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Uninstall apps on Mac: How to delete or remove apps from MacBook Air, Pro, and other macOS devices


It’s always a good idea to free up the disk space on your Mac from unwanted apps to optimize its performance. This becomes even more important if you have a malicious app causing a problem. However, the process of getting rid of an app on Mac can be confusing. Although many of you think that moving an application to the Trash is enough, the truth is that it is not the same as uninstalling it. There may be some leftover files related to apps that add to the clutter. In this guide, we will talk about some of the easiest ways to delete as well as completely uninstall one or more apps from your Mac. So, let’s jump right into it!

Delete Apps using Launchpad

Follow these steps to delete apps on your Mac that you downloaded from the App Store:

  • Click the Launchpad icon in your Mac’s dock panel. You can also pinch your thumb and three fingers together on your trackpad to bring up Launchpad.
  • Find the app you want to delete by typing its name in the Search field or change pages by swiping right or left with two fingers on your trackpad.
  • Click and hold any app icon until it starts jiggling.
  • Click the ‘x’ button in the top left corner of the app you want to delete.
  • Now, click on Delete to confirm. The app will be deleted immediately.

When using this method, remember that the Delete (x) button only appears for apps downloaded from the App Store. To delete other apps, use the Finder mode.

Remove Apps with Finder

Here’s how you can find and remove any app on your Mac and send it straight to the Trash:

  • Click the Finder icon in your Mac’s dock panel.
  • On the sidebar of the Finder window, go to Applications.
  • Select the app you want to delete. Click on ‘Move to Bin’ from the drop down menu. You can also press Command + Delete or drag the app to the Trash.
  • Confirm the deletion by entering the password you use to log in to your Mac (or with Touch ID, if it’s enabled).
  • Now, select the Trash icon in the dock and click on Empty Bin to remove the app from the system.

Other Ways to Uninstall an App on Mac

Now, deleting an app and sending it to Trash using the Launchpad or Finder may seem like the easiest solution to uninstall it from your Mac. But, as mentioned earlier, you will still need to search the system for some leftovers and remove them as well to get rid of the app and its related files completely. Below are some of the possible methods you can try.

Using a native uninstaller

Most third-party apps you download from the internet come with a built-in uninstaller as a utility bundled with the main app for a better user experience. If you want to delete one such app from your Mac, follow the steps below to uninstall it from your Mac.

  • Go Finder > Applications.
  • Locate the named folder ‘(application name) Uninstaller’ or ‘Uninstall (application name)’.
  • Open the folder, find the uninstall launcher and follow the instructions on the screen.

And voila! You have successfully uninstalled the app from your Mac. In some cases, you may still have some files left, you will have to remove them one by one manually.

Note: If you can’t find the uninstaller for your third-party app or you accidentally deleted it, you can always check the developer’s website and download it again.

Using a third party tool

A great way to save yourself from the daunting task of uninstalling an app and then digging into the system on your Mac and manually removing leftover files is to use a third-party tool like CleanMyMac X. That’s all it takes you have to uninstall an app with this method.

  • Download and send the third party uninstaller.
  • Select the app that you want to uninstall from your Mac.
  • Click the Uninstall button at the bottom of the screen. It really is that easy!

Using Terminal

Terminal is a built-in program in MacOS that allows you to perform tasks like deleting an app without downloading a third-party tool. The steps are quite simple.

  • Go Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  • In the window that opens, enter the command – sudo uninstall file://.
  • Now, drag the app that you want to delete in Terminal automatically update the path.
  • Press Return and enter the password you use to log in to your Mac to uninstall the app.


1. How to uninstall apps on Mac that will not be deleted?

First of all, check if the app you want to delete is already open or running in the background. If so, exit it and then try uninstalling again. You can also try deleting the app in question and manually deleting its related files one by one after force quitting it (Command + Option + Esc) or rebooting your system. In case you still cannot delete it, the app may be pre-installed with MacOS and cannot be uninstalled from the system.

2. Why can’t I move files to Trash on my Mac?

If you cannot move one or more applications to the Trash using the Finder, your Mac may require them and cannot be deleted from the system.

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