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How can I uninstall an app from my Mac?

I know I'm a bit silly here, and I've just recently switched from Windows to Mac. All I would do on a PC is press Win+X and then the F key to get to "Programs and Features" window, and search for the app from the list and then uninstall them. So I was wondering if there is anything similar on Mac as well.

Most OS X applications are completely self-contained "packages" that can be uninstalled by simply dragging the application to the Trash. Applications may create preference files that are stored in the /Home/Library/Preferences/ folder. Although they do nothing once you delete the associated application, they do take up some disk space. If you want you can look for them in the above location and delete them, too.

Some applications may install an uninstaller program that can be used to remove the application. In some cases the uninstaller may be part of the application's installer, and is invoked by clicking on a Customize button that will appear during the install process.

Some applications may install components in the /Home/Library/Applications Support/ folder. You can also check there to see if the application has created a folder. You can also delete the folder that's in the Applications Support folder. Again, they don't do anything but take up disk space once the application is trashed.

Some applications may install a startupitem or a Log In item. Startupitems are usually installed in the /Library/StartupItems/ folder and less often in the /Home/Library/StartupItems/ folder. Log In Items are set in the Accounts preferences. Open System Preferences, click on the Accounts icon, then click on the LogIn Items tab. Locate the item in the list for the application you want to remove and click on the "-" button to delete it from the list.

Some software use startup daemons or agents that are a new feature of the OS. Look for them in /Library/LaunchAgents/ and /Library/LaunchDaemons/ or in /Home/Library/LaunchAgents/.

If an application installs any other files the best way to track them down is to do a Finder search using the application name or the developer name as the search term. Unfortunately Spotlight will not look in certain folders by default. You can modify Spotlight's behavior or use a third-party search utility, EasyFind, instead.

Some applications install a receipt in the /Library/Receipts/ folder. Usually with the same name as the program or the developer. The item generally has a ".pkg" extension. Be sure you also delete this item as some programs use it to determine if it's already installed.

There are many utilities that can uninstall applications. Here is a selection:

1. AppZapper

2. AppDelete

3. Automaton

4. Hazel

5. AppCleaner

6. CleanApp

7. iTrash

8. Amnesia

9. Uninstaller

10. Spring Cleaning

For more information visit The XLab FAQs and read the FAQ on removing software.

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Different apps require different methods to uninstall. Some come with an uninstaller, some just require dragging them to the Trash, apps from the App Store can be uninstalled from Launchpad, etc.

It's not a great idea to use an uninstaller app unless you know what should or shouldn't be removed.

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For most apps, it's easy as navigating to your Applications folder in the Finder, then dragging the application to the Trash icon in your Dock. You can also right-click and select 'Move to Trash', or hit ⌘-delete.

I should also add, many apps store your settings and data in a different directory which doesn't get deleted simply by deleting the app in the Applications folder. This is both good and bad. If you ever reinstall the app, all your settings and data will still be in place. Keeping these extra files around doesn't really do macOS any harm. Although if you're concerned about removing EVERYTHING for a particular app, it can be tough to make sure you get everything. There are various utilities that make this a bit easier, one I've used in the past is AppZapper.

If you're curious, these files are usually in ~/Library/Application Support and ~/Library/Preferences.

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