I uninstalled Parallels Desktop, so I don't have a Windows VM any more. However when I type we into Spotlight, the Windows Weather app comes first, and if I press it, it says Parallels Desktop is not installed anymore.

How do I clean the cache or re-build the index? (I am not sure what this operation is called)?

NOTE: I would like to avoid having to use sudo.

  • 1
    Already checked $HOME/Library/Parallels/Application Menus/ and $HOME/Applications (Parallels)/ for links to (now deleted) Win apps?
    – klanomath
    Commented Apr 15, 2017 at 15:46
  • This was the issue. I tried looking for a complete guide on how to uninstall completely parallel but couldn't find one that goes after the "drag n drop Parallels from Application to the Trash" Commented Apr 16, 2017 at 15:27

2 Answers 2


Usually it's not necessary to rebuild the Spotlight database to get rid of Windows applications of a deleted Windows VM in the Spotlight results.

To properly remove all traces of a deleted Windows VM with some kind of integration in macOS - like a VM specific Application menu - remove the links of the Windows apps in $HOME/Library/Parallels/Application Menus/ and/or $HOME/Applications (Parallels)/.

To remove Parallels Desktop completely from your Mac remove the following files and folders besides the main app in /Applications:

  • $HOME/Library/Preferences/com.parallels.*
  • $HOME/Library/Parallels
  • $HOME/Applications (Parallels)/
  • $HOME/Documents/Virtual Machines (or something similar - please check that it doesn't contain VMs of other type2 hypervisors like VMware)
  • /usr/local/bin/prl* (possible soft links to Parallels command line tools in the app bundle)

To see where an item in Spotlight is located, press ⌘↩︎ (cmd-return) to reveal the item in Finder. That error isn't something I'd expect if the item had actually been removed.

You can reindex your disk by adding the disk to System Preferences → Spotlight → Privacy (which will delete the index), then removing it from the list.

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