Deleting Plugins from Audacity

I have Audacity 3.0.5 on my MacBook Pro M1 2020 running Monterey 12.6.2. My copy of Audacity is crammed with plug-ins that I don’t use. I’d like to get rid of these unused plug-ins, but I can’t. I can disable them within Audacity, but they’re still there. I’ve tried deleting Audacity from my computer and then downloading and reinstalling it. Doesn’t work—the unwanted plug-ins are still there. So obviously, these plug-ins are buried somewhere within my Mac OS. Where are they, exactly? And is it possible to delete them?

I have seen “Ghost plugins” in Audcaity on Windows:
where plugins which have been deleted still appear,
because they are still on Audcaity’s “pluginregistry.cfg” file.
[I don’t speak Mac … Installing and updating Audacity on Mac - Audacity Manual]

NB: I would rename*, rather than delete Audcaity files/folders, so you have the option of going back to how it was.

[* e.g. rename “pluginregistry.cfg” to “pluginregistry-old.cfg” ].

Since you’ve disabled them in Audacity then I assume you know how to use the Plug-in Manager. The “Path” column shows you where the plug-ins are.

Built-in effect - you can’t delete it (it is part of Audacity)
Applications/Audacity/ - you can’t delete it (it is part of Audacity)
appl/aufx/ - you can’t delete it (it is an Audio Unit effect built-in to macOS)
Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/ - you can delete files from those sub-folders

But I don’t understand your problem. Once the plug-ins are disabled they do not clutter the Effect menu and have no effect on the performance of Audacity. If they still appear in the Effect menu after being disabled in the Plug-in Manager then it is time to delete “pluginregistry.cfg” as Trebor suggests.

Just to make sure I understand. So it’s possible for a plug-in to be entirely deleted from my computer, yet it still shows up on Audacity’s “Manage Plug-Ins” menu? (Apparently, that’s the meaning of “ghost plug-ins.”) If that’s correct, then I’ll stop worrying about it. I thought that, because these unwanted plug-ins were listed on Audacity, they were still taking up space on my hard drive. If they aren’t, then I’m a happy camper.

That “Ghost Plug-ins” thread is from 2017. If you have deleted a plug-in from your computer (for example, from /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/) and it still shows up in Audacity’s Plug-in Manager then you should delete the file “pluginregistry.cfg” to make a clean start. However I’ve tried deleting a plug-in from my VST folder and once deleted it no longer shows up in Audacity’s Plug-in Manager. Anything that shows up in the Audacity’s Plug-in Manager is on your computer somewhere. In the Plug-In Manager you could also try clicking the “Rescan” button.

See my previous reply for how to identify plug-ins that you can’t delete (since they are either part of Audacity or part of macOS).

Okay, I finally figured out where on my OS to find the files I wanted deleted. I’m no programming expert. So the replies here put me in the right direction. Thanks.

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