How to Install and Uninstall Applications on a Mac


Are you having trouble installing applications to your Mac? Or do you want to unload some of the apps already installed from your device? Is the uninstalling process giving you a tough time? Well, don't worry. We have created a step-by-step, easy to follow guide on how to install and uninstall applications on your Mac.

What are Applications?

An application (or app) is a piece of software or a program that helps carry out a particular task on your computer. These help in functions related to productivity like video editing (Final Cut), writing documents (Microsoft Word), etc. They can also be used as a form of entertainment such as playing games (Fortnite) or watching TV shows (Netflix). Overall, Applications are essential on your Mac, either for work or leisure activities.

Installing From the Mac App Store

Just like the App Store on your iPhone, Mac also has a dedicated library from which you can download and install applications – the Mac App Store.

The apps listed on the store are either designed by Apple itself or made by third-party developers that are then licensed by Apple. A very well-known Apple application is Final Cut Pro, probably the best piece of software that you use for editing videos. Examples of apps by third-party developers are CleanMyMac X, NordVPN and Adobe Photoshop.

How to Install from the Mac App Store

Now that we know what the Mac App Store is, it is time to install some applications.

  1. Find the App Store on your toolbar.
  2. Launch the App Store by clicking on it.
  3. On the home page, you can browse through a catalog of applications.
  4. You can also search for specific apps by hitting ‘Search.’
  5. When you find the application you are looking for, click ‘Get.’
  6. If it is a paid application, Apple will run the payment method you have added.
  7. Wait until it says ‘Installing.’
  8. Once installed, click "Open" to launch the application.
  9. Alternatively, you can navigate to the toolbar and launch the App by clicking on the logo.

Problems with the Mac App Store

The Mac app store is a great place to install applications, but it has its shortcomings. Due to minimal developer support in comparison to other Application installers, it offers a relatively limited number of available downloads. The chances are high that a particular program might not be on the App Store, making you look elsewhere to install it.

Installing from the Browser

While installing from the AppStore is the easiest way to download an application, some applications may not be available on the AppStore, such as IINA - a popular media player for Mac. Instead, these programs must be installed from your browser. This process is slightly different from the one mentioned above, but is still fairly straight forward.

How to Install from the Browser

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Search for the application you want to download.
  3. Click on the official website of the application you want to install.
  4. Check for the version of the application you want to download (it will be the one developed for macOS).
  5. Click the download button and download the file. Usually it will be a .dmg file.
  6. Once it’s downloaded, go to Finder.
  7. Search for the download and double click it.
  8. Your file will open and be verified in a few seconds.
  9. On the Installer, drag the application and place it in the applications folder.
  10. Authenticate the install by entering your username and password.
  11. Your application will now be installed.
  12. Go to the finder, navigate to applications.
  13. Find the icon of the application you just installed.
  14. Double click it to launch the installed application.

Problems with Installing from the Browser

Installing from the browser also comes with its share of problems. Often when downloading from an unknown site, there is a chance that malware might get placed on your Mac. This may render some of your important files corrupted or even lost. Even if it is not a virus, there is still a chance that the download is broken, or the file can be faulty, which may lead to then countless hours spent in trying to find a proper download file.

We recommend running all files that you download from the internet through www.virustotal.com and also having software like CleanMyMac X installed.

How to Protect your Mac when Installing

Protecting your Mac against viruses is relatively simple.

To begin with, make sure that you only download files from trusted sources. If you want to download a particular program, then you must download it from the official site. Sometimes, though, we drop our guard and somehow still accidentally download a virus. It is crucial to have a firewall and an antivirus running on your device. When a firewall is active, it monitors your incoming internet traffic and informs you if a particular website or download may be a threat to your Mac. An antivirus searches your device for viruses and informs you if there is a virus installed. Both of these tools combined will enhance the security of your Mac and make sure it stays clean and works smoothly.

Uninstalling Applications

You might be wondering now how to uninstall the applications you might no longer require, or you might be running out of space on your Mac and want to unload a few apps. Here is how to do it:

How to Uninstall Applications on a Mac

  • Make sure the application you want to be uninstalled is closed.
  • Go to the Finder.
  • Search for the Application
  • Click on the plus button.
  • On the drop-down menu, click on "Kind," then click "Other."
  • A pop up will open.
  • Search for "System."
  • Click on the checkbox in front of the system file.
  • Change "Not Included" to "Included."
  • Select all the files that appear.
  • Drag them down to the trash can on the toolbar.
  • Use CleanMyMac X to Uninstall Applications

    CleanMyMac X is a Mac cleaning software that provides a number of helpful features to its users.

    While deleting applications manually is an excellent way to save space, it requires a lot of time to search and delete them individually. CleanMyMac X helps you save space by deleting useless cached files, broken downloads, and more, swiftly and efficiently. More importantly, you don't need to worry about accidentally deleting an important file, since CleanMyMac X never always asks your permission before initiating and deletion. We highly recommend using CleanMyMac X to create space and delete useless files from your Mac.

    Conclusion

    Both of the download and install methods we mention above are great, however, they have their limitations. The Mac App Store is perfect for safely downloading apps but has a limited library. Downloading from the browser, though, opens you up to a sea of Applications, the trade-off being the reduced security.

    For uninstalling, while the manual method works just fine, we have found it to be tiring. We suggest you use CleanMyMac X to quickly and easily remove any unwanted application.

    Muaz Ashrafi

    Hi! I am Muaz, a Mass Communication major. I like to think I am a free urban spirit. I write blogs with a focus on tech and gadgets. When I'm not writing, you can find me with my headphones on, relaxing to some good house EDM music. I'm also a hobbyist photographer, you can find me on Instagram @mzwithacamera.

    One Comment

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    1. Thank you for the comprehensive guide. It may seem trivial to install or remove software for most but I am completely new to Mac and really have no idea where to find things. There’s a few apps I want to remove to keep my system lean and now I can. CleanMyMac X looks interesting as well, I’ll check that out.