How to Uninstall Programs on Mac Computers
Uninstalling programs on a Mac computer might seem confusing, especially if you’re used to the straightforward process on Windows PCs. However, with a little guidance and understanding of the Mac operating system, you can easily remove unwanted applications and free up valuable storage space. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through various methods to uninstall programs on Mac computers, from the simple drag-and-drop method to using third-party uninstaller apps.
The Drag-and-Drop Method:
The easiest and most common method to uninstall programs on a Mac is by using the drag-and-drop method. This process involves locating the application in your Applications folder, dragging it to the Trash, and then emptying the Trash.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to uninstalling a program using the drag-and-drop method:
Open Finder: Click on the Finder icon in the Dock, which is typically located at the bottom of your screen. This will open a new Finder window.
Access the Applications folder: In the Finder window, click on “Applications” in the left sidebar to open the Applications folder. This folder contains all the programs installed on your Mac.
Locate the program: Scroll through the Applications folder and find the program you want to uninstall.
Drag the program to the Trash: Click and hold the program’s icon, then drag it to the Trash icon in the Dock. Release the mouse button to drop the program into the Trash.
Empty the Trash: To permanently remove the program from your Mac, right-click on the Trash icon in the Dock and select “Empty Trash.” Confirm the action when prompted. Keep in mind that this will also delete any other files currently in the Trash, so be sure to double-check its contents before proceeding.
While the drag-and-drop method is simple and effective for most applications, it may not remove all associated files, such as preferences, caches, or saved data. To completely remove a program and its associated files, you can use one of the following methods.
Uninstalling Programs Using the Built-in Uninstaller:
Some Mac applications come with their own built-in uninstaller, which can be used to remove the program and its associated files completely. These uninstallers are typically found in the same folder as the application or within the application’s menu.
To uninstall a program using its built-in uninstaller, follow these steps:
Locate the uninstaller: Open the Applications folder in Finder and find the program you want to uninstall. If the uninstaller is located within the application’s folder, double-click the folder to open it and look for a file called “Uninstall [Program Name]” or something similar.
Run the uninstaller: Double-click on the uninstaller file to launch it. Follow the on-screen prompts and instructions to complete the uninstallation process.
Verify the uninstallation: Once the uninstaller has completed its process, check the Applications folder to ensure the program has been removed. Additionally, you may want to search for any remaining associated files using the Spotlight search feature by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner of your screen and typing in the program’s name.
Uninstalling Programs Using Launchpad:
If you have a Mac running macOS Lion (10.7) or later, you can use Launchpad to uninstall programs that were downloaded from the Mac App Store. Here’s how to uninstall a program using Launchpad:
Open Launchpad: Click on the Launchpad icon in the Dock or use the F4 key (or the dedicated Launchpad key on some Mac keyboards) to open Launchpad.
Locate the program: Use the search bar at the top of the Launchpad window or swipe between pages to find the program you want to uninstall. All the applications downloaded from the Mac App Store will be displayed here.
Enter deletion mode: Click and hold the program’s icon until it starts to jiggle, and an “X” appears in the top left corner of the icon. This indicates that you’re in the deletion mode.
Uninstall the program: Click on the “X” to uninstall the program. A confirmation prompt will appear, asking if you’re sure you want to delete the app. Click “Delete” to confirm the uninstallation.
Exit deletion mode: Press the “Esc” key or click anywhere on the screen outside the jiggling icons to exit deletion mode.
Please note that the Launchpad method only works for applications downloaded from the Mac App Store and won’t work for programs installed from other sources.
Uninstalling Programs Using Terminal:
For advanced users who are comfortable with the command line, you can use Terminal to uninstall programs on your Mac. However, be cautious when using Terminal, as incorrect commands can potentially cause damage to your system.
Here’s how to uninstall a program using Terminal:
Open Terminal: Navigate to the Applications folder, then open the “Utilities” folder and double-click on “Terminal.”
Locate the program: In Terminal, type the following command and press “Enter”:
This command will change the directory to the Applications folder. Now, type “ls” and press “Enter” to display a list of installed programs.
Uninstall the program: To uninstall a program, type the following command, replacing “ProgramName” with the name of the program you want to remove:
sudo rm -rf ProgramName.app
Press “Enter” and provide your admin password when prompted to execute the command.
Verify the uninstallation: Check the Applications folder to ensure the program has been removed. You can also use the Spotlight search feature to search for any remaining associated files.
Using Third-Party Uninstaller Apps:
There are several third-party uninstaller apps available for Mac that can help you completely remove programs and their associated files. Some popular options include AppCleaner, CleanMyMac, and AppZapper. These apps typically work by scanning your Mac for all files related to the program you want to uninstall and then removing them in a single, streamlined process.
To use a third-party uninstaller app, follow these general steps:
Download and install the uninstaller app: Choose a reputable uninstaller app, download it from the developer’s website or the Mac App Store, and install it on your Mac.
Launch the uninstaller app: Open the uninstaller app from the Applications folder or the Dock.
Select the program: In the uninstaller app’s interface, locate the program you want to uninstall. Most uninstaller apps will display a list of installed programs, or you can use a search bar to find the specific program.
Uninstall the program: Follow the uninstaller app’s instructions to remove the selected program and its associated files. This process may vary slightly depending on the app you’re using.
Verify the uninstallation: Check the Applications folder and use the Spotlight search feature to ensure the program and its associated files have been removed.
Uninstalling programs on a Mac computer may seem different from what you’re used to on a Windows PC, but with the right guidance, it can be a simple and efficient process. By using one of the methods outlined in this guide – the drag-and-drop method, built-in uninstaller, Launchpad, Terminal, or a third-party uninstaller app – you can easily remove unwanted applications and free up valuable storage space on your Mac. Just remember to carefully research