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View Full Version : CleanApp—an app that should be part of Mac OS X


MacBytes
Apr 10, 2008, 03:18 PM
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Category: Reviews
Link: CleanApp—an app that should be part of Mac OS X (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20080410161758)
Description:: "Macsimum News" reviews the CleanUp app for Mac OS X.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

SkippyThorson
Apr 10, 2008, 03:30 PM
"According to a poll I saw somewhere (but can’t remember where), users install three to three applications a week, or at least demo versions of them."

Wow. Three to three. Huge range. Great poll. :rolleyes:

ntrigue
Apr 10, 2008, 03:49 PM
I love AppDelete. FREE and performs as described. This looks unnecessarily complicated.

eclipse525
Apr 10, 2008, 03:54 PM
AppZapper (http://www.appzapper.com/) is great utility. I use it all the time.

~e

IJ Reilly
Apr 10, 2008, 04:18 PM
Another solution looking for a problem.

jephrey
Apr 10, 2008, 04:45 PM
although there's no problem per-se, I personally like to remove all plists, packages, etc pertaining to the app. I removed an old copy of final cut or something from an old drop of Tiger, and had to move a lot more things to the trash than the app. A few more gigs of things. I think that us macusers get a false sense of "just drag it to the trash". In most cases, all that's left is a plist that takes up no space, but wouldn't it be nice if that was removed as well? I think apps should naturally just act differently when dragged to the trash, and something runs to find related files etc where you could check what you want trashed and what you want to keep when "uninstalling" the app would be awesome. Without trying them, CleanApp/AppZapper seem to do this a lot like windows uninstaller (but nicer of course), but I don't love that it's another app in itself. Integrate it with the trash and it'll be sweet. It'd also be better if they didn't have to log anything or if you could drag the installer into the program when you install the app and it'd know from that point on

IJ Reilly
Apr 10, 2008, 04:54 PM
I don't think it's a "false sense," it's an entirely "true sense." A few applications leave some significant detritus behind when you trash them, but not many, and they don't cause any harm. The stray plists certainly don't cause any harm or take up an even remotely significant amount of space. If it makes you feel better to be totally tidy then go ahead and use one of these applications, but I don't think it's true that "something is missing" from OSX because it doesn't have an uninstaller. It doesn't have one because unlike Windows it doesn't need one.

cloudnine
Apr 10, 2008, 05:23 PM
AppZapper (http://www.appzapper.com/) is great utility. I use it all the time.

~e

I second that. AppZapper is great :)

Mindflux
Apr 10, 2008, 07:16 PM
I second that. AppZapper is great :)

AppCleaner does everything appzapper does and it's free. Note this is not "CleanApp".

Analog Kid
Apr 10, 2008, 08:59 PM
although there's no problem per-se, I personally like to remove all plists, packages, etc pertaining to the app. I removed an old copy of final cut or something from an old drop of Tiger, and had to move a lot more things to the trash than the app. A few more gigs of things. I think that us macusers get a false sense of "just drag it to the trash". In most cases, all that's left is a plist that takes up no space, but wouldn't it be nice if that was removed as well? I think apps should naturally just act differently when dragged to the trash, and something runs to find related files etc where you could check what you want trashed and what you want to keep when "uninstalling" the app would be awesome. Without trying them, CleanApp/AppZapper seem to do this a lot like windows uninstaller (but nicer of course), but I don't love that it's another app in itself. Integrate it with the trash and it'll be sweet. It'd also be better if they didn't have to log anything or if you could drag the installer into the program when you install the app and it'd know from that point on
While I agree with IJ that, for the most part, what gets left behind is harmless, there are exceptions to that.

One is any personal information pulled into those plists and other ancillary files will remain even after the user thinks they've disposed of the app. Big deal? Depends on the user, app and data.

The other though, is badly behaved applications. Virtual PC comes to mind-- threw crap all over my drive. More recently I installed a trial version of Wolfram's CalcCenter, launched it once, and threw it away. App's gone, but my LaTeX utilities have stopped working. Not 100% sure CC is responsible for the carnage, but I suspect it mucked with something somewhere (fonts?) and turned everything to custard.

I really like your idea about the app being responsible for cleaning up after itself when it gets dragged to the trash. You wouldn't want to launch the app from the Trash (security and stability issues) but the app package could contain a list of files to carry away with it. Throw up a dialog, "Do you want to delete support files for this application?" and then bin it.

IJ Reilly
Apr 11, 2008, 10:41 AM
While I agree with IJ that, for the most part, what gets left behind is harmless, there are exceptions to that.

I've never heard of personal information being stored in preference files. Do you have any examples?

Applications which install kernel extensions, which are the only ones that could interfere with the operation of OSX or other applications, should come with a dedicated uninstaller which you should run to get rid of them. None of the generic cleaner applications are going to do the job for this kind of application.

The problem I have with the popup dialog box on trashing an application is that it makes the OS more verbose, and frankly more Windows-like. The OS would ask a technical question which would baffle the typical user. Do I click yes or no? Why? I believe Apple's philosophy of keeping it simple is on the money. Don't want something? Drag it to the Trash, and you're done. Unlike Microsoft they don't believe in bewildering the user with fundamentally unimportant technicalities.

ATH44
Apr 11, 2008, 01:25 PM
I use AppTrap (http://konstochvanligasaker.se/apptrap/). I like it becuase i don't have to (remember to) open up another application to delete an app, everything goes to the trash.

Alrescha
Apr 11, 2008, 01:55 PM
I use AppTrap (http://konstochvanligasaker.se/apptrap/). I like it becuase i don't have to (remember to) open up another application to delete an app, everything goes to the trash.

I liked AppTrap, right up until it moved the contents of ~/Library/Preferences, /Library/Preferences, ~/Library/Application Support, and /Library/Application Support into the trash for me one day. That turned into a re-install very quickly.

I suspect the failure was the result of an upgrade to Leopard, then an upgrade of AppTrap (which perhaps wasn't Leopard-ready). In the end it didn't matter to me - my system was trashed.

A.

ATH44
Apr 11, 2008, 02:52 PM
I liked AppTrap, right up until it moved the contents of ~/Library/Preferences, /Library/Preferences, ~/Library/Application Support, and /Library/Application Support into the trash for me one day. That turned into a re-install very quickly.

I suspect the failure was the result of an upgrade to Leopard, then an upgrade of AppTrap (which perhaps wasn't Leopard-ready). In the end it didn't matter to me - my system was trashed.

A.

Thanks for the heads up!

cheekybobcat
Apr 11, 2008, 03:58 PM
I like AppZapper best. I wish I had known about AppCleaner before though :rolleyes:

Mindflux
Apr 11, 2008, 04:55 PM
I liked AppTrap, right up until it moved the contents of ~/Library/Preferences, /Library/Preferences, ~/Library/Application Support, and /Library/Application Support into the trash for me one day. That turned into a re-install very quickly.

I suspect the failure was the result of an upgrade to Leopard, then an upgrade of AppTrap (which perhaps wasn't Leopard-ready). In the end it didn't matter to me - my system was trashed.

A.


EWw.

My problem with App Trap is that when you update, say Adium and the updater tosses the old package in the trash apptrap prompts you to move plists and stuff like you trashed the app.

I uninstalled AppTrap and now use AppCleaner or AppZapper (got it with the mac heist bundle).



I like AppZapper best. I wish I had known about AppCleaner before though

We know big fella. It's ok.