Can OS X delete apps completely?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by akadmon, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. akadmon macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #1
    Does OS X have the ability to delete applications completely (the way Windows does via Add/Remove Programs)? I find it that when I just drag the application icon to the trash there are still traces of it left on my mac (e.g., preference files, install logs, etc.)
     
  2. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #2
    None of those are part of the application. Every part of the app is contained within the .app package and are deleted when trashed. The plist is simply a reference point the app looks at on booting to ensure all your previous settings are maintained - it's not actually a part of the application - if you delete it and don't delete the app, the app will still run - it will just make a new plist file. It's not like the dll in Windows where if one of those go any apps that make use of it cannot run.

    The plist files and install logs don't have any impact on the system at all if left behind after you delete an application because they are not being used by any other app. If you're worried about the few KB they take up then you can delete them.
     
  3. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Back in the motherland
    #3
    Usually dragging the app to the trash should be sufficient as the other files don't take up much space and in case of a reinstall you have your settings back. The only folder you might want to check is the Application support folder as this sometimes contains larger and more files for the app and may take up more space.
    If you don't want that you have two options:

    1. Buy an app to do that like AppZapper
    2. Do it yourself by searching for the app name in the Finder and delete all corresponding results

    Edit: Beaten to it.
     
  4. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #4

    It would be nice if, when I drag the app to the trash, OS X asked me whether or not I want to delete preference/install files as well. I found on a couple of occasions that I wanted to make a fresh start, and each time the left over preference/install logs caused the new install to have the same undesired settings as the one I got rid off!
     
  5. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Back in the motherland
    #5
    That would be a nice feature of the trash. May I suggest you tell Apple:

    http://www.apple.com/macosx/feedback/
     
  6. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #6
    Also don't forget that there is often a lot of extra cruft under the root /Library folder that was deposited by specific apps. Over time that can add up.
     

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