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OS X Tutorial: Remove purchased apps from your Mac

While installing new software from the App Store is straightforward, deleting it securely is a little trickier. Fortunately for you, we've had lots of practice! Here's a handy guide to how it's done.

After setting up your profile in the App Store, installing a few freebies and moving on to install some commercial software too, you find yourself with a cluttered dock and the need to recover some disk space.

Indeed, with such a great tool as the App Store, it is easy to overburden your system with unnecessary software, free games and applications. The problem is that, unlike the average document downloaded from the internet, these software packages can be large and will not only fill your Applications folder, but could also litter your dock and desktop with all manner of shortcuts and preference files.

Recovering free disk space on your system and de-cluttering your environment is an essential part of maintaining a healthy system. This tutorial will help you keep your cool when considering the somewhat daunting and risky task of removing unwanted software from your system.

Step 1: Locate the application
Every software application bought on the App Store is installed in your Applications folder. Open a Finder window and navigate to the software.

Step 2: Is the software running?
For menu bar utilities, use the respective Quit menu item to close. For regular running software, switch to an active window and hit Command+Q.

Step 3: Locate the dock shortcut
With most applications, a dock shortcut is created. Browse through the dock at the bottom of your screen and look for a pictogram of the software.

Step 4: Trash the shortcut
If the shortcut is present, click and hold until the contextual menu appears. Choose Options and then Remove from Dock to remove the shortcut.

Step 5: Trash the application
Return to your Applications folder, click and hold on the software to be deleted and move it on to the Trash icon in the dock. Let go of your click to delete.

Step 6: Are you authorised to do it?
When an App Store purchase is dropped onto the Trash, a dialog box opens, asking you to enter an administrator password. Enter one and click OK.

Step 7: Check your work
Click once on the Trash icon in the dock and the Trash Finder window appears. Check carefully that the application is listed in the contents of the Trash.

Step 8: Empty the trash
With the Trash window still open, start the emptying procedure. Click the Empty button on the right-side of the Trash banner located under the toolbar.

Step 9: A word of warning
In the second step of the removal process, a warning dialog box opens prior to the Trash emptying. Click Empty Trash to delete the software.

Click on the image below to zoom in on the annotations.

Remove App Store applications - an annotated guide
Remove App Store applications - an annotated guide