How to completely remove PARALLELS from Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jas5279, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. jas5279 macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2016
    I followed all the directions to remove Parallels. Moved to trash, emptied trash, restarted Mac. Seems like its still not completely removed.

    When I try to run .mp4 file. It thinks that I want it to run on Windows Media Player.

    Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 6.05.43 PM.png

    It still thinks Windows Media Player and Photos apps are still on the computer.

    Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 6.06.52 PM.png

    How do I remove it completely so my Mac stops thinking that Parallels was ever installed?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    You could also change the "Open With" defaults for .mp4 files to whatever Mac app you would normally use.
    Select any .mp4 file, then Command-i to get the info window for that file.
    Click the "Open With" drop-down menu, and choose your Mac video app (such as VLC, or Quicktime Player, etc), then (the important bit here!) click the "Change All..." button.
  4. mreg376 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    I have not been a big fan of cleaning programs, but when I recently switched my 2007 iMac to my new 2017, I bought CleanMyMac3, with the intent of using it once to get rid of all the extra **** on the 2007 and then return it. But I was so impressed with it I kept it, and one of the many functions it has is thorough application removal. It's fast and works very well. I would recommend it for any one or all of its functions.
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I would not recommend using CleanMyMac or any of its variants, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much. Here's another example. While you may not have experienced problems yet, enough people have that it's wise to avoid it, especially since there are free alternatives that have better reputations, such as Onyx.
    I do not recommend AppCleaner or any similar app. You don't need "cleaner" apps for your Mac, and many of them can cause more harm than good. No cleaner or app removal software does a thorough job of finding and removing files/folders related to deleted apps. For more information, read this and this. If you just want to delete the app, drag the .app file to the trash. No other software needed. If you want to completely remove all associated files/folders, no removal apps will do the job.
  7. mreg376, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018

    mreg376 macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    I get being cautious, but bear in mind that the complaints you cite about CleanMyMac are 6 years old and 9 years old. Current reviews are all positive.
  8. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Does using Onyx to rebuild LaunchServices take care of this?
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I'll grant that CMM may have "cleaned up its act" over the years, but at best it's unnecessary and less effective at app removal than the manual method posted earlier.
  10. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Yes it does, AppCleaner searches for the associated plist files and gets rid of them. The sorts which have the things that the OP struggles with, like trying to open associated applications in Parallels even when they dragged it to the Trash.

    Cleaning apps are a no-no but seriously, AppCleaner is where it’s at. It doesn’t “clean space” or make weird cases to speed up your Mac, it just means an app is completely removed if you choose to uninstall it.

    Regardless: what you do with a manual clean is essentially what AppCleaner does anyway, except one takes seconds whilst the other takes 10 minutes, and one won’t accidentally delete the wrong associated files.
  11. mpainesyd macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    At some stage the default for your MP4 files has been set to the Windows Media player and you need to fix this. The Open With tip should do the job. I would put an MP4 file in your root folder (eg MacintoshHD) then the “Change all..” function will apply your choice to every MP4 file on that hard disk.
    Trying to “clean out” Parallels and associated files might not overcome your problem as the Mac will still go looking for the Windows Media Player until you change the default app for MP4 files.
  12. NoBoMac Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jul 1, 2014
    I like AppCleaner. I don't blindly say "Yes" to what it deletes, but have not run into any bad behavior using.

    As others mentioned, does locate plists and such, but not always 100%. I do periodically, or at time of delete, manually dig through the known locations where things can hide, I understand the naming schemes that are in play (, and with backups, I can undo any false step I might have done (knock wood, have not done anything stupid yet).

    There are instructions on Parallels site on how to do a clean "uninstall", but OP's case, it's just the file type association that needs to be updated (as others have pointed out).
  13. Guy Clark Suspended

    Guy Clark

    Nov 28, 2013
    London United Kingdom.
    AppCleaner is absolutely fine to use as it only removes the related files to the application that is being uninstalled.
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    AppCleaner, like most removal software, only deletes plist files and a few others. These files are extremely small compared to cache files and many other app-related files that consume much more space. If you just want the app to be gone, just drag it to the trash, and leave the plist files, so you don't have to reset all your preferences if you decide to reinstall the app. If the goal is to free up all the space taken by app-related files, AppCleaner and similar apps frequently leave behind more than they remove. No such app cleans 100% of the files associated with many apps. You can click the links in my post to see tests that I've run on many of these apps, including AppCleaner, AppZapper, etc.
  15. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Thanks for the clarification and for patiently explaining this to me. Apologies for my stubborness. :)
  16. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    3rd party uninstallers have always been problematic on any platform.

    I couldn’t even begin to count the number of systems I’ve had to fix for people where the last thing they did was use a 3rd party utility to either clean their system or remove an application.

    They’re more common in Windows. The problem is that even if they actually programmed definitions for every individual software title, and what each software title added to the system, they are still prone to breaking something.

    For example, let’s say a hypothetical program called “junk” installed helper API software called “goop”. And you used a third party application called “crash” to remove old titles you no longer used.

    Perhaps the developer of “crash” actually took the time to create a database of every program in the world, and that database includes a list of every file and API that is installed by every program.

    Now you decide to use “crash” to remove the program called “junk” and it removed all the files that junk installed including the helper API called “goop”.

    Now the program called “junk” is completely removed.

    But, it turns out that you also have a program called “garbage” that you use every day. So tomorrow, you start your day and launch “garbage”. You have to get your work done within the hour. But instead of being greeted by your typical screen, you get a huge box on the screen that explains in some cryptic nonsense that “garbage” failed to start.

    Now you panic. What are you going to tell your boss? You look at the clock and realize you’re in trouble.

    So... what happened???

    Turns out that when you installed “garbage”, it also installed a copy of the helper API called “goop” (or it saw it was already there and skipped installing it).

    Turns out that “garbage” won’t work without “goop”.

    But how are you to know that???

    That’s the problem with uninstallers. They yank out the underpinnings, without making sure that it’s truly unnecessary to have.

    Sometimes they flat go wild and start yanking out system files too.

    For that reason, in Windows, always use the Windows “add / remove” tool that’s built in. And on MacOS, just drag and drop the actual application into the trash.

    Don’t do anything beyond that, unless you personally have the knowledge and experience to go hunting for straggling remnants and delete them yourself with confidence that you know what every system file and API does.

    If you don’t want a cluttered system, then don’t install anything that you’re not sure you want forever.

    If you want to test something before you decide, then make a clone of your system’s hard drive and install the software on the clone drive to experiment with it before deciding if you want to keep the program.

    Note that utilities like ONYX are generally safe, because they mostly just trigger normal maintenance functions that the operating system would do on its own eventually anyway.
  17. RossDarker macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2018
    Try removing "Applications (Parallels)" in your user folder.
  18. Longkeg macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2014
    S. Florida
    What happens when you change the default open with to something else, like QuickTime, and apply it to all mp4 files? After you restart the computer I wouldn’t be surprised to see that the Windows Media option was gone. I suspect you’ve successfully deleted Parallels and you’re seeing left over plist artifacts. That “Parallels can’t be found” alert seem to me to be confirmation that the app, for all practical purposes, has been deleted.
  19. Humaira Isha macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2019
    Everyone is saying you have to install some mac cleaner or something but it's actually really simple and you don't have to download anything. To completely remove it we have to find it's applications and stuff. Yea you do have to go to downloads, put Parallels in the trash and then clean the trash but even if you do that, it's not completely done. Go to finder and click your user folder. Your user folder is normally under the "downloads." You will see a folder that says "Parallels" on it. Drag that to the trash. Then go to the applications folder that is located in your user folder and next to "Chrome apps" you will also see "Windows Applications." Drag that to the trash as well. Then empty the trash and everything should be working normal again.

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18 June 13, 2018