Discussion in 'macOS' started by RobHague, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. RobHague macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2005
    When you install an application under OSX... if you actually install it that is... you drag and drop the file to the HDD and it just runs (so it seems). Do the programs keep within there own folders or do they spread out like under Windows?

    Im just wondering about possible slow-down and errors caused by third-party apps and general use. After a while under Windows things start to degrade if you install/remove software on a regular basis.

  2. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    some programs create files in ~/library/ and other places. other software actually has an installer program similar to what you are familiar with in windows. however, some programs don't spread any files. generally though the files are usually just xml files which are plain text and don't cause much problems.
  3. yenko macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2005
    Some do...install that is....others run from the app you drag to your HD.
    Some applications really srew up permissions on your machine. Run Disk Utility and repair permissions to see if the problem goes away. Don't forget to restsrt. :cool:

    General use will also slow your machine down, especially if it's not on when the maintainance scripts built in to OS X should run....Midnight or later (I think) :rolleyes:
  4. RobHague thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2005
    So what is the equiv of 'Add/Remove Programs' ?

    I just installed some software for my webcam, Logitech QuickCam 4000 and the thing isnt working so well in OSX. I can only seem to get anything to happen in Yahoo! Messenger and even then it crashs the program when i goto webcam properties.

    How do i make sure i get rid of it, and any drivers it might have installed?
  5. ham_man macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2005
    There is no equivalent, though Drivers should have an uninstall option in the package that they came in. I think... :confused:
  6. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    also some application come with an uninstaller.
  7. RobHague thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2005
    Uninstallers in windows tend to leave system files still hanging around. OSX suffer from this? Or are they more or less always put in the same places (library and such)
  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    In very general terms, if the app doesn't have an installer--just drag-and-drop--then it almost certainly doesn't need an uninstaller; it'll probably drop a few preferences into your personal Library folder, but they're just text files and can be safely ignored if you delete the app.

    A handful of apps do install system extensions when you run them, but if it's anything even resembling a mainstream program it should warn you first and will probably need to ask for an administrator password to do it, so you'll probably know if you're running one of these. They should also include an uninstall option somewhere, or you can manually remove whatever component they installed.

    Finally, there are the programs with an installer. Even most of these don't need an uninstaller--the installer just puts the app in the Applications folder--but if they do they should come with an "uninstall" option or instructions.

    19 times out of 20 you can just drag the app to the trash and forget about it; there may be a couple little preference files or application support things in your Library folder (rather obviously in Preferences or Application Support), but they're harmless and don't take up more than a few K of disk space. For the most part, just don't worry about it--I've downloaded dozens of pieces of shareware for years straight without causing any issues.
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    The big difference is that in Windows, apps leave files floating around and keys in the registry, and this tends to cause the computer to behave erratically in some cases. Almost all apps for OS X are very segregated in putting their files in their own library folders, etc, and don't really impact the core OS. So it's true in a file space sense that the programs leave remnants behind, but it does not usually contribute to system instability.

    If it's a concern from a space standpoint, I believe there are apps that will hunt for unused content in the library folders and get rid of it.

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