How to Completely Uninstall Apps on MacBook: 5 Easy Ways

Sarahi Johns
Last updated: Dec 13, 2023
Summary: If you are looking for ways to uninstall apps on your MacBook, you've come to the right place. This guide will walk you through 5 ways to completely uninstall an app on 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 MacBook? Read on, and we’ll give you 5 easy ways to get that done, step by step.

How to Completely Uninstall Apps on MacBook: 5 Ways

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

If you want to completely uninstall multiple apps at once, 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 completely remove leftover files from uninstalled programs on your Mac.

DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
100,000+ Satisfied Users Worldwide
  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 clean up uninstalled apps on your Mac.
    Remove App Leftovers on Mac

How to Manually Uninstall 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

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.

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

Why Can't I Uninstall an App on 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.

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

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

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

Sometimes, even after uninstalling an app, you may still see its icon in the menu bar. This could be because 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 from your MacBook, 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?

Sarahi Johns

I'm Sarahi Johns, a tech enthusiast with a deep passion for all things iPhone, iPad and Mac. With expertise in crafting engaging tech content, I've authored numerous articles in the past 10 years, making me a trusted source for Apple enthusiasts.