Whether you’re trying to clear up hard drive space or you just want to get rid of an unused app, uninstalling software is a fairly routine task.

Luckily for Mac users, the uninstallation process is a lot simpler on macOS than it is on other platforms. In fact, it’s literally drag-and-drop simple. There’s no “Uninstall Programs” menu in Control Panel like there is in Windows.

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Having said that, there are a couple of ways you can actually go about uninstalling apps. Here’s what you need to know.

Uninstall Mac Apps Via Finder

The traditional method for uninstalling apps is to use Finder. If you’re running a particularly old version of macOS (or OS X), this is the method you’ll use.

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  3. Uninstall apps on Mac from Applications folder. For apps that you downloaded from the Mac App Store, you can easily delete them from your Applications folder. 1) Open the Applications folder from your Dock, Finder sidebar, or click Go Applications from the menu bar. 2) Either right-click or hold Control and click the app you want to uninstall.
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  1. Open a Finder window.
  2. Click on the Applications folder.
  3. Select the app you want to uninstall.
  4. Right-click the application.
  5. In the menu that pops up, click on Move to Trash.

Alternatively, you can simply drag the application directly to the Trash icon. (It’ll be in the bottom-right corner of the Mac taskbar. You may need to hover over the bottom of the display to get it to show.)

Once the app is sent to Trash, there is one more step you’ll need to take to completely rid your computer of it.

This is also the last time to reinstall an app you’ve recently deleted if you changed your mind. Just drag an app from Trash back to the Applications folder. Or right-click on the app in the Trash folder and click Put Back.

But to permanently delete apps from your computer, simply right-click the Trash icon in the bottom-right corner of the menu bar. Then, click on Empty Trash. Depending on how much data is in your Trash can, this could take a moment.

Uninstall Mac Apps from Launchpad

The last method is incredibly simple, but OS X Lion and newer versions of the Mac operating system have an easier method.

First, you’ll need to open Launchpad. There are two ways to go about this.

  • Click the Launchpad icon in the taskbar. It’s shaped like a gray rocket, or six squares.
  • Alternatively, you can use a Multi-Touch gesture. Simply pinch your thumb and three fingers together to display Launchpad.

From here, the process is similar to iOS.

  1. Click and hold the icon of the app you’d like to uninstall.
  2. Wait until the app icon begins to jiggle.
  3. When it does, click the circular black X icon that appears next to it.
  4. You’ll be a prompt asking you to confirm. Click on Delete.

It’s worth noting that the Launchpad method won’t work on every app. Typically, it’ll only show up on apps that you’ve downloaded from the Mac App Store.

Similarly, unlike iOS, you won’t be able to delete native macOS applications like Safari, Mail or Photos.

Using an Uninstaller for Mac Apps

While these methods will cover the vast majority of apps you interact with on a daily basis, there is another method for certain applications.

Although uncommon, some apps will have their own dedicated uninstallers. This is especially true for app suites like Microsoft Office or Adobe Creative Cloud.

Basically, these app suites come with an uninstaller app because they tend to install other software or support apps. If you install Photoshop on your Mac, for example, Adobe might install a suite of other apps like Adobe Bridge or Adobe Content Viewer along with it.

To do away with an app suite, you can either hunt down each individual app and delete them separately. Or, you can use the uninstaller app that came with the suite.

Generally, it’s recommended that you use the uninstaller. The official uninstall process will typically clean up app data and other miscellaneous files that might otherwise be left behind.

How to Clean Up Leftover Files

Though this isn’t true across the board, some apps will “leave behind” random bits of data or other files. For the most part, there’s really no harm in this. But these leftover files can take up a bit of space on your drive.

If you’re particularly space-conscious, you might want to go through the process of cleaning them up.

The quickest way to do so is to use a third-party utility app that will automatically locate and delete that leftover data, preference files and caches. An app like AppCleaner is a great choice.

Use AppCleaner to Clean Up Files

AppCleaner is free and incredibly simple to use. Once you download and install it, follow these steps before you uninstall the actual app.

  1. Open AppCleaner.
  2. Drag an application to the AppCleaner window.
  3. It’ll scan and find all associated files.
  4. Be sure to “check” the files and folders that you want AppCleaner to delete.
  5. Click the Remove button.
  6. You’ll usually need to login with an administrator account to authenticate.

Once you do, AppCleaner will move the app and its associated files to the Trash.

AppCleaner also has a “SmartDelete” option that’s located in its Preferences menu. This will save you from having to checkmark each file or folder before AppCleaner removes them.

As with the other methods explained above, you’ll need to empty the Trash before the apps (and their files) are actually deleted from your hard drive.

Manually Clean Up Leftover Files


If you don’t want to use a third-party option, you’ll need to dig around and find those files yourself. It’s not the hardest thing to do, but it requires a bit of know-how.

You will find these leftover bits of data in your Library folder. Here’s how to get to it.

  1. Open a Finder window.
  2. Click on the Go menu in the top menu bar.
  3. Hold down the Option key.
  4. You’ll see a new folder pop up titled Library.
  5. Click on Library.

From here, it’s just a matter of searching out the individual leftover files. They might include application support files, preference files, and caches.

In the Library folder:

  • Application support files will be located in the Application Support
  • Preference files will be located in the Preferences
  • Caches will be located in the Caches
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Click on any of the above folders. Then, locate a subfolder named after the app you’ve uninstalled. Occasionally, the folder will be named after the app developer, rather than the app.

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You can either delete the individual files within that subfolder, or just delete the subfolder itself.



You can use this guide to uninstall each component in Visual Studio for Mac individually by navigating to the relevant section, or you can use the scripts provided in the Uninstall Script section to uninstall everything.


This information will only remove Visual Studio 2019 or 2017 for Mac from your machine. to uninstall Visual Studio Code, see this issue for details.

Uninstall Script

There are two scripts that can be used to uninstall Visual Studio for Mac and all components for your machine:

The following sections provide information on downloading and using the scripts.

Visual Studio for Mac and Xamarin script

You can uninstall Visual Studio and Xamarin components in one go by using the uninstall script.

This uninstall script contains most of the commands that you will find in the article. There are three main omissions from the script and are not included due to possible external dependencies. To remove this, jump to the relevant section below and remove them manually:

To run the script, do the following steps:

  1. Right-click on the script and select Save As to save the file on your Mac.

  2. Open Terminal and change the working directory to where the script was downloaded:

  3. Make the script executable and the run it with sudo:

  4. Finally, delete the uninstall script and remove Visual Studio for Mac from the dock (if it's there).

.NET Core script

The uninstall script for .NET Core is located in the dotnet cli repo

To run the script, do the following steps:

  1. Right-click on the script and select Save As to save the file on your Mac.

  2. Open Terminal and change the working directory to where the script was downloaded:

  3. Make the script executable and the run it with sudo:

  4. Finally, delete the .NET Core uninstall script.

Uninstall Visual Studio for Mac

The first step in uninstalling Visual Studio from a Mac is to locate Visual Studio.app in the /Applications directory and drag it to the Trash Can. Alternatively, right-click and select Move to Trash as illustrated in the following image:

Deleting this app bundle removes Visual Studio for Mac, even though there may be other files related to Xamarin still on the file system.

To remove all traces of Visual Studio for Mac, run the following commands in Terminal:

You may also want to remove the following directory containing various Xamarin files and folders. However, before you do you should be aware that this directory contains the Android signing keys. For more information refer to the section Uninstalling Android SDK and Java SDK:

Uninstall Mono SDK (MDK)

Mono is an open-source implementation of Microsoft's .NET Framework and is used by all Xamarin Products—Xamarin.iOS, Xamarin.Android, and Xamarin.Mac to allow development of these platforms in C#.


There are other applications outside of Visual Studio for Mac that also use Mono, such as Unity.Be sure that there are no other dependencies on Mono before uninstalling it.

To remove the Mono Framework from a machine, run the following commands in Terminal:

Uninstall Xamarin.Android

There are a number of items required for the installation and use of Xamarin.Android, such as the Android SDK and Java SDK.

Use the following commands to remove Xamarin.Android:

Uninstall Android SDK and Java SDK

The Android SDK is required for development of Android applications. To completely remove all parts of the Android SDK, locate the file at ~/Library/Developer/Xamarin/ and move it to Trash.


You should be aware that Android signing keys that are generated by Visual Studio for Mac are located in ~/Library/Developer/Xamarin/Keystore. Make sure to back these up appropriately, or avoid removing this directory if you wish to keep your keystore.

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The Java SDK (JDK) does not need to be uninstalled, as it is already pre-packaged as part of Mac OS X / macOS.

Uninstall Android AVD


There are other applications outside of Visual Studio for Mac that also use Android AVD and these additional android components, such as Android Studio.Removing this directory may cause projects to break in Android Studio.

To remove any Android AVDs and additional Android components use the following command:

To remove only the Android AVDs use the following command:

Uninstall Xamarin.iOS

Xamarin.iOS allows iOS application development using C# or F# with Visual Studio for Mac.

Use the following commands in Terminal to remove all Xamarin.iOS files from a file system:

Uninstall Xamarin.Mac

Xamarin.Mac can be removed from your machine using the following two commands to eradicate the product and license from your Mac respectively:

Uninstall Workbooks and Inspector

Starting with 1.2.2, Xamarin Workbooks & Inspector can be uninstalled from a terminal by running:

For older versions, you need to manually remove the following artifacts:

  • Delete the Workbooks app at '/Applications/Xamarin Workbooks.app'
  • Delete the Inspector app at 'Applications/Xamarin Inspector.app'
  • Delete the add-ins: '~/Library/Application Support/XamarinStudio-6.0/LocalInstall/Addins/Xamarin.Interactive' and '~/Library/Application Support/XamarinStudio-6.0/LocalInstall/Addins/Xamarin.Inspector'
  • Delete Inspector and supporting files here: /Library/Frameworks/Xamarin.Interactive.framework and /Library/Frameworks/Xamarin.Inspector.framework

Uninstall the Xamarin Profiler

Uninstall the Visual Studio Installer

Use the following commands to remove all traces of the Xamarin Universal Installer:

Uninstall Visual Studio 2019 for Mac Preview

Visual Studio 2019 for Mac Preview was launched as a separate preview, allowing you to continue to work with your Visual Studio 2017 for Mac install side-by-side.

Now that Visual Studio 2019 for Mac has been released, you can now safely remove the Visual Studio 2019 for Mac Preview application.

To uninstall the preview application bundle, select Visual Studio (Preview) from your Applications folder and click Move to Trash, as depicted in the following image:

You can also remove the Preview plist file with the following command:

See also