Applications on Mac are usually stored in the Applications folder and can be removed from there. However, when you remove applications by just moving them to the Trash, they all leave their leftovers on your Mac Hard Drive. These leftovers are the system files created by apps and scattered in different locations all over the drive. Over time, the remains start to occupy a significant space on your disk. So you should find and clean up them to optimize your Mac’s performance.
How to find system files of apps?
Here is a list of directories where the system files of applications can be stored:
- ~/Library/Application Support
- /Users/<current user>/~Library/Cookies
- /Users/<current user>/~Library/Address Book Plug-Ins
- /Users/<current user>/~Library/Application Support
- /Users/<current user>/~Library/Application Support/CrashReporter
- /Users/<current user>/~Library/Preferences
- /Users/<current user>/~Library/Saved Application State
And this is not a complete list. It happens when the system files are stored in various subfolders and it is difficult to find them. And in summary, these service files may weigh more than the application itself.
*Tilda before the “Library” means that the folder is hidden. If you don’t know how to display hidden files and folders, read our previous article how to Show Hidden Files on Mac.
The procedure for deleting these files is quite long and non-trivial: you have to check each folder and find unneeded files. You should be careful and not delete important files.
Fortunately, there is a free application App Cleaner & Uninstaller designed to uninstall apps completely and correctly with all their system files. It also allows you to find the leftovers of already deleted apps. You will find them in the Remaining Files section.