Uninstall Mac Applications | The Right Way

Uninstalling apps from Mac OS X is easiest thing to do when compared to the Windows PCs. It is so shockingly simple that first time mac users are left puzzled as to what to do after actually uninstalling the app. They feel like they have not completely uninstalled the app. That because of how Windows is built. Unlike Windows, you do not need to go to “Control Panel” to uninstall an app. You can do it right from your desktop.

We shall first show you the traditional and simple method of just deleting the application. After that we will show you another easy way that’s new to modern versions of Mac OS, including OS X El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Lion, Mountain Lion, and beyond.

How to Uninstall Mac Applications in Mac OS X | The Simple Way

This method has been around since the first version of Mac:

Uninstall Mac Applications | The Right Way
  1. Go to Finder in OS X.
  2. Navigate to /Applications folder and click on the app you want to uninstall.
  3. Drag the application icon to the Trash, or right-click and select “Move to Trash”.Uninstall Mac Applications | The Right Way
  4. Right-click on the Trash can and select “Empty Trash”.Uninstall Mac Applications | The Right Way

Alternatively, you can also select the app icon and then hit Command+Delete to move the app to Trash, then empty the Trash and the app will be removed.

Uninstall Apps from the Mac App Store through Launchpad

Please note that this method only works on apps installed through the Mac App Store, but not for apps installed manually through third party developers.

  1. Open LaunchPad.
  2. Click and hold on the app you want to uninstall.
  3. When the app icon starts to jiggle, click on the black (X) icon.
  4. Click on “Delete” to confirm.Uninstall Mac Applications | The Right Way
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Alternatively, you can also use the the drag-to-Trash method in Mac OS X, but LaunchPad is quickest for apps installed through the App Store.

Using LaunchPad in newer version of Mac OS X ( 10.11, 10.10, 10.9, 10.8, 10.7 and newer) does not require you to empty the Trash afterwards; it’s handled internally by Mac OS.

How to Remove App Library Files, Caches, & Preferences

There are some mac apps which leave behind some residual file. These files do not cause any issue, but if you want to delete them it’s just a matter of locating the apps support files and removing them. If you do not like to dig around in these files yourself, you can use a 3rd party app which does the job for you. For those who would like to do this on their own, you can typically find these type of files in the following locations.

Application Support files (can be anything from saved states, preferences, caches, temporary files, etc):

~/Library/Application Support/(App Name)

Preferences are stored at:

~/Library/Preferences/(App Name)

Caches are stored in:

~/Library/Caches/(App Name)

Sometimes you will need to look for the developer name rather than the application name, since not all app files are identified by their name.

Mac Apps with separate uninstallers?

While this is common in most Windows apps, it is rare on a Mac. But some mac applications include their own uninstaller apps to remove all traces of an application. Apps from Adobe or Microsoft usually have such unistallers as they install more apps that aid the main program, or place library files and associated application dependencies elsewhere in OS X. If the app you want to uninstall includes a dedicated uninstaller application, it is recommended to go with the official route of removing the app and related files so that the other associated items are removed from the Mac as well.

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