Homebrew-cask provides the possibility for users to conveniently install the applications with GUI, I want to confirm that: while I try to uninstall a software which was installed by homebrew-cask, will it remove those Application Supports, Caches, or related files too?

By the way, If I manually update a software (which was installed by cask) without using command provided by cask, will it corrupt the cask function (such as updating that software in the future with cask again)?

4 Answers 4


To remove an application cask via Homebrew-cask, run this command: brew uninstall --force --cask <cask_name>

  • The force command was necessary for me. Currently running OS X Catalina. Thank you!
    – Sakiboy
    Feb 2, 2021 at 1:07
  • 2021 Nov, this command worked, top answer had old syntax
    – userJT
    Nov 5, 2021 at 20:12

For full remove try:

brew cask zap any_program

Manual update should not corrupt anything. It updates the same program copy which was installed by cask.

  • 1
    in 2021 Nov: this gives me error unknown command cask, other answer with modified syntax worked.
    – userJT
    Nov 5, 2021 at 20:10

No, uninstalling from brew-cask’s uninstall command will not remove the files in Application Support, Caches, Preferences etc. For that you’ll need a third party app, like AppCleaner or iTrash. I just delete one app this way and it didn’t even remove the symlink it made to the ~/Applications/ folder.

Though homebrew cask is an easy solution for installing app, it’ not perfect. On the man page of brew-cask you can read about the problems with uninstall command. You can use the zap command that does a little more than uninstall but that too has limitations, see the man page.

I don’t know if updating app will corrupt, have never tried it. You might have to fetch information for the cask using the command, or even re-install it with fetch —-force.


Additionally to @user14492 answer, which is right, check out the last line of the following paragraph, that answer your last question.

Updating/Upgrading Casks

Since the homebrew-cask repository is a Homebrew Tap, you'll pull down the latest Casks every time you issue the regular Homebrew command brew update. Currently, homebrew-cask cannot always detect if an Application has been updated. You can force an update via the command brew cask install --force. We are working on improving this.

It is generally safe to run updates from within an Application.

Source: How to Use Homebrew-cask.

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