contador Saltar al contenido

How to uninstall programs and apps on Mac

Regardless of the operating system you are using on any device you may have, the inevitable uninstallation of programs and apps. Maybe you have installed something you just wanted to try and you don't really need it, or maybe you're trying to free up space on your device by removing the less used apps. In any case, each operating system has its own way of managing the uninstallation process. On Windows, for example, you'll find (usually) an uninstall program bundled with every program you have; otherwise, you have the Programs and Features section in the Windows Control Panel for this. Android and iOS handle the same with a simple press and hold onto any icon and hit the small cross on the top to get rid of it.

Whenever someone switches from Windows to Mac OS X, one of the immediate problems like uninstalling the programs. This is because there is no immediately obvious solution to do so. The reason for this is rather simple; uninstall app on a Mac infinitely easier than any other platform. Let's take a look at how.

How Mac apps differ from Windows

The main difference between Mac and its main competitor, Windows, the way apps and programs are stored. Mostly, OS X apps consist only of .app file which are usually stored in the Applications folder on your Mac. This is especially true for apps downloaded from the Mac App Store. Thus, some programs may even have some preferences that are stored in a .plist file (list of properties) in the folder / Library / Preferences . Still others may have an add-on called Kernel Extension (saved via .kext file in / System / Library / Extensions ). They are extremely sensitive and critical to the function of a Mac and are often shared by more than one app. So it is not advisable to tinker with them unless you are absolutely sure of what you are doing.

As we noted earlier, this is intrinsically different from Windows operating under a system registry and every installed program has an entry l. This is why removing Mac apps is easier than you would in Windows.

Uninstall Mac apps by dragging them to the trash

This is the simplest and most direct method and works best with apps downloaded from the Mac App Store (or those that have only an .app file in the Applications folder). Locate the app in Finder or Launchpad and drag the icon to the Trash. so: the app "marked for removal" and once you've emptied the Recycle Bin, for their made.

Note that although this method is suitable for apps that do not have kernel preferences or extensions, it does not mean that you cannot uninstall those that use this method. Everything can be 'trashed'; just don't get rid of the other pieces by yourself.

Using a Dedicated Uninstaller app (best method)

This is my personal preference and my recommendation for all uninstalls on a Mac. While there are a number of uninstall programs available (both paid and free), I strongly recommend that you use AppCleaner . a free app that does wonders when you uninstall a single app or group of them at the same time. AppCleaner is updated quite regularly, ensuring long-term developer support for an app like this. List all the available apps, widgets and plug-ins and select one of them to search for any file associated with that app, allowing the removal of the installed apps with a single click. This works not only for single .app packages, but also complex ones that may have associated .plist and .kext files. AppCleaner will also manage installations that may require password entry, but it largely depends on preferences and security settings.

Note: for regarding the password requirements for the removal of some apps, this could apply in several cases. Generally, if an app requires entering the password during installation, it is very likely to require a password during the uninstallation. However, a look at your System Preferences may be able to change it, so it's difficult to give a universal rule around this.

Manually uninstalling an app for Mac

Even if you've probably already guessed it, the lack of a system registry in Mac allows manual removal of all apps, even if beyond this point things start to get more risky. This is because if you don't know what you're doing, you could end up removing something that shouldn't have been. However, if you're willing to tackle this area, here's how you can do it.

Removing the .app file

This is quite simple. Find the .app file (usually found in the Applications folder in the Finder) and send it to the trash, as we discussed earlier.

Removing the .plist file

Even the removal of property directory files is essentially the same, but a bit complicated to locate them. We noticed before that these files are in the folder / Library / Preferences, but you cannot easily access this folder on a Mac. To visit this location, select the option Go to the folder in Finder (via the Go menu or by pressing Command + Shift + G together and then entering the path / Library / Preferences . Once in, you can manually send any associated .plist file sweeping as usual.

It is worth noting here that these .plist files are really small – usually a couple of kilobytes at most – so removing them will have no impact on the space available.

Removing .kext files

I would like to reiterate that this is dangerous territory and you shouldn't worry about removing kernel extensions unless you're absolutely sure what you're doing. Do not damage the backup of the files you are removing to another location just in case. However, if you want to proceed, go to the folder / System / Library / Extensions using the dialog box Go to the folder and also put those files in the Trash. If something goes wrong, restore the file to its original location from the backup you created.

Uninstall Mac app via terminal

Unix-based OS X, which means you can practically do anything using Terminal. Frankly, it doesn't make sense to do it, except maybe a preference for using the command line or showing your genius skills to your friends. The uninstallation is quite simple: start a terminal session and enter the following

sudo uninstall file: ///

where is it will be replaced by wherever the app is located and whatever the format. To illustrate this, I have an application called Fotor in my folder Applications, then the command that inserir :

sudo uninstall file: ///Applications/

Pay attention to the three bars instead of the usual two in this command. The first two belong to the command syntax, while the third is to indicate the path to the Applications folder. Knowing this, you can replace the path and apply this command to virtually any location on your Mac.

Again, depending on your preferences and settings, you may be asked to enter the password if you remove something using Terminal.

Uninstalling Microsoft Office 2011 from Mac

It might seem surprising why I'm doing a particular case of uninstalling MS Office 2011, but this turned out to be very annoying when I tried to remove it from my MacBook. You see, MS Office 2011 is not packaged very well, and if you really want to get rid of it, the best approach is a combination. First of all, it employs AppCleaner and get rid of everything Office 2011 or related (there will be a lot). Next, touch the folder Applications and find the folder Office 2011 and move everything to the trash. Finally, go to the folder / Library / Preferences and make sure no residue remains Office 2011 . There really is no easy way to deal with it, so this is probably the best solution.


This basically covers the basics for all possible methods of uninstalling an app from your Mac. There are some apps that will be difficult to remove – like our example of MS Office 2011 – but on your Mac there's practically nothing you can not remove.

As a recommendation, repeat the use of AppCleaner above any other method, simply because it is easy to remove not only any app, but also all its associated files. The rest of the options are there; they are simply not worth it when you have such a simple solution available for free.