To uninstall software on Mac it is not enough to put the app file in the trash! Learn how to remove software properly

Clean software on mac?

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When installing software, the Application file itself - called the Binary file with the .app extension - is not the only one added to the system disk. There are often many others, you can see the list at the end of the article.

Deleting an app from the App Store:

This is the easiest way to proceed that will suit people who install very little software. 

Apps installed from the Mac App Store are directly erasable from Launchpad . Simply launch Launchpad by pressing F4 and make a long click on an app, they will start to "wiggle" (as on iPhone).
At the top left of some icons will appear a cross, simply click on that cross to erase the application.
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You can see in the screenshot above that only 3 of the 8 software had been installed from the App Store.

Uninstall apps:

So for a reason that I do not know and as surprising as it sounds this feature does not come with the operating system of a Mac! It is therefore necessary to install a software, whose function will be to uninstall other software. It is important to get into the habit of regularly (and correctly) erasing unused applications, this allows you to clean your mac and ensure better performance over the long term.

Forklift:

Forklift has become my favorite Finder and FTP client since I discovered it in  Setapp . Forklift in addition to displaying the hidden files in one click and being able to navigate in "dual pane" mode can cleanly remove an application.
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Complete removal of software with Forklift

CleanMyMac:

Personally I use  CleanMyMac because it is my central maintenance tool and the Integrated Uninstaller is very complete with the possibility of resetting an application, which is not possible to my knowledge With other software.
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CleanMyMac Disabler

App Delete:

I used App Delete for a long time   (≈ 7 $), a Lite version of which is available on the App Store (3.99 $). The main limitation of the latter is that in order to comply with the limitations of the App Store App Delete Lite can not delete files protected by passwords (applications of the App Store should under no circumstances ask for the word User password). However, it is easy to place these files in the trash by clicking on the icon in the form of a magnifying glass that opens the file in the Finder.
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AppDelete is available in English and rather comprehensive in terms of features, with a tab that gives a list of widgets and plug-ins, a smart search software that have not been used for more than six months, and an orphan tab (Left overs) that lists the incomplete uninstall bounces.
It is a utility whose interface is not the most pleasant or intuitive, no effort has been made on the design but AppDelete does the job and that's what counts.

Uninstall software on mac for free?

I looked for free solutions but, a bit like for the removal of duplicates , I have not found that are both complete and  free. The one that comes closest is App Cleaner , which is not available in French and offers only the removal of service files and not binary files! All other uninstall software available for download from the App Store includes integrated purchases.
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So the best free solution is to  place one by one in the Recycle Bin  all the files installed by the application by doing a search in the Finder, which usually returns as a result only the binary file. So unless you specifically look for each folder that might contain software items such as Application Support, Containers, Plug-ins, and Cache folders, the deletion will not be complete.

Other files to delete:

Although in terms of volume, the .app file  often represents 90% of the total disk space of the software, in terms of number of files it is on average only 10%.
Here is a list of files that can be installed and used by a software:
  • The files Preferences : Their extension is .plist, these files are updated when parameters are changed from the window of ... Preferences!
  • Complementary files : Generally located in the User Library Support Folder , these files are necessary for the correct functioning of the software.
  • Opening elements : Once a software can run in the background or start automatically when the system is launched, it is thanks to the opening elements.
  • Logs files : In this folder are stored usage history and especially problems encountered like crash reports (.crash files).
  • User data : Where usage data is stored, often in the Containers folder of the library.
  • Cache files : There are 3 types: user caches, system caches and browser caches. These files allow faster access to data used at least once.
  • Plug-ins : Items that "add" to other software such as a browser extension or a musical instrument or an effect for Digital Audio Workstation.
I certainly forget but the message is passed, removing the .app file from a software is not enough to its complete uninstall.

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