5 Ways to Completely Uninstall Apps on MacBook [2023]

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Sarahi Johns
Last updated: Aug 21, 2023
Summary: If you are looking for ways to uninstall apps on your MacBook, you've come to the right place. This guide will show you 5 great ways to completely delete those unwanted apps.

We all know that deleting apps can save your Mac space. But getting rid of an unwanted app may not be as easy as you think. Did you know that the app’s related files are stored in different folders? So, how can you COMPLETELY remove an app from your MacBook? Read on and we’ll give you 5 easy ways to get that done.

5 Ways to Completely Delete Apps on MacBook

How to Uninstall Apps on MacBook Using BuhoCleaner (The Easiest Way)

Want to completely uninstall multiple apps at once? Check out BuhoCleaner. It is one of the best app uninstallers for Mac. Not only can you use it to delete unwanted apps in bulk, but you can also use it to completely remove the leftover files of uninstalled apps. 

Free DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
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  1. Download, install, and launch BuhoCleaner on your MacBook.
  2. Click App Uninstall and you will find all the apps installed on your MacBook.
  3. Locate the ones you want to uninstall, check the boxes next to them, and click the Remove button.
    Quickly Uninstall Apps on Mac with BuhoCleaner
  4. Switch to Leftovers if you want to delete leftovers from uninstalled apps.
    Remove App Leftovers on Mac

How to Manually Delete Apps on MacBook Using Launchpad

For apps downloaded directly from the Apple Store, you can remove them using Launchpad.

Here's how:

  1. Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock.
  2. Find the app you want to uninstall.
  3. Click and hold the unwanted app until its icon starts shaking.
  4. Click X in the top-left corner of the app icon to uninstall it from your Mac.
Delete Apps on MacBook with Launchpad

How to Manually Uninstall Apps on MacBook Using Finder

Another way to uninstall apps on your Mac is to use Finder. Whether you downloaded apps from the Internet or the App Store, you can manually uninstall them using Finder. The process is similar on macOS Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, and Catalina.

Here are the steps:

  1. Quit the app you want to uninstall, otherwise you may fail to delete it.

  2. Open Finder > Applications.

  3. Locate the app you want to delete, right-click on its icon, and select Move to Trash.

    Manually Uninstall Apps on Mac with Finder
  4. Click the Go menu in Finder and select the Go to Folder option.

  5. Paste the following paths into the blank box, one at a time, and press Enter.

    • ~/Library/Application Support
    • ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins
    • ~/Library/Preferences
    • ~/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter
    • ~/Library/Saved Application State
    • ~/Library/Caches
    • /Library/Caches
    Remove App Leftovers on MacBook
  6. Find and delete all files related to the app, then empty the Trash.

Uninstall Unwanted Apps on Mac in 1 Click

How to Uninstall Apps on MacBook Using Terminal

You can also use Terminal to uninstall apps on your Mac. However, it's worth noting that this method is more suitable for users who are familiar with command-line operations.

  1. Open Terminal via Finder or Spotlight.
  2. Enter the command: sudo uninstall file:// and drag the app icon into the Terminal.
  3. Press Enter and enter your admin password to run the command.
How to Uninstall Apps on MacBook with Terminal

The aforementioned steps only remove the application itself, without addressing its related files. For a complete removal, you'll also need to delete the associated supporting files, which could be located in folders like Application Support, Caches, Preferences, and more.

Locating all of these files might pose a challenge. To address this, we recommend installing Homebrew and utilizing it to uninstall apps via the Terminal. Homebrew is a package manager for macOS that offers an improved approach to software management through the Terminal, including the uninstallation of applications.

Here's what you should do:

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Copy and paste the following command into Terminal, and then press Enter.

curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/t18n/uninstall-cli/main/uninstall-cli.sh -o ./uninstall-cli.sh

  1. Continue to run the command: chmod +x ./uninstall-cli.sh.
  2. To uninstall an app, run the command: ./uninstall-cli.sh /Applications/<app_name>.app. (Replace <app_name> with the name of the app you want to uninstall.)

For example:

  • ./uninstall-cli.sh /Applications/TeamViewer.app
  • ./uninstall-cli.sh /Applications/Parallels\ Desktop.app
  1. Follow the instructions in Terminal to complete the uninstallation.
Completely Uninstall Apps on Mac using Terminal

How to Uninstall Apps on MacBook Using Native Uninstallers

Some apps downloaded from the Internet come with their own uninstaller. You can easily find an application's built-in uninstaller in the Applications folder in Finder or in its preferences.

All you need to do is find the uninstaller and click on it to complete the removal process

Video Tutorial:

Extra Tip: How to Remove Third-Party App Icons from Mac Menu Bar

Sometimes, even if you have uninstalled an app, you may still see its icon in the menu bar. The reason for this is that the app's plugin has not been deleted. You can use Finder to completely erase it from your Mac. Follow these steps:

  1. On your desktop, press the Shift + Command + G keys to open the Go to Folder window.
  2. Go to the following 3 paths respectively to find the plist file of the app you want to delete.
    • ~/Library/LaunchAgents
    • /Library/LaunchAgents
    • /System/Library/LaunchAgents
  3. Open the plist file and find its location.
  4. Go to its directory, delete its related files, and then remove the plist file.
  5. Restart your Mac, and its icon in the menu bar will disappear.
Delete App Icons in the Menu Bar

The Bottom Line

Now that you know how to completely remove those unwanted apps, you can go ahead and free up more space on your Mac. If none of these methods remove the app you don't want, check to see if it's a system app. When you try to uninstall a system app, you get a message saying "XXX cannot be modified or deleted because it is required by macOS."

By the way, BuhoCleaner is more than just an app uninstaller. It is also a Mac cleaner that can easily remove all the junk files on your Mac in just a matter of seconds. Why not check it out and see for yourself?

Sarahi Johns

Content-making editor, with sharp eyes on macOS and iOS updates, sharing the latest related issues.