Clean OS X

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by speedemonV12, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. speedemonV12 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    #1
    hey guys, i was wondering what kind of program is out there that would be able to clean the OS? something like CCleaner for windows. I have installed some programs, and then uninstalled them, but noticed that they have left some files on my computer, and was wondering what the best program would be to get rid of them ? i got appzipper to uninstall further programs, but what about the ones that i have uninstalled already? And t doesnt have to be just for cleaning uninstalled programs, but to keep the Operating System clean from junk that doesnt need to be there.
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    AppZapper just uses Spotlight to find rogue files. I reckon you might be better off doing this manually rather than relying on an AppZapper equivalent for partially removed apps. In Spotlight, search for portions of the apps you've already deleted and drag them to the Trash.

    Having said that, Macs aren't like PCs. In most cases, dragging the actual app to the trash will suffice. This will generally leave behind a preference file (ends in PLIST), but this file is tiny and has no effect on any other part of your system. Personally, I don't bother removing these files. The benefit of keeping the preference file is that next time you install the app (if you want/need to), you'll retain all your old settings. :)
     
  3. DrStrangelove macrumors 6502

    DrStrangelove

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    #3
    I was about to ask the same question. Guess it pays to look around.

    So deleting the files from the app folder and removing .plist files (if you want) should be enough? Are there usually/sometimes corresponding library files/folders that could/should be destroyed?

    I've got this REALLY strange stuff going on. My iMac (first gen intel 20" with 1.5 GB of RAM) used to be lightening fast. And still pretty much is... however, now when I first boot iChat-- it beachballs for a couple of mintues before I can message and in Mail sometimes when I hit reply/reply to all-- it can take literally MINUTES to spawn the reply message.

    I don't get it. I'm not running any more programs that usually... it just seems that these two programs are "clogged" if that makes sense. I wish there were a decent way to take this Mac back to "brand new" (clean OS install) without a huge backup process.

    Along those lines? Anyone have a recommendation for an intuitive backup program? If I wanted to do a fresh install the only things I really want to back up are my photos, itunes music and email inbox.
     
  4. Pili macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    Orlando/Miami, FL
    #4
    I run a program called applejack every few months which cleans some stuff. It wont clear out all those preferences or files like that but it should improve the speed of your system somewhat.

    http://applejack.sourceforge.net/
     
  5. DrStrangelove macrumors 6502

    DrStrangelove

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    #5
    Well, I just installed adium and it's running no problem. So I'm thinknig iChat is just a piece of ****.

    Maybe I can do better than "mail" that comes with OSX as well.
     
  6. TrenchMouth macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    #6
    you could always try thunderbird.

    http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird/
     
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #7

    Sometimes there are files in other sections of the library. Spotlight should help you find these and to be honest, most apps don't spread files everywhere quite so much as Windows versions of programs must.



    Well, by definition, any clean install will have to erase everything no matter what OS you're using. Having said that, Macs have a few ways around this dilemma.

    Firstly, and most sensibly, you can create a new user account. This will give you a fresh/default version of the Home folder and subsequently, the Home folder's Library. However, it will still give you the ability to log back into your old account should you have forgotten to transfer some data. Plus, using the Shared folder on your Mac, you can simply drag-and-drop many of your files from one account to another to ensure you keep all your photos, documents and whatever. In most cases of sluggish behaviour, this is the best and safest option.

    Secondly, you can perform an Archive & Install. This sets your current system folder aside on your hard drive and (without reformatting), installs a new/clean version. Once again, you shouldn't technically lose any data, but back up just in case.

    Having said all that, it's always a good idea to keep your data backed up just in case something happens to your machine. :)



    I cheat when I back up. I simply drag a copy of my Home folder onto an iPod and then onto another Mac. It keeps my emails, my documents, my photos and my music. It doesn't keep my apps though. If ever I need to restore from it, I manually drag my documents into the Document folder, iTunes Library into the Music folder and so on. I manually reinstall all my apps and reconfigure their preferences rather than use the backed up copies because it doesn't take long and I feel it's cleaner.

    Alternatively, you could use an app like Carbon Copy Cloner which, as the name suggests, will make a cloned version of your hard drive onto another drive. If you clone to a firewire drive, you can then use Migration Assistant in OSX to automatically restore your settings form it should the need arise.



    Yes, iChat sucks.
     
  8. knome macrumors 6502

    knome

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    #8
    I had a similar problem with ichat and all i did was remove the plist for ichat and then re configure and it worked fine after that. I also suggest installing chatx for ichat.

    As for using spotlight to find the files that doesn't always work. Some apps like norton or huge apps like final cut and maya place files all over the system often with different names that wouldn't allow spotlight to find them. There is also the dilemma of apps that put in kernel extensions. So if you can't manage to get all the files off and the computer still feels slow its best to reinstall.
     
  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #9
    Avoid installing Norton because it sucks on Macs. Apps like that generally come with an uninstaller in which case this should always be used ahead of manually deleting the files. This is more common with large commercial apps. As a rule, if it needed an installer then it'll need an uninstaller. :)
     
  10. Marble macrumors 6502a

    Marble

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    #10
    Yeah, the complicated apps will install stuff in particular places (Application Support, for example), but all of them should come with an uninstaller built into the installer. For every other app, once you've dragged it to the trash, it has no effect on your system beyond a few kilobytes of settings on your HD. In fact, there aren't that many apps that will install things that could slow down your system... those that would include daemons that constantly watch the time, etc, or, another thing that could do it, is a huge amount of fonts for the system to load.
     

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