How to Uninstall Programs

Whether you use Windows or Mac, this handy guide will show you how to uninstall programs you don't want any more. Clean up memory & clutter!
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Written by Staff Writer • Posted on Feb 08, 2016

February 8th is Clean Out Your Computer Day! Let's look at one way to clear up space and remove clutter from your hard drive.

Removing Unnecessary Programs

If you have programs or apps on your computer that you never use, you should remove them. Uninstalling old, unused software will free up computer memory, which will improve overall performance.

Sometimes, it's necessary to remove old programs in order to use newer versions. Trying to uninstall programs can also reveal malware that's too advanced for your antivirus to handle, because many viruses have ways to avoid being removed easily.

Uninstalling software is usually a simple process, but it does involve more than just moving the desktop shortcut into the Trash or Recycle Bin. Some programs will come with an ninstall file in their program files folder. For all other programs, the method of removing them differs slightly between Windows and Mac OS X.

How to Uninstall Programs in Windows

Windows has a built-in uninstaller service in the Control Panel. All you need to do is open the Control Panel from the Start Menu, find the Programs category, and click on ninstall a program.

This will take you to a window that lists every removable program on your computer alphabetically, including several that run behind the scenes. Simply right-click on the program you wish to remove and click on the word ninstall that pops up. The computer will take care of the rest!

How to Uninstall Programs on Mac

On Macs, there are two different ways to remove a program, depending on how you installed it. You'll need to be logged into an administrator account in order to delete programs.

If you downloaded the program through the App Store, you can remove it by opening the Launchpad, then clicking and holding the app icon until it starts to jiggle and a little x appears on the top-left corner.

Tap the x to send the app to the Trash, and then empty the Trash once you're sure you want to permanently remove the program. If the x doesn't appear, then you cannot delete the app through the Launchpad.

For programs installed through other means, open the Applications folder from the Go menu. Find the folder with the name of the program you wish to uninstall, and drag it to the Trash. Again, be sure you want to remove the program before emptying the Trash.

Macs don't have a built-in uninstaller service, but there are several third-party apps available that will help you remove old and unwanted programs. Here's a short list of popular uninstallers for Macs:

What if a Stubborn Program Won't Uninstall?

If you would like help to remove unwanted programs from your computer, or if you find a program that won't stay removed, call Bask. Our Technology Advisors are here to answer your questions and help you out. We'd be happy to take a look and help you clean out your computer!

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