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[Fixed] How to Uninstall Programs on Mac/MacBook

Updated on Sunday, December 4, 2022

iBoysoft author Connie Yang

Written by

Connie Yang
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

How to Uninstall Apps/Programs on Mac/MacBook? (2022 Tutorial)

Summary: This post from iBoysoft will guide you to completely uninstall apps and programs on Mac or MacBook in different ways, even apps that can't be deleted.

how to uninstall apps on Mac

You prepare to uninstall some applications or programs on your Mac as they take 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/MacBook. Even for the apps that seem cannot be deleted, you can find efficient ways from here.

Guide to uninstall programs or apps on MacBook:

Uninstall apps on Mac from Launchpad

Commonly, if the program you want to uninstall is downloaded from App Store or required by your Mac, you can delete it on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air with Launchpad.

Here's how to uninstall programs on Mac:

  • Open Launchpad in the dock at 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 shown on the top-right of the app).           
    uninstall programs on Mac
  • 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 keep clicking 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:

  • 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.          
    delete 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 deleting files on your Mac, and uninstalling Grammarly on Mac.

Uninstall programs on Mac with the built-in uninstaller

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

The uninstaller of an app is a folder named with “the app name” Uninstaller or similar that locates 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.

Clear app leftovers to completely delete an app on Mac

Though you can delete programs on Mac by moving them to the Trash, 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 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 also need to clean up their leftover files.

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

  • Open Finder and click Go at the top Finder menu bar. Then, select Go to Folder from the drop-down menu.
  • Enter ~/Library/ into the Go to the folder box and click Go.
  • 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 files cleaner. Junk file cleaner can delete leftovers of your uninstalled app thoroughly and quickly.

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

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

  • Download, install and open iBoysoft DiskGeeker on your Mac.
  • Select your startup partition from the left sidebar of the window.
  • Click the Clean Junk button on the right toolbar.        
    click the Clean Junk button in iBoysoft DiskGeeker
  • 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

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

Things could be more complex as certain apps 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 programs on your Mac that seem won't delete? 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 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 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 application on Mac with Terminal

Terminal, a program in macOS, allows 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.

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 delete 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?

 FAQs about how to uninstall apps on Mac

A

Open Finder > the Applications folder. Then, select and drag the program to the Trash. Next, open Trash and right-click the deleted program there and select Delete Immediately.

A

The apps that can’t be uninstalled on Mac are stiil open and running. Go to Activity Monitor to force quit them, and then uninstall them again.

A

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.

A

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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