How to Uninstall/Delete Applications on Mac/MacBook?

By Connie | Posted to Home > Howto, updated on November 23rd, 2021

Summary: This post from iBoysoft will guide you to completely uninstall applications and programs on Mac, even the apps that can't be deleted.

uninstall apps on Mac

You prepare to uninstall some applications or programs on your Mac as they take much storage space. Or, you are just tired of using them. Some apps are easy to be removed while some are hard to.

Well, this post offers efficient methods to help you completely uninstall apps on your Mac/MacBook. Even for the apps that seem cannot be deleted, you can find efficient ways here.

Uninstall apps from Launchpad

Commonly, you can delete a program on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air with Launchpad. You can follow the steps below:

  • Open Launchpad in the dock of the bottom of the screen.
  • Find the application that you want to remove from your Mac.
  • Click on the app and hold until it jiggles. (You'll see a icon shows on the top-right of the app)
  • Uninstall apps in Launchpad
  • Click the icon and then click the popped-up Delete button.

If you need to remove multiple applications, repeat the process. But if you can't find the button on some apps, try the next method.

Uninstall apps in Finder

Some apps don't show the icon when you keep clicking them for a moment in Launchpad. Well, you can try to delete apps on your Mac that won't delete from Launchpad.

Here's how

  • Open Finder and select Applications.
  • Browse the applications and find out the one you want to uninstall.
  • Right-click the application and choose Move to Trash.
  • Uninstall apps in Finder
  • Type the admin password if asked.
  • Right-click the Trash bin and select Empty Trash.

Now, you won't be frustrated by these apps anymore. This way is also suitable for delete files on your Mac.

Can't uninstall an app on Mac, what to do?

Things could be more complex as certain app or software can't be uninstalled from Launchpad and Finder. For example, the way to uninstall Honey on your Mac depends on the browser you use.

So, how to uninstall the programs on your MacBook that seems cannot be deleted? No worries, we have solutions.

Solution 1: Force Quit an app and then delete it on Mac

When you remove an app, an error message appears, which reads like the item can't be moved to the Trash.

Why? Usually, the app that can't be deleted because it is open and working. You can try to force quit the program first and then remove it.

To force quit the app that's open:

  • Open Finder > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor.
  • Find the app that you'll delete.
  • Choose the app and click the button on the left corner of the Activity Monitor window.
  • Click Force Quit on the popped-up confirmation window.
Force quit the app in Activity Monitor

Alternatively, you can use Command + Option + Esc (the equivalent of Ctrl-Alt-Delete on Mac) to force quit a program. Now, you can continue to remove the app in Finder.

Solution 2: Uninstall apps on Mac with their built-in uninstall options

Unfortunately, some apps that can't be moved to Trash, even if it is closed. Usually, to safely and completely uninstall these apps, you should use the built-in "Uninstall" feature in them.

For example, to uninstall iBoysoft NTFS for Mac, you should click the iBoysoft NTFS for Mac icon from the menu bar. Then, select the "Uninstall iBoysoft NTFS for Mac" option to completely delete it.

Uninstall iBoysoft NTFS for Mac

Solution 3: Completely uninstall an app on Mac with Terminal

Terminal, a program in macOS, allow Mac users to accomplish and automate tasks, like uninstall some applications that won't delete.

  • Open Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
  • Type the following command carefully and press Return.
  • cd /Applications/
  • Type the command below with a space, and then drag the app that you want to delete to Terminal. Then, hit Return.
  • sudo rm -rf
  • Type your admin password and press Return.

Now, the app is successfully deleted.

This article serves as a full guide for uninstalling or deleting applications, programs, or software on Mac. Even for the apps that won't delete from Launchpad and Finder, it also gives you efficient ways to completely remove them. Hope it can give you some help.

FAQs about how to uninstall apps on Mac

1. How do I uninstall and reinstall an app on Mac?

You can open Finder and select the target app in the Applications folder. Then, right-click it and select Move to Trash. Once the app is moved to Trash, it is uninstalled and emptied from Trash. If you want to reinstall it, go to the App Store or the official site of the app.

2. How to delete apps on M1 Mac?

To delete apps on an M1 Mac, you can open Finder > Applications. Then, right-click the app and select Move to Trash. Now, the app is uninstalled. Or, if the app has a built-in Uninstall option, click it to remove the app.

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