In this tutorial, we will see how to uninstall an application on a Mac

When switching from Windows to macOS, one of the recurring questions is  how do I uninstall installed apps? in particular with the absence of a very well-known option on Windows which is “  Uninstall” from “Settings  ”, or the old “Add or remove programs”.

Today in this tutorial, we’re going to go over the different ways that there are ways to uninstall apps in “macOS Big Sur”, although they are  fully applicable to previous systems  . 

Before we continue, of course, we must point out that we will talk about uninstalling applications that do not come with an uninstaller, because in this case it is appropriate to use them. Adobe, for example, copies an uninstaller when it installs its package, but Office currently does not. We will see the case applicable to the Microsoft suite.

How to uninstall apps installed from the App Store


On a dedicated web page,  Apple is very clear  : “To uninstall applications that you downloaded from the App Store, use the Launchpad. “The” Launchpad “is this grid menu where the system adds the applications that we install. And in it, uninstalling apps can be a confusing process because at first glance the uninstall option is not offered.

Pixelmator Pro

In this sense, it must be said that it  works the same way as uninstalling iOS applications on an iPhone  : if you long click on an application icon, the icons will start to move. The apps installed from the App Store will show a cross (X) icon that we have to click to uninstall the app. In doing so, we will see it in the image below. And that’s all.

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Uninstalling Pixelmator

How to uninstall apps installed outside of the App Store

Regarding Apple’s official instructions for uninstalling apps without an uninstaller and before the arrival of the Mac App Store,  the most common thing to do when installing apps was to copy the executable file to the ‘folder’ Applications’ of the system  . 

This is how today, for example, VLC is installed. Another common method was to install through installation packages (usually in .pkg format). This alternate method is the one used to install Chrome, Edge, or Office.

In this case, Apple recommends that if the applications do not have an uninstaller, as is the case with all of the aforementioned,  the procedure is to drag the executable to the Trash from the “Applications” folder. “  . With Office,  Microsoft recommends  the same, manually dragging apps to the trash.

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However, the problem,  with this procedure that Apple advises, that many application library files that are copied for their operation will not be eliminated  . In addition to taking up space, these files make system folders dirty, which can lead to long-term malfunctions. Therefore, in this case my recommendation is to use dedicated uninstall apps. my favorite, for its simplicity and free, is  AppCleaner  , which updates to Big Sur.

Its operation after installation is as simple as selecting the application to uninstall from the list  , or dragging it into its drawer from the Applications folder, and clicking “Remove”. Previously, we may have to choose the files we want to remove from said application beyond its executable.

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There you have it, now you know everything about uninstalling an application in macOS. So I didn’t lie to you, it’s a piece of cake, isn’t it? 

I hope you liked this tutorial

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