5 Ways to Completely Uninstall Apps on Mac / Macbook (Sonoma)

Wendy Wu
Last updated: Apr 29, 2024
Summary: If you are looking for ways to uninstall apps on your Mac or MacBook, you've come to the right place. This guide will walk you through 5 ways to completely uninstall an app from your Mac.

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 uninstall an app from your Mac? Read on, and we’ll provide you with 5 easy ways to get that done, step by step.

5 Ways to Completely Uninstall Apps on Mac (Sonoma)

1. How to Uninstall Apps on Mac 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 Mac with Launchpad

If a cross doesn't appear when you attempt to uninstall an app using Launchpad, it may be due to a lack of permission to uninstall it. In this case, proceed to the next method.

Uninstall Unwanted Apps on Mac in 1 Click

2. How to Uninstall Apps on Mac 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 within its Preferences. Simply locate the uninstaller and click on it to complete the removal process.

3. How to Uninstall Apps on Mac Using Finder

Finder, a built-in tool in macOS, enables you to uninstall apps downloaded from the App Store or the Internet without the need for any third-party uninstaller.

Here are the steps:

  1. Ensure the app you want to uninstall is closed to avoid any issues during the deletion process.

  2. Open Finder > Applications.

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

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

  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 Mac
  6. Find and delete all files related to the app, then empty the Trash.

4. How to Completely and Permanently Uninstall Apps on Mac Using BuhoCleaner

If you want to completely and permanently uninstall an app on Mac, check out BuhoCleaner. It stands out as one of the best app uninstallers for Mac. With BuhoCleaner, not only can you delete unwanted apps in bulk, but you can also use it to remove leftover files from uninstalled programs on your Mac completely.

DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
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  1. Download, install, and launch BuhoCleaner on your Mac.
  2. Click App Uninstall and you will find all the apps installed on your Mac.
  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 clean up uninstalled apps on your Mac.
    Remove App Leftovers on Mac

5. How to Uninstall Apps on Mac 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 Mac with Terminal
If Terminal says "command not found: uninstall", use "uninstall-cli.sh" instead.

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 be a challenge. To address this, we recommend installing Homebrew, a package manager for macOS, and using it to install the uninstall-cli.sh tool via the Terminal.

Here's what you should do:

  1. Download and install Homebrew on your Mac.

  2. Download and install Uninstall CLI using Homebrew.

  3. Open Terminal.

  4. To uninstall an app, run the command below. (Don't forget to replace app_name with the name of the app you want to uninstall.)

    uninstall-cli.sh /Applications/app_name.app

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

[Video] Learn How to Completely Uninstall an App on Mac

We have prepared a 3-minute video guide to show you how to completely uninstall an app on a Mac. Check it out here:

Why Can't You Uninstall an App on Your Mac?

If you're unable to uninstall an app from your Mac, check whether one of these reasons is causing the issue:

  • The app is currently in use.
  • You lack the necessary permissions to uninstall the app.
  • Background processes associated with the app are running.
  • The app is integrated into macOS.
  • Files within the app may be locked or corrupted.

How to Uninstall Apps on Mac That Won't Delete

Question: In recent macOS Sonoma 14.5 beta update, some users reported that they were facing difficulties uninstalling certain apps on their Macs. Although they have attempted to delete them through conventional means, like dragging these apps to the Trash, using third-party uninstaller apps, these won't deleted apps stubbornly refuse to be removed from the system.

Best Answer: Based on our experience, for some particular apps, like Adobe Creative Cloud, MacKeeper, Avast Security, and more, it's not easy to get rid of them with the regular app uninstalling methods. It's suggested to use their in-built App Uninstaller program or refer their official app removal manual guide.

The Bottom Line

Now that you know how to completely remove those unwanted apps from your Mac, you can go ahead and free up more space. If none of these methods successfully removes the app you don't want, check to see if it's a system app.

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?

Wendy Wu is a tech enthusiast with a deep passion for all things iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Wendy is always on the lookout for Apple products and is committed to providing Apple users with some of the latest information and useful tips.