One of the reasons I like macOS over Windows is the easiness to install and uninstall the apps. However, installing too many apps is not good as they will occupy storage space as well as affect the performance of the Mac. For example, using the Apple Xcode needs more than 8 GB space and it will slow down the system if you are using old Mac models. If you have installed too many apps and running out of storage space, then here are the various options to delete or uninstall apps from your Mac.
Uninstall Apps in Mac
Over period you might have installed lot of apps but not using most of them. You can find all the installed apps in Finder Applications folder or in the Launchpad. This will give you an overview of the installed apps and which one you want to delete.
The list view in Finder Applications folder is a best option to see the apps along with their sizes. You can sort the apps based on “Size” column to find which are using large space. As you can see in the below screenshot, i am not even using apps like GarageBand and iMovie which occupy almost 4.5 GN of space.
1. Delete from Launchpad
The first option is to uninstall apps from the Launchpad.
- Click on Launchpad from the dock or press F4 key on MacBook laptops to open Launchpad.
- Drag and drop the application to Trash bin.
- Mac will prompt you to confirm the app deletion, confirm the deletion by clicking on “Delete” button.
Note that uninstalling and deleting have the same meaning in Mac. However, they are completely two different actions in Windows systems.
2. Uninstall Apps from App Store
Next option is to delete an app from Mac App Store.
- Go to App Store and click on your Apple ID showing on the bottom of the left sidebar.
- Here, you will see all installed apps on your account.
- Hover over the app that you want to remove and click on the three dots buttons.
- Select ” Delete App…” option from the menu and confirm your action to remove it from your Mac.
If you are using old macOS version, then you will see “Move to Trash” instead of “Delete App…” option as shown below.
Note that the App Store will show all the installed apps in the purchase history. You will see a cloud icon for the deleted apps not available on your Mac. Simply click on the cloud icon to again install the app.
3. Move Apps to Trash from Applications Folder
- Open Finder app and go to Applications folder.
- Select the app that you want to delete and press “Command + Delete” keys. Alternatively, right-click and choose “Move to Trash” option.
- You may need to
Confirm the app deletion and move the app to trash bin. Generally, apps will be permanently deleted and will not be available in trash bin for restoring.
4. Uninstall App from System Settings
Next option is to delete the apps when checking available storage space in your Mac.
- Go to “Apple Menu > System Settings…” option.
- Navigate to “General > Storage” section.
- Double click on “Applications” item showing with the overall size occupied by all apps.
- On the pop-up that appears, select the app and click “Delete” button.
- Confirm the action to permanently delete the app from your Mac.
5. Completely Delete All Files and Folders of an App
All the above methods will delete the .app application but the files associated with the application may or may not be deleted. Many social apps like WhatsApp and WeChat will remove all the associated data when you uninstall them from Mac. However, uninstalling some of the apps will NOT delete the associated files in Mac. Let us say, you have installed Microsoft Word app from App Store and created lot of document files. After some time if you delete the Word app, all document files will be still available on your Mac.
Image editing apps are another best example. When you install image editing apps, they will save the images in Pictures folder by default. For example, Snagit is the popular screen capture app available in App Store. This app will save all captured images as project files in Pictures folder with a custom .snagproj extension. When you simply drag and delete the app, it will not delete any of the project files. You can follow the below steps to find and delete all associated files after deleting such apps.
- Open Finder app and type the app name in the search box – for example, I search for “snagit”.
- Choose “This Mac” as search location.
- You will see the list of all files related to the searched app.
- You can check and delete all the files. Ensure to check the file path before deleting, otherwise you may end up in deleting files from the iCloud backup.
You can also use advanced search to filter specific file types like .docx.
So, if your objective is to free up the storage, then make sure to check and clean up associated files after deleting the apps. There are also plenty of third-party apps available in Mac App Store for managing uninstallation process of other apps. Go for a simpler apps like Smart Trash Can which can help to delete the app and its data completely.
Frequently Asked Questions on Uninstalling Mac App
It is not recommend to use complicated third-party apps like CleanMyMac X for deleting apps from Mac. Uninstalling these cleaner apps is a big headache and those apps may also leave traces in your system. So, use Finder or go for a simple apps like Smart Trash Can to find and delete app/files as explained above.
You can’t delete apps that come as part of macOS. System apps include Safari, Stocks, Books, Freeform, Home, Calculator, Clock, FaceTime, TextEdit, etc. These system apps will not show delete option in right-click menu and dragging and dropping them to Trash will not work.
Some apps like TextEdit are available in “Other” folder and hence make sure to check in that folder. Other apps like Shortcuts and Screen Sharing are not shown either in Applications folder or in Launchpad. You can find them in
Yes, Mac will prompt for admin username/password when you try to delete an app. You can confirm either by typing the password or using Touch ID if your keyboard supports.
No, uninstalled apps will be permanently deleted and WILL NOT move to Trash. You will see a confirmation prompt with a clear notification about this when deleting an app.