How to Uninstall Applications on Mac – A Comprehensive Guide

Hello there, Mac users! It’s not uncommon for us to install various applications on our devices to make our daily tasks easier and more convenient. However, there may come a time when we need to uninstall these applications for various reasons. If you’re new to Mac or not familiar with the process of uninstalling an application, don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps on how to uninstall applications on your Mac. We’ll explain everything in detail and provide you with some tips and tricks on how to make the process easier and more efficient.

First, let’s go through the steps involved in uninstalling an application on a Mac.

Steps to Uninstall Application on Mac

Step 1: Close all running applications

Before starting the uninstallation process, make sure to close all running applications to avoid any conflicts or errors during the process. You can do this by either clicking on the red X button on the top left corner of the application window, or by pressing Command + Q on your keyboard.

Step 2: Go to the Applications folder

Click on the Finder icon on your Dock, and then select the Applications folder from the left-hand side pane. This is where all your installed applications are located.

Step 3: Find the application you want to uninstall

Browse through the Applications folder and look for the application you want to uninstall. You can either manually search for it or use the search bar located at the top right corner of the window.

Step 4: Drag and drop the application to the Trash

Once you’ve located the application, simply drag and drop it to the Trash icon located at the end of the Dock. Alternatively, you can right-click on the application and select Move to Trash.

Step 5: Enter your administrator password

When you drag an application to the Trash, your Mac will ask you to enter your administrator username and password to confirm the action. Simply enter the required details and click OK.

Step 6: Empty the Trash

After dragging the application to the Trash, it’s not completely removed from your Mac yet. You’ll need to empty the Trash to permanently delete the application. To do this, right-click on the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Step 7: Check for any remaining files

Sometimes, even after uninstalling an application, some files might still be left behind in other folders or locations on your Mac. To make sure that everything related to the application is completely removed, use a program like AppCleaner to scan your Mac for any remaining files and delete them.

Step 8: Delete any associated plug-ins or extensions

Certain applications might come with plug-ins or extensions that you’ll also need to uninstall. To do this, go to the “Library” folder located in your user folder, and then look for the “Application Support” or “Preferences” folder. Look for any files or folders related to the application you uninstalled, and delete them.

Step 9: Remove any login items

Some applications might have set themselves as login items when you start up your Mac. To remove them, go to the “Users & Groups” section in System Preferences, select your user account, and then click on the “Login Items” tab. Look for any application related to the one you uninstalled, and remove it from the list.

Step 10: Restart your Mac

After completing all the previous steps, it’s a good idea to restart your Mac. This will clear any remaining cache or temporary files related to the application you uninstalled.

Step 11: Repeat the process for other applications

If you have other applications you want to uninstall, simply repeat the steps above for each application.

Step 12: Use third-party uninstallers if needed

Some applications might have complicated uninstall processes, which might require the use of third-party uninstallers. If you’re having issues uninstalling an application, do some research online to see if there’s a specific uninstaller available for it.


Now that we’ve gone through the steps involved in uninstalling an application on a Mac, let’s explain some of the terms and processes in more detail.

When you drag an application to the Trash, it only removes the application itself and not any of its associated files or preferences. These files might be located in different folders and locations on your Mac, which is why you need to search for and delete them manually or by using a program like AppCleaner.

Login items are applications that start up when you log in to your user account. Some applications might have set themselves as login items when you installed them, but you can easily remove them by following the steps above.

Third-party uninstallers are programs that are specifically designed to completely remove applications and all their associated files and preferences from your Mac. These can be useful if you’re having trouble uninstalling an application using the standard methods.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to make the process of uninstalling applications on your Mac easier and more efficient:

Tip 1: Use AppCleaner

AppCleaner is a free application that scans your Mac for all the associated files and preferences related to an application and helps you remove them all at once.

Tip 2: Check for any updates or upgrades

Before uninstalling an application, check if there are any updates or upgrades available for it. Sometimes, updating the application might solve any issues you might be having and save you the trouble of uninstalling and reinstalling it.

Tip 3: Be careful when deleting files

When deleting files related to an application, make sure you’re only deleting the files that are actually related to the application and not any important or system files.

Tip 4: Make a backup before uninstalling important applications

If you’re uninstalling an important application or files, make a backup of them before proceeding with the uninstallation process. This will ensure that you can restore them if you need to.

Tip 5: Use uninstallers provided by the application

Some applications might come with their own uninstallers that are specifically designed for them. If that’s the case, use the uninstaller provided by the application to make sure that it’s completely removed from your Mac.

Tip 6: Restart your Mac after uninstalling an application

As mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea to restart your Mac after uninstalling an application to clear any remaining cache or temporary files related to the application.

Tip 7: Avoid using third-party uninstallers for built-in applications

Built-in applications that come with your Mac, such as Safari or iTunes, should not be uninstalled using third-party uninstallers. Doing so might cause issues with your Mac’s system and functionality.

Tip 8: Visit the application’s website for uninstallation instructions

If you’re having trouble uninstalling an application, visit the application’s website and check if they have any specific uninstallation instructions or steps.

Tip 9: Use the Terminal for advanced users

If you’re an advanced user, you can use the Terminal to uninstall applications and their associated files. However, this should only be done if you’re familiar with the Terminal and its commands.

Tip 10: Keep your Mac clean and organized

Keeping your Mac clean and organized can help you avoid the need to uninstall applications and files frequently. Regularly clean and optimize your Mac using programs like CleanMyMac X, and keep your files and folders organized.

Advantages of Uninstalling Applications on Mac

Uninstalling applications that are no longer needed on Mac can bring several advantages:

Advantages Explanation
Free up disk space Uninstalling unused applications can free up valuable disk space on your Mac, making it run faster and perform better.
Improved performance By removing unnecessary applications, you can reduce system overloads and improve overall performance.
Reduces clutter Removing unwanted apps can help to declutter your system, eliminating the extra icons and apps from your dock and applications folder.
Better security Uninstalling unused applications can improve system security by reducing the potential risks of malware and other security threats.
Reclaiming system resources Uninstalling unwanted applications can help to reclaim valuable system resources, improving the speed and efficiency of your Mac.
Easier maintenance By removing unused apps, you can make it easier to maintain your system, troubleshoot issues, and diagnose errors.
More available RAM Uninstalling unnecessary apps can help to free up more RAM, making it easier for your system to run applications that require more memory.
Better organization Uninstalling unwanted apps can help you to better organize your system, improving your workflow and productivity.
Reduced clutter Uninstalling unused applications can help to reduce digital clutter, making it easier to find the apps and files you need.
Improved system stability By removing unnecessary applications, you can improve system stability and eliminate issues that can cause crashes and errors.

Disadvantages of Uninstalling Applications on Mac

While uninstalling applications on Mac can offer several advantages, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider, such as:

Disadvantages Explanation
Loss of functionality Uninstalling some applications may result in the loss of certain features or functions that were associated with that app.
Loss of data Some applications may store important data that is lost when the app is uninstalled, so be sure to backup any important files before uninstalling an app.
Difficulty reinstalling If you need to reinstall an app after uninstalling it, it may be difficult to find a new copy of the software or reinstall it properly.
Dependency on other apps Some applications may be dependent on others, so uninstalling one app may cause issues with others.
Incomplete uninstallation Some applications may leave behind files or registry entries after uninstallation, causing issues or requiring additional cleanup.
Unexpected consequences Uninstalling an application may have unexpected consequences, such as broken links, compatibility issues, or other errors.
Losing subscriptions If the app you’re uninstalling has a subscription attached to it, uninstalling it may result in the loss of that subscription.
Uninstalling system apps may cause problems Uninstalling certain system apps may cause problems with your Mac’s functioning.
Increased risk of unwanted changes Uninstalling apps may inadvertently increase the risk of unwanted changes to your system, such as malware or spyware infections.
Reduced functionality for legacy apps If you’re uninstalling a legacy app, it may not be possible to reinstall it later or use its full functionality after it’s removed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. How do I uninstall an application on Mac?

To uninstall an application on Mac, simply drag the application from the Applications folder to the Trash bin.

2. Why do I need to uninstall applications on Mac?

By uninstalling unused applications on Mac, you can free up space on your computer and improve its performance.

3. Can I reinstall an application that I have uninstalled?

Yes, you can reinstall an application that you have uninstalled from the App Store or the application’s official website.

4. How do I completely uninstall an application on Mac?

To completely uninstall an application on Mac, you need to remove its associated files and folders. You can use a third-party uninstaller app or follow a manual process to delete these files.

5. Can I delete the files associated with an application manually?

Yes, you can delete the files associated with an application manually, but it requires some technical knowledge and may be time-consuming.

6. Are there any specific applications that require a different uninstallation process on Mac?

Some applications, such as Adobe Creative Suite, may require a specific uninstallation process. You can find these instructions on the developer’s website.

7. What should I do if an application won’t uninstall on Mac?

If an application won’t uninstall on Mac, you can try restarting your computer and then attempting to uninstall it again. If that doesn’t work, you can use a third-party uninstaller app or contact the application’s support team for assistance.

8. Are there any risks of uninstalling an application on Mac?

No, there are no risks of uninstalling an application on Mac as long as you don’t delete any essential system files.

9. Can I recover an application that I have accidentally uninstalled?

Yes, you can recover an accidentally uninstalled application from the Trash bin before you empty it.

10. Will uninstalling an application delete its preference files?

Some applications may delete their preference files when you uninstall them, while others may not. You can manually delete the preference files to free up more space on your computer.

11. Should I use a third-party uninstaller app on Mac?

It is not necessary to use a third-party uninstaller app on Mac, but it can make the process faster and easier.

12. Will uninstalling an application delete its license information?

Uninstalling an application may delete its license information, but it depends on the application. Some applications allow you to back up your license information before you uninstall them.

13. How often should I uninstall unused applications on Mac?

You should uninstall unused applications on Mac regularly to free up space on your computer and keep it running smoothly. It is recommended to do this at least once every few months.

How to Uninstall Application on Mac

Uninstalling applications on a Mac can seem tricky for those not familiar with the process. However, with the right steps, it can be a simple and straightforward task. Here’s a guide on how to uninstall an application on your Mac:


Uninstalling an application on your Mac doesn’t need to be a complicated process. By following the simple steps listed above, you can easily free up storage space on your device and keep your computer running smoothly. Take some time to tidy up your system and remove unused software. It’s a good habit to have to keep your computer in tip-top shape.


Thank you for reading this guide on how to uninstall an application on a Mac. We hope it has been helpful to you. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below. Until next time, happy computing!