5 Replies Latest reply: Apr 2, 2010 9:03 AM by Lucia Giamanco
Lucia Giamanco Level 1 (15 points)
Good Morning,

I am trying to figure out how to remove some programs I am no longer using and I have no clue how to do that on a Mac......on Windows we had add/remove programs, but I have not seen a similar app to do this with on my Macs......HELP please....

Thank you,

Imac, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • Jolly Giant Level 7 (25,440 points)
    Lucia Giamanco wrote:
    I am trying to figure out how to remove some programs

    on a Mac, apps that you installed by dragging them into the apps folder, simply drag them to the trash. apps that came as an installer package usually include an uninstall option (either from within the app or as a separate uninstaller).

    also see this:

    Kappy wrote:
    Open Software Update to get the updates listed. Select them then select Ignore Update from the Update menu.

    Be sure you have fully uninstalled said software from your machine:

    Uninstalling Software: The Basics

    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, Easy Find, instead. Download Easy Find at VersionTracker or MacUpdate.

    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 also several shareware utilities that can uninstall applications:
    Spring Cleaning

    Look for them at VersionTracker or MacUpdate.

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

    edited by the Jolly Green Giant (where Green stands for environmentally friendly)
  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,795 points)
    Jolly gave you lots of good information. Some of this may be redundant, but I'd take a look anyway in case there's something not covered.


    I often use EasyFind to uninstall apps, searching under all possible names. And, it's a great search tool, much better/easier than Spotlight to find anything on the system. Doesn't need to do any indexing. Finds invisible files. Settings>Scan all files.

  • Limnos Level 8 (46,035 points)
    *Uninstalling Applications*

    First, I suggest backing up your drive in case you uninstall something you shouldn't have uninstalled.

    Most small programs can have all their components contained within an app package. After running, the program will likely install a file in Preferences (either in your user area, or the main preferences, or both). Dragging a program and its preferences to the trash is often all that is needed, or you can use a program like AppDelete to delete these programs. However, most application deleting programs will not have an inventory of what is installed -- they just look for files that are clearly associated with the application you are deleting.

    Try to find files associated with the application you want to delete by using Spotlight, Finder, or [Easyfind|http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/11076/easyfind] (free and generally highly recommended) to search for the application's name. Favorite folders for files to be installed are:

    /Users/YourName/Library/Application Support/

    where YourName refers to the user name when you login and the / indicates the series of folders down from your main drive. Note that there are folders with identical names but in very different locations.

    A few programs may set login items to start automatically when your computer starts or a specific user logs in. These items are located in: /Library/StartupItems/ or /Users/YourName/Library/StartupItems/ To edit these, go to your account set up in System Preferences, login items tab, select the item(s) and a "-" to remove.

    More involved programs (e.g., Office) may install bits and pieces all over the place, like fonts, libraries, etc. The software installer may have an uninstall option, or there may be a separate uninstaller for these. In bad situations you have to hunt around yourself.

    Some programs install invisible files. You can use a utility such as Onyx to toggle visibility on your computer and check for invisible files.

    Sometimes programs install files (often hidden) not readily associated with the program and if you're worried about those the only thing to do is a scan before and after installing a program and see what has changed.

    Check out the utility [AppDelete|www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/systemdiskutilities/appdelete.html]. It will remove simple applications and most of their associated files.

    [X Lab FAQ: Uninstalling applications|http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/uninstallingapps.html]


    [Apple Discussion with useful tips|http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1963113&tstart=0]
  • Lucia Giamanco Level 1 (15 points)
    Thank you very much,
  • Jolly Giant Level 7 (25,440 points)
    my pleasure, ma'am

    enjoy ...