How To Uninstall Apps On Your Mac (macOS Mojave)


Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Let me show you how to properly uninstall
applications on your Mac if you’re running macOS Mojave or one of the versions just before
it. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great
group of supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon where you can read
all about it, join us, and get exclusive content. This is one of the most frequently asked questions
by Mac users. How do you uninstall an app? It’s very easy to do if you’ve got the app
from the Mac App Store as I’ll show you in a minute. But you can also uninstall apps on your own
no matter where you’ve gotten the app. However, a lot of Mac users see ads or hear
about some sort of cleaning app or uninstaller app and they add this to their Mac They’re
trying to remove something from their Mac but yet they’re adding something to it. I highly recommend that you do NOT ever add
a cleaning or uninstaller app to your Mac. Most of them are really bad. Some of them are actually just malware in
themselves. Just never install a cleaning app on your
Mac. Even the ones that are harmless aren’t really
doing much for you. macOS takes care of itself and has for years. But there’s this mindset that people have
from back ten, twenty years ago that operating systems need extra utility apps to run properly. You don’t need a cleaning app on your Mac. Just don’t install them. If you need to uninstall an app I’m going
to show you how. For any app that you got from the Mac App
Store it’s easy to uninstall. You just need to launch Launchpad which you
should find here in the dock. It brings up all your apps. You can use your trackpad or mouse to swipe
between pages. To uninstall apps just click and hold any
app. It doesn’t matter which one. I’ll do it for Pages here. After a second you’ll see all of the apps
start to wiggle. Some of them will have these little circles
with an x in them. That’s how you uninstall an app. You simply click the circle with an x, it
uninstalls the app, and you’re done. Notice the some apps do not have an x. There’s two reasons for this. One is the app is part of the operating system. So these here are all integral to the operating
system. You get them when you install macOS, not separately,
so you can’t uninstall them. If you don’t want these apps there simply
don’t use them. You can hide them in an app folder if you
want. But they are part of the operating system
so you can’t delete them. Another reason that you might not see an x
there is if the app was installed from somewhere else besides the Mac App Store. So, for instance, ScreenFlow here and Audacity
were installed from other websites where I downloaded an installer and installed the
app. To uninstall these you’re going to have to
try a few different things. So the first place I usually go to figure
out how to uninstall an app is just to go to the developer’s website. So you should only be downloading apps from
the official developer website. Never download an app from any kind of downloads
site that has all sorts of different apps or something like that. Only ever download from the official site
of the developer. Make sure it’s a developer you trust or you
shouldn’t be downloading at all. Then when you go to a site like that, for
instance let’s go to a trusted Mac developer called Panic that makes some great software. They’ve got, basically, a support section
here at the bottom. It’s pretty easy, when it’s a good developer,
to find their support section. So you can go Get Help With, and we’ll do
the app Transmit, which is what I use to FTP to my servers. There are a bunch of different articles and
things here and Search and sure enough if I search for uninstall I get a great article
on how to completely uninstall Transmit. So it gives me step by step instructions of
exactly what I should do. This should cover 80-90% of any app that you
install from another site. You should be able to go to the developer’s
website and see exactly how to uninstall it and follow a couple of quick instructions. There may even be a little uninstaller that
you could download, run, it does it for you, and then you delete the uninstaller. Even though Panic itself recommends an app
cleaner here for uninstalling I still say do not download app cleaners. Just follow these instructions. As a matter of fact you should look for uninstall
instructions when you install an app. Don’t install any apps that don’t make it
very clear about how you uninstall it. They don’t include an uninstaller or instructions
on how to get rid of it. Here’s another great developer, Smile software. If you search the knowledge base on their
site you quickly come up with an article, for instance this one on how to uninstall
TextExpander. They tell you exactly what you need to do
and even do it for older versions as well. Any good developer is going to have this information
on their site. So a lot of times these uninstall instructions
are simply going to tell you to go to the Applications folder. So in the Finder here we’ll do Go and Applications,
find the application in the list, drag it to the trash, and Delete it. This is, indeed, a great way to delete apps. Most modern apps won’t really install anything
else outside of the app bundle itself so just by selecting the app, dragging to the trash,
and deleting it you’ve uninstalled the app. But in some cases apps will install extra
components in your System Library. Now this is getting rare. It used to be very common. In future versions of macOS it’s really going
to be hard for developers to fall back to installing things in the library. They’re going to have to put them inside the
app. But for now, if you really want to go and
see if there are any extra components left over, it’s pretty simple. You want to go to the Go menu and hold the
Option key down which reveals Library. This will take you to your System Library
for your user only. So not for the entire operating system. In here you’ll see a bunch of different folders. One of them is called Application Support. Go into that and you’ll see a whole bunch
of different folders. It’s pretty quick and easy to identify which
folders belong to an app. Here’s one for Adobe. Here’s one for Audacity. Here’s one for BBEdit. All sorts of apps that you may have installed. You can also look for com. and the company
name. Dot and the name of the application. Go through these and if you see something
that you’re absolutely sure belongs to an app that you’re uninstalling you can simply
delete that out of your library.But in many cases what they’ve stored here is pretty small. Exceptions are things that deal with lots
of media. Like maybe a music creation app may actually
install a ton of audio files there. Or a video editing app may install lots of
backgrounds and special effects into a library folder. So sometimes they could be big but most of
the time it’s pretty small. Also if we go back up to the Library level
there’s a folder called Preferences. In that you’ll also find files that have to
do with the app. These will usually be in the com dot company
name dot app name format. So look for what you want there. These are typically really small files. So if I look here I could see some of them
are just a few bytes in size for instance. Others are really tiny. Worrying about these and getting rid of these,
it’s kind of like if you’re worrying about the gas mileage in your care and you know
that’s affected by the cars weight, worrying about how much dirt is on the bottom of your
shoes, right. Do you clean your shoes off before you get
into your care to reduce your gas mileage by a teeny, tiny, little bit. Probably not. So something like a file that’s taking up
119 bytes is not something you should worry about. It’s not worth poking around in your library
folder to go and get rid of files like that. These files can be useful if you decide to
uninstall an app to save space and install again later then you get your Preferences
back which may even include, like, a license number for that app. So I typically never worry about the Preferences
file. Now another way to uninstall an app by going
to your Applications folder is to look to see if the app is inside a folder. For instance here’s CamTwist. It’s inside a folder. Sure enough if I look there, there’s an uninstaller
there. So I can run that. This is just a simple set of command lines
that will uninstall one little extra library file, as well as the app itself. But sometimes there’s a more sophisticated
uninstaller that will remove certain parts. So there’s an order to this. If you want to uninstall an app the first
thing you should do is try to do it through Launchpad. If you can do it there, great, you’re done. Next I go to the developer’s official website
and then I look at their support documents and search their site for uninstall instructions. If there are instructions there I simply follow
the instructions, step by step, to uninstall the app. If that doesn’t work out then I see if the
applications’ installed in a folder in the Applications folder and if so if there’s an
uninstaller included there. If that fails the next thing I do is drag
the application from the Applications folder to the Trash, look in the Library folder,
look at Application support to see if there’s an obvious folder or set of files that definitely
belong to that app and get rid of them. If I really want I can look in Preferences
as well for something that obviously belongs to that app. That’s it! That should cover 99.9% of all apps. If there’s an app that can’t be uninstalled
using any of those methods it’s a really bad app. You should probably search forums and things
for other ways to uninstall that app. There are probably other people that are talking
about it as well. In general you should be careful when installing
apps. You should only install apps that you absolutely
need, from sites you absolutely trust. Also, get in the habit of making sure that
you know how to uninstall the app before you install it. So look at the developer’s site to see if
there are clear instructions on how to get rid of the app if you decide you don’t want
it on your Mac anymore.