I just purchased a Macbook pro and I would like to get rid of all the programs from Apple that came with this computer. I don't need a reason to do this nor will I offer one as it doesn't help reach the ultimate goal of this post.

Helpful responses include a list of software products Apple put on the Mac, special instructions for each piece of software if needed, caveats for uninstalling a piece of software.

I am able to delete standard programs by dragging them to the trash. However, many programs say they cannot be deleted because they are required by the OS, such as the Chess game that's included with MacOS.

This question could be answered by first giving a general how-to, and then I hope to build upon that answer if there are any exceptions to the general process; as there certainly will be.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to minimize vestiges of Apple's software short of uninstalling MacOS.

Thanks in advance :)

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    This is very broad. Software includes all the drivers necessary for the hardware to be functional and even extends to the operating system itself, where a suitable answer would be ‘erase the entire disk’. Could you be more specific with your definition of ‘Apple software’ and what you're trying to achieve? – grg Apr 3 '15 at 20:35
  • Don't uninstall, completely wipe & start afresh. [I wanted to turn this into an answer, but I've never actually done it so I'm not certain of the steps] - see support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314 (As it stands, your question is likely to be closed as 'uncertain what you're asking') – Tetsujin Apr 3 '15 at 20:40
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    Could you expand your question to explain what you hope to gain from this? What problem are you trying to solve? – Alistair McMillan Apr 3 '15 at 20:49
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    Uninstalling all preinstalled programs is easy (just remove the content of /Applications), but you will end up with a system which is unusable (because you might at least Terminal and Safari to install other applications). There also is the problem of future OSX updates which may fail because they rely on certain applications to be installed. So if this is not a hypothetical exercise, please add some background about what kind of functionality you expect to end up with and what would remain of OS X functionality once you are done uninstalling. – nohillside Apr 3 '15 at 22:20
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    Apple Software includes the OS - the general functionality would be the command line darwin OS – mmmmmm Apr 4 '15 at 11:32

All front end apps which are meant to be accessed directly by the user are located in the Applications Folder. You are free to delete those who can be deleted by trashing and delete supporting files from the Library, there are several 3rd party apps that will help you with that.

For any app that leaves you with a warning that it cannot be deleted, that warning is there for a reason. You can use terminal to rm it of course but odd behavior and problems with updating are to be expected.

Another location of apps is the /System/ folder which holds tools like the installer-base or an unarchiver. Several system apps rely on each so you will probably face some severe usage troubles if you delete any of these.

Your question is very unspecific so we can't really know what you'd like to keep and what not and it's therefor impossible to really answer. If you want to go to the very minimum of OS X, well - get BSD or something.

If you want to delete all apps and keep your system perfectly usable delete only apps from /Applications/ which OS X permits you to delete. Anything beyond will result in a system that is not fully operational.

Another thing to be noted is that all these apps that you can delete are not running unless you use them and therefor don't cost you any performance. All you'll gain here is a few MB/GB of disk space, possibly at the cost of a well functioning system.

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    I might also note that in my opinion your whole plan goes very much against the basic idea and benefits of OS X. – Kevin Grabher Apr 4 '15 at 1:51
  • I think different. – OKGimmeMoney Apr 4 '15 at 3:19
  • What's the target here if I may ask? Freeing possibly 5GB of space or is it just about the fiddling – Kevin Grabher Apr 4 '15 at 9:11
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    You have never stated a desired goal of why you are trying to convert OS X into a minimal system. I'm curious if there is anything logical to this. – Kevin Grabher Apr 4 '15 at 18:49
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    Yes, just reinstall OS X using the recovery partition. – Kevin Grabher Apr 6 '15 at 9:11

The typically default method where an application specific uninstaller does not exist, one just drags the application bundle to the Trash and then empties the Trash. Yes, it's typically that simple however there is a nice freeware app called AppCleaner that works nicely. Note though that by default it will not uninstall default OS X Apps unless you change its Protect default apps preference.

As an example if I look at deleting /Applications/GarageBand.app, the application bundle is rather small compared to the support files that would not be deleted had I just dragged it to the Trash. See image below.


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