How to Completely Uninstall Programs in macOS

This brief tutorial will guide you in using AppTrap, a terrific (and free) Application uninstaller for macOS.

Although this was initially published back in 2007, it has been updated to be current in 2020 with the latest version of macOS – and the software works just as well now as it did back then!

By default, when you drag Applications to the Trash to uninstall them, sometimes files are actually left behind. Typically these files aren’t very large, but over time they can add up – taking up valuable disk space. AppTrap will help you ensure that those files are deleted when you remove an Application.

  1. Start by downloading the latest version (v1.2.3) of AppTrap
  2. After the download has completed, extract the contents of the .zip file and double-click AppTrap.prefPane
  3. Click Install when prompted.
  4. The System Preferences will open to the AppTrap section. Click the Start AppTrap button and place a check in the box labelled Start automatically on login.
  5. If you’re using macOS Catalina (or later) proceed with step #6 below. If you’re using an earlier version of macOS, jump down to step #8.
  6. Go to the main System Preferences window, click Security & Privacy and then click the Privacy tab. From here, select the Full Disk Access item from the column on the left side of the panel. Then click the ‘lock’ icon in the bottom left corner of the screen so you can make changes. Enter your password when prompted. Finally, place a check in the box next to AppTrap.
  7. Return to the AppTrap System Preference panel.
  8. Click the Stop AppTrap button to stop the service, then click the Start AppTrap button to restart it.
  9. The next time you drag an Application to the Trash to uninstall it, a window will appear asking you if you wish to move the system files associated with it to the Trash as well. Click the small arrow on the left side of that window to view the files that AppTrap will move to the Trash. Those are files that would have remained on your Mac without AppTrap.

6 thoughts on “How to Completely Uninstall Programs in macOS”

  1. ho scaricato il programma ma non si attiva nel pannello preferenze risulta semtre inactive anche dopo aver cliccato su start… perch√®?

  2. It doesnt work becaue spotlight doesnt work. In spotlight you have to manipulate the query to include system files. every time you search for something. there is no default to always include system files so apptrap just gets what spotlight gives as a default, which is generally nothing.

  3. Geez, Apptrap worked GREAT the first time I used it. But today I dropped Vidalia into trash and nothing. No dialog box, no nothing. Had to hunt for auxiliary files with Spotlight. Good thing I have Spotlight!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *