Did you know that deleting applications on macOS is easier than any other operating system? To delete any app from your computer that you use for work, studies, or entertainment, you might simply highlight it, press the Delete key or move it to the Trash (macOS) or Recycle Bin (Windows). Right?
Moving an application to the trash, however, is not the only step that guarantees complete removal of the application. Removing or uninstalling an app deletes it partially from the system. Many related files remain stored on your machine and consume storage.
If you, too, are struggling to remove applications completely from your macOS, read this article to the end as we have curated a list of steps for you.
Ways to Uninstall Apps in macOS
There are three different ways to delete an application from the Mac computer.
- Using Trash
- Using Launchpad
- Using App Uninstaller
The steps mentioned in this article will allow you to delete the apps from your Mac and then locate and remove their remaining data. The latter usually occupies more space than the application itself.
Pro Tip: Before you take any action to delete the apps from your Mac, make sure to back up the entire data. It will help you restore it completely in case anything goes wrong while you are uninstalling apps.
You may use native Time Machine utility to backup data to an external storage drive, or you can move data to the iCloud drive if you have enough space available. Alternatively, clone data to an external drive or use any third-party cloud storage service to save important data.
#1. Uninstall Apps Using Trash
Whether you are using macOS Catalina or Mojave, the process of removing applications from the Trash is more or less similar. You need to do it carefully, though, to ensure no other data is lost during the process.
Go to Finder and select the application you want to delete from the Applications folder available in the left panel. Right-click on the application and select Move to Trash from the drop-down, or drag the app and drop it on the trash icon. Next, delete the application from the trash can too.
Your device may prompt you to enter the Mac System Passcode. Once you enter the code, the app will be deleted along with its associated files.
However, if you want to delete the application from your system completely, you need to locate the leftovers too.
For example, there are different ways to uninstall Slack from the device; you need to first deactivate it, locate all the associated files that come along with it, and then delete them manually.
You may also need to search the system files on your Mac in addition to removing the app from the Trash can. So, when uninstalling any software, navigate to each folder one by one and remove any leftover files. Some common files that are associated with apps are:
- Binary and Dock icons are located in /Applications/
- Application support files are located in ~/Library/Application Support
- Support Caches can be found in /Library/Caches/ and ~/Library/Caches
- Plugins are located in ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/
One important thing to consider is that if any application is running in the background, you might not be able to remove it. You may first force close those apps from the Activity Monitor. You should never delete any system files, but if needed, be careful because you never know how it is going to impact the performance of your Mac.
#2. Uninstall Apps Using Launchpad
All the applications, including in-built Apple apps as well as third-party apps, can be accessed using the Launchpad. You can also use the Launchpad to delete the apps. To delete apps and programs using Launchpad, you can follow the below steps:
Open the Launchpad and find the program you wish to delete. Press the Option key from the keyboard. Alternatively, click and hold the app you want to remove from the computer and wait for it to jiggle. Click on the Delete (x) button available with the app and then click Delete to confirm your selection. The application will be deleted from the computer.
To delete the app data from the root folder, go to the Finder and click Go from the top of the Finder menu panel. Now click on Go to Folder, from where you can access any folder by entering the path. You can also delete the app leftover by navigating to this location.
For an application that won’t uninstall from the Launchpad, try to drag the icon from the Dock to the Trash can (which means it won’t be uninstalled completely, but partially.)
To force stop and delete any app, right-click on the app icon from the desktop and select Trash.
#3. Uninstall Apps using App Uninstaller
Several applications are designed to clean and remove the associated files automatically. They usually come with an in-built app uninstaller. It is an ability to self-destruct and clear the app when it is no longer needed.
This is mostly true for third-party downloads and is quite rare in the Mac world. In addition, you may also use third-party applications to uninstall any app from the MacBook, if you want to speed up the entire process.