How to Uninstall Apps on the Mac

A Macbook Pro is open with on a white table, with a background of mountains on the screen.
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There's no good reason to keep applications you don't use on your Mac, and a little housekeeping in this area can free up space on your drive. Deleting apps on the Mac isn't as obvious as you might think. Even if it is a little obscure, at least it's not easy to accidentally delete an app.

With a Mac, you have several options when it comes to uninstalling applications. Here are methods you can use.

Information in this article applies to Macs running macOS Catalina (10.15) through OS X Lion (10.7).

Uninstall Apps Using the Trash Can

The easiest way to uninstall an app or program from your Mac is by using the trash can located on the Dock. Drag the application from wherever it is located on your Mac and drop it on the trash can. When you empty the trash, the application is deleted.

Removing Apps With the Finder

The drag-and-drop method of deleting apps with the trash can doesn't work for all apps, but when you combine it with the Finder, you can delete almost any application. Here's how:

  1. Open a Finder window by selecting File > New Finder Window in the Apple menu bar or by clicking the Finder icon on the Dock.

    Apple menu bar showing File drop-down menu
  2. Click Applications in the left panel of the Finder window to view the installed applications on your computer.

    Mac Finder Window showing Applications
  3. Click on the Application that you want to uninstall.

  4. Click File from the drop-down menu in the upper-left corner of the screen.

  5. Click Move to Trash.

    Finder Window on a Mac
  6. Click and hold the trash can icon in the Dock.

  7. Click Empty Trash in the pop-up menu to remove the application from your Mac.

    Trash Can in the Mac Dock

Uninstall Apps Using an Uninstaller

Certain apps may include an Uninstall tool inside its Application folder. In this case, you want to uninstall using that tool.

These are often large apps like Creative Cloud products from Adobe or Valve's Steam client. To ensure that they completely uninstall from your computer, use the uninstaller if it is included with the application. 

  1. Open a Finder window and click Applications to view the applications installed on your computer.

  2. Click the application you want to uninstall. A folder opens to show its contents, including an Uninstall program if one exists.

    Finder Window showing applications
  3. Double-click the file entitled Uninstall inside the folder. 

    Uninstall screen of a Mac app
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to uninstall the application. The directions vary depending on the application you are deleting.

Uninstall Apps Using Launchpad

Another option for uninstalling apps on a Mac is by using the Launchpad. This is an easy no-fuss way to uninstall the programs that you purchase from the App Store. 

  1. Click the Launchpad icon on Dock. 

    Launchpad icon on the Mac Dock
  2. Locate the app you want to delete by entering its name in the search field at the top of the screen or by scrolling the pages of the Launchpad. Click and hold the icon of the app you want to delete when you see it until all the apps start to shake. 

    Application on Mac Launchpad
  3. When the icon starts shaking, click the X that appears next to it. 

    If there is no X next to the app, you can't delete it through the launchpad. It may be required by the operating system or have an uninstall option you need to use.

  4. Click Delete to confirm the app's removal.