.

9. Use Mac optimized applications:

Choose software that is optimized for your Mac to ensure that it runs smoothly and doesn’t cause issues that might result in having to delete it.

10. Keep your Mac up to date:

Finally, keep your Mac OS updated to avoid any compatibility issues that might cause problems when deleting programs.

In conclusion, deleting programs from your Mac is a simple process that can be done in twelve easy steps. By following the tips and tricks mentioned above, you can safely and efficiently delete programs without affecting your Mac’s performance or functionality.

Advantages and Disadvantages


Deleting unnecessary programs from your Mac can have several advantages:

1. Free up storage space on your Mac – deleting programs you no longer need can help you reclaim space on your hard drive, which can improve your Mac’s speed and performance.
2. Improve overall system performance – by removing unused programs, you may notice your Mac runs faster and smoother.
3. Easy to do – deleting programs on a Mac is a fairly straightforward process.
4. Reduce clutter – getting rid of unnecessary programs can help you keep your desktop and applications folder organized and tidy.
5. Prevent potential security risks – programs that you no longer use or need may contain vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers.
6. Save money – if you have programs that you paid for but no longer use, you can remove them to free up space and save money in the long run.
7. Increase battery life – having unwanted programs running in the background can drain your battery faster, so deleting them can help increase battery life.
8. Reduce system crashes – having too many programs open or running at once can cause your Mac to crash, so removing unnecessary programs can reduce the risk of crashes.
9. Faster app launch times – removing unused programs can help speed up launch times for the apps you do use.
10. Less cluttered menu bar – you can remove programs from your menu bar that you no longer need, which can help reduce clutter and distractions.


While there are many advantages to deleting unnecessary programs from your Mac, there are also potential drawbacks to consider:

1. You may accidentally delete a program you still need – be careful when deleting programs, as you may delete something that is important or necessary for your work or personal use.
2. You may need to reinstall a program in the future – if you delete a program now, but need it later, you may need to go through the process of reinstalling it, which can be time-consuming.
3. You may lose important data – some programs may store data or preferences that you still need, so make sure to backup any data before deleting a program.
4. You may make your Mac less compatible with certain software – some programs may require other programs or files to work properly, so deleting the wrong program could make other software incompatible.
5. You may accidentally delete system files – if you’re not sure which programs are safe to delete, you could accidentally delete important system files, which can cause issues with your Mac’s performance.
6. You may not save as much space as you think – some programs may leave behind residual files or data even after you delete them, so you may not free up as much space as you were hoping for.
7. You may need to repurchase programs you’ve paid for – if you delete a program you’ve paid for, you may need to purchase it again in order to use it in the future.
8. Deleting programs can be time-consuming – depending on how many programs you have installed, deleting them all can take a significant amount of time.
9. You may not notice a significant improvement in performance – if you didn’t have a lot of programs to begin with, deleting a few may not make a noticeable difference in your Mac’s speed or performance.
10. Delete the wrong program – if you accidentally delete the wrong program, your Mac could become unstable or fail to boot up altogether, so it’s important to be cautious when deleting programs.

In conclusion, deleting unnecessary programs from your Mac can have many advantages, including freeing up storage space, improving system performance, and reducing clutter. However, there are also potential disadvantages to consider, such as accidentally deleting important programs or data, making your Mac less compatible with certain software, or needing to repurchase programs. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which programs to delete and whether the benefits outweigh the potential drawbacks.


1. How do I delete programs from my Mac?

To delete programs from your Mac, simply drag the program icon from the Applications folder to the Trash. Alternatively, you can also use the Launchpad feature to delete programs by clicking and holding on the program icon until the icons start to wiggle, and then clicking on the X button that appears on the top left corner of the icon.

2. Can I delete built-in apps from my Mac?

It is possible to delete some built-in apps from your Mac, but be careful as some of these apps are important for your system to function properly. To delete a built-in app, follow the same steps as deleting a third-party app.

3. How do I uninstall a program that doesn’t have an uninstaller?

If a program does not have an uninstaller, simply drag the program icon from the Applications folder to the Trash. However, be aware that some files associated with the program may still remain on your system, such as preferences files and cache files.

4. How do I completely remove all files associated with a program?

Some programs come with their own uninstaller that will completely remove all associated files. If the program doesn’t have an uninstaller, you can use a third-party uninstaller app to ensure that all associated files are removed.

5. How do I delete programs that are running in the background?

You cannot delete programs that are currently running in the background. You will need to close the program before attempting to delete it.

6. How do I delete programs that are stuck in the Trash?

If a program is stuck in the Trash and cannot be deleted, try restarting your Mac and then attempting to delete the program again. If the problem persists, try using a third-party app to force delete the program.

7. Will deleting programs speed up my Mac?

Deleting programs that you no longer use can free up space on your Mac’s hard drive, which may improve its performance. However, simply deleting a program will not necessarily speed up your Mac if you are experiencing other performance issues.

8. Can deleting a program cause any problems with my Mac?

If you accidentally delete a program that is important for your Mac’s system to function properly, it can cause problems. However, if you are careful to only delete programs that you no longer need or use, there should be no issues.

9. How do I reinstall a deleted program?

If you have deleted a program and later decide that you want to reinstall it, simply redownload and reinstall the program from its original source.

10. Are there any programs that I should not delete?

There are certain built-in apps that are important for your Mac’s system to function properly, so be careful when deleting any programs. Additionally, if you are unsure about whether or not to delete a program, do some research or consult with a tech expert before doing so.

11. Will deleting programs affect my personal files?

Deleting programs should not affect your personal files, such as documents or photos. However, it is always a good idea to back up your files regularly, just in case.

12. Can I undo deleting a program?

Once you have emptied the Trash, it is not possible to restore a program unless you have a backup of your system that includes the program in question.

13. How often should I delete programs from my Mac?

You should delete programs from your Mac regularly, particularly those that you no longer use or need. This will help free up space on your Mac’s hard drive and may improve its performance.


Deleting programs from your Mac is a simple and straightforward process that you can easily handle if you follow the steps above. It’s important to delete any unused applications to free up space on your computer. Additionally, clearing out unused programs can help to improve your Mac’s performance and reduce overall clutter. So, go ahead and clean out your Mac today and enjoy the benefits of a fresh, clean operating system.


We hope this guide has been helpful as you navigate the process of deleting programs from your Mac. Remember to always read the instructions specific to each program before deleting it permanently, to avoid any unintended consequences. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us. Thank you for reading and farewell!