Mac Software

How do I uninstall an app on Mac?

MacBook Pro turned on beside white ceramic mug
Bin it: get rid of apps on your Mac

Macs uninstalls apps much more cleanly than Windows does, often needing little more than dragging and dropping the app into the bin to get rid of it. However, the method of uninstallation is down to the individual app and there are various ways it can be done. Read on to better understand how to uninstall an app on Mac.

Uninstall Mac apps using Launchpad

The Launchpad can be used to uninstall an app (albeit not every app) on your Mac, and is the easiest way to do it.

  • Open the Launchpad
  • Just like on an iOS device, click and hold over any icons and, after a couple of seconds, they should start shaking
  • Apps which can be uninstalled from the Launchpad will show an “X” in the top-left corner
  • To uninstall any of these apps, click on the “X”

Uninstall Mac apps using Finder

  • Open Finder
  • Click on Applications in the sidebar
  • Find the app in question and drag/drop it into the bin

Some apps may require your system password before they will uninstall, depending on what permissions are required to fully clean the app from the Mac.

Uninstall Mac apps with an Uninstaller

Some programs will come with an uninstaller app. These can sometimes be found in the Applications folder in Finder (sometimes within a sub-folder). However, some are only available from the original installer, or via a separate app entirely, which will need installing as required.

From experience, backup and sync software, apps related to hardware devices, and antivirus software are the types that you should probably investigate using a specific uninstaller for.

For example, in my Applications folder I have a folder for a Huion graphics tablet. This contains a number of apps, including an uninstaller:

HuionDriver folder in the Finder app on Mac

How to locate the uninstaller for your app is one of life’s great mysteries, as there’s no easy way. Blame the developer for making this much more difficult than it needs to be, whilst doing a Google search. For example, if you want to remove the backup software Backblaze, it has a specific uninstaller app which you can find on the Backblaze help pages.

About the author

David Artiss

Currently working for a technology company based in San Francisco, David has worked in IT for nearly 30 years. He is a keen gamer and happily admits to being a gadget nerd too.

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