Around 25% of PC users seem to want to switch to Mac, but doing it requires re-learning the functions of a different operating system. Regardless of whether it’s the best choice, users might have to take a crash course because macOS is vastly different from Windows.

One of the problems they might encounter is, “how do you uninstall a program on a Mac?” It’s easier in some ways but harder for others. Keep on reading to learn the different ways you can delete an app.

How Do You Uninstall a Program on a Mac?

There are two categories of uninstalling programs on Mac computers. The first is doing it the Apple way, while the second is through apps. We’ll discuss the second option first.

Dedicated App Uninstaller

Some programs come with dedicated uninstallers for deleting them and all associated files. If you want to get rid of McAfee, you have to use its uninstaller.

Adobe is another prime example. If you delete it via Finder, it leaves behind the helper utility and menu bar app. 

Before trying any of the methods below, see if the app has a dedicated uninstaller. With some files, you can download their uninstallers from the web.

To look for the uninstaller, check the Applications folder. You may also want to try searching it via Spotlight. Press command + space and type “uninstaller.”

From there, it’s only a matter of following instructions. Open the uninstaller app and follow the prompts.

Third-Party Uninstaller

When you search “how do you uninstall a program on a Mac” on Google, most suggest using a third-party app uninstaller. You have to download it first, though. Do this only if you’re comfortable installing other apps on your Mac laptop.

Using a third-party uninstaller almost works the same as using a dedicated one. You only have to open it and follow the instructions.

The features depend on the uninstaller you download, but the general functions should be the same. You only have to launch the app (after downloading) and drag the program toward it.

You can also view a list of all your installed programs through the app. From there, you can delete the ones you wish to uninstall.

Some apps can do follow-up cleaning after you uninstall a program via Finder or Launchpad. Often, the apps you delete have leftover files you have to clean yourself. Third-party programs can clean these for you.

If you don’t want to deal with these in the first place, use a third-party uninstaller from the get-go. However, you have to be wary of downloading and installing other apps.

Research the best uninstallers with reviews from real users. You want to make sure the app isn’t harmful to your computer. You also have to ensure it’s working as advertised.

You can find some free apps, but you may find the paid ones are more trustworthy. Still, requiring payment doesn’t make a program more legit than the others. 

If your antivirus software detects something upon installation, you might want to listen. Look for other alternatives to lessen the risks.

Remember that you can get ransomware is a real threat right now. Attacks increased by 62% from 2019 to 2020. This year brought on more.

Uninstalling Programs on a Mac via Utilities

You don’t always have to rely on apps to uninstall programs. You can do it according to Apple’s suggestions most of the time. Here are ways to delete apps using none other than your Mac.


The Mac computer has a straightforward way to uninstall programs. You only have to drag them to the trash, like deleting a file as usual. 

First, you have to go to the folder containing the program files. Open Finder or go to any existing Finder window. On the sidebar, look for Applications. 

You can also find the program file by using Spotlight. Press command + space, and type the application you want to delete. Press and hold the command key before double-clicking the app to open its folder.

From the Applications folder, you can then choose the program(s) you want to delete. You can select more than one and drag them all to the Trash folder. You may also right-click on the file and choose “Move to Trash.”

You may have to approve the activity as an administrator when uninstalling an app on a Mac. When prompted, key in your username and password. After the program has successfully moved to the Trash folder, you can empty its contents to finish deleting it.


The Launchpad provides another way to uninstall an app on a Mac. You can access it by using its shortcut – pinching inward with your thumb and three fingers on the trackpad. Other ways you can open it are:

  • Accessing it from the dock
  • Going to the Applications folder and opening the app
  • Searching for “launchpad” on Spotlight

Once you’ve accessed the Launchpad, find the program you want to uninstall. You might want to try the search bar on the top if you can’t find it.

Hold the Options button after finding your desired file, or click and hold on to any app until the icons jiggle. You should see an “x” on the top-left side of the apps you can uninstall.

If you don’t see the “x” button, the program didn’t come from the App Store. Essential programs required by your Mac also don’t show it.

Click the “x” or Delete button. A window will pop up, asking you to confirm or cancel. Click Delete to uninstall the app immediately.

Keep Your Files Safe and Protected While Uninstalling

We hope our guide answered the question, “how do you uninstall a program on a Mac?”

However, our last bit of advice is to ensure file safety. The convenience of a third-party app might tempt you, but you have to consider the risks. Likewise, Finder is the most convenient but not always the best choice.

Either way, the safety of your files and computer should be the top priority. Learn more by reading our other posts today.


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