How to Uninstall Apps on Mac

If you’ve been living under the impression that sending an app from your Mac to the Trash will uninstall it completely, you’ve been lied to. It’s shocking, we know, but while moving an app to the trash will remove most of it, it will also leave behind a lot of debris like support files, hidden files, and other associated files. So, if you want to be a responsible Mac user, you need to learn how to uninstall apps on your Mac the right way.

Why? Because leaving them only half uninstalled will fill up gigabytes of space on your Mac’s hard drive with useless clutter. And sure you could find a better use for that space. That’s why, until Apple decides to make the right choice and develop a better way to completely uninstall apps on Mac, we’ve prepared some efficient tips and tricks to help you uninstall apps manually and keep the performance of your Mac at its peak, day in and day out.

A complete guide to uninstall software on Mac

In this guide, we’re going to show you how to completely remove apps from your Mac in order to free up space and have your Mac running at full power.

We’ve prepared two ways for deleting apps on Mac:

  1. a hands-on, DIY guide for those who want to have a close grip on all steps and delete apps from Mac manually
  2. a faster, more efficient, automatic method that involves the clean up app called CleanMyMac X (for those who are tight on time).

Whichever method you choose, it will help you to correctly remove apps on Mac. You will then have a clean Mac and a lot more free space to store your digital possessions.

What’s more, we’ve also added 2 bonus tips for uninstalling Java and Flash Player:

  1. Bonus 1: Uninstall Java on Mac
  2. Bonus 2: Uninstall Flash Player on Mac

Sounds good? Now, let’s take out the trash!


How to Remove Programs on Mac Manually

It’s time for the big reveal. We’re going to show you where to find all the associated app files that remain trapped on your Mac even after you’ve sent an app to the Trash.

But before we proceed, take caution. If you’ve chosen the manual method to remove programs on Mac we admire your determination, but we must also warn you to keep a careful eye on what you’re deleting. You don’t want to end up removing essential files. So, carefully check all the filenames before you begin to uninstall software on Mac and make sure they belong to the app you want to remove.

Sometimes, for the mysterious reasons, your Mac would refuse to delete some files. If this happens, reboot your system and try again, after you’ve pressed Command-Option-Esc and made sure the app is not listed as running. If it is, force quit and try again.

There’s also the risk of having some app files slip through the cracks of the manual method, if you’re not thorough enough. But then again, if you have any doubts, skip ahead to the automatic solution with CleanMyMac.

Now, let’s gather all strengths and begin the manual hunt for app leftovers! To make sure you don’t miss anything and you remove software from your Mac correctly, follow these steps:

  • Step 1 – write down the name of the apps that you have sent to the Trash and go to the next step to start finding apps leftovers and associated files.
  • Step 2 – go to the following locations and if you find a folder associated with any app name you have written down, delete it to completely uninstall the programs.

So, to fully remove an app and its leftovers from your Mac,

List of leftovers locations


The quick way to delete apps on Mac

Now we’re going to tell you how to remove apps on Mac the fast way with CleanMyMac X. While the manual method to remove apps on Mac can take you hours, this Mac clean up app will save you precious time and have the job done in just seconds.

How? Well, the clean up app CleanMyMac X automatically removes junk and hidden leftover files that your system doesn’t need. In doing so you are guaranteed to free up a bunch of space on your Mac so that it runs speedy and fresh.

Sounds good? It sounds great! Here’s what you have to do:

Download CleanMyMac X for free and run the trial version that allows you to clean 500 mb of junk for free. This means you can delete a couple of un-deletable apps at no cost. If you like it, you’ll be able to upgrade to the paid version and give your Mac a full clean out. You’ll also be able to uninstall apps on Mac correctly at any given time, without limits.

To remove apps from Mac the easy way with CleanMyMac X follow these steps:

  • Launch CleanMyMac and go to the Uninstaller tab
  • Click View All Applications
  • Select any app you want to remove completely
  • Click Uninstall to remove 100% of the app from your Mac

Delete apps with CleanMyMac X Uninstaller Module

It’s as easy as it sounds, but we’ve also prepared a visual tutorial to guide you through removing apps with CleanMyMac X so hit play! It also shows you how to easily reset apps that are misbehaving. Often, the reason someone wants to delete an app is because it has stopped working properly, but a reset may solve the issue. If it does, then you won’t even need to remove the application from Mac.

How to completely uninstall Java from your Mac

Java plugin is known to have conflict issues with many apps. Re-installing it helps to get some Mac’s services back to working. But completely removing Java might seem a bit harder than uninstalling normal apps. However, it’s not rocket science. With a few clicks and double-clicks, you’ll be ready to enjoy more space and more speed from your Mac, free from the clutter. Space you can, of course, use to install another Java version if you please.
So here’s how to completely delete Java. Remove one directory and one file (a symlink), as follows:

  1. Click on the Finder icon located in your dock
  2. Click on the Utilities folder
  3. Double-click on the Terminal icon
  4. In the Terminal window Copy and Paste the commands below:
    • sudo rm -fr /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin
    • sudo rm -fr /Library/PreferencePanes/JavaControlPanel.prefPane
    • sudo rm -fr ~/Library/Application\ Support/Java

How to delete Java app manually

How to delete Flash Player on Mac completely

Completely removing Flash Player is a totally different affair than getting rid of normal apps. First of all, you’ll need an uninstaller from Adobe. Secondly...well, secondly you’ll need to follow these directions, because things get a bit more complicated. But not that deadly complicated, don’t worry!

A step-by-step guide to uninstall Flash Player:

  1. Determine your Mac OS version by clicking on the Apple Icon and choosing About This Mac. Your Mac OS version will appear here
  2. Check which Adobe Uninstaller is compatible with your Mac OS Version. You can do the check up on the Adobe website
  3. Download and install the Uninstaller
  4. Open the uninstaller, click Uninstall and close all browsers (make sure to bookmark or print this page so you can still follow the instructions)
  5. Voila! The uninstallation process is over and you’ve only got one more step to go
  6. Delete the following directories to finish the removal process:
    • ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash\ Player
    • ~/Library/Caches/Adobe/Flash\ Player

How to delete Flash player manually

Did it work? Congratulations — you may officially call yourself a geek now. Now, if you want to remove apps on Mac quickly, safely, and easily, go back to the simplest way with the clean up app CleanMyMac X.

The benefits of correctly uninstalling apps on Mac

Next time you need to uninstall an application on Mac, remember that dragging it to the Trash is only half efficient and confirms the old law of nature — nothing ever gets lost. Who knows, maybe one day Apple will create a way to proper delete apps on Mac. But that might be just wishful thinking or as realistic as waiting for Santa to slide down the chimney. But don’t worry! Until then we’re going to rely on our ability to hunt down those hidden app files ourselves. Or better yet, fire up the quick and easy clean up app, CleanMyMac, to do the dirty work for us.

How to delete apps with CleanMyMac X

Now you know everything needed to delete apps on Mac the correct way, achieve complete uninstallation and remove annoying quirks and strange apps behaviors. Whether you choose the manual method or opt for the clean up app CleanMyMac X, you can be sure your Mac will be free of unnecessary app files that eat up disk space in vain. Staying safe and clean feels great, right?