How to Delete Apps Mac

Charlotte Daniels

Mac, Tutorials

Deleting apps on a Mac is a simple process that can help free up valuable disk space and declutter your system. Whether you want to remove built-in apps or third-party applications, this guide will walk you through the steps to delete apps on your Mac.

Uninstalling Built-in Apps:

If you’re looking to remove default applications that come pre-installed on your Mac, follow these steps:

Step 1: Launch the Finder application by clicking on its icon in the Dock or by selecting it from the Applications folder.

Step 2: In the Finder menu, click on “Go” and select “Applications” from the drop-down menu. This will open a new Finder window displaying all your installed applications.

Step 3: Locate the app you wish to delete. To make it easier, you can sort the applications alphabetically by name or use the search bar at the top right corner of the window.

Step 4: Once you’ve found the app, simply drag and drop it into the Trash bin located at the right end of your Dock. Alternatively, you can right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash.”

Removing built-in apps might require administrator privileges. You may be prompted for your password before moving an app to Trash.

Uninstalling Third-Party Apps:

Removing third-party applications is slightly different from built-in apps but just as straightforward:

Step 1: Open Finder and navigate to “Applications” as mentioned earlier.

Step 2: Locate and select the third-party app you want to delete.

Step 3: Right-click on it, and choose “Move to Trash” from the context menu. Alternatively, you can drag it directly into Trash.

Some applications may include uninstallers. In that case, you can double-click the uninstaller file and follow the prompts to remove the app completely.

Step 4: After moving the app to Trash, right-click on the Trash icon in your Dock and select “Empty Trash.” Confirm your action when prompted.

Deleting Apps from Launchpad:

If you prefer using Launchpad to manage your applications, you can delete apps from there as well:

Step 1: Open Launchpad by clicking on its icon in the Dock or searching for it using Spotlight.

Step 2: Locate the app you want to remove.

Step 3: Click and hold the app icon until it starts shaking. You will see an “X” symbol in the top-left corner of some of the apps.

Step 4: Click on the “X” symbol of the app you wish to delete. A confirmation message will appear asking if you want to delete it. Click “Delete” to confirm.

Some apps downloaded from the Mac App Store might not have an “X” symbol when shaking. In that case, use one of the previous methods mentioned to uninstall them.


If you encounter any issues during or after deleting an app, here are a few troubleshooting tips:

Error Message: “The item is in use and can’t be moved to Trash”

This error occurs when an application is still running or has background processes active. To resolve this issue:

  • Force Quit: Go to the Apple menu and select “Force Quit.” Select the application from the list, then click “Force Quit.

  • Restart Your Mac: If force quitting doesn’t work, try restarting your Mac. This will close all running applications and processes.
  • Remove Login Items: Open System Preferences, click on “Users & Groups,” select your username, and navigate to the “Login Items” tab. Remove any entries related to the application you’re trying to delete.

Error Message: “The application can’t be moved because it is open”

If you receive this error message, ensure that the application is completely closed. Check the Dock for any running instances of the app and close them if necessary. Additionally, make sure there are no background processes associated with the app.


Deleting apps from your Mac is a straightforward process that can help optimize your system’s performance and free up storage space. Whether you’re removing built-in apps or third-party applications, following these steps will ensure a clean uninstallation. Remember to double-check your Trash before emptying it permanently, as deleted files cannot be recovered once emptied.

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