In macOS, there are two types of applications, those that have their own installer and those that are containers. In the first, we have examples like the Adobe package and in the second most (Affinity Photo, Imagewell, etc).
This first categorization already affects how to uninstall each application. Delete the Photoshop application by dragging the icon to the trash would not be correct as we would continue to leave a large amount of “junk” files. In container applications, something similar would happen but not so problematic. But let’s see what containers are.
In macOS, many applications are really containers, folders that contain everything necessary for the execution of the application without installing anything extra
An application such as Imagewell is included in a container where there are also the rest of the elements necessary for its operation. Having everything there does not need to install other files in certain locations of our disk to work. So even if you have it on a USB stick you can run it.
Therefore, drag an application of that type directly to the trash and delete yes is a correct uninstall. Or almost, because there would be some preferences files that, although they do not affect or occupy more than a few KB, it would not be bad to delete them too.
If you are now thinking about deleting applications through LaunchPad -as in iOS- I will tell you that it is not my ideal option because you delete the app but not all of its files.
The correct way to uninstall an application in macOS:
- So, how do I properly uninstall an application in macOS? Well, if the application has its own uninstaller is what you should use. It is important that when you install a new app you see whether or not there is an uninstaller or it is created once everything is installed.
- Before doing anything, make sure that the developer does not include or offer an own uninstaller
- The next step is to see what the developer says. For some applications, you have to download it from the developer’s page. And others, attentive, have a menu that uninstalls the application. It is something that happens for example with FxFactory.
- Finally, for the rest of the applications, my recommendation is to use AppZapper or AppCleaner. The first is paid and I have used it for years, it works very well, but having the second one that is free better to opt for that one.
Appcleaner works very simply. When you launch the application you will see a window in which to drag and drop the app there to uninstall.
But there is more, in the Applications tab you can see all the ones that are installed on your computer. You can select one to one or several. Then you give Search and the application will not only locate the container but all the preferences files and others that will guarantee complete elimination. Also, another tab to delete other elements. Of course, beware of what you erase, you must be sure.
As you can see, if installing applications in macOS is as simple as clicking on the Mac App Store or dragging it to the Applications folder, the opposite process does not cause great difficulties either. So now, even if this is basic information, you can already say that you have uninstalled the application correctly and 100%. Doubts?