uninstalling programs (is it realy that easy)?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ethan101, Dec 13, 2006.

  1. ethan101 macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2006
    is it really just as easy as sending the icon to the trash. i dont have to go in to some uninstaller and take off the program but still be left with random folders floating around my hard drive?
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Yep. Drag that icon to the Trash and empty, unless it came with an uninstaller. :)
  3. ethan101 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2006

    thats great i am loving this mac os x more and more every day ..... it seems soo much better than windows.
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
  5. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    Some of the programs come with un-installer. Is it still recommended to move the folder for the app you are trying to delete to the trash instead of using the un-intaller?
  6. mac-convert macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2006
    Are we there yet?
    See MJ's post above again - if it comes with an un-installer, use that.

    If there are any residuals left over, then you can safely drag that to the trash.
  7. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    No, if an app comes with an uninstaller then you should use that. Basically the rule is you uninstall the way you install, if you did a drag and drop install then you do a drag and drop uninstall, installer = use the uninstaller.
  8. Chone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2006
    Quoted for truth.
  9. Stinkythe1 macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2005
    Well, for those OCD people, I may recommend AppZapper, because there may still be some files that can be in the library folder and whatever, but AppZapper finds those files and deletes them too.

    It's the Uninstaller that Apple left out.

  10. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Not quite that easy.
    Depending on the application, there may also be files in the Library or in the ~user/Library

    Cache files, plug ins, preference filesm Application Support files, fonts, etc.

    Almost all programs will have one or more preference files, usually in the ~user/Library/Preferences

    If you are uninstalling with a mind to reinstalling (such as, the program is not working) then you probably have to seek out and delete these preference and support files too. Otherwise, if they are messed up, they will mess up the new installation in turn.
  11. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    Spotlight will find all those app support files.
  12. xPismo macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    Oh neat, I'll check that out... $13!! :eek: For something I already do with spotlight? I'll pass.
  13. physicsdude1 macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2006
    I might be dredging up a settled issue here, but I'm still a bit frustrated with the uninstallation of a program.

    I tried out this program that installed a preference pane in my system preferences. (By the way, this program doesn't have an .app that I can find.)
    I didn't really like the program, so when the trial period ran out I uninstalled the program as best I could. I searched with spotlight for any associated files and got rid of them. This is before I found out about AppZapper.

    All seemed well and good, and I was satisfied. I have since discovered AppZapper and have been using it contentedly. But, recently I have started running out of disk space. So I've started searching for things that might be living on my computer that I never use anymore.

    I got the idea that I could re-install programs that I had uninstalled before and then AppZap them to make sure I get rid of everything.

    ...Then I noticed a strange thing. I installed that program I mentioned above and when it opens I get this message that says that my trial has EXPIRED!

    What the heck?!?! How does it know that it expired, I deleted that program a long time ago. So ok, there must have been a file I missed deleting way back then and this app is seeing it now and saying I'm expired. So this time I AppZap it.

    Not really trusting that it totally worked, and playing devil's advocate, I reinstalled the program after AppZapping it, and guess what?!? It says the trial has expired, still! So what the heck is going on?

    Is this program registering my MAC Address or something? Or is it writing variables to some system file that I don't know about and that AppZapper is missing?

    I'm kind of a neat freak when it comes to my computer (I'm a cookie Nazi -- I don't even like letting websites set cookies even if it's only for the session) and programs that leave info or keep files on my computer without me knowing just irritate me.

    Does any one know if there is a way for me to figure out what this program changed... I just want a nice clean computer. :-/

    Thanks in advance for the advice.
  14. Jorlwind macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2007
    Hmm... AppDelete anyone? I don't know what this forum's opinion is on it. But i've used it and it seems just fine. Still fairly new.

    Just have to watch what it deletes exactly. And it's free. I've never used appZapper before so I don't know how it stacks up against it.

  15. mischief macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2001
    Santa Cruz Ca
    Okay, a comprehensive answer:

    1: In better than 99% of cases the essential files can be found and killed by searching and trashing.

    2: In the remaining 1% of cases (or if you prefer to do things manually) the files you need to think about that lurk and bollocks up your future installs are in the following places:

    ./users/username/library/application support/
    ./users/username/library/name of app/
    ./users/documents/related folder
    ./users/pictures/related folder
    ./users/movies/related folder

    and for more obnoxious programs:

    ./system/library/application support/
    ./library/application support/
    ./system/library/private frameworks/sym* (Norton files live here. Their uninstaller SUX and Norton Utilities is Ebola for OS X.3 and above. 10.4 will search successfully under the following strings for ripping it out: symantec sym norton )

    Note: messing around in your root library (./library/) and your system library (./system/library) is serious business and should be attempted ONLY if you want to know what you're fishing for. I'm listing all of this to illustrate that just killing the App works in the vast majority of cases but for those who want all traces of an obnoxious app gone there are some tricks.;)

    Use this info with great care. Several items installed in the system and root libraries will require authentication and force-emptying the trash to kill so don't be surprised if they don't die quietly.
  16. TheSpaz macrumors 604


    Jun 20, 2005
    Also, I noticed that you can still have your App preferences files in your Home Library folder. Another thing is, will App killer find everything that was actually installed at the same time as the App or does it just go by file association... because a data file that stored like a text document might not get deleted and that text document could be telling the App that it ran out of trial time. Maybe that's something to think about as well.
  17. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    If you want to be sure, use AppZapper. Otherwise, you're probably fine just dragging it to the trash. And yes, if there is an uninstaller program, use that.

    Edit: I see someone else mentioned AppZapper already. I need to learn to read better... :eek:
  18. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Or slow down a bit! :eek: :eek: :eek: ;) :p :D
  19. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    No no, we won't be doing something silly like that... :D :cool:
  20. wizwaz3 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 4, 2006
    Northern Arizona
    Does Mad Jews method work for the programs I don't use that came preinstalled? I downloaded all my files from my PC before reading that you should do a clean install when you get it... :eek:
  21. Cult Follower macrumors 6502a

    Cult Follower

    Feb 20, 2007
    North Dakota
    I couldn't believe it either in the begining but it is. Just drag it to the trash and your done. But for the programs that come with uninstallers (very few) it's best to use it.
  22. wizwaz3 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 4, 2006
    Northern Arizona
    Yess! *thrashes through applications folder* :p
  23. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006

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