100% Uninstall Apps?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 2012Tony2012, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    2012Tony2012

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    Dec 2, 2012
    #1
    I followed some advice given by GGJstudios about how to completely remove Apps, but his advice does not remove everything, for example when I look inside my home folder using muCommander which shows all hidden files, I can still see folders there that GGJstudios method of uninstalling Apps leaves behind.

    Is there a simple method that removed 100% of everything from an App?
     
  2. simsaladimbamba, Jan 3, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013

    simsaladimbamba

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    #2
  3. macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    No.

    There are several places that an Application may save data (Applications, Library, Application Support, Preferences, Hidden Directories, .plist files, etc).

    Only the application's developers know where everything is.

    In theory, the application's uninstaller should know where it wrote files AND delete them; but this doesn't happen in practice.

    Many users probably don't use the uninstaller, they just drag it from Applications to Trash.
    Plus a lot of uninstallers want to leave behind your preferences and configurations so that if you re-install the program you won't have to reconfigure it.

    Any kind of universal uninstaller wouldn't know all of this. It could only guess at what files belong to which application. It will leave some files behind and accidentally delete files for applications that you didn't install. This is the problem that several 'system cleaner' applications have.

    The complicated way is to run the uninstaller (if provided) and then look in the usual places for files that don't belong.
     
  4. macrumors member

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    #4
  5. 2012Tony2012, Jan 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013

    thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2012Tony2012

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    #5
    Try it for yourself..install a few different apps, e.g Task Coach etc, then follow the instructions in that video that you posted earlier to remove the app. Then after that, load muCommander and notice in your home directory the Apps that were supposed to have been completely removed, have in fact left HIDDEN folders in your Home Directory.
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

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    #6
    It is not thorough as Finder though:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2012Tony2012

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    #7
    Appcleaner also fails to 100% remove everything!
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    AT06

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    #8
    Fantastic free app - I highly recommend it. Easiest way to uninstall an app fully (well at least pretty much fully :D)
     
  9. simsaladimbamba

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    #9
    Where exactly do I have to look? I installed three/four apps just now, run them once and then performed the method described above to uninstall it. I cannot see anything in muCommander.

    Maybe tell me the name of the application you have used, thus I can recreate the steps?
     
  10. macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

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  11. macrumors member

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    #11
    it's true! but few traces remain and those that remain are irrelevant
     
  12. simsaladimbamba

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    #12
    App Zap or AppZapper? Because the later one is also not as effective.

    The simplest method is still to just drag the application file or folder from the Applications folder into the Trash. For more thorough needs, refer to the guide or use one of the not so thorough applications, just don't pay for one.
     
  13. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #13
    The manual method I posted works completely if you follow all the steps. The only time it doesn't work is if you don't follow all the instructions or you don't know the name of the app or process you're trying to delete.
    The manual method removes them all. It sounds like you skipped a step.
    In most cases, app removal software doesn't do 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.
    No, it doesn't remove all elements and some that remain take up more space than those that were deleted. None of the removal apps are as effective as the manual method using Finder.
     
  14. macrumors member

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    #14
  15. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #15
  16. 2012Tony2012, Jan 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013

    thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2012Tony2012

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    #16
    Ok do this.... download Task Coach:

    http://macupdate.com/app/mac/26043/task-coach

    Then drag it into Applications Folder and run it. Then create a task in Task Coach and save.

    Then close Task Coach and then follow that uninstall video instructions.

    Then load muCommander and go to ROOT using muCommander, (make sure HIDDEN files are showing), then go to /Users/your home folder and notice there is a HIDDEN folder for Task Coach left behind that the uninstall process failed to remove.

    The folder will be called .TaskCoach

    http://i48.tinypic.com/2qn0bag.png
     
  17. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #17
    Why don't you do that, then complete steps 1-7 of those instructions, then take a screen shot of your Finder window and post it.
     
  18. simsaladimbamba

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    #18
    Yep, saw what you experienced.
    To get rid of such, you could add another search criteria:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2012Tony2012

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    Dec 2, 2012
    #19
    Thank you for acknowleding my post and for recoginizing the validity of my discovery.

    Could you update that youtube video or create a new video to include the additional step needed to 100% remove everything an App leaves behind, as I feel it would help a lot of people who don't realise that the current steps and video is not 100% removing everything for a lot of Apps.

    Thank you simsaladimbamba :)
     
  20. simsaladimbamba

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    #20
    Just like getting System Files showing up as option, you look for the File Visibility option.

    I will see, if I can update the video, I do not have a good experience with those annotations thing YT offers.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2012Tony2012

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    #21
    Ok :)

    Thank you for your help simsaladimbamba, it's appreciated.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    AT06

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    #22
    Why do you need to 100% remove an app anyway? Using the trash method, or AppCleaner gets rid of the majority of the files, and as said those left are usually small and irrelevant.
     
  23. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #23
    That's frequently not true. Many times the files that such apps leave behind can be much larger than the ones they delete.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    AT06

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    #24
    That's why I said usually. Given the fact that the OP has obviously come onto the forums to ask for advice to completely uninstall, then in hindsight I probably should have assumed that large leftover files was the case. However we would obviously need more information on what needs uninstalling to be sure what was adequate.

    However, for 95% of uninstalls either trash or an AppCleaner type solution is completely fine.
     
  25. 2012Tony2012, Jan 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013

    thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2012Tony2012

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    #25
    Yes, and may I add, some Apps, Task Coach for example, leave behind a hidden folder which I think contains personal task information etc.

    I was surprised that there were all these hidden folders in my Home directory when I started using muCommander and seeing all the hidden files. I had to manually remove them all as the video procedure failed to delete them.

    So I guess we can use two methods in addition to the video, 1. Manually remove them using muCommander etc. 2. Do as simsaladimbamba suggested and add the hidden files in Finder.

    And GGJstudios, may I ask you a question, were you aware that some Apps leave HIDDEN folders behind, even after following the steps in that video and your webpage you posted?
     

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