How do you uninstall apps on the Mac? Here’s the right way

There is more to uninstalling apps on the Apple Mac that dragging them to the Trash. AppCleaner is the uninstaller you need to keep your Mac clean

The Mac is so simple compared to Windows PCs. Take uninstalling apps for example, you just drag them to the Trash, right? Wrong! That leaves junk on the disk drive. Here is the right way to remove apps.

Many years ago I wrote an article about how to remove apps on the Mac properly. It is still there on an old website I no longer update if you want to read it, but bear in mind that the article is old.

You would be amazed at the rubbish that is left behind when you drag a Mac app to the Trash in the Dock and you should never remove apps that way. Over time the junk files accumulate with repeated installs and partial uninstalls, and problems can arise.

Maybe I am just getting old, or maybe a tad lazy, but these days I just leave the job to AppCleaner. This is a free utility and it is a great way to clean up the Mac's disk drive when removing an app you no longer want.

Instead of dragging the app from Applications folder to the Trash icon in the Dock, you drag it to the AppCleaner window instead. It then searches the disk drive for all the files that the app uses, and you can delete the lot, leaving a nice clean disk drive.

This app has been around for years and it stll works with the latest version of macOS. It is an essential utility I would not be without.

Run AppCleaner and as it says in the window, just drag and drop apps on it.

AppCleaner for OS X

Alternatively, you can click the Applications button in the toolbar and after a few seconds it displays a list of all the apps that are installed on the Mac.

AppCleaner for Apple Mac

Just tick the one that you want to remove, or tick several, and then click the Search button in the bottom right corner to find all the associated files.

AppCleaner for OS X

Just look at the files it found above. They would not have been removed if the app had simply been dragged to the Trash. All the items are ticked, but if you find a file that should not be there (I have never seen one), you can clear the tick to keep it. If everything is OK, click Delete and enter your administrator password.

AppCleaner for Apple Mac

That’s it, the app and all its files are deleted.

It is a mystery why Apple has never included an uninstaller utility like this in OS X. It is very easy to use, it works well, and it keeps your disk clean. It is also free. Go and grab a copy of this great tool.

Before using it however, check whether the app you want to remove has an uninstaller. It is sometimes hidden. Take a look at How to uninstall Mac software properly and remove all traces for examples. AppCleaner is a last resort, not your first choice.

Title: AppCleaner
Price: Free
Size: 4.5 MB
Developer: FreeMacSoft
Version: 2.3

 

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