How to Uninstall Programs on a Mac (With Benefits and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 20, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Uninstalling applications from a Mac computer might help improve the device's disk space and speed. Occasionally, individuals can install programs and utilize them a few times before abandoning them or becoming obsolete. Learning about uninstalling applications on your device can help you perform this key operation in device maintenance. In this article, we discuss the benefits of knowing how to uninstall programs on a Mac, highlight how to perform the task, provide some valuable uninstalling tips, and review general file management tips.

Benefits of knowing how to uninstall programs on a Mac

Here are some benefits of knowing how to uninstall programs on a Mac:


If you rarely use some apps, removing them might make it easier to access your most-used programs. Often, people have a variety of files and apps open on their displays, making it difficult to locate what they need easily. Consider removing programs to create space for the applications and data that you actually use.

Related: Basic Computer Skills (Plus Ways to Highlight Them)

Creating more disk space

Every device comes with a limited amount of internal storage. You can make some storage space available by removing applications. Each software you install may include substantial quantities of data and files that use valuable hard disk space. Uninstalling apps might expand the amount of data you can keep on your device or allow you to install additional programs later.

Improving performance

Several applications and software frequently require the device to transmit data continuously to function. By removing some software, you can guarantee that the programs you use most frequently continue to function correctly. Programs that use a large number of files and background data might cause your device and the programs you use to slow down. By uninstalling inactive apps, you can enhance the overall efficiency and speed of operating programs on your Mac or desktop.

Increasing compatibility

Applications that are new or updated may be more compatible with your device than older programs. Individuals frequently build programs utilizing innovative equipment and technology that require upgrades. By removing out-of-date apps, you can help ensure your favourite apps and programs are running the latest up-to-date versions.

How to uninstall programs on a Mac

The method for uninstalling apps on a Mac often differs according to the device's model and year. Varying operating systems may have somewhat different places for their icons. Here are a few different methods for uninstalling applications and the processes for each:

1. Using launchpad

Using the launchpad function to remove an app is usually a simple process. These instructions can help demonstrate how to accomplish this:

  1. Click " Launchpad" in the dock to open it

  2. Browse the applications and programs to find what you want to uninstall

  3. Hold the option key while on the application icon until it shakes

  4. Click the "X" icon that appears on the application icon

  5. Click "Delete" when the verification message appears

Although removing software may delete it from your device, you can also consider cancelling any subscriptions or accounts associated with that application if you don't intend to use it again in the future.

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2. Using Finder

The Finder is the default file browsing application for Macs. This can assist you in rapidly locating and uninstalling any programs you wish to delete. You may use Finder to remove apps in the following ways:

  1. Locate the program in Finder or find programs in the applications folder

  2. Click and drag the program icon to the trash icon

  3. Navigate to Finder again and empty the trash to remove the program completely from the device

Occasionally, your Mac may require you to input your credentials while removing apps or programs for security purposes. These are normally the same credentials you use to get onto the computer.

3. Downloading a third-party program

There are several third-party solutions available for download which might assist you with uninstalling programs and their related data. Many of these work similarly, in that you pick the program you wish to remove and the program detects any files or directories that the program uses, including the primary application file. Consider the following procedures when using a third-party application:

  1. Download the application from the App Store

  2. Open the uninstalling program

  3. Drag an icon of the program you want to remove into the uninstalling program window or select it from a file browsing tool

  4. Select the specific files or directories you want to remove

  5. Confirm removal and deletion of files

4. Using an application uninstaller

Some programs come with a folder of additional files that you can browse. These might have specific executable files that can uninstall the application. This can be a safe method to remove everything from your device's system, as the program designer often develops these executable files. Here are the steps you might take using the application uninstaller:

  1. Open the Finder application

  2. Navigate to the applications folder

  3. Find the application you hope to uninstall and open its folder

  4. Open the uninstaller file

  5. Follow the uninstaller's steps to remove all the application's files

Tips for uninstalling programs on a Mac

Here are some tips you can use when uninstalling programs on a Mac:

  • Start with unused programs. When browsing through your applications in Finder, review the programs you use the least. Uninstalling these can help optimize the performance of the applications you keep on your device.

  • Review program size. Some programs may be very large, so view the program size in Finder to see which applications use the most space. Uninstalling a few large applications can help increase device speed and increase your useable storage.

  • Remove associated files. Using a program uninstaller or a third-party application can help you identify what additional files an application might use. Consider reviewing these and removing extra files if your other programs don't interact with them.

  • Uninstall frequently. Reviewing your programs every few months can help you maintain your device's health and continuously increase storage. If you like to install new programs frequently, this can help balance out the additional storage you might need.

  • Update applications. If you continuously update applications, you can ensure you use the most compatible applications that have the most recent files. This can help you avoid additional downloads for similar, but newer, programs because updates often remove older, unused files.

Why is file management important?

There are a few reasons for a business to use an effective file management system, including the following:

Improved organization

Irrespective of the size of the business, most firms have a large amount of data to store, including personnel, product, inventory, and financial data. File management may assist an organization in storing, retrieving, and sharing information between different teams and departments. For instance, a business may store several files in a single folder, which reduces the amount of clutter in a digital storage system.

Related: 12 Examples of Organization in the Workplace (With Tips)

Centralized document location

Having all of a company's files in a single centralized location simplifies document retrieval. Rather than looking through several files, an employee may quickly locate their desired document by searching for a folder name. This method can help improve organization because keeping documents in many locations, such as email threads, personal computers, or flash drives, can slow down productivity.

Increased efficiency

Efficiency and time management are critical components of a business's performance. File management often improves efficiency by decreasing the time necessary for personnel to locate documents. Additionally, it decreases the amount of time spent reproducing files when an employee cannot locate the original document. While retyping a document may only take a few minutes in some cases, this time lost can accumulate during a workday. File management can enable a team to stay productive and avoid repetitive activities..

Reduced filing errors

File management can help your team encounter fewer filing mistakes. If a business physically archives its papers, an ordered filing scheme is essential to avoid misplaced documents. Digitally, misplacing papers is also possible, particularly if an employee labels or organizes files incorrectly. A file management system can help eliminate mistakes by providing teams direction and clarity while looking for files.

Controlled access

Access to information is critical because it guarantees that individuals can access the files they require to complete their assignments. Information access can also enable businesses to manage who has access to private data. Most digital file management systems provide locks or restrictions that limit access to certain documents to employees who require them for work. If they require access to a document that they're unable to access, the employee might request permission from their managers.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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