One of the biggest differences between Windows and Mac is how apps are uninstalled on these platforms. If you are also a Windows user, you will know that the procedure for uninstalling apps on a Mac is significantly different. There is no control panel to find and uninstall your apps.

Mac offers you various ways to uninstall apps you no longer need. In fact, uninstalling apps on a Mac is much easier than on a Windows PC. It is largely due to the way apps are installed on a Mac computer.

AppCleaner app window

Some of these uninstallation methods require a little more effort than the others, but ultimately deliver the same results.

App you can’t uninstall on Mac

Like any other computer or smartphone, your Mac comes preloaded with a few predefined apps, often referred to as “stock apps”. Apple thinks these apps are essential and that you will need them to do your business.

Therefore, these stock apps cannot be uninstalled. Your Mac will keep you from deleting them, and even if you somehow manage to get rid of them, they will be back with the next macOS update.

Some of these apps are Notes, Photos, Safari, Stickies, and TextEdit.

Delete apps like you would delete files

If you know how to delete files on your Mac, you already know how to delete your apps.

One of the ways to uninstall apps on a Mac is to use the standard deletion method. Just like it removes your files, it also removes your apps.

  • Find the app you want to delete on your Mac. In most cases, it will be in the Applications folder on your Mac.
  • Once you find the app you want to delete, right click on the app and select the option that says Move to Trash.
Context menu with Move to trash selected

The selected file will be immediately deleted from your Mac. You can then delete the app from the Trash to make sure it’s gone forever.

Delete the remaining files in the library

While you got rid of the app on your Mac, some of the configuration files for the app may still be present on your computer.

It is because when you install an app, it is not only the app file that is added to your Mac, but also many other files associated with the app that are created and added to your computer.

One of the ways to delete these files is to manually locate these files on your computer and then delete them. In most cases, these files are located in the Library folder.

  1. While inside a Finder window, press and hold the key Option button and click to go top menu and select Library. The library folder will open.
Library menu option in Go
Library window

Make sure you only delete the files that are for that app as deleting other files will cause those apps to malfunction.

Uninstall apps from Launchpad on Mac

If you’re a Launchpad boy or girl and it seems to be your favorite method of launching apps, you can use it to uninstall apps as well. This uninstallation method works in much the same way as that of iOS.

  • Click on Springboard icon in the Dock to open Launchpad.
  • Press and hold the Option key on the keyboard and the app icons will start to swing. Click on X icon on the app you want to remove from your computer.
Startup window
  • A message appears asking if you want to delete the app from your Mac. Select the Delete option to delete the app.
Delete app request

Again, you’ll need to manually find the leftover files for the app and remove them from your computer.

Use dedicated uninstallers to uninstall Mac apps

It’s very rare, but some of the apps you install on your Mac come with dedicated uninstallers. These uninstallers help you to easily remove the app and all files associated with it from your Mac.

  • Uninstallers are also usually found in the file Applications folder. Open the folder and locate it for your app.
Uninstall selected Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Double-click the uninstaller and follow the on-screen wizard to completely remove the app from your computer.
Adobe Dreamweaver Uninstall Wizard

Your app along with its file should be gone forever.

Use a third party app to completely remove Mac apps

If manually finding leftover files is inconvenient for you and even your apps don’t have a dedicated uninstaller available for them, removing those apps is really a big deal.

Fortunately, though, there is a third-party app that takes the hassle out of life. It’s called AppCleaner, and as you can guess from the name, it allows you to clean up apps on your Mac.

The app allows you to uninstall your apps and associated files with the click of a few buttons. It automatically searches for all the files related to the app and gives you an option to remove them all at once.

  • Download, install and launch AppCleaner on your Mac.
  • Click on Applications to view all the apps installed on your Mac.
AppCleaner window
  • Find the app you want to delete from the list, put a check mark in its box and click Research button.
AppCleaner search window
  • It will locate and list all the files related to the app. Check all files and click Delete button.
Files selected in AppCleaner for deletion

The selected app and all its library, cache and other files will be removed from your Mac.

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