How to Uninstall Unwanted Applications on Ubuntu

Ubuntu

Having trouble trying to uninstall unwanted applications on Ubuntu?

Installing and uninstalling are tasks that are synonymous with computers. Both are carried out regularly in computer systems throughout the world. These are considered to be part of the first few basic tasks learned at the beginner level. 

There are multiple reasons why you’d want to uninstall an application. Maybe the application uses many resources and can release some much-needed memory space for your system. It can also be the case that you don’t want to use the application anymore because it has become error-ridden or a better alternative is available in the market. 

Although it isn’t that difficult to uninstall unwanted applications on Ubuntu, performing it on a relatively new and uncommon operating system such as Ubuntu can be confusing. Therefore, people who are used to the neatly functioning Windows or other popular operating systems can find themselves in a pickle with computers having Linux. 

In case you have found yourself in a similar issue and can’t seem to figure out how to get rid of an application, then this article is meant for you. We will guide you through the whole procedure step by step. 

So let’s get started!

1. Uninstall Applications Using Terminal.

The terminal provides us an environment to carry out tasks using executable commands. There is a designated command for every possible task a computer can perform, be it simple or complex. Similarly, uninstalling applications have a specific command that we can type on the terminal and execute.  

The $apt-get remove command is used to uninstall an application through the terminal.  The syntax for this command is:

$sudo apt-get remove <package name>

The command is understandably similar to the $apt-get install command that is used to install applications. 

The $apt-get remove command appears to be simple and easy to execute. However, the command does require you to provide it with the exact name by which the application is stored in your system. For this purpose, we use the  $dpkg –list command for extracting the correct name. 

Follow these steps for correct uninstallation of an application:

  1. Open the terminal by pressing CTRL+ALT+T.

Type the following command:

$dpkg --list

You should see such output on the terminal window. This displays the package names.

Uninstall Unwanted Applications on Ubuntu
  1. After identifying the name of the package/application, you are ready to uninstall it. Type the command:
$sudo apt-get remove <package name>
  1. Type “y” for completion of the process.
remove appstream

If you see an output similar to the one above, you have successfully uninstalled the application. As you may have noticed, uninstalling applications is easy regardless of the operating system you use.

The $apt-get purge Command.

The $apt-get remove command uninstalls the application, but it does not eliminate the configuration files and plug-ins related to the application. This helps to retain your setting in case you end up reinstalling the application. 

For deleting everything related to the application, we use the $apt-get purge command. This removes all the personalized settings involved. We do have to know the correct name for executing this command as well. The syntax for this command is:

$sudo apt-get purge <package name>

Let’s execute the command by following these steps:

  1. Open terminal by pressing CTRL+ALT+T.
  2. Find the name of the application using:
$dpkg --list
  1. Now delete the application using:
$sudo apt-get purge <package name>
  1. Type “y” when the terminal asks for confirmation and press Enter
purge appstream

With the steps followed correctly, the application and its files will no longer exist in your system. This command should be used for applications you know you would not be reinstalling later. If you think you might reinstall it, then the option of $apt-get remove is the better one. 

2. Uninstall using Ubuntu Software Application [GUI].

For the people who prefer the Graphic User Interface (GUI) experience over the Command Line Interface(CLI) of the terminal, Ubuntu Software is the place where they can perform all the actions on their favorite packages and applications. 

Ubuntu Software provides users with a whole library of software and applications. This contains all applications that are compatible with Ubuntu. With just a few clicks, the user can install and uninstall unwanted applications on Ubuntu. Moreover, like every GUI application, it is easy to use and is user-friendly. 

To remove applications using Ubuntu Software, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Applications icon on your desktop.
  2. Go to the search bar and type “Ubuntu Software”.
Uninstall Unwanted Applications on Ubuntu
  1. Click on the icon. Alternatively, if you see this icon on your desktop, you can directly click on it. 
  1. After clicking on this icon, you should see the homepage of Ubuntu Software.
Uninstall Unwanted Applications on Ubuntu
  1. On the top of the homepage, click on Installed. This will display a list of all installed applications on your system. Locate the application you want to uninstall. 
  2. Upon location, you can see the Remove option adjacent to the application.
Uninstall Unwanted Applications on Ubuntu
  1. Click on Remove. A dialogue box will pop up, asking to confirm the uninstallation of the application permanently. Click on Remove on the dialogue to confirm. 
  2. Provide your password. 

Once you provide the password, the process of uninstallation starts. Upon completion, you should see the icon of the application does not exist, neither in Ubuntu Software nor on the desktop. It has been successfully uninstalled.

The $apt-get autoremove Command. 

Uninstalling applications is a good way to free up memory. But on occasions, you may not be able to free up enough memory by uninstalling applications and refuse to carry on. For this situation, there is a special command called “autoremove”. 

Essentially, autoremove deletes leftover package dependencies of software that are no longer in use. Package dependencies are not removed when you uninstall an application. Thus autoremove comes in handy and can free up to 100 Mbs of space for you. The syntax for autoremove is:

$sudo apt-get autoremove

Use autoremove by following these steps:

  1. Open terminal using CTRL+ALT+T.
  2. Type the command as it is:
$sudo apt-get remove

3. Press Enter to execute the command. 

Autoremove is a great command that performs the very important task of cleaning up. Getting rid of those dependencies can free up large amounts of usable space. So you need not worry about uninstalling a set of applications just for storage purposes. 

This guide went through all the ways you could uninstall an application on Ubuntu. As a bonus, you also got to know another method to free up useful storage space. We hope that you are now able to uninstall packages and applications easily.

Now that you know how to uninstall unwanted applications on Ubuntu, you can try checking free space on your system with the help of this article.

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂

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