How to Remove Programs on Mac: The Ultimate Guide

Welcome to the world of Mac where everything is simple and easy except for one thing – removing programs. Unlike Windows, removing programs on Mac is not as straightforward as we’d like it to be. But worry not, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps on how to remove programs on your Mac in a simple and easy way.


Step 1 – Check if the app is open

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that the program you want to remove is not running in the background. Open the app and check if it’s active. If yes, close it before you proceed to the next step.

Step 2 – Go to “Applications”

Click on the “Finder” icon on the dock, and from the left-hand side, click on “Applications”. This is where all your installed applications are stored.

Step 3 – Select the app you want to remove

Navigate through the list of applications and select the one you want to delete. Click once on its icon to highlight it.

Step 4 – Drag and Drop

Now, it’s time to delete the program. Click and drag the app icon from the “Applications” folder to the “Trash” located on your dock. If the app is password-protected, you’ll be asked to enter your admin password. Type in the password, and the app will be moved to the Trash.

Step 5 – Empty the Trash

Once you’ve moved the app to the trash, it’s not completely removed from your system. It’s still taking up space on your hard drive, so you need to empty the trash to completely delete the program from your Mac. Right-click on the “Trash” icon, and select “Empty Trash”.

Step 6 – Use a third-party program

If you want to remove apps that have a lot of system files, it’s best to use a third-party program like AppCleaner or CleanMyMac. These apps will ensure that not a single file is left behind from the program you’re deleting.

Step 7 – Uninstalling native Mac apps

Unlike third-party apps, you can’t simply drag and drop native Mac apps to the “Trash”. To remove them, you need to use Terminal. Open Terminal and type in “sudo rm -rf” and then drag the app from the Applications folder to the Terminal window. Press Enter and type in your admin password to confirm.

Step 8 – Use Launchpad

If you prefer using a graphical user interface, you can use Launchpad to remove apps from your Mac. Open Launchpad, click and hold on the app you want to delete until it starts to wiggle. Click on the “X” icon that appears on the app icon, and select “Delete” to confirm.

Step 9 – Remove login items

Sometimes, even after uninstalling an app, it still shows up as a login item. To remove it from the login items list, click on the Apple menu on the top left corner of your screen, then go to “System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items”. Select the app you want to delete, and click on the “-” button at the bottom left corner.

Step 10 – Remove associated files

After uninstalling an app, there might still be some associated files hiding on your Mac. To search for them, open Spotlight by clicking on the magnifying glass icon on the top right corner of your Mac. Type in the name of the app or its developer in the search bar, and delete any files that show up.

Step 11 – Reinstall the app

If you’ve accidentally deleted an app that you need, don’t worry, you can always reinstall it from the App Store or the developer’s website.

Step 12 – Restart your Mac

Once you’ve deleted all the apps you want to remove and their associated files, it’s time to restart your Mac to ensure that everything is fully updated.


Now that we’ve covered the steps to remove programs on your Mac, let’s explain a few things. When you drag an app to the Trash, it only removes the executable file. However, there might be other files associated with the app that are still taking up space on your hard drive. That’s why it’s essential to use a third-party app like AppCleaner or CleanMyMac that will scan your system and remove all associated files.

Native Mac apps are different from third-party apps in terms of removal. Native Mac apps are built into your system, so you can’t simply drag and drop them to the trash. You need to use Terminal to remove them.

Some apps are persistent and will still show up in the login items list even after you’ve deleted them. If you’re wondering why some apps are still showing up, it’s because they have a background process associated with them, making them a login item. You can remove them by going to “System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items” and deleting the app from the list.

Tips and Tricks

1. Use a third-party app to remove apps

Apps like AppCleaner or CleanMyMac are perfect for removing apps along with their associated files.

2. Use a software manager

Software managers like Homebrew or MacPorts can help you install and uninstall packages from the command line.

3. Use a virtual machine

If you’re unsure about a program, use a virtual machine to test it before installing it on your primary operating system.

4. Check the app’s website for uninstall instructions

Some apps come with uninstaller files that you can use to completely remove the app and its associated files.

5. Back up your system

Before you start removing apps, make sure you back up your system to avoid losing important files.

6. Avoid downloading pirated software

Pirated software can contain malicious files that can harm your system. Stick to buying software from trusted sources.

7. Check your startup items

Open Activity Monitor and go to the “CPU” tab to see which apps are using the most resources. Remove any apps that you don’t use or that you don’t need running in the background.

8. Check storage usage

Go to the Apple menu and click on “About this Mac > Storage” to see which files are taking up the most space. Delete files or move them to an external drive to free up space.

9. Don’t delete anything without knowing what it is

Before removing any files, make sure you know what they are. Deleting important system files can cause your system to malfunction.

10. Update your system regularly

Make sure you keep your system up to date by checking for software updates regularly. This will ensure that your system is running smoothly and efficiently.

In conclusion, removing programs on Mac can be a tricky business, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be done with ease. Whether you’re using a third-party app or Terminal, make sure you follow the steps mentioned above to ensure that you remove all associated files and keep your system running smoothly.


1. Removing unnecessary programs can help free up space on your mac, making it run faster and more efficiently.

2. By removing programs you don’t use, you can declutter your mac and make it easier to navigate.

3. Removing old or outdated programs can help improve the security of your mac, as they may contain vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers.

4. Removing programs that consume a lot of resources can help improve battery life on your mac.

5. Removing programs you no longer need can help you save money on storage upgrades by optimizing your current storage capacity.


1. If you remove a program that has important files or data associated with it, you may accidentally delete vital information.

2. Some programs may be difficult to fully remove, leaving behind files or traces that could cause issues down the line.

3. Removing certain system files or programs could potentially cause damage to your mac, making it inoperable.

4. Removing important system files or programs could cause other programs or functions to stop working properly.

5. Some programs may be required for certain tasks or workflows, so removing them could cause issues with productivity.


1. How do I delete applications on Mac?

There are several ways to delete applications on Mac, but the most common method is to simply drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash folder.

2. Can I delete apps through Launchpad?

Yes, you can click and hold an app icon in Launchpad until the icon starts to jiggle, then click on the X button in the top left corner of the app icon.

3. Will deleting an app delete its associated files?

It depends on the app and how it was installed. Some apps have associated files that will be deleted when the app is removed, while others may leave behind traces of data.

4. How do I make sure all associated files are deleted?

You can use a third-party uninstaller tool like AppCleaner to help ensure all associated files are removed when uninstalling an app.

5. Can I reinstall an app after deleting it?

Yes, you can reinstall an app after deleting it. You can either download it again from the App Store or reinstall it from a backup.

6. How do I remove apps that were pre-installed on my Mac?

You can’t delete pre-installed apps like Safari, but you can remove them from your Dock or disable them using Parental Controls.

7. How do I delete widgets on my Mac?

To delete a widget, click and hold on a widget until it jiggles, then click on the X button in the top left corner of the widget.

8. Can I delete system preference panes?

Yes, you can delete system preference panes by dragging them from the Preferences window to the Trash folder.

9. How do I delete login items?

You can delete login items by going to System Preferences, clicking on Users & Groups, then selecting the Login Items tab and clicking on the “-” button to remove items.

10. How do I delete printer drivers?

You can delete printer drivers by going to System Preferences, clicking on Printers & Scanners, then right-clicking on a printer and selecting “Reset printing system.”

11. How do I delete fonts?

You can delete fonts by going to Font Book, selecting the font you want to delete, then clicking on the “-” button to remove it.

12. Can I recover deleted apps?

If you have a backup of your Mac, you can restore deleted apps from the backup. Otherwise, you’ll need to reinstall the app.

13. Do I need to restart my Mac after deleting an app?

No, you don’t need to restart your Mac after deleting an app. The changes will take effect immediately.

How to Remove Programs on Mac

Mac users enjoy a seamless and effortless experience when it comes to installing new applications. You simply need to drag the app to the Applications folder, and you’re set. However, uninstalling applications is a different story. Some users tend to leave applications they no longer need due to the complicated and confusing process. But, not anymore because we will guide you on how to remove programs on Mac without any hassle.

First, you need to identify the applications that you want to uninstall. Open the Applications folder and drag the app to the trash bin. This method works for most applications. However, some programs might have multiple components that are scattered in different locations throughout your computer system. Check the app’s website or support documents to see if the app has specific uninstall instructions.

If you don’t want to search for the components of the app, there’s another way to remove programs on Mac. You can use a third-party uninstaller application that will take care of the whole process. Some of the most popular and efficient uninstaller apps are AppCleaner, CleanMyMac, and AppZapper. These apps are designed to scan your computer system and remove all the files associated with the app you want to uninstall.

Conclusion and Closing

Uninstalling applications on Mac is a straightforward process, but not everyone is aware of the hidden components that need to be removed to free up your disk space. We hope that this article has been helpful in guiding you on how to remove programs on Mac effortlessly. If you’re still struggling with the process, don’t hesitate to utilize a third-party uninstaller application.

Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you in our upcoming articles.