How do I delete/uninstall/remove iWork '09 from an OS X machine?

There doesn't seem to be a central place where I can remove/uninstall software.


2 Answers 2


There isn't a central place to remove things on Mac OS X. If the application doesn't come with an uninstaller - iWork doesn't IIRC - simply drag the application icon(s) to the Trash and empty it.

If you want to be really thorough, look in ~/Library/Preferences, ~/Library/Application Support/ and occasionally ~/Documents (where '~' is your home folder) for folders and documents bearing the name of the application (often, particularly in the case of preferences, in a reverse-domain style, such as com.apple.iwork) and delete them too - these are the settings files used by the application. That said, unlike Windows registry keys, it won't hurt to leave them - the only disadvantage is a small loss of disk space. In addition, it will mean that if you ever re-install iWork, your preferences and so on will remain.

  • You could also use an application like Appcleaner which is free and should catch all of the estra ~/library files. I imagine removing non uninstaller apps will be simplified when the App store hits.
    – Braden
    Nov 26, 2010 at 13:33

As Scott said in his answer, there is no system application to remove installed apps, and this matters little for AppStore apps and many others, which are completely contained in their application bundles and only write to the user's home directory. However, iWork'09 is installed as a .pkg, writing to many places on disk stuff like help files, fonts, spotlight importers, etc.

Fortunately a log is kept with all the files written in /private/var/db/receipts/ inside .bom files. For iwWrk, you can view the installed files with the command

lsbom -lsf /private/var/db/receipts/com.apple.pkg.iWork09.bom

One could see to which folders the installer wrote stuff by filtering the results a bit (just to get an idea):

lsbom -lsf /private/var/db/receipts/com.apple.pkg.iWork09.bom | cut -d'/' -f-5 | uniq

However, beware that there will also be updates to iwork, like the one listed in


if you have it, and that installers may do all sorts of things other than copy files. Also, you should be very careful while deleting the files listed in these logs, because other applications or system components may depend on them.

So, delete at your own risk, or better yet, write some script that appends an extension like DELETEME to all files, then use your computer for a while and if nothing broke, then find and delete those files.

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