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What is the best way to fully remove an app on OSX?


iMore Question

What is the best way to fully remove an app on OSX

I have some apps that apparently leave residual data when removed. Whats the best way to fully remove an app in OSX


New member
Aug 14, 2015
Re: What is the best way to fully remove an app on OSX

Welcome to iMore. Below is how I do it.

UPDATED for OS X 10.9 Mavericks and later: It has been discovered that on these versions of OS X, Finder may not produce search results from Library folders unless the search is started in the Library folder, even if System Files are included in the search criteria. You can either perform the following search once for your entire computer, then repeat it from the Library folders, or you may elect to use a Finder alternative app such as
[*]Click the + button below the search term to add criteria, then click the search criteria drop-down and select "Other...", then "System files"
[*]Click the "aren't included" and change to "are included"
[*]Sort by name, kind, date, etc. to identify components of the app, such as folders, .plist files, cache files. etc.
[*]Delete all files and folders related to the app.
[*]Don't empty your Trash until you've determined that everything is working OK, in case you need to restore something you deleted by accident.
[*]A reboot might be necessary to completely remove some apps.

In some rare instances, an app may create hidden files or folders. In such instances, follow steps 6 and 7, then repeat those steps to add another criteria, this time choosing "File visibility" > "Visible or Invisible". Then proceed with the remainder of the steps. ​