How to Uninstall Apps on Mac and Delete Leftovers without a Trace

Most people begin their computer user ‘career’ with Microsoft products, so they need some time to adapt in case they decide to switch to Macs. The differences are obvious from the first sight. One of them is the way Windows and Mac users get the applications on their devices.


In case of Windows operating system, a user should install software using special installer wizards. To get rid of the specific software, the same type of mechanisms must be used. Even if one leaves the issues associated with the system security aside, a process of uninstallation in Windows is a chore that can normally be undertaken by automated tools.

In case of Mac, it is simpler to install/delete the software. Though, in some situations, it may take more time to make sure no leftovers are present after the uninstallation. The leftovers are the nasty items that remain in the system after the app’s removal. It makes no sense to keep those files unless the user plans to reinstall the target software later.

The offered guide will help to understand the process of uninstallation on Apple computers better as well as share the popular ways to erase the apps completely.

Uninstall Apps on Mac

How to Uninstall Software on Mac from the Applications Folder

“What is the simplest way to delete an application from my Mac?” you may wonder. On Apple computers, the system saves software in the /Applications folder. Correspondingly, to uninstall a specific app, a Mac owner has to place the application’s icon in the Trash bin. Congratulations, you’ve just deleted the unneeded app on macOS in the easiest way possible!

How to Uninstall Software on Mac Using Launchpad?

Now, we’d like to discuss another uninstallation method which is probably the best way to get rid of the software downloaded from the App Store. This time, a Mac owner can complete the mission with the help of Launchpad. You have to keep in mind that this technique won’t work with the software from outside the App Store; nor will it fully remove the residual data.

  • 1) Open Launchpad.
  • 2) Click and keep holding the target application’s icon you wish to uninstall.
  • 3) Once the software’s icon begins to jiggle, the X button will show up next to it. Press it and then pick the Delete option to confirm the elimination of the selected application.

Using Launchpad in the latest version of macOS does not require emptying the Trash after sending the unwanted item to it.

How to Delete Apps on Mac without Leaving a Trace?

However, the two simple approaches mentioned above do not guarantee that you will eliminate the app completely as related leftovers and residual data may still stay in the system. Below, we will explain how a Mac user can take care of these remains both manually and with the help of third-party cleaning applications.

​You need to know that a Mac user may have no idea how much preferences the removed app leaves behind. Even though such items do not eat a lot of space, they may form one huge problem over time. Among other things, erasing the supporting files means reclaiming some disk space, so it is useful to learn how to do that after the basic uninstallation process.

If the software does not have a special built-in uninstaller to take care of the leftovers, do it manually by checking every possible location for the associated files – you can detect them by looking for the app’s or its developer’s name in the file title. Get rid of leftover by scanning the offered locations:

  • 1. Support files – ~/Library/Application
  • 2. Caches – /Library/Caches/ and ~/Library/Caches
  • 3. Plugins – ~/Library/Address Book Plug-Ins/
  • 4. Library – ~/Library/
  • 5. Application preferences – ~/Library/Preferences/
  • 6. Crashes – ~/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter/
  • 7. Saved states – ~/Library/Saved Application State/

Now, what if the user decides to remove a built-in utility?

Remove Programs from Mac That Arrive with the OS

“OK, now I know how to remove third-party apps. But how do I remove native soft that comes along with the operating system?”, you may ask. Indeed, it is not that simple because macOS has built-in restrictions that are meant to prevent it. The main reason for that is the risk of erasing an important data that makes the system function properly.

If you still insist on deleting some native apps like Chess or Safari, it is important to dip into the command line with the help of Terminal. But mind that this utility suits experienced users and is not advised to be used by newbies.

Imagine that you want to remove Mail from your Mac for some reason.

  • Perform a backup to protect the important
  • Move to the Applications Folder and find Utilities.
  • Launch the Terminal from Utilities.
  • Enter this text in the command line to switch to the Applications directory: cd /Applications/
  • Next, type the following: sudo rm -rf

If you would like to eliminate some other native tools like Chess, Safari, FaceTime, QuickTime Player, Photo Booth, or Stickies, just replace the name of the app in the example command above.

How to Uninstall Things on Mac Using Special Cleaners?

Uninstall Things on Mac

Getting rid of useless stuff is way simpler and faster with the help of specially developed third-party cleaners. Read the reviews before deciding on the app you need. Download and set up the cleaner released by the trusted developer to ensure the safety of your Apple computer. Make sure it has an uninstaller among its features. Smart cleaning tools know what to delete, what to leave intact, and how to annihilate residual data.

Then, just open the app, find the uninstaller section, and launch the removal tool. Usually, after the target app is removed, you will be presented with the list of leftover files. Review them and confirm the elimination to complete the process.

As you can see, there is nothing simpler than uninstalling applications with the help of smart cleaner. It is up to you to decide whether to spend time on the removal or save your nerves thanks to the professional cleaning app.