Use AppTrap to Completely Uninstall Apps on a Mac

It is very easy way to uninstall apps in Mac – all you need to do is to drag the application to the Trash. The problem is it doesn’t completely uninstall them. While they appear gone, they really aren’t – at least not completely. Deleting in this manner leaves other files behind, files you normally don’t see as the app stores those in the Library. Other operating systems have an uninstall function, but Apple, while making it easier by just using the delete function, makes it more difficult by not completely deleting everything connected to the app.

This is where AppTrap comes in handy. Not only does it uninstall apps and all those other files connected to the apps, it does so in the background so that you don’t even have to think about it.

1. Download the app from the AppTrap website, then open it from your chosen destination for downloads. This will open the app in your System Preferences, but before doing so will ask which accounts you want it loaded on – only yours or all the accounts on the computer. You will then be asked for an administrator name and password to completely install it.

AppTrap-Preferences

2. At this point you may be asked to install an update. If there is one available, it should be downloaded to make sure it’s up to date with your current OS version. Click the box in the pop-up that appears that says, “Start automatically on login.” This will make AppTrap start up and run behind the scenes so that you never have to do anything after this initial startup. It will also say that the app is “Inactive”. Click the radio button to start the app and change it to “Active”. You won’t need to do this again unless you have a need to turn it off at some point.

AppTrap-Start

3. If you stay in this same popup but click on the “About” tab, it will give you a list of instructions on how to install and uninstall AppTrap. Ironically, you have to go though a few more steps to uninstall this app, but this is because it’s an app running in the background. Remember that you’ll have to do this for all apps that run in the background.

AppTrap-About

1. To delete an app, you won’t be able to do it from the LaunchPad; you will have to do it from the regular file menu. Open the apps folder and find the app you want to delete (usually in the Applications folder). Drag it to the Trash.

AppTrap-Delete

2. AppTrap will display a popup asking you if you want to delete the associated system files as well. If you click the small arrow on the bottom left, it will show you a listing of all the system files that are associated with the file you just dragged into the trash. If you want all of them gone, click “Move files,” otherwise click “Leave files.”

AppTrap-MoveFiles

3. Unless you delete the files permanently, everything is still on your hard drive until you empty the Trash. Pull up on “Empty the Trash” in the File menu and the items you just threw in the trash, along with all other files that were sitting in the trash can from earlier, are now deleted.

AppTrap-Empty

Using AppTrap gets the uninstall process done the right way on a Mac. It may be tempting just to keep dragging the apps in the trash as you see them and not worry about those pesky system files, but it’s junking up your hard drive and taking up memory. There’s a reason other operating systems already have the function to uninstall apps completely. This app makes the Mac have the function it should have had to begin with.