Tis the season for throwing out the old to make room for the new and, as it turns out, your computer is likely due for a spring cleaning, too.
Between the regular backups and constant updates, technology takes almost as much maintenance as a house these days. If every time you power up your Mac, you get the dreaded “Startup disk is almost full” popup or an overwhelming number of update notifications on apps you don’t even use, then it’s probably time for a purge.
There are a number of files that could be taking up space on your Mac, ultimately causing it to run slowly, but before you go dragging your beloved photos, music, and movies into the trash, you should consider uninstalling those apps you know you’ll never use again.
Whether it’s the Adobe trial you decided not to buy, or the software you downloaded for that one work-from-home day last year, these programs could be running in the background or automatically updating without you even realizing it.
Even if they’re not causing you any trouble, those regular update notifications are flat-out annoying. Uninstalling these apps is as satisfying as wiping the dust from your bookshelf, and often as easy, too.
Deleting an app (which is, in fact, synonymous with uninstalling it) will free up most of the space it’s occupying on your computer. However, keep in mind that some apps like Microsoft Office and Adobe programs could actually be storing large amounts of files on your Mac even after you delete them.
Dragging an app into Trash only removes the .app file, not necessarily the data it has already saved on your Mac (including preferences, logins, and licensed files), according to MacPaw. Going the extra mile to remove this stored data will free up even more space on your computer.
Some apps, such as Adobe, offer dedicated uninstallers – whether built into the app or downloaded separately from the manufacturer’s website – that will remove additional, associated files. For those that don’t, though, you can either manually delete files from your Library or purchase a third-party program like CleanMyMac to completely clear them away for you.
Here are three simple ways to uninstall App Store programs and other apps you’ve downloaded from the internet.
How to manually uninstall apps on a Mac computer in three different ways
1. Click “Launchpad” in your Dock and find the app you wish to delete. Click and hold your cursor on the app until an “X” appears on the corner of the icon. Click the “X” to delete the app. An “X” will remain on each app that can be deleted, so scroll through and delete any others you wish to remove. When finished, click anywhere on the screen that’s not occupied by an app icon to exit deletion mode.
2. Find the apps you wish to delete in “Launchpad,” then can click and drag them individually into the trash can icon in your Dock. When finished, open Trash and click “Empty” in the top right corner.
3. Under the “Go” menu in Finder, locate and open the “Applications” folder. Select all the apps you wish to delete, then right click and select “Move to Trash” from the drop-down menu. Again, remember to empty your Trash when finished.