How to Properly Remove an App on Mac: Step-by-Step Guide


Have you ever found yourself wanting to remove an application from your Mac but not knowing where to start? It can be quite confusing, especially if you are new to the Mac operating system. Fear not, because we have got you covered with this step-by-step guide on how to remove an app on Mac.


Step 1: Quit the Application

The first thing you need to do is quit the application you want to remove. You can do this by clicking on the app’s menu icon located in the top left corner of the screen, and then selecting “Quit [App Name]”. If the application is frozen, you can force quit it by pressing Command + Option + Esc and then selecting the app from the list of open applications.


-Save any unsaved work before quitting the application

-Force quitting should be used as a last resort

Step 2: Open Finder

Once you have quit the application, open Finder by clicking on the Finder icon located in the Dock or by pressing Command + Space and then typing “Finder” in the search bar.


-You can customize your Finder toolbar for easy access

-Use keyboard shortcuts to navigate Finder faster

Step 3: Go to Applications

In the Finder window, click on “Applications” on the left-hand side under “Favorites” or “Devices”. This will show you a list of all the applications installed on your Mac.


-Use the search bar in Finder to quickly find the application you want to remove

-You can create a shortcut to the Applications folder for easy access

Step 4: Select the Application

Click on the application you want to remove and drag it to the Trash icon located in the Dock.


-Alternatively, you can right-click on the application and select “Move to Trash”

-Make sure you are removing the correct application before dragging it to the Trash

Step 5: Enter Your Password

When you try to move the application to the Trash, you might be prompted to enter your password. This is to ensure that you have the necessary permissions to remove the application from your Mac.


-Use a strong password to protect your Mac from unauthorized access

-Disable automatic login for added security

Step 6: Empty the Trash

Once you have moved the application to the Trash, you need to empty the Trash to permanently remove the application from your Mac. To do this, click on the Trash icon in the Dock, and then click on “Empty Trash”.


-You can restore files from the Trash if you accidentally deleted them

-Regularly empty the Trash to free up space on your Mac

Step 7: Remove Associated Files

Some applications might leave behind associated files, such as preferences, caches, and logs, even after you have removed them from your Mac. These files can take up valuable space on your hard drive and cause performance issues. To remove them, you can use a third-party uninstaller app, or follow these steps:


-Use caution when deleting files manually

-Back up important files before removing them

Step 8: Go to Library

In Finder, click on “Go” in the menu bar, and then click on “Go to Folder”. Type in “~/Library/”, and then press “Go”. This will take you to your user library folder.


-Do not delete files from the system library folder

-You can create aliases to frequently used folders for easy access

Step 9: Search for Associated Files

In the Library folder, look for folders and files with the name of the application you want to remove. Some common locations for associated files are:

~/Library/Application Support/


-Some files might be hidden by default, so make sure to show hidden files

-Use the search bar in Finder to quickly find associated files

Step 10: Remove Associated Files

Once you have located the associated files, drag them to the Trash icon in the Dock or right-click on them and select “Move to Trash”. Then, empty the Trash to permanently remove the associated files from your Mac.


-Make sure you are removing the correct files before deleting them

-Some associated files might be used by other applications, so double-check before deleting them

Step 11: Restart Your Mac

Restarting your Mac can help clear out any remaining files and caches associated with the application you just removed. To restart your Mac, click on the Apple menu, and then select “Restart”.


-Regularly restarting your Mac can help improve performance

-Make sure to save any unsaved work before restarting your Mac

Step 12: Verify Removal

After restarting your Mac, verify that the application and its associated files have been successfully removed. You can do this by searching for the application and associated files in Finder or using a third-party cleanup tool.


-Regularly perform system maintenance to keep your Mac running smoothly

-Do not download or install unknown or suspicious applications on your Mac

Removing an application from your Mac might seem like a simple task, but it is important to follow the correct steps to ensure that you are removing the application and its associated files completely. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can free up valuable space on your hard drive, improve performance, and maintain the security and integrity of your Mac.

Tips and Tricks:

1. Use a Third-Party Uninstaller App

There are several third-party uninstaller apps available that can help automate the process of removing applications and associated files from your Mac. Some popular options include AppCleaner, CleanMyMac X, and CCleaner.

2. Use Terminal

If you are comfortable using Terminal, you can use commands to remove applications and associated files from your Mac. However, this method is not recommended for novice users as it requires a basic knowledge of command-line interface.

3. Delete Applications from Launchpad

You can also remove applications from Launchpad by clicking and holding on the app icon until it starts shaking, and then clicking on the “X” icon. However, this method does not remove associated files and is not recommended for completely removing applications from your Mac.

4. Use Spotlight to Find Applications

You can use Spotlight to quickly find applications on your Mac by pressing Command + Space and then typing in the name of the application. Spotlight also allows you to launch applications and perform other actions.

5. Clean Up Your Mac Regularly

Regularly performing system maintenance, such as clearing caches, deleting old files, and removing unused applications, can help improve the performance and longevity of your Mac.

6. Disable Login Items

Disabling login items, or applications that automatically launch when you start up your Mac, can help reduce the load on your system and improve startup time.

7. Create Backups

Creating backups of important files and data can protect you from data loss due to hardware failure, malicious attacks, or other unexpected events.

8. Use Anti-Virus Software

Using anti-virus software can help protect your Mac from viruses, malware, and other malicious threats. Make sure to use a reputable anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date.

9. Minimize Desktop Clutter

Minimizing the number of files and applications on your desktop can help improve performance and reduce visual clutter. Use folders and labels to organize your files for easy access.

10. Learn More About Your Mac

Taking the time to learn more about your Mac, its features, and its capabilities can help you use it to its full potential. User manuals, online forums, and Apple support can provide valuable resources and information.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Removing an App on Mac


1. More storage space: Removing apps that are no longer needed frees up space on your Mac’s hard drive, giving you more space to store other files and apps.

2. Improve performance: When you remove an app, you’re also removing its background processes and related files. This can help speed up your Mac’s performance by reducing the amount of resources it uses.

3. Organize better: Removing unused apps can help to keep your applications folder organized. This makes it easy to find and access the apps you need quickly.

4. Better security: When you uninstall an app, you’re also removing any associated files and data. This can help to improve the security of your Mac and reduce the risk of malware or other security threats.

5. Reduce clutter: Removing apps that you don’t use can help declutter your system, making it easier to navigate and use your Mac.

6. Save money: If you’re using a paid app that you no longer need, uninstalling it can help you save some money as you won’t have to pay subscription fees or for upgrades that you won’t use.

7. Improve battery life: By removing unnecessary apps, you reduce the strain on your Mac’s battery, which can help to improve its overall battery life.

8. Easier backups: Uninstalled apps take up less space in your backup, making backups much easier and quicker to perform.

9. Reduce update prompts: If you have apps installed that you never use, you’ll still receive update prompts, which can be annoying. Removing the apps will reduce the number of update prompts you receive.

10. Increase system stability: Removing unnecessary apps can help to improve the overall stability of your Mac’s system.


1. Deleted data: If you don’t back up your data before deleting an app, you may lose any associated files and data.

2. Dependencies: Some apps may depend on each other, and removing one may cause issues with the others.

3. Accidental deletion: It’s easy to accidentally delete an app that you actually need, so it’s important to be careful when removing apps.

4. License issues: If you’ve paid for an app and remove it from your system, you may have to buy it again if you want to reinstall it.

5. Leftover files: Even when you remove an app, some leftover files may remain on your system. These files can take up space and affect your Mac’s performance.

6. Disruption of workflows: If you remove an app that you use in your workflow, it can disrupt your process and make it harder to work.

7. Learning curve: If you remove a familiar app and replace it with a new one, there may be a learning curve involved in getting used to the new app.

8. No way back: Once you remove an app, there’s no easy way to get back any associated data or settings. You may have to manually restore the data or settings if you want to reinstall the app later.

9. Required dependencies: Some apps may require specific dependencies to work correctly, and removing them may cause issues with the app or other apps on your system.

10. Time-consuming: Removing multiple apps can be time-consuming, especially if you have a lot of them to remove.


1. How do I remove an app from my Mac?

To remove an app from your Mac, simply drag the app icon from the Applications folder to the Trash bin.

2. Is there a quicker way to remove multiple apps?

Yes, you can use a third-party app like AppCleaner or CleanMyMac to quickly remove multiple apps and their associated files.

3. What happens when I remove an app?

When you remove an app, it will be sent to the Trash bin. You can then choose to either permanently delete it or restore it back to your Mac.

4. Can I recover a deleted app?

Yes, you can recover a deleted app by opening the Trash bin, finding the app, and dragging it back to the Applications folder.

5. What if I can’t find the app to remove it?

If you can’t find the app, you can use the spotlight search function on your Mac to locate it and remove it.

6. Do I need to remove the app’s associated files too?

It is recommended to remove the app’s associated files too, as they may take up unnecessary space on your Mac. You can use a third-party uninstaller tool to remove these files.

7. How do I know which files are associated with an app?

You can use a third-party uninstaller tool to find and remove the associated files for an app, or you can search for files with the app’s name in the Finder.

8. Can I remove system apps?

You can remove some system apps on your Mac, but it is not recommended as they may be required for your Mac to function properly. Always make a backup before removing any system apps.

9. What about apps that came pre-installed on my Mac?

Apps that came pre-installed on your Mac can be removed, but it is recommended that you do some research before removing them to ensure that they are not required for your Mac to function properly.

10. What if I accidentally removed an app?

If you accidentally remove an app, you can quickly restore it by opening the Trash bin and dragging it back to the Applications folder.

11. Do I need to restart my Mac after removing an app?

No, you do not need to restart your Mac after removing an app, but it is recommended to do so if you encounter any issues.

12. Are there any apps that cannot be removed?

There may be some protected system apps that cannot be removed, but in general, most apps on your Mac can be removed.

13. Can I remove apps from my Mac using the Terminal?

Yes, you can use the Terminal app on your Mac to remove apps, but it is recommended that you use the more user-friendly drag-and-drop method instead.


In conclusion, removing apps on a Mac is a simple and straightforward process. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily get rid of any unwanted apps on your computer. It is important to note that while some apps may be more difficult to remove than others, with a little patience and persistence, you can successfully delete even the most stubborn applications.

Remember to always be cautious when removing apps from your Mac. Before deleting an app, make sure that you are comfortable with the consequences, and that you have a backup of any important files or data.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article on how to remove an app on Mac. We hope that you found this information useful, and that it helps you to better manage your computer. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Until next time, happy computing!