I can't seem to uninstall Mac App Store purchased applications.

I know that holding down the Option key or clicking and holding on the app icon to make the icons start jiggling so you can uninstall the app by clicking the “X” shown in the corner of icons only works for apps downloaded from the Mac App Store.

But I my case, not even apps downloaded from the Mac App Store show the "X" button when in jiggle mode.

Has anyone experienced the same problem ? How did you solved it ?

UPDATE: When I delete the app from the Finder, the app's icon remains in the launcher, undeletabe, only it doesn't find the missing app.

  • When you delete the app in the Finder, you actually move it to the trash can. It isn't gone until the trash is emptied. Does the file disappear from Launchpad when you empty the trash?
    – Daniel
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 4:47
  • @DanielLawson Thanks, when I emptied thw trash the icon finally disappeared. Do you have any idea why the "X" icon doesn't appear while in jiggle mode preventing to me from deleting the app from the very launchpad as expected ? Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 6:21

3 Answers 3


You don't have to use Launchpad to remove applications. Just deleting the application bundle is still a supported way to remove or uninstall an application. If you also want to remove settings or cache files, delete the directory in ~/Library/Containers/. App Store applications are not allowed to install kernel extensions or preference panes, and any executables for helper processes are inside the application bundle and not in an Application Support directory.

When you remove an application from Launchpad, it is "uninstalled" by using uninstalld from Uninstall.framework, but in practice that only removes some support files (like ~/Library/Containers/*/Data/Library/Caches/) addition to the application bundle. Other support files like preferences files or sometimes even sqlite files for user data are not removed. See this question.

  • Thanks. Any idea why "X" button doesn't show even for apps downloaded from the Mac App Store ? Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 18:46
  • I believe Launchpad does not support deleting items from the Mac App Store because deleting them requires authentication, and Launchpad does not seem to support such feature just yet. Commented Aug 31, 2013 at 4:46
  • @BrunoPhilipe The remove buttons are shown for App Store applications on my installation of 10.8. When I press one of them, the application bundle is deleted by uninstalld.
    – Lri
    Commented Aug 31, 2013 at 5:34

Try to reset the Launchpad database, it’ll rebuild all your installed apps and sort them by name.

[ -e ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dock/*.db ] && rm ~/Library/Application\ Support/Dock/*.db && killall Dock

Uninstalling apps from Mac App Store can always be done through Finder. Cleaning the app settings, caches, and related files requires third party apps such as CleanMyMac, AppCleaner, or AppZapper.

  • Those third party apps will not always remove all the related files
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 10:59
  • Mark, I have to vouch for AppZapper. It always remove associated files. It shows you exactly which files it will remove, such as preferences and plists. Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 12:59
  • @Mark it’s true that third party doesn’t always remove all related files. Sometimes I also need to hunt them down by using find command in Terminal. But, most of times, those apps do the job well for apps installed without package manager.
    – sayzlim
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 18:18

You mention holding down the option key - I've never done it this way. You can hold down the mouse button when selecting an icon in the Launchpad to get the icons 'jiggling,' at which point the 'x' should appear. Give that a shot.

  • 1
    Yes, holding option and holding the mouse button over the app icon are equivalent, they both activate the "jiggle mode". The X doesn't appear for me either way. Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 6:15

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