We ranked 2020’s best app uninstallers for Mac
Taking an application off of your Mac isn’t as simple as dragging it into the trash. When you install an app, all sorts of supplementary files take up residence in your hard drive.
Once there, they’re not easy to get rid of. First, you have to find them; then, you have to make sure they’re really gone. It can be frustrating and time-consuming to do by hand, and there’s no guarantee you’ll catch all those extra files.
Over time, those extra files build up. Without even noticing it, you might be dedicating several gigabytes of your Mac’s memory to this junk data. This can be a drag on your computer’s performance, all for an app you’re not even using anymore.
Luckily, there’s a better way to get rid of these files for good. An app uninstaller is a utility that automates the different steps of app removal:
- Locating outdated or underused apps
- Finding all associated support files and caches
- Moving them to the trash
- Permanently deleting them
If you’re looking to speed up your Mac by uninstalling yesteryear’s app and its associated junk files, you need a dedicated uninstaller.
Choosing the best Mac Uninstaller
But how to pick which uninstaller to use? Plenty of apps can improve your ability to get rid of junk files, but not all uninstallers are alike. Some uninstallers are a feature of a more comprehensive Mac file manager. Others are designed for only that task.
It can be hard to choose the one that suits your needs. That’s why we created the ranked roundup of the best Mac uninstallers below:
1. CleanMyMac X: A top-tier OSX uninstaller
CleanMyMac X tops our list of app uninstallers for Mac. This powerful all-in-one utility has a variety of features designed to help get the most out of your machine, including malware protection and speed optimization.
But the app’s Uninstaller module means that it can compete with single-function uninstaller apps.
By the way, this app is available for a free download — so do check it out.
CleanMyMac X starts by making the task of uninstalling apps easy. Instead of paging through your application folder, trying to remember if an app is a crucial background utility or a waste of space, you can let CleanMyMac X scan and sort your apps.
You can also arrange lists by the last time you used an app, sort apps by vendors like Adobe, or focus on specific categories, like apps from the App Store.
When it scans for installed apps, CleanMyMac X automatically locates all the app leftovers, the data caches, and associated files that support each app. When the list gives a number for how much space an app is taking up, that number includes this extra system junk, so you can be sure you’re maximizing your disk space.
You stay in control through the whole process. CleanMyMac X lets you select specific apps from its scan list, and delete them permanently along with their support files. Plus, its disk scan will show you how much space you’re freeing up in real time.
CleanMyMac X wins our top spot for its level of sorting flexibility and control combined with deep-cleaning power for your hard drive.
You can also reset apps with this program. By resetting, I mean restoring any app to its default settings. When you reset an app with CleanMyMac X, it will keep your user-created files intact so you won’t lose your projects.
Use app reset when:
- apps are out of sync
- apps are not launching
- apps keep crashing
How to reset applications with CleanMyMac X:
- Download the free version of the app.
- Click on the Uninstaller tab.
- Select an app from the list.
- Click on the dropdown menu under “Uninstall.” and choose Reset
2. Hazel: A handy uninstaller for Mac
Hazel is another app with the power to get rid of unneeded apps and junk for good. Another tool with a range of possible uses, Hazel lets you create condition-based rules that automate certain actions on your Mac.
This is useful for file organization, photo naming, archiving, and generally keeping your desktop clean. But this function also shines when you need to get rid of apps for good.
Hazel lets you set up special rules for your trash, ensuring that files don’t sit in the bin for too long and take up space on your drive. You can configure the app to automatically empty your trash when it reaches a certain size, or to toss apps when they get too old.
Hazel’s rule-based interface certainly makes it useful as an app uninstaller, but some may find it a little more complicated to use. It also lacks some features for identifying and comparing unused apps.
3. App Zapper: A leading app uninstaller for Mac
With App Zapper, drag and drop is the name of the game. This compact uninstaller lets you pull applications from your drive into its interface, then hunts down all the related support files. It stands out for its simplicity and for the depth of its cleanups.
You can also consult the Hit List, an automated list of apps with files taking up space on your hard drive. All you do is select the unwanted app and its support files and hit the Zap button to remove them for good.
Well, almost for good. If the thought of deleting apps permanently makes you nervous, App Zapper has the tool for you. Its “undo” feature lets you unzap files you may have deleted by mistake, reducing the risk that you’ll get rid of something important.
App Zapper is simple but thorough. The app can remove:
- Junk files
- And more
App Zapper stands out as a straightforward and powerful tool for uninstalling unwanted apps.
4. AppDelete: a powerful Mac app uninstaller
AppDelete is another quick and effective single-purpose uninstaller. Like many of its competitors, this app seeks out and eliminates hard-to-find support files and junk data from the apps you delete. These include widgets, screensavers, preference panes, and other files you might not know were taking up room on your Mac.
When it comes to tossing out unwanted files, AppDelete stands out for its flexibility. While it can permanently remove files from your hard drive, it also gives you the option to log those files or archive them in a space-saving .zip format. This can help improve your Mac’s performance without permanently losing data.
If you’re looking for a simple-to-use app uninstaller, AppDelete is a strong option. Some users might prefer an uninstaller that’s offers a wider variety of file management functions, but AppDelete does what it does at a high level.
For a more comprehensive file manager with comparable uninstall functions, try CleanMyMac X.
5. TrashMe: an efficient app uninstaller for Mac
The name says it all: TrashMe hunts down your junk files, whether they belong to an app or not. This uninstaller for Mac not only gets rid of your unwanted apps and their support files, but also seeks out unnecessary duplicates and redundant files, giving you the option to toss them permanently.
It also cleans out your cache to give you back all the disk space it can. TrashMe can even find and erase incomplete downloads and “orphaned” files, which may not show up on other scans.
With its thorough scanning and deletion features, TrashMe is a great option for completely uninstalling apps. It also offers a high level of control. Instead of emptying the whole Trash bin, TrashMe lets you select which files to delete permanently and which you want to leave in the trash in case you need them later.
Users who like its deep searches should also check out CleanMyMac X, which offers fine-tuned detection.
6. TuneUpMyMac: a flexible app uninstaller
TuneUpMyMac is a full-featured app uninstaller. It stands out for the range of scans and operations it can perform.
Unlike some of its competitors, which only have a drag-and-drop window or list, TuneUpMyMac has an extensive interface that clearly organizes its features. This means you can do specific tasks, like finding duplicates, without starting a complete scan-and-delete process.
This uninstaller also actively suggests file types that you can safely delete to free up disk space, including unused languages and redundant logs. It also features “one-click cleaning,” which automates several tasks and makes cleanup faster and easier.
A few final remarks
All these Mac uninstallers are similar in functionality. But speaking of the design and user-friendliness, CleanMyMac X, leaves its counterparts way behind, in my opinion. For example, the visual cues are crystal-clear and the also app gives you personalized tips, like “you have 4 unused apps you can delete.”
That was our take on best Mac apps to delete other apps. Now try them in action and start deleting things — getting rid of old clutter is such a relief!