How to Delete Apps on Mac: Easy Tips

Having trouble figuring out how to delete apps on your Mac? Don’t worry, it’s pretty straightforward. Whether you want to free up some space or just tidy up your workspace, deleting apps on Mac can be done in a few simple steps. Let’s walk through both standard and more in-depth methods for removing those unwanted applications.

Using the Finder to Delete Apps

The Finder is the go-to tool for basic file management on a Mac, and it’s perfect for simple app deletions too.

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Open Finder from your Dock or by clicking on the desktop.

2. Navigate to the “Applications” folder in the sidebar.

3. Locate the app you want to delete.

4. Drag the app to the Trash, which is located in the Dock, or right-click the app and select “Move to Trash.”

5. Empty the Trash by right-clicking on the Trash icon in the Dock and selecting “Empty Trash.” This will permanently remove the app from your Mac.

Additional Tips

Sometimes, a pop-up window may appear asking for your administrator password. Simply enter your password to proceed.

Keep in mind that some apps may leave behind residual files even after they have been deleted. In such cases, you might need additional steps to clean up leftover files.

Using Launchpad to Delete Apps

Launchpad offers another straightforward way to remove apps, especially those downloaded from the Mac App Store.

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Open Launchpad by clicking on its icon in the Dock or by using the “F4” key.

2. Press and hold the “Option” key until the apps start to jiggle.

3. Click the “X” button that appears on the app you want to delete.

4. Confirm the deletion when prompted, and the app will be moved to the Trash.

Additional Tips

Launchpad only works to delete apps downloaded from the Mac App Store. If you need to delete apps acquired from other sources, you’ll need to use Finder or another method.

Uninstalling Apps via System Preferences

Some apps come with their own uninstaller. These are often found in the application’s folder within Finder or are accessible via the System Preferences.

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Open System Preferences from the Apple menu or by clicking the icon in the Dock.

2. Look for an icon related to the app you want to delete, which could be “Profiles” or the app’s own name.

3. Click to open its panel and find the uninstall option, if available.

4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation.

Apps with built-in uninstallers often provide the cleanest removal, ensuring that all files associated with the software are completely removed from your system.

Removing System or Protected Apps

System apps and some third-party apps are protected by macOS and can’t be deleted in the usual way. However, there are a few tricks to get around these restrictions.

Using Terminal

Terminal is a powerful tool that allows you to directly communicate with your Mac’s operating system. Be cautious with this method as it can affect system stability.

1. Open Terminal from the Utilities folder within Applications.

2. Type the following command: sudo rm -rf /Applications/ and replace “AppName” with the name of the app you want to delete.

3. Press Enter.

4. Enter your administrator password when prompted and press Enter again.

This command forcefully removes the app from your system, so use it carefully.

Cleaning Up Residual Files

When you delete an app, it often leaves behind residual files that can take up space on your Mac. To fully remove these remnants, you’ll need to delve a bit deeper.

Using Finder for Leftover Files

1. Open Finder and hit Command + Shift + G to open the “Go to Folder” dialogue.

2. Type ~/Library and press Enter.

3. Look for folders associated with the app you deleted in:

– Application Support

– Caches

– Preferences

4. Delete the associated files manually by dragging them to the Trash.

Using Additional Tools for Cleanup

Several built-in utilities can help clean up residual files

1. Disk Utility

2. Activity Monitor

If you’re uncomfortable with manual file deletion, these utilities can assist in identifying and removing leftover files.


Deleting apps on a Mac is typically a straightforward process that can be done via Finder, Launchpad, or System Preferences. You might sometimes need to use Terminal for more stubborn apps.
Don’t forget to clean up any leftover files to fully reclaim space on your Mac and ensure system efficiency. Always be cautious when deleting protected files, as they are essential for the stability of your macOS.

If all else fails, consult with an Apple professional to prevent any unintentional damage to your system. Deleting apps regularly can help keep your Mac running smoothly and efficiently.