Have you ever installed an app on your MacBook only to find that it isn’t quite what you’re looking for? Maybe you just used an app for a while, but it’s no longer needed.
Whether you’re trying to save space on your hard drive or just want to get rid of bothersome app files, uninstalling these apps can be bothersome. Especially if you’re new to the Mac, the process of deleting unwanted apps can be confusing.
In this guide, we’ll show you some built-in, free, and paid methods for clearing up apps thoroughly; together with the pros and cons of each method.
We’ll also point out some additional features that will also free up space and keep your MacBook from getting bogged down with old files.
1. Move to Trash
While you may have used the trash for standard files like old documents and images, the trash is a method of uninstalling apps on your MacBook as well. Here’s how to do it:
First, open Finder and locate the app you want to delete. Select it by clicking once, so that it is highlighted.
Then, press CONTROL + trackpad to bring up the supplementary menu. Here, you can select Move to Trash. Once you do, the application will be automatically moved to the trash and disappear from the Finder window you are viewing.
Once the application is in the trash, you can no longer use it. However, it is still taking up space on your computer until you empty the trash. To do this, open the Trash from your dock, then navigate to the top right corner of the window, where it says “Empty”.
Once you empty the trash, the window will close automatically, and you’ll have regained some valuable disk space for future use.
2. Uninstall Apps with AppCleaner
One software you can use to remove unwanted applications is AppCleaner. Because third-party applications distribute their files throughout your disk rather than storing them in a single location, you may accidentally leave chunks of the application on your Mac even after you think you’ve deleted it. AppCleaner will make sure to catch these extra files, even when you don’t know they exist.
- It’s completely free.
- Extremely effective at removing hidden extra folders when you want to get rid of an entire application rather than just the surface level files.
- Easy to use, simply drag unwanted apps into the window and let AppCleaner find all the files associated with it
- Downloading an app to remove apps seems a bit counterproductive.
- Doesn’t have support/a help reference, but the app should be pretty easy to use anyways.
You can download AppCleaner here.
3. Remove Apps with CCleaner for Mac
Just like AppCleaner, CCleaner for Mac will remove hidden files associated with an unwanted app. However, it has a greater variety of features and tools. If you’re looking for something a wider set of abilities, this might be the more fitting app.
- Fast and easy application uninstaller for catching unseen folders.
- Also includes general file cleaner for places where temporary files collect and eat up space such as Safari’s catch, preferences, and downloads.
- Junk files can be scheduled for regular deletion so you can worry about more important tasks.
- If you want to access all the features, you’ll need to pay for the upgraded version.
- Some users report complications when trying to select which files to delete and which to keep.
You can get CCleaner from Piriform here.
4. Via Uninstaller in CleanMyMac
If you want a sleek, long-term solution to ridding yourself of unwanted apps and files, CleanMyMac 3 is a well-developed app that will keep your Mac in top shape. In addition to offering the smart Uninstaller that allows you to remove apps in batch and grabs hidden folders, it can also scan for junk files and securely delete sensitive files. Made by MacPaw, it’s an application you can trust to work smoothly and do exactly what it claims to.
- Smart uninstaller makes sure all files associated with a program are deleted and not left behind to take up space.
- Clean out system junk and unnecessary files with tools to delete unwanted attachments or full caches.
- Integrates with iPhoto (now Photos) to reduce space taken by photos on your Mac.
- The combination of tools will help make any MacBook that feels sluggish get back to speed with very little effort on your part.
- Plenty of support and help resources, an extremely clean interface for easy and intuitive use.
- Not a free software (though a trial version is available and allows you to remove up to 500 MB data), this is understandable given the breadth of features available.
You can get CleanMyMac 3 here.
5. Use App Manager via Dr.Cleaner
Another great alternative for clearing out old apps and programs is Dr. Cleaner, which is made by Trend Micro and available on the App Store. Besides removing apps from your MacBook, it also includes a built-in junk file remover and a duplicate file identifier. The duplicate identifier is especially useful because it can eliminate everything from double pictures to over-saved documents, among other files that can quickly add up over time.
- Clean and simple interface, intuitive to use.
- Combines duplicate file searching program with junk file eliminator for the greatest level of excess file removal.
- Can find unknown folders attached to unwanted apps and delete them to save you space and completely erase unnecessary files.
- Optimize the memory on your MacBook and keep everything running smoothly with just one program, and keep track of everything with the menu bar widget.
- Excessive cleaning can be detrimental to Mac performance as your laptop rebuilds necessary caches it references frequently.
- It’s not freeware, though a free evaluation version is available.
You can get Dr. Cleaner from Mac App Store here.
We hope this guide has given you an idea of the many ways you can rely on to keep your Mac clean of unwanted apps and make it run at peak performance even after long periods of use.
The built-in process of moving an application to the trash will always work, but if you want to go a bit deeper, all the of the four software we mentioned can fill in the gaps and provide additional services.
Got an app that doesn’t seem to delete or keeps reappearing? You may have a virus or malware on your Mac – these are possible to accidentally catch on Mac and you’ll want to check out this article from MacWorld on how to remove them from your MacBook.