Programs To Install For Mac

Posted on

To install Office, try signing in directly to the Microsoft 365 Software page instead. Select the language and bit-version you want (PC users can choose between 32-bit and 64-bit), and then click Install. See Steps 2 and 3 on the PC or Mac tabs above to help you with the rest of the install process. These instructions will show you how to install Adobe Acrobat Pro XI on your Mac. This program is only available for certain users due to licensing agreements. If you do not have access and believe you should have access to this program, please contact Support Central.

Apple unveils a new MacBook Air during an Apple launch event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Oct. 30, 2018 in New York City. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Removing programs from a Macintosh can be very easy. In many cases, all you have to do is drag the application's icon to the Trash. Sometimes, though, applications store the files they need to run in other locations on your computer's hard drive, and finding them can take some detective work. If you are used to the uninstall option in Windows, you have a little culture shock — macOS does not have this feature built in.

Why would you want to uninstall a program? For the same reason you occasionally tidy your office or clean your garage. Clutter breeds inefficiency. Applications take up space on your hard disk and can slow your computer. Also, a new version of a program may not work correctly unless you get rid of the old one [source: Ritchie].

Advertisement

Mac

Advertisement

Most of the time, uninstalling is this simple:

  1. Exit the program you want to delete.
  2. Open the Applications folder, which you'll find by opening a new window in the Finder, or clicking on the hard disk icon.
  3. Drag the icon of the program you want to uninstall to the Trash.
  4. Empty the Trash.

When files for the application you want to delete are all stored in one location, dragging the icon to the Trash will take care of most of the work. In Mac talk, apps like this are 'bundled.' To see the files in an application's bundle, click on its icon while holding down the Control key. You should see an option that says, 'show package contents.' Uninstalling applications downloaded from the Mac App Store is even easier — just delete the application from the Applications Folder and its accompanying folder in UserLibraryContainers [source: Tanous].

For some other programs, removal is more complicated. When installed, these programs create files in several locations, often in the System Folder. The first step in removing them is to check the program's documentation to see if there is an uninstall utility. If your program has an uninstall utility associated with it, it may have been installed with the program or included on the disk that came with it. If you downloaded a disk image to install the software, sometimes you'll find an uninstaller there. Running an uninstall utility can make removing a program much easier.

You should be aware that removing an unbundled program by moving it into the Trash can leave behind orphan files on your computer. Preferencefiles are usually small and you might want to ignore them if you're just trying to free up disk space. Background files or support files can be larger, especially for multimedia programs like GarageBand [source: MacRumors]. These files are likely to reside in Library folders in your hard drive or Home folder. They will usually be labeled with the name of the program, like Office or Acrobat, or the developer, such as Microsoft or Adobe. You can search for the relevant names using Spotlight, which is included with the Mac OS. Drag the files you find to the trash to get rid of them [source: Tanous]. .

Check out the next page for tips to make your uninstallation go even more smoothly.

Advertisement

If searching through obscure corners of your computer for what could be hundreds of files sounds like something a machine could do better than you, you're right. There are plenty of software programs that do just that. They're usually your best bet for really cleaning an app off your Mac, and some of them are free. Popular examples include AppTrap, Appcleaner, and AppZapper.

Some of the files that a program might create on your hard disk are invisible. It may be tempting, especially for neat freaks, to find and delete these files. But some files are deliberately hidden because they are essential to the computer's operating system. Deleting the wrong file could land you in deep trouble [source: Landau]. The best advice is not to go where even experienced techies fear to tread. Uninstall utilities can search out and destroy these files, but doing so on your own invites trouble.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Programs To Install For Macos

Another important thing to do is empty your Trash when you're finished uninstalling. Moving a program's icon to the Trash doesn't actually remove the files from your hard disk or clear up any space. Only when you empty the Trash is the application really gone.

Install

Here are some other important tips:

  • When you install a program, check to see how to uninstall it. Make a note if it has its own uninstall utility or instructions.
  • Before you begin any uninstalling process, check to make sure your Trash is empty or contains nothing you might want to save.
  • Log on as your computer's administrator whenever you uninstall. If you're uninstalling at work and don't have administrator privileges, you'll have to consult with your tech people [source: Ritchie].
  • If you opt for a third-party uninstall utility, look at the features. Some developers charge for their software, but you may not need the bells and whistles. Free utilities may work fine.
  • It often makes sense to leave preference files alone. If you ever reinstall the same software, you won't have to set the preferences.
  • Suites of software from a developer, such as the Office suite from Microsoft, often share files. Removing the files of one component may affect the others, so it's good to be cautious with these [source: The X Lab].
  • If, after you remove a program, the icon is still in your dock, you can get rid of it by simply dragging it off the dock and letting it go [source: Tech-FAQ].

Removing software from your Mac is a lot less of a hassle than cleaning your office or garage. But clearing away computer clutter and making space on your hard disk can be just as satisfying.

Originally Published: Aug 8, 2011

Advertisement

Related Articles

Sources

  • Landau, Ted. 'Tutorial: Now you see 'em, now you don't: Invisible files in Mac OS X,' cnet.com, May 19, 2004. (Feb. 14, 2019) https://www.cnet.com/news/tutorial-now-you-see-em-now-you-dont-invisible-files-in-mac-os-x/
  • FacRumors. 'Uninstalling Applications in Mac OS X,' MacRumors.com. (Feb. 16, 2019) https://web.archive.org/web/20170715163609/http://guides.macrumors.com/Uninstalling_Applications_in_Mac_OS_Xp
  • Ritchie, David. 'How to Uninstall Mac Programs,' TheMacLawyer.com. October 13, 2010. (Feb. 16, 2019) http://www.themaclawyer.com/2010/10/articles/guest-posts/guest-post-how-to-uninstall-mac-programs/
  • Tanous, Jim. 'How to Uninstall & Remove Mac OS X Programs and Applications,' The Mac Observer. Feb. 1, 2013. (Feb. 16, 2019) https://www.macobserver.com/tmo/answers/how-to-uninstall-remove-mac-os-x-programs-and-applications
  • Tech-FAQ. 'How to Uninstall Programs on a Mac,' Tech-FAQ.com. (Feb. 16, 2019) http://www.tech-faq.com/how-to-uninstall-programs-on-a-mac.html
  • The X Lab. 'Uninstalling applications,' TheXLab.com. (Feb. 16, 2019) http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/uninstallingapps.html

Reinstall from macOS Recovery

macOS Recovery makes it easy to reinstall the Mac operating system, even if you need to erase your startup disk first. All you need is a connection to the Internet. If a wireless network is available, you can choose it from the Wi-Fi menu , which is also available in macOS Recovery.

1. Start up from macOS Recovery

To start up from macOS Recovery, turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold one of the following sets of keys on your keyboard. Release the keys when you see an Apple logo, spinning globe, or other startup screen.

Command (⌘)-R

Reinstall the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac (recommended).

Option-⌘-R

Upgrade to the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.

Shift-Option-⌘-R

Reinstall the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available.

You might be prompted to enter a password, such as a firmware password or the password of a user who is an administrator of this Mac. Enter the requested password to continue.

When you see the utilities window, you have started up from macOS Recovery.

2. Decide whether to erase (format) your disk

Programs To Install For Mac Catalina

You probably don't need to erase, unless you're selling, trading in, or giving away your Mac, or you have an issue that requires you to erase. If you need to erase before installing macOS, select Disk Utility from the Utilities window, then click Continue. Learn more about when and how to erase.

3. Install macOS

When you're ready to reinstall macOS, choose Reinstall macOS from the Utilities window. Then click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions. You will be asked to choose a disk on which to install.

  • If the installer asks to unlock your disk, enter the password you use to log in to your Mac.
  • If the installer doesn't see your disk, or it says that it can't install on your computer or volume, you might need to erase your disk first.
  • If the installer is for a different version of macOS than you expected, learn about macOS Recovery exceptions.
  • If the installer offers you the choice between installing on Macintosh HD or Macintosh HD - Data, choose Macintosh HD.

Please allow installation to complete without putting your Mac to sleep or closing its lid. During installation, your Mac might restart and show a progress bar several times, and the screen might be empty for minutes at a time.

If your Mac restarts to a setup assistant, but you're selling, trading in, or giving away your Mac, press Command-Q to quit the assistant without completing setup. Then click Shut Down. When the new owner starts up the Mac, they can use their own information to complete setup.

macOS Recovery exceptions

The version of macOS offered by macOS Recovery might vary in some cases:

Programs To Install For Mac Os

Programs To Install For Mac
  • If macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later has never been installed on this Mac, Option-Command-R installs the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available. And Shift-Option-Command-R isn't available.
  • If you erased your entire disk instead of just the startup volume on that disk, macOS Recovery might offer only the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available. You can upgrade to a later version afterward.
  • If your Mac has the Apple T2 Security Chip and you never installed a macOS update, Option-Command-R installs the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac.
  • If you just had your Mac logic board replaced during a repair, macOS Recovery might offer only the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.

If you can't get macOS Recovery to offer the installer you want, you might be able to use one of the other ways to install macOS.

Other ways to install macOS

Programs Install Macos

  • You can also install macOS from the App Store or Software Update preferences. If you can't install macOS Catalina, you might be able to install an earlier macOS, such as macOS Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, or Yosemite.
  • Or create a bootable installer disk, then use that disk to install macOS on your Mac or another Mac.