Windows transplants new to the Mac world may notice something odd: there’s nowhere to go in System Preferences if you want to uninstall an app. How you do that? By finding the application in Finder and dragging it to the Trash.
No, really – it’s that simple. Open that findergo to applicationsand drag any programs you no longer need onto the recycle bin icon in your dock. The system might ask you to enter your password or touch the fingerprint scanner, but that’s essentially it – the application will be uninstalled. And if you prefer to use your keyboard, just use the keyboard shortcut Command + Delete.
That’s all you have to do: it’s one of those things that’s so simple it’s complicated for new users. But once you get used to macOS, it makes perfect sense.
How to completely uninstall apps on macOS
The above method works well for the vast majority of people, but has one downside: it leaves a few files behind.
[Related: 5 tasks you can easily automate using MacOS’ Shortcuts app]
When you use an app, you probably change the settings from time to time. Your computer stores these settings and other files related to the software in a location in your user folder called library. Deleting these, in addition to deleting the app itself, is an easy way to free up storage space.
In theory, you could open that folder, look for files related to a specific application, and then manually delete them. But it’s easier to go for a tool like AppCleaner: it’s free, easy to use, and universally recommended by Mac professionals. I have been using this application for years and have never had any problems with it. After installing the software, you can drag an app onto it or click the icon at the top right to see a list of applications on your Mac.
Select any item in the list and you will see a popup menu with the app and all associated files in your library folder.
To delete them, just click on them Removed. If you want to uninstall software in bulk, you can use the command when clicking on application name.
[Related: How to reset glitchy Mac apps]
This is a quick and easy way to bulk uninstall apps on Mac, and it does a very thorough job. App Cleaner even adds up the total weight of the items you’ve deleted, so you’ll know exactly how much disk space you’re freeing up. Unfortunately, even with the help of a tool like AppCleaner, you cannot delete the applications built into your Mac. This frustrates a lot of people who want to remove the chess app, for example, or prefer third-party software, but there’s no real way to do that without disabling security features that are best not to be messed with.