Yes, the Mac App Store gives us access to thousands of third-party apps that we can download and install on our Macs. Sometimes, we get these Mac apps for free, but oftentimes, they’re paid. Well, as long as our computer’s hard drive has enough space, there won’t be any problem. We can continue downloading and installing as many apps as we want.
However, there are times when we install an app on our Mac but, in the long run, realize that it’s not what we need. It’s not just because it’s affecting our productivity. It’s also eating up our drive’s storage space and slowing down the system performance. For that, we decide to simply uninstall it.
Then again, the process of removing an app varies between devices and operating systems. While some third-party apps come with executable installers in their respective folders that need to be run to be able to completely remove them from the system, others have to be removed by using third-party uninstallers.
To further complicate things, there are instances when we cannot remove the settings and preferences of the deleted app. A user even shared his experience on this, saying that:
Pro Tip: Scan your Mac for performance issues, junk files, harmful apps, and security threats
that can cause system issues or slow performance.
“I am trying to delete an app and then reinstall it with default settings, but whenever I reinstall it, it shows me the same preferences that I set in first use of that app. I deleted the application along with all the related files from system files and other library folders. Still, it shows me the same.”
So, what is the best action to take when you have deleted an app, but not its settings and preferences? We suggest that you continue reading below as we have listed down a few steps you can take. But before we proceed, let us ask you. When do you think is the right time to uninstall apps from your Mac?
When to Uninstall Apps from Your Mac?
There are many reasons you should uninstall apps from your Mac, but the most obvious one is for optimization purposes. Now, when should you do it?
Uninstalling apps is said to be a task that should be performed routinely, not only by Mac users but by other computer owners as well. An obvious sign that you already need to uninstall apps is when you notice your Mac starts to perform inefficiently and sluggishly. It could be showing random error messages, or the apps suddenly crash and freeze.
Most of the time, these signs are accompanied by a message saying that your computer is already running low on storage space and that you have to free up storage space for more apps and new processes.
How to Completely Uninstall Apps in Mojave
Don’t worry if you cannot remove an uninstalled app’s settings and preferences. There are a few methods you can try to completely remove the files associated with the uninstalled apps.
Before anything else, make sure that you are logged into your Mac using an administrator account. Otherwise, you might encounter permission problems in the process.
Method #1: Use Finder.
The first method you can try to uninstall or delete an app on your Mac is using Finder. Refer to the steps below to know how:
- Open Finder.
- Go to Applications.
- Choose the app or program that you want to uninstall.
- Right-click on it.
- Select Move to Trash.
- Alternatively, you can just drag the app’s or program’s icon to the Trash or Recycle Bin.
- Repeat steps 1 to 6 to delete other programs and apps you no longer need.
- Once your apps are already removed, delete them permanently from your system. Do this by right-clicking on Trash and clicking Empty Trash.
- Depending on the number of files or programs in the Trash folder, the deletion process could take a while. Wait until the process is complete.
Method #2: Use Launchpad.
Another method you can try to delete unwanted apps or programs from your computer is using Launchpad. It’s actually considered as your machine’s central hub for launching and viewing apps.
To uninstall apps from the Launchpad, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the Dock.
- Click You may also access it from the Touch Bar by opening the Control Strip.
- Under Launchpad, locate the program or app that you want to delete.
- Press the Option/ALT key on your keyboard.
- Hit Delete to confirm your action.
- Repeat steps 1 to 5 to delete other apps and programs that you no longer need.
Method #3: Use Your Mac’s Library Folder.
There are apps on your Mac that you can’t remove using the first two methods. That is because such apps have preferences or settings that are not stored in one folder.
In that case, you need to delete the preferences of an app directly from your Mac’s Library folder. To get started, you need to open or access the Library folder. By default, it is hidden in your Mac’s previous macOS versions. If you don’t find it, follow the instructions below:
- Open the Finder app.
- Press and hold the Option/ALT key.
- Click Go.
- Look for the ~Library folder under the Home folder.
If you still can’t find the Library folder, try these steps:
- Go to Finder.
- Click Go.
- Select Go to Folder.
- Press and hold the Shift + CMD + G shortcut.
- Into the text field, enter ~Library.
- Hit Go.
- By now, you should be able to access and see the contents of your Mac’s Library folder.
Generally, uninstalled apps should be permanently deleted from your system after you empty the Trash folder. And in this case, all the files that were generated using those apps can no longer be accessed. To ensure that these files are deleted and cleared away, do the following:
- Go to Finder via Spotlight Search.
- Hit Go.
- Scroll down and select Go to Folder.
You should now see a list of folders. From here, you can delete all the files and data that are associated with the apps you have recently deleted. You may refer below for a more detailed guide on what folders to open and access:
- To delete crash logs, go to the ~/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter/ folder.
- To delete the Library, go to ~/Library.
- To delete all the saved application states, go to ~/Library/Saved Application State/
- To delete support caches, go to ~/Library/Caches/ and /Library/Caches/
- To delete plugins, go to ~/Library/Address Book Plug-ins/
- To delete dock and binary icons, go to ~/Applications/
- To delete app preferences, go to ~/Library/Preferences/
- To delete application support files, go to ~/Library/Application/
Be careful when deleting files in these folders. You have to make sure that you don’t delete system files to avoid corrupting your OS. If you are not confident in what files to delete, you should seek help from experts. Better yet, contact Apple support.
Method #4: Use Third-Party Uninstallers.
There are a number of third-party apps and utilities available for Mac. These apps are quite efficient at identifying redundant caches and unwanted preference files that are associated with a deleted app.
Below are some of the best third-party uninstallers you may consider using:
Developed by the TunesBro team, CleanGeeker has a user-friendly interface and lots of convenient features. It has a Quick Scan functionality that lets you find every last residual file left by deleted apps. This app does not have any confusing settings to deal with, so it’s ideal for newbies or beginners.
2. CleanMyMac X
A popular Mac cleaning app, CleanMyMac X is known for its robust uninstall function. Aside from that, it has modules that can be used to clean up your machine’s memory and speed up its performance. Developed by MacPaw, this app has a stunning UI and a nice and clean navigation.
3. Outbyte macAries
Although new, Outbyte macAries won’t disappoint in terms of functionality. By running a quick scan, it can pinpoint all issues with your Mac, which you can easily resolve. Plus, it scans your Mac for all sorts of junk, including cache files created by apps and browsers, broken downloads, old diagnostic reports, unneeded file logs, and unnecessary iOS updates.
4. IObit MacBooster 7
A highly regarded Mac cleaning app, IObit MacBooster 7 can efficiently remove up to 20 different types of unnecessary files. Though the scan may take longer than those of most products, it’s definitely worth trying because of how it effectively reclaims storage space. One notable thing about this app is its professional-looking UI.
As the app’s name suggests, AppZapper is an app that is designed to remove any hints or traces of an uninstalled app. Its simple drag-and-drop interface is probably what makes it appealing to users, but experts find the filter option within the search function a more enticing feature.
Are you still having problems with uninstalling apps from your Mac? Then we suggest that you take your Mac to the nearest Apple Repair Center. Have experts examine your Mac and listen to possible methods to help resolve your problem.
Do you know other ways to delete the files associated with a deleted app or program? Share them with us in the comments. We’d also appreciate it if you shared this article to anyone who might need it.