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Hi, this is Chris from JustGoodBites.com, your ultimate source for all Apple-related news, reviews, and tutorials. Today I am going to show you how to properly and easily uninstall programs on your Mac.
As you can see on your screen, I am going to guide you through three recommended ways of removing OS X applications. First, we will go through the manual method, then I will show you how to remove Mac App Store applications, and finally – an additional tip on how to uninstall applications using a third-party solution.
So, without further ado, let’s learn how to remove OS X applications manually.
Uninstalling applications manually can be done in four steps which include removal of applications to the Trash Bin and finding their obsolete files and extensions. I will explain all four steps in detail, so let’s start from the first step.
This step includes removal of unwanted or unneeded apps from your Applications folder to the Trash Bin, which then needs to be securely emptied.
By default, OS X stores applications into two different locations on your hard drive, and one of them is your Applications folder. You can easily find it in your Finder. As you can see on the screen, some applications are self-contained icons, while others are placed within folders. If you right-click on a self-contained application and select “Show Package Contents”, you can see that there are folders and files that are hidden behind this icon. This means that once you move this application to the Trash Bin, you will remove all these hidden files as well.
In contrast, some applications use clearly visible folders and files, such as, Microsoft Office, or Adobe’s Creative Suite. These are usually more complex applications, and in many instances, these applications have various files stored within the system.
The first step is to move unwanted applications to the Trash Bin, and then select “Empty Trash” to completely get rid of them.
The next step shows how to find obsolete files that are no longer needed on your OS X since you’ve already removed the main portion, which are also known as Application Support files.
You need to click on your hard drive’s icon, usually visible on your desktop, and then go to Library folder in Finder. This is where you need to look for folders and files named after the applications you previously removed from your Applications folder. My suggestion is to use the search function, and also to look in a folder named Application Support. It is also wise to take a look at a folder named Preferences. Remember to look for folders and files strictly named after an application you want to remove.
Similarly to the previous step, in this step we are going to remove obsolete support files from your User Library.
We need to access another Library folder, but this one is going to be tied to your username. Open Finder, click on Users, and choose your username. Now click on the Library folder. This is not the same Library folder as the previous one, since this one is tied to your username, instead of the first one which is system-wide. Once again look for folders named after applications you want to remove. You need to look for these folders in the main Library view, as well as in the following folders: Application Support, LauchAgents, LauchDaemons, Preferences, PreferencePanes, and StartupItems.
So, once again, here is the list of folders that you need to check. These folders usually contain obsolete files, so just keep in mind that you’re looking for folders named after applications you already removed.
This final step is needed for those persistent applications that hide their files deep within the system. In case you’ve deleted an application, but it still tries to launch on startup, this might solve your problem.
You need to locate kernel extensions by going to System/Library/Extensions, where you will see files that end with .kext. Make sure you find and delete items that contain the exact name of the application you want to have removed. This is the final step when it comes to uninstalling OS X applications manually.
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