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How to Uninstall Apps/Programs on Mac?

Updated on Friday, June 21, 2024

iBoysoft author Connie Yang

Written by

Connie Yang
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


Summary: This post will guide you to completely uninstall apps and programs on Mac or MacBook in different ways, even apps that can't be deleted. Among them, using iBoysoft MagicMenu is the simplest and quickest way.

how to uninstall apps on Mac

You decide to uninstall some applications or programs on your Mac as they take up much storage space, slow down your Mac performance, or cause your Mac won't update. Or, you are just tired of using them. Some apps are easy to be removed while some are hard to.

Well, this post tells you how to completely uninstall programs on your Mac. Even for the apps that can't be deleted on Mac running macOS Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, etc., you can find efficient ways from here.

How to uninstall apps on Mac/MacBook:

Ways to uninstall apps on a MacThe specific operationDifficulty levelFeatures
Use iBoysoft MagicMenu1. Free down and install this app. 
2. Right-click and choose Uninstall.
EasyCompletely remove the unwanted apps and their leftovers from the Mac.
Use Launchpad1. Open Launchpad. 
2. Click on the app and hold on until it jiggles. 
3. Click the delete icon on the app.
EasyQuickly remove the target app but leave its related files on the Mac.
Use Finder1. Open Finder > the Applications folder. 
2. Right-click on the target app and choose Move to Trash.
EasySuitable for software downloaded outside of the App Store.
Use the built-in uninstaller button in the app1. Open the app you're going to delete. 
2. Find the uninstall button and click on it.
EasyOnly works for apps that are designed with a uninstalling button.
Use Terminal1. Open Terminal on your Mac. 
2. Enter cd /Applications/ and press Return. 
3. Type in sudo rm -rf. Remember to leave a space after f. 
4. Drag and drop the app to the Terminal window. 
5. Enter the admin password and press Return.
HardThis way can delete apps that won't be deleted on Mac.

How to uninstall programs on Mac

There are different ways to remove apps from your Mac, including using third-party app uninstaller, Launchpad, Finder, and the app's built-in uninstalling functionality.  You can check these methods one by one and choose the best uninstallers for Mac you prefer and cater to your situation.

How to uninstall apps on Mac:

  1. Uninstall apps on Mac with iBoysoft MagicMenu
  2. Uninstall apps on Mac with Launchpad
  3. Uninstall apps on Mac using Finder
  4. Uninstall software on Mac with its built-in uninstaller
  5. Completely uninstall an application on Mac with Terminal

Uninstall apps on Mac with iBoysoft MagicMenu

Of course, multiple methods exist for deleting an app on your Mac. But uninstalling a program from your Mac is not just moving it to Trash. If you want to delete useless software from your Mac thoroughly, you also need to clean all of its leftovers, including scripts to keep the app running, preferences settings, cache files, etc. 

However, the leftovers of each app are scattered among different folders on your Mac. It is time-consuming and tough for you to find and remove all of them from your Mac machine. Alternatively, you can use iBoysoft MagicMenu. It is a right-click enhancer that allows you to delete everything from an unwanted app within a few clicks.

uninstall apps on Mac with iBoysoft MagicMenu

After installing this software, all you need to do is right-click the target program and then choose the Uninstall option. This functionality is greatly different from the Move to Trash option on the right-click menu, which only moves the app to the Trash folder but leaves the caches and the app's other associated data like its Application Support folder on your Mac. You can completely uninstall Malwarebytes on Mac using iBoysoft MagicMenu.

If this way helps you uninstall apps on Mac quickly, share it with others.


Uninstall apps on Mac with Launchpad

Commonly, if the program you want to uninstall is downloaded from the App Store or authenticated by your Mac, you can remove icons from Launchpad on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.

Here's how to uninstall programs on Mac using Launchpad:

  1. Open the Launchpad in the dock at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Find the application that you want to remove from your Mac.
  3. Click on the app and hold until it jiggles. (You'll see an icon shown on the top-right of the app). 
    uninstall programs on Mac
  4. Click the  icon and then click the popped-up Delete button.

If you need to remove multiple apps, repeat the process. But if the program didn't come from the App Store, you probably can't find the  button in Launchpad. In that case, try the next method.

Uninstall apps on Mac using Finder

The Apps downloaded outside of the App Store don't show the  icon when you click them for a moment in Launchpad.

Well, you can use Finder to delete apps on Mac that won't delete from Launchpad.

Steps for uninstalling apps on MacBook with Finder:

  1. Open Finder and select Applications.
  2. Browse the applications and find out the one you want to uninstall.
  3. Right-click the application and choose Move to Trash.
    delete apps in Finder
  4. Type the admin password if asked.
  5. 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 deleting files on your Mac, and uninstalling Grammarly on Mac.

Uninstall software on Mac with its built-in uninstaller

If the apps you want to delete are downloaded from the Internet (usually third-party apps), they are always designed with an uninstaller or uninstall button for a better user experience.

The uninstaller of an app is a folder named "the app name" Uninstaller or similar that is located in Finder > Applications. You can open the uninstaller folder, find the installer, and follow the onscreen guide to remove the app.

In terms of the app that comes with an uninstall button, you can open it and find the uninstall button from the user interface to remove it from your MacBook.

Completely uninstall an application on Mac with Terminal

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

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

Now, the app is successfully deleted.

Share the above methods to help your friends remove programs on Mac.


How to delete apps on Mac that won't delete?

Things could be complex as certain deleted apps still show up on Mac or in Launchpad. So, how to uninstall programs on your Mac that seem to not delete? No worries, we have solutions.

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 can't be deleted on your Mac because it is open or frozen. You can try to force quit the program first and then remove it.

To force quit the open app:

  1. Open Finder > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor.
  2. Find the app that you'll delete.
  3. Choose the app and click the  button on the left corner of the Activity Monitor window.
  4. 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.

Uninstall apps on Mac with their built-in uninstall options

Unfortunately, some apps 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, the dedicated way to uninstall Honey on your Mac depends on the browser you use.

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


Clear app leftovers to completely delete an app on Mac

Though you can delete programs on Mac by moving them to Trash from Launchpad, Finder, or their built-in uninstaller, this way of deletion is not complete. No developer wants a user to erase everything about their software. They always leave associated files of the software and are waiting for your return someday or continue tracking your preferences.

So, the caches, preferences files, saved states, and other unneeded files of the deleted apps still remain on your MacBook after the uninstallation. If you want to completely remove programs from your Mac to free up space, you are recommended to use the app uninstalling function on iBoysoft MagicMenu. Otherwise, you need to clean up their leftover files manually.

Here's how to clear the remaining files of a deleted app on a Mac:

  1. Open Finder and click Go at the top Finder menu bar. Then, select Go to Folder from the drop-down menu.
  2. Enter ~/Library/ into the Go to the folder box and click Go.
  3. Look through the folders in the Library folder and remove the associated files of the deleted app in each folder, including Saved Application State, Cookies, Application Scripts, Containers, Application Support, Caches, Logs, and Preferences.
    delete app leftover files in the Library folder on Mac

 Note: Don't delete the whole folder at once, or else, other remaining apps on your Mac may perform improperly or fail to work.

Since an app has types of related files, deleting each of them will cost you a lot of time. It is recommended to use a third-party junk file cleaner. Junk file cleaners can delete leftovers from your uninstalled app thoroughly and quickly.

iBoysoft DiskGeeker is such a junk file cleaner. This tool supports clearing up the junk files of deleted apps within a few clicks.

Here's how to remove junk files of the deleted apps on Mac with iBoysoft Diskgeeker:

  1. Download, install, and open iBoysoft DiskGeeker on your Mac.
  2. Select your startup partition from the left sidebar of the window.
  3. Click the Clean Junk button on the right toolbar.
    click the Clean Junk button in iBoysoft DiskGeeker
  4. Waiting for the scanning results and then tick in the leftover folder of the deleted apps in UserCache, UserLog, Downloads, and UserAppCache. Then, click Clean to delete them all at a time.
    delete the junk files using iBoysoft DiskGeeker

Final thoughts

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

By the way, if you want to recover the deleted apps on Mac, follow this post: How to recover deleted apps on Mac?

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