How to uninstall programs on mac

Last Updated: Feb 29, 2024 by

If you’re a Mac user, you may have noticed that uninstalling programs is not as straightforward as it is on a Windows computer. Unlike Windows, Mac does not have a built-in uninstaller, making it a bit more challenging to remove unwanted programs. However, with a few simple steps, you can easily uninstall programs on your Mac. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of uninstalling programs on a Mac.

Why Uninstall Programs on Mac?

There are several reasons why you may want to uninstall programs on your Mac. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Freeing up storage space: Uninstalling programs can help free up space on your Mac’s hard drive, allowing you to store more important files and documents.
  • Improving performance: Having too many programs installed on your Mac can slow down its performance. By uninstalling unnecessary programs, you can improve your Mac’s speed and efficiency.
  • Removing unwanted programs: If you have programs on your Mac that you no longer use or need, it’s best to uninstall them to declutter your system.

How to Uninstall Programs on Mac

Now that you know why it’s important to uninstall programs on your Mac, let’s dive into the steps you need to follow to remove unwanted programs.

Step 1: Quit the Program

Before you can uninstall a program, you need to make sure it’s not running. To do this, simply click on the program’s icon in the Dock and select “Quit” from the menu. If the program is not in the Dock, you can also quit it by pressing Command + Q on your keyboard.

Step 2: Check for Associated Files

Unlike Windows, Mac does not have a built-in uninstaller that removes all associated files when you uninstall a program. This means that even after you’ve uninstalled a program, there may still be some leftover files on your Mac. To ensure that you completely remove the program, you’ll need to check for any associated files and delete them manually.

To do this, open Finder and click on “Applications” in the sidebar. Look for the program you want to uninstall and right-click on it. Select “Show Package Contents” from the menu. This will open a new window with all the files associated with the program. Look for any files with the program’s name and delete them.

Step 3: Drag the Program to the Trash

Once you’ve quit the program and deleted any associated files, you can now uninstall the program by dragging it to the Trash. To do this, simply click and hold the program’s icon and drag it to the Trash icon in the Dock. Alternatively, you can also right-click on the program’s icon and select “Move to Trash” from the menu.

Step 4: Empty the Trash

After you’ve dragged the program to the Trash, it’s not completely uninstalled yet. To permanently remove it from your Mac, you’ll need to empty the Trash. To do this, right-click on the Trash icon in the Dock and select “Empty Trash” from the menu. You can also press Command + Shift + Delete on your keyboard to empty the Trash.

How to Uninstall Programs on Mac Using Third-Party Software

If you’re not comfortable manually deleting associated files or if you want to make sure you don’t miss any files, you can use third-party software to uninstall programs on your Mac. There are several programs available that can help you uninstall programs and remove associated files. Some popular options include AppCleaner, CleanMyMac, and AppZapper.

Step 1: Download and Install the Software

The first step is to download and install the software of your choice. Most of these programs offer a free trial, so you can test them out before purchasing.

Step 2: Open the Software

Once you’ve installed the software, open it and click on the “Uninstaller” or “Applications” tab. This will show you a list of all the programs installed on your Mac.

Step 3: Select the Program You Want to Uninstall

Scroll through the list and select the program you want to uninstall. You can also use the search bar to find the program quickly.

Step 4: Uninstall the Program

Once you’ve selected the program, click on the “Uninstall” or “Remove” button. The software will then scan your Mac for any associated files and give you the option to delete them. Click on “Delete” to remove all associated files.

Step 5: Empty the Trash

After the software has removed all associated files, you’ll need to empty the Trash to permanently remove the program from your Mac.

Tips for Uninstalling Programs on Mac

  • Before uninstalling a program, make sure you have a backup of any important files associated with the program.
  • If you’re not sure whether you need a program or not, you can move it to a folder on your desktop instead of deleting it. If you don’t need it after a few weeks, you can safely delete it.
  • If you’re using a third-party software to uninstall programs, make sure you download it from a reputable source to avoid any potential malware.
  • If you’re having trouble uninstalling a program, you can check the developer’s website for instructions or contact their customer support for assistance.


Uninstalling programs on a Mac may not be as straightforward as it is on a Windows computer, but it’s still a simple process. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily remove unwanted programs from your Mac and free up storage space, improve performance, and declutter your system. Whether you choose to uninstall programs manually or use third-party software, make sure you follow the tips we’ve provided to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.