One of the least appreciated things about macOS is how it manages applications. For example, most apps do not even use a fully-fledged installation wizard. Instead, you can open the DMG file and drag and drop the app file to the Applications folder. However, uninstalling apps or programs on Mac can be a little confusing for some.
One reason? There are a few ways you can do it. As it happens, though, not all these methods are equal in terms of effectiveness. In this short guide, we discuss how to uninstall apps or programs on a Mac. Rest assured; we have included methods that work on M1/M2 Macs. So, even if you have the latest M2 Mac mini, it will help you.
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Method #1 Uninstall apps from the Applications folder
As we said earlier, macOS stores all your apps in the Applications folder, which you can access from the HD directory. Therefore, to download an app, you can use the Application folder itself. The steps you need to follow are:
- Open Applications on Finder
- Select the Mac app that you want to uninstall
- Right-click on the Mac app
- Select Move to Bin
- Go to Bin and remove the app
This method works for most apps. You simply have to make sure that you have quit the app first. Then, you will be able to remove the app from your Mac.
Here’s the problem. This process does not remove the entire app from your Mac. Instead, library files, cache, and other data will be left on your Mac hard disk. If you want to resolve this problem, you should use another method.
Method #2 Uninstall apps by using an Uninstaller
The ideal option is to use a dedicated app uninstaller for Mac. These utilities can help you remove the entire app from your Mac. Removing these leftover/associated files is critical when freeing up space on the device. It happens to be the case with many heavy-sized apps you might have on your Mac.
For instance, suppose you want to uninstall VMWare from your Mac. Unfortunately, removing the VMWare app from the Applications folder will not remove all the virtual machines or support files. In these times, you need a new way.
We recommend using the Application Remover utility of App Cleaner & Uninstaller from Nektony. This utility can help remove all aspects of an application from your computer. That is, this app will uninstall applications and remove hidden files from the system. So, you do not have to worry about leftover files taking up Mac space or resources. To do it,
- Open App Cleaner & Uninstaller and navigate to the Applications section
- Select the app you want to uninstall
- Click the Uninstall button
- Review the details and confirm
- Wait for a few seconds
App Cleaner & Uninstaller will remove the app altogether. You do not have to worry about background elements or a random login item anymore.
Method #3 Uninstall applications from Launchpad
Sometimes, you understand that you have too many apps on your Mac when you open Launchpad. But did you know that you can uninstall applications from Launchpad right away? Well, the steps you have to follow are:
- Open Launchpad and locate the app that you want to remove
- Click and hold on the app until it starts wiggling
- Now, click the – button on the left-top side of the app icon
- Confirm whether you would like to remove the app from your Mac
In a second, macOS will uninstall the app from your device. However, please keep in mind that this process is almost equal to removing the app from the Applications folder. As a result, remnant files may be present on your device after this step.
Method #4 Uninstall apps from Mac by using Terminal
As you may know, Terminal is one of the most powerful tools in macOS. So, it is not surprising that you can remove an application from your Mac using Terminal. However, you should keep in mind that the following command is not designed explicitly for uninstalling apps. Instead, it is a typical command that you can use for removing files from a Mac. Here are the steps, anyway.
- Open Terminal
- Type the following command
sudo rm -rf /Applications/Arc.app
- Make sure you replace the file name with the app you want to remove
- Press the Enter key and wait for a second
- Type the password of your Mac to proceed
The Terminal utility will remove the file from your Mac in a second. But, again, this method does not do anything about remnant files. So, if you want to remove leftover files, you need a different tool. Also, this process does not work with all apps on your Mac.
Why can’t I uninstall apps on Mac?
You may be unable to uninstall an app if your Mac is using it. This is because there are also times when Mac apps might have installed system extensions. These extensions will then prevent you from uninstalling the app. But you can solve these issues by using a dedicated installer.
How do I completely uninstall an app on Mac?
Removing the app from the Applications folder is not enough to uninstall an app on Mac. Instead, you must head to the Library section and remove the associated files. However, this process can be risky since there is a chance of you removing an important macOS file accidentally.
How can I uninstall protected/locked apps on Mac?
To uninstall protected/locked apps on a Mac, you will have to disable System Integration Protection, which is better known as SIP. However, this process can be a little complex and needs system-level changes. So, it may be a better option to check for a dedicated uninstaller from the official developer.
What if I uninstalled an app accidentally?
If you used the Applications folder or Launchpad method to uninstall the app, you do not have to worry. You can find the application file in Bin and restore it. However, if you used a dedicated uninstaller, this will not be possible. In this case, you will have to reinstall the app.
We believe you could uninstall apps and programs from your new M1/M2 Mac easily. However, as you can guess, the second method seems more effective, and we recommend you use the same.