Wondering how to delete apps on macOS? Apple makes it very simple – yet there are a few things to be aware of…
Back in the early days of computing, uninstalling an app from your computer (also known as “deleting” the app) was a nightmarish process. This is especially true on the Windows operating system, where you couldn’t simply move an app’s icon to the trash. Instead, you needed to run a complicated “uninstaller” app for the app you wanted to delete.
But things are different when it comes to deleting apps on macOS in 2022. Apple makes the process very easy. However, there are certain things to understand….
The Differences Between Installing Apps On Mac & Windows
When someone first moves from Windows to the Mac they are often surprised by how simple certain actions are on the Mac as compared to Windows. Installing an app is one such surprise.
You see, when you install an app on Windows, you often need to download and run an installer, which then performs operations on your PC, installing the app, and also spreading files related to the app all around the operating system.
But installing an app on the Mac is much simpler. You download the app from the web and simply drag it from the container file and into your Applications folder (or anywhere else you want – but it’s good to keep them in the Applications folder for consistency’s sake).
And that drag-and-drop installation is all it takes on Mac for most apps (there are a few exceptions, like Zoom, which do require an installer to run on the Mac). Most Mac apps don’t require complicated installers because instead of spreading associated files all over the Mac operating system, those files are all contained within the app – literally. Just right-click on an app’s icon and choose “Show Package Contents” and the app will open like a folder showing you all of its associated files are contained inside.
It’s a really cool feature and one that makes deleting or uninstalling apps on macOS really easy.
(Also, you can install apps directly through the Mac App Store, which is even easier than downloading them from the web.)
How To Uninstall (aka Delete) Apps On macOS
Uninstalling apps on macOS is very very simple. And there are basically two ways to do it. The first is by using Launchpad, which is built into macOS, including macOS Monterey and macOS Ventura. The Launchpad way to uninstall apps is the way you want to use if you’ve installed those apps via the Mac App Store.
Then there is the drag-and-drop way. This is the way you want to use it if you’ve installed an app by downloading it from the web.
How To Uninstall (aka Delete) Apps On macOS: Mac App Store Apps
First, let’s show you how to uninstall apps you’ve downloaded from the Mac App Store:
- Click on the Launchpad icon in the Dock to bring up the Launchpad home screen.
- Look for the icon of the Mac App Store app you want to uninstall and click and hold on it.
- When all the apps in Launchpad start jiggling, you can release the mouse button.
- Now click the X that has appeared in the corner of the app’s icon.
- In the popup, confirm you want to delete the app by clicking the Delete button.
The app is now deleted from your Mac.
How To Uninstall (aka Delete) Apps On macOS: Apps Downloaded From The Web
Most apps downloaded from the web can be deleted using the method below. But if an app does have an uninstaller built-in, it’s best to use that method. However, most Mac apps you download from the web can be uninstalled like this:
- Find the app your want to uninstall in the Applications folder on your Mac.
- Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash bin in the Dock.
- Click on the Trash and click the Empty button.
And that’s it! The app is now deleted!
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.