Uninstalling apps in OSX

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bannor, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. bannor macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2004
    #1
    Hi there. I just got my 12" G4 Ibook today. After transferring my tunes and photos over I now have about 14 gigs free. There are a bunch of apps & games that came preinstalled (tony hawk 4, deimos rising etc.) that I never plan to use. I was just wondering how I go about uninstalling them to free up some valuable hard drive space. There doesn't seem to be an installer prog for any of these apps. Do I just manually delete the files & directories? Any help would be appreciated.

    Regards,
    Dennis
     
  2. zakee00 macrumors regular

    zakee00

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    #2
    yes, just drag the app folders to the trash...simple eh? and with macs, there usually isnt files laying around everywhere like windows. there might be some stuff in the pref. folder that you can delete, just search for "tony hawk" and you should find it.
    good luck,
    Nick
     
  3. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #3
    it depends. USUALLY and MOST OF THE TIME you can just drop the app bundle to thrash and be done with it, but some specialized apps (such that need low-level hardware access, for example protools and final cut pro) in fact install files to /System and /Library directories, too. and most apps also write user preferences to each user's own library folder.

    now if you just drop these specialized apps to trash, leaving those few files behind, usually you only lose some disk space. that's not so important to find all these files and delete them, UNLESS those apps have decided to run some background processes which keep consuming resources even after the app itself has been trashed. you can find those processes with activity monitor, should there be one. usually there isn't but sometimes there is. such a background process will have to be killed manually and the file has to be located and deleted to prevent launching of such background process in the future. also, the launch command of such process has to be written to some other preference file but finding that can be tricky.

    don't be afraid, it is very rare to find such an app that leaves background processes behind, but just in case you find one, that needs special attention.

    as far as the user preferences that the deleted app has written, well, you can just forget those. user preference file is a text file of a very small size, and deleting that can actually be more harmful than helpful - i mean, that kind of deleting will fragment your hard drive eventually. it is just better to leave it there. if you think that your user library has become too bloated, it is better to make a new user and delete the old one altogether (or, to have a special "shareware user" account in the system just for testing new apps and let it bloat instead of your actual user.

    but as a rule of thumb, you can just trash the app bundle.
     
  4. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Location:
    Dress Rosa
    #4
    yeah, but apps pre-installed that haven't been run yet don't have prefs laying around.

    BTW, the only apps that I've run across that have background processes is my Palm software and my HP drivers (which I got rid of).
     
  5. m.r.m. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #5
    does virtual pc (once junked) leave any files behind? after all it does start background processes, right?

    how does one change the name of the logged on user? my home folder is in my name and i'd like to rename it. i'm the only user of this computer and i have all privileges. :D
     
  6. Abulia macrumors 68000

    Abulia

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Kushiel's Scion
    #6
    I've noticed that apps that run background processes typically come with uninstallers. Say, MS Intellimouse software as an example. You run the uninstaller that kills the process and removes the files, then you drag whatever is left to the Trash.

    For the most part though, yea, you just drag the folder to the trash. It's pretty darn cool. :)
     
  7. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #7
    Guess what? You can't. Mac OS X won't let you change the short user name of any account that's currently logged in or the first account you set up, which is the default administrative account.
     
  8. FredAkbar macrumors 6502a

    FredAkbar

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    #8
    Well, you probably could if you knew how. I would guess that in addition to changing your home folder's name (using root priveledges in Terminal), there's some file in the System folder that keeps track of user names and such. I wouldn't risk messing up your whole OS X installation unless you really know what you're doing, which you don't (I'm addressing m.r.m., not wrldwzrd89).
     
  9. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #9
    You would need to use NetInfo to do it, and changing the default admin short user name is ill-advised anyway because the change will break a whole bunch of system and application links that depend on it, which will make Mac OS X nigh-unusable.
     
  10. FredAkbar macrumors 6502a

    FredAkbar

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    #10
    Yeah that's true, there'd be a lot more to it than just changing a plist file or two, I wasn't thinking through it fully.
     
  11. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #11
    you sure can change the short user name. i've done it sucessfully, only problem i've had is some permissions on my other permissions got a bit funny on me, but i fixed that.

    if you follow the guide to changing the short user name on Apple's KnowlegeBase you shouldn't have any problems. they've got a document that covers each step of the process very clearly, easy to follow as well.
     
  12. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
  13. DStaal macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    #13
    Getting back to the main topic...

    If the program was installed using the standard installer, DesInstaller will completely remove an app using the installer receipt.

    This helps in that I generally find apps either don't use an installer at all (in which case just trash), or DesInstaller gets them all. It can even list all the apps it can remove. (And system components, which I wouldn't recommend removing...)
     
  14. m.r.m. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #14
    thanks a lot for the effort! i´ll check it out. :)
     

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