How to uninstall Silverlight on a Mac
If you’ve been using the same Mac for a few years, you’ve probably accumulated lots of applications, plug-ins, and other technologies that are no longer in use or you no longer need. One of those is Silverlight, a Microsoft technology for creating and running multimedia content in web applications. In this article, we’ll show you how to uninstall Silverlight on a Mac and free up the space it uses on your Mac. We’ll also help you find an answer to the should I remove Microsoft Silverlight question and explain why get rid of any other software you don’t use and what could happen if you don’t.
What is Silverlight?
Silverlight, created by Microsoft, is similar to Adobe Flash in that it was designed to allow rich web content to be developed and displayed on websites. It was widely used in the early days of streaming video on the web and was adopted by the likes of Amazon and Netflix. However, with the advent of HTML 5, there was no need for platforms like Silverlight and Flash. Microsoft started phasing out Silverlight around 2012 and had ended support for it in all web browsers by 2021.
Why uninstall Silverlight?
As we said above, Microsoft no longer supports the Silverlight plug-in in web browsers, and no one uses it to produce web content anymore. So, there is no reason to keep it on your Mac. In addition to that, if you don’t uninstall it, not only will it take up room unnecessarily, but also it may be a security risk. Old, outdated software is often used by hackers as a vehicle for malware. For example, in the past, malware has been combined with fake update files of outdated software and fooled users into downloading what they thought was a new version of the software, but it was, in fact, an app with malicious code. Also, the more unnecessary and unused files you have lying around on your Mac, the more chance there is of a conflict with other files, which can impede the performance of your Mac or cause applications to hang. For all these reasons, it’s good practice to uninstall anything you don’t use or no longer need, including Silverlight.
How to uninstall Silverlight
There are a couple of different ways to uninstall Silverlight. You can do it manually, or you can do it in a quick and easy way. We’ll show you both.
How to uninstall Silverlight on a Mac manually
- Go to your Applications folder, find Microsoft Silverlight, and drag it to the Bin.
- Click on Finder in the Dock, then on the Go menu, and choose Go to Folder.
- Type this file path in the box: /Library/Application Support/Microsoft
- Look for the Silverlight folder and drag it to the Bin.
- Next, go to /Library/Internet Plug-ins and drag Silverlight.plugin to the Bin.
- Empty the Bin
Remove residual Silverlight files
The steps above will remove the main Silverlight files from your Mac, but there will still be lots of files scattered around your hard drive. To remove them, use the Go to Folder command in Finder > Go and paste in the following paths, one at a time. After navigating to each of the folders here, look for files with the name Silverlight in them and drag them to the Bin.
Note that the ‘~’ sign in the file paths above denotes your user folder, while those paths without the ‘~’ are folders that sit outside your user folder and affect all user accounts on your Mac.
After dragging all of the files you managed to find to the Bin, do not forget to empty it immediately.
You might now be wondering how you can make sure that you’ve found all the files Silverlight put on your Mac. The truth is, you can’t do that by looking for them manually. You could search your Mac for every file with Silverlight in their name, but you still couldn’t be sure you’d caught everything. It is because some files may remain hidden so that you simply would not see them in the search results. Happily, there is a way to make sure you catch all leftover files. We’ll show how after we’ve explained the easy way to uninstall Silverlight. How to delete Silverlight the easy way
How to delete Silverlight the easy way
As you can see, uninstalling Silverlight manually involves a lot of steps and quite a lot of work. Thankfully, there is a much easier way. It uses a very helpful app called CleanMyMac X, which in addition to having an Uninstaller module, has a number of different tools to help free up space on your Mac, keep it running smoothly, and ensure it is secure. You can download it for free here.
- Launch CleanMyMac X and choose Uninstaller.
- Click Microsoft in the middle pane, then select Silverlight.
- Check the box next to Silverlight and click Uninstall.
And that’s it. That’s all there is to it. Silverlight will be completely uninstalled. You can even use CleanMyMac X to check for leftover files, for example, if you uninstalled Silverlight manually and aren’t sure you got them all.
- Choose the Uninstaller module in CleanMyMac X.
- Click Leftovers in the central panel.
- Select all the leftovers in the right-hand pane and click Uninstall.
Silverlight is a Microsoft platform for developing and displaying rich media content on websites. It was once very popular and used by some very well-known websites to deliver content like streaming videos. However, the advent of HTML 5 meant that additional software like Silverlight and Flash was no longer necessary, so Microsoft has now abandoned Silverlight. You should, too, to free up space on your Mac and keep it safe from malware. Follow the steps above to do just that.