How to remove application extension files

Downloading apps on a Mac is easy: either go straight to the Mac App Store (MAS), a developer’s website, or a subscription service where you can get a whole load of apps.

New apps should automatically download into your Applications folder. Or, failing that, they can be found in the Downloads folder. Then, you can move them over to Applications and put the icon for the app into Dock. So now, when you want to delete an app, it should be that simple. But it isn’t always. Keep on reading to find out how to remove application leftover files to ensure complete app deletion.

What are application leftovers?

When you move an app to the Trash, it should bring everything with it. If you’re curious about what you get when downloading the app, control-click on the Show Package Contents. A whole load of other folders will appear — everything that the app needs to work. Well, almost everything.

Dragging an application folder to the Trash will remove most of the inner workings of an app.  

However, scattered around your Mac, you’ve probably got dozens of preference files and leftover data from apps you’ve not used in a while. If you’ve upgraded your Mac over the years, then you could have files leftover from previous Macs when you transfer everything from one Mac to the next.

Over time, all of these folders full of app preferences, related data, and support files start taking up space. Below are two ways for those who want to know how to delete all files of an application fully?

How to delete leftovers: The manual way

Go to the following locations, and if you find a folder associated with any app name you have removed, delete it to uninstall the programs completely.

~/Library/for library files


for application caches


to find your preference files

~/Library/Application Support/for application support files
~/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter/for all the old crash reports
~/Library/Saved Application State/to find saved app states

It may take some time. But it’s useful to go through this checklist whenever deleting an app. Otherwise, you can end up with a computer full of leftover app files. If you’ve never done this and have deleted a few apps over the years, then it might be difficult to find what you need to remove.

Note: we recommend being careful. Don’t delete something if you aren’t sure it’s connected to the apps you are attempting to tidy up. You could be about to delete something important.

How to delete application files on Mac: The quick way

It can take hours to remove everything manually. Moreover, you should know what to look for. However, there is a quick way to delete all associated files — using an app like CleanMyMac X

CleanMyMac X has the Uninstaller tool with a special section dedicated to application leftovers. Therefore, it takes just a few clicks to view all the leftovers on your Mac and decide whether you need to keep them. 

You can download CleanMyMac X for free and try it out. It has many other useful features that will help you make your Mac as good as new. With just a click, you can remove up to 75 GB of junk files, speed up the system, and scan your Mac for malware threats. See it in action on your Mac.

Laptop with CleanMyMac
CleanMyMac X

Your Mac. As good as new.