How to delete VPN on Mac. Completely uninstall a VPN app

How to delete VPN on Mac. Completely uninstall a VPN app

This short tutorial explains how to delete VPN on Mac and leave no trace behind it. It also explains what files are created during the installation of a VPN, how to see the VPN configuration files installed on your Mac, and how to uninstall NordVPN, one of the most popular VPN services.

How to remove VPN from Mac [Summary]

Deleting a VPN app or connection from your Mac is not difficult. However, when you uninstall a VPN app make sure you remove all files.

  • Case 1: You have installed a VPN client application.
    • Step 1: Delete the VPN app.
    • Step 2: Delete preferences files.
    • Step 3: Delete records from the keychain.
  • Case 2: You have manually created a VPN connection.
    • Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen.
    • Go to System Preferences > Network.
    • Select the VPN connection you want to delete from the left panel.
    • Click the “-” button from the bottom of the panel.

As your goal is to remove the VPN from macOS, I suppose you already know how to install one. Nevertheless, I suggest that you read our bat-iful article on how to use a VPN on Mac. `You will find out what are the available options and what VPN providers we recommend for macOS.

What does a VPN app install on your Mac

When you install a VPN (Virtual Private Network) application on your Mac there are several files copied and created on your computer.

Firstly, the application files are stored in the Applications folder, in a directory with the name of the app (e.g., ExpressVPN.app). Tip: you may right-click on the directory name and choose Show Package Content to see all the files of the app.

Secondly, VPN apps may store some files in the Library folders. Most of the time, installation files are copied in the global Library folder (/Library) and preferences files are created in the Library folder associated with your user name (/ Users/[your username]/Library.

By moving the app into the Trash only the files from Applications are removed while some associated files may remain orphan on your computer. Thus, you may need to manually delete them.

How to see the VPN configurations set up on macOS

The VPN configurations (manually created or installed by VPN apps) are visible in the Network window: System Preferences Network. The VPN profiles are marked with the 🔒 icon and they are listed in the left panel.

How to see the VPN configurations on Mac

How to delete VPN on Mac

Depending on the way you installed the VPN on your Mac you have the following options.

Case 1: You have installed a VPN client application

Most of the VPN providers offer access to their services by installing VPN apps on your Mac.

Step 1. In this case, the first step is to uninstall the application:

  1. Quit the application if it is open.
  2. Open the Applications folder and search for the VPN app.
  3. Right-click in the VPN app name and select Move to Bin.
How to delete a VPN app on Mac - Move to Bin

Step 2. Delete preferences files and other app files.

  1. Open a Finder window.
  2. Perform a search on the name of the app (e.g., “expressvpn”). Make sure the search on This Mac in order to find all related files.
  3. Right-click on folders and files associated with the VPN app (usually they start with “com.” and they are followed by the name of the app) and select Move to Bin.
    Delete preferences files and other app files
  4. Right-click on the Bin (on the right side of the Dock) and select Empty Bin.

Step 3. Delete records from the keychain.

  1. Open the Keychain Access app (search for keychain in Launchpad).
  2. Perform a search on the name of the app (e.g., “cyberghost”).
  3. Select all items, right-click, and select Delete.
How to delete records from the keychain

Case 2: You have manually created a VPN connection

A VPN connection can also be created by setting the connection preferences (VPN protocol, VPN server name, authentication credentials) manually from the Network window.

In this case, in order to remove the VPN from your Mac you need to alter the VPN settings and delete VPN profiles:

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen.
  2. Go to System Preferences > Network.
  3. Select the VPN connection you want to remove from the left panel.
  4. Click the “-” button from the bottom of the panel.
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 for other VPN configuration profiles.
How to delete a VPN configuration from the Network window

How to completely uninstall NordVPN on Mac

As NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN providers worldwide it is of interest to explain how to delete the NordVPN app from Mac and all its tracks.

Before you begin, make sure you disable the VPN and quit the NordVPN application.

Firstly, open Finder, go to the Applications folder and look for the NordVPN IKE app. Right-click on it and select Move to Bin.

How to completely uninstall NordVPN on Mac - Move to Bin

Confirm that you want to delete the NordVPN app.

How to completely uninstall NordVPN on Mac - Confirmation

You may now proceed with the removal of other files stored by the NordVPN app on your Mac:

  • go to [your HD] > Users > [your username] > Library > Application Scripts, select all folders that start with “com.nordvpn.osx-apple”, right-click and move them to Bin.
  • go to [your HD] > Users > [your username] > Library > Containers, select all folders that start with “com.nordvpn.osx-apple”, right-click and move them to Bin.
How to completely uninstall NordVPN on Mac - Delete libraries

Further, right click on the Bin (on the right side of the Dock) and select Empty Bin.

How to completely uninstall NordVPN on Mac - Empty Bin

The final step is to remove the records from the keychain. Open the Keychain Access app (type keychain in Launchpad) and search for “nordvpn”.

How to completely uninstall NordVPN on Mac - Keychain Access

Select all records, right-click and Delete.

You have now completely removed NordVPN from your Mac.

Summary

You have learned how to delete VPN on Mac. You may either remove the VPN app (don’t forget to delete the preferences files and additional libraries) or erase the VPN profiles.

Would you like to learn more VPN tips? Subscribe to our newsletter! It will make a Transylvanian baby-bat 🦇happy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What is WireGuard - Banner
Up Next:

What is WireGuard and why it may be your new VPN friend

What is WireGuard and why it may be your new VPN friend