“How do I completely uninstall Mac’s applications?” – that is the question that you should ask yourself when your Apple computer is running out of space which negatively affects the device’s performance and your comfort. The thing is, many Mac owners think it is very easy to uninstall third-party software in full. But they’re only half right.
On the one hand, macOS makes it really simple to get rid of an app a user does not need any longer. However, it matters whether a Mac owner is interested in simply removing the software or eliminating it entirely by deleting all associated leftover data as well. For that, just dragging the application’s icon into the Trash and emptying it is not enough. There are more processes that stand behind.
Discovering a required software in the Applications folder and tossing it away into the Trash is just half the battle. You may have no idea how much junk certain apps leave on Mac. Even if the application arrives with a built-in uninstaller, it does not guarantee the 100% accuracy of the removal process.
The article covers various methods used to fully remove third-party applications from Mac computers.
Erasing the Unwanted Software Using Launchpad
Before moving to the complex solutions, it is important to mention one more simple way to eliminate the app alone (in addition to dragging and dropping it into Trash). We’re talking about doing it via Launchpad.
Why Is It Important to Know How to Uninstall Programs on Mac and Remove App-Related Data?
No matter whether you prefer MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac or Mac mini, the result is the same: over time any Apple computer gets filled with various types of junk data. One of the trickiest categories of system garbage are the leftover files – these are all items left on the computer after you uninstall something. It seems like the associated files should be gone, and related processes should stop once the software is placed in the Trash and deleted. However, some apps are designed to leave an entire set of files in the system. If a user plans to revive the software over time, it is fine to ignore such residual data. However, if you need to clean your Mac all the way through, it is important to eliminate items you do not need completely.
The first thing to keep in mind is the fact Apple company adopted NeXT OS as well as the UNIX way of dividing system files from a working place back in 2001. Since then, another approach to deleting apps was discovered, different from the way Windows users do it. Today, most of the tools remain in the /Applications directory. It is possible to find user’s preferences in ~/Library/Preferences.
Remove Application from Mac along with Their Preferences
The application is never a single file – it is a rather a bundle of items. They arrive altogether, and each of them is necessary for the proper app’s functioning. The associated/support files start working once you launch the app itself. And they may stay on your MacBook or Mac desktop after you remove the parent software. The text below explains how to erase those unwanted elements from the system.
To eliminate any app’s preferences and other supporting files, a user should look for these elements in the libraries. You will find them in each of two libraries available on an Apple computer: the one at the top level of HD and another one inside the Home Folder. It is important to delete the associated files in both libraries to uninstall the application completely.
Begin the ‘search-and-delete’ procedure with the Top Level Library. It is called simply /Library. Look for items that have or include either the app’s name or vendor’s title; select them and send to Trash.
Look over here:
- /Library/Application Support
- /Library/Preferences (this one stands for the separate files and folders full of items)
Next, go to the User Library inside your Home Folder next. It will have a name ~/Library. Just search for the relevant names in the next locations and trash them:
- ~/Library/Application Support
Once you are done, empty Trash. In most cases, experts recommend restarting Mac to finish the process.
As you can see, a manual deletion might be rather time-consuming. Still, it is effective if you wish to eliminate the app fully.
Is It Possible to Get Rid of the OS Built-in Tools?
Watch out when erasing the built-in utilities as the majority of them is important for the proper Mac’s functioning. Anyway, it is not that simple to eliminate the system app. The only possible way is by using Terminal. Though macOS and later OS X versions prevent the user from deleting or changing the critical system files with Terminal, using this tool is recommended for the advanced users only.
Some of the native Apple apps like Chess may really seem useless to some Mac owners. If you are ready to take responsibility for using Terminal for apps uninstallation, launch the utility and enter the command EXACTLY the way it appears below (we use the Chess app as an example):
sudo rm -rf /Applications/Chess.app
You will also need to deactivate System Integrity Protection to complete the removal process. You might have to perform this operation not only for native Mac apps but also some Microsoft and Adobe software. It is highly recommended to re-enable SIP once the unnecessary tools are gone.
Considering the high risk of misusing Terminal and thus, accidentally causing serious problems, you’d better consider the simpler and safer option described below.
How to Uninstall Software on Mac Smoothly and Effortlessly
Luckily, there is another way to fully get rid of any application if you do not want spend hours deleting the leftovers manually. A Mac owner can make his or her life much simpler with the help of special third-party cleaner apps capable of detecting and eliminating useless files automatically.
With such tools, it is possible to obtain an excellent uninstaller feature for cheap or even free. It scans the entire hard drive for all types of useless items known as junk, including the app-related residual data. It is enough to eliminate the application with just one click!
Moreover, users may find the cleaning software helpful for completing other maintenance tasks. For instance, such tools can detect duplicate files, clear the cache, remove unnecessary language packs, etc. Hunting down these files manually is a great way to spend time if you have plenty of it, but busy people around the world take advantage of the best third-party cleaners for Mac. Maybe, you should too?