Question about deleting files

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Sathos, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. Sathos macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    #1
    This is probably an incredibly stupid question, but I'd like to know if I'm deleting files off my PowerBook G4 properly. I recall on a PC, when a file is downloaded (let's say, for example, a computer game), remnants of the file are left on the computer and a search has to be done in order to delete all of the remaining files, as well as using something called Remove/Add or whatever it was called to make sure every bit of the file is gone. Seems a bit of a hassle no? Anyways, when I want to remove a file from my PowerBook (using, again, the example of a video game, though I have never actually put a game on this computer), I just do a quick search in Finder and delete anything that has to do with the file. Is this correct, or is there a better way?
     
  2. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #2
    Do you mean files or programs/applications? Based on what you've written, you seem to be talking about applications. Generally speaking, you should just drag the application to the Trash and be done with it, except when applications launch an installer. Chances are that if it has an installer, it has an uninstaller, too, which you should run. If you want to use Spotlight and delete whatever's left after doing it properly, that's your call (it's not necessary by any means), but failing to use an uninstaller can create annoying problems in the future. Just about everything that you drag into the Applications folder just goes to the Trash.
     
  3. Sathos thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    #3
    Yes, applications, that's the word I was looking for! I apologize for the wording, I couldn't bring the right word to mind. Yep, when it has an uninstaller I do use it. However, recently I've come across a few applications that lack this feature, so just wanted to make sure I was getting rid of them in the right way. Thanks for the help! :)
     
  4. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #4
    No problem.:) That's just part of the beauty of Macs. Most of what I have in my Applications folder can just go in the Trash when I'm done. No Control Panel, no InstallShield, just *plunk* into the wastebasket. It's only things that modify the OS, like mouse software or big application suits, like Adobe CS or Microsoft Office that are more complicated, usually.
     
  5. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #5
    You can delete MOST of an application by dragging it to trash, but there are numerous support files left over in several places.

    Go to User/Library/Preferences and you'll
    see all the preference info.plists ( property lists)
    of each developer or application in alphabetical order
    they are usually listed as something like

    com.apple.Address Book.plist
    com.microsoft.Word.plist
    You'll also see master files for some application preferences like Explorer, Macromedia, Adobe. Allume and so on with additional .plist files
    as well. outside those files.

    Other places:

    User/library/application support
    User/library/ startup items ( in some cases )

    you will also find some left over in your
    HD/library/preferences and preference panes,
    extension,
    System/library/caches
    and so on.

    What you need to search for is either the application
    name or by manufacturer.

    Usually the'll be easy to find in your hard drive search window or through Spotlight.

    You can control click or use your menu to move these to trash, but you really should know what you're doing.

    So it's simple but it isn't.

    You should probably read OS X The Missing Manual
    before you get too brave or download

    Tiger Cache Cleaner for starters
     
  6. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #6
    FFTT is correct in that dragging an application to the trash leaves the preferences files.

    You can search for them and delete them if you wish, but in general it's not necessary. You can normally try and throw away 1000 different applications before the combined size of their preferences files exceeds the size of an MP3 or AAC song.
     
  7. tech4all macrumors 68040

    tech4all

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    NorCal
    #7
    Something I never really thought about

    So if there was an installer for an app, how do I get to the unistaller? Like for Adobe apps like, Photoshop and Illustrator, and Macromedia apps like, Dreamweaver and Flash.
     
  8. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #8
    You start the installer again, and there should be an uninstall button. Either that or the application folder contains something that says "Uninstall (program name)." If you got it from a .dmg, you might need that disk image to remove the software.

    Deleting the .plists is optional, but that long post is mostly unnecessary if you just use Spotlight. There's no real reason to delete the .plists unless they bother you somehow. They don't affect performance, other applications, or take up much space. It's good to be thorough, but if you've configured options for a program and might install it again in the future, leaving the .plist can save your settings.
     
  9. tech4all macrumors 68040

    tech4all

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    NorCal
    #9
    Thanks for the reply. I checked out my Macromedia apps and can't find an uninstaller in either the installer nor the apps' folder.

    When you say 'start in the installer again', are you referring to the CD that software came on? I put in the Studio MX CD and opened up the window where you choose what you want to install, and all I saw was an install button.

    I've uninstalled Flash before and all I did was drag the Flash's app folder to the trash and emptied the trash. Can anyone else verify how to properly uninstall apps from Adobe and Macromedia. This seems so easy yet so hard :eek:
     
  10. fayans macrumors 6502a

    fayans

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    MacRumors: Forums
    #10
    Closer your browser and download Macromedia Uninstaller to your desktop. Run the installer. This will uninstall Macromedia Flash Player from your browser. Hope this will help.
     
  11. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #11
    Do you mean Flash the application, or flash the plugin? The plugin's uninstallation instructions are listed above, but the Flash MX application must be uninstalled using the appropriate shortcut. Sometimes it's hidden behind an Options button.

    Adobe uninstallers are located on the CD. Microsoft Office includes uninstallers in the "Additional Tools" subfolder. Macromedia varies by application, but there is usually a "Remove x" icon in the CD, or you just start the setup utility and there is either an uninstall button to select within that, or you have to click "Options" to get to it. I know that Dreamweaver MX's uninstall was a little hidden, so it may be tough to find. If you can't find it, check the support website of the software manufacturer.
     
  12. Aliquis macrumors regular

    Aliquis

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #12
    And remember, if you're using a flash drive or removeable media, and you want to throw something away... always empty the trash before ejecting otherwise the files just sit in an invisible folder on the removeable media called .Trashes.
     
  13. hookahco macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Location:
    To Live n Die in L.A. California
    #13
    if i had only read this 5 min ago.. i was wondering why my 160gb usb hdd was full after i just deleted everything.. :mad:
     
  14. Aliquis macrumors regular

    Aliquis

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #14
    Hahah, we've all probably been there more than once. Glad it helped you.
     
  15. tech4all macrumors 68040

    tech4all

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    NorCal
    #15
    The Flash application; or any app in general, just using Flash as an example. Haven't checked the Adobe install CD or Adobe CS yet. But a while back I deleted Flash just by dragging it to the trash and emptied the trash and that seemed to work fine. That how I always thought you deleted an app in OS X; drag it to the trash and empty it.

    Regarding Flash/Macromedia apps: where is this "Option" button and "Remove X" at? I didn't see it on the CD, but perhaps I wasn't looking in the right place.
     
  16. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #16
    The problem is that "any app in general" is too vague. Generally, you can do just as you did and drag applications to the Trash. But with certain applications, doing so causes problems (Sidetrack, Microsoft Office, Adobe applications, and Macromedia Dreamweaver, for example).

    The "options" button you're looking for is located on the CD. When you insert the CD, it will pop up with some icon that says "Install Macromedia Dreamweaver MX" or what have you. When you start that, it may detect that it's already installed and give you an uninstall option right up front. Other times, you have to look for an Options button or check through menus. You really just need to look around or check the publisher's website--there's no universal location for uninstallers, and there's not always an easy way to determine whether or not a given application can be uninstalled by trashing it.

    Chances are that if it has an installer, it has an uninstaller. If it is a "drag to Applications folder" style application, it likely does not have an uninstaller--but some do.
     
  17. tech4all macrumors 68040

    tech4all

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    NorCal
    #17
    Thanks for the info, matticus008.

    One last thing here, what kind of "problems" could happen if you just drag the app (like Flash) to the trash and empty the trash? I haven't noticed any problems so I assume it's not bad. But I did reinstall it after I deleted it (I was trying to fix a font issue).
     

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