Question about uninstalling software on OSX vs. Windoze

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ViveLeLivre, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. ViveLeLivre macrumors regular

    ViveLeLivre

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    #1
    I've never had a Mac of my own to configure as I see fit (24" iMac on the way!), but I have had some experience with Unix/Linux machines in the past, so I'm wondering...

    When you uninstall OS X software, is the uninstall completely clean, like my experience has been with other Unix boxes, or do you still need to be careful about what you install like Windows?

    With XP, I'm constantly reloading my computer due to botched, incomplete uninstalls, corrupted registry, etc. Will I ever have to worry about this sort of thing again?
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    For most apps the uninstall consists of dragging the application's icon to the Trash and emptying. This will leave behind some preference files but they're very small and have no consequence on any other part of your system so as a rule, I just let them be. Some apps come with an uninstaller and as is the case with Windows, the uninstaller is as competent as the developer chooses to make it. Uninstallers are not very common though.

    Welcome to Macs. :)
     
  3. ViveLeLivre thread starter macrumors regular

    ViveLeLivre

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    #3
    Ahhhh....that's a beautiful thing. I can deal with preference files. :D

    What about drivers? Any problems adding/removing/changing those?
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    Nope, but I leave them all there anyway. They don't take up much space. FWIW, many devices have their drivers included with OSX so installing them (and uninstalling them) is unnecessary. :)
     
  5. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #5
    What drivers? :D

    More than two years, loads of peripherals, never installed a driver.

    Printer and most peripheral drivers come loaded out of the box, you just plug it in and away you go.
     
  6. ViveLeLivre thread starter macrumors regular

    ViveLeLivre

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    #6
    Wonderful.

    I am never ever ever going back.

    Thanks :)
     
  7. Kelmon macrumors 6502a

    Kelmon

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #7
    What you may or may not find interesting is that applications on the typically (unless badly written) as a single file that you double-click in order to launch, so deletion is simply a case of dragging the file to the Trash in order to delete it. In reality the file is a folder containing all the files that the application needs to run and any preference files that it needs to create are typically created in a consistent location and with an identifiable name. The "single file" nature of Mac applications typically means that not only can they be installed by simply dragging the file to a desired location but also that they can be moved around quite easily, although there are some applications that need to be installed in /Applications. Thankfully there is no registry on a Mac so that's one less problem.

    If you do wish to ensure that an application is completely uninstalled without needing to manually remove the preference files the you can always try out something like AppZapper.
     
  8. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
  9. ViveLeLivre thread starter macrumors regular

    ViveLeLivre

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    #9
    Man, that sounds great. I'm so used to not knowing where my apps install, where they copy their config files and libraries, what registry changes they make, or even where their damn icons are when I accidentally delete a shortcut.... not to mention the uninstalls that don't complete and remove themselves from Add/Remove Programs. It's honestly hard to imagine working without the hassle.

    If only my iMac would arrive sooner!
     

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