Finding and removing unused applications?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by valereee, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. valereee macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    #1
    I've just used my time machine to migrate my old macbook's contents to my brand new macbook air. While I was watching it restore 803,678 files to the new machine, I was wondering how many of them are unused applications. I've stupidly never set up separate user accounts before this, and I'm sure there are any number of applications that were placed on my old machine by my kids, my husband, and various visitors to our house. Since I'm using time machine instead of starting fresh, I know those have been transferred to the new machine. I've never worried too much about this situation before now, as about every three years I've bought a new machine, migrated the files I need to the new machine, wiped the old one clean, and handed it down to one or the other of my kids. But now I'm realizing that with time machine, everything on my computer is now forever...everything anyone has ever put on it has been transferred to time machine and now to my new machine. I don't want to be operating with years-old versions of kid's games and apps on every machine I set up from now on for the rest of my life.

    Is there anything out there that specifically looks for stuff that hasn't been used for a specified number of years and asks something like, "Barney & Friends was installed 1/16/2003 and was last used 10/18/2005. Delete Barney & Friends and all associated files, yes or no?"

    Thanks for any help! I tried searching mroogle and didn't come up with anything that seemed to address this.

    Val
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #3
    You could do a search of your Applications folder and use "Date Last Opened" as a criterion.
     
  3. valereee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    #4
    Hm...in view options, my "date last opened" is greyed out...

     
  4. valereee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    #5
    Unless I'm not reading it right, that's one of the threads that tells how to delete? I'm looking for something that will help me FIND what to delete.

     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    If, instead of guessing, you click the link, you'll see it directs you to a specific post in that thread that gives you removal instructions, including how to search for items to delete.
     
  6. valereee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    #7
    I can see that I must be appearing dense or intentionally obtuse, but I am not understanding the instructions. For instance, the red circled items aren't even showing up in my finder window, even though I've tried playing with the preferences to make those things show up.

    What I was asking for was whether anyone knows of an application that is intended to solve this particular problem -- that is, the problem of time machine pulling along years of outdated applications and leftover unused files from machine to machine to machine over the next twenty years of use.

    I'm sure it's apparent that I'm no expert user, and I'd be very nervous trying to pick through lists of application files looking for some that seemed to be named something that indicated they were originally attached to a no longer used app.

     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    You don't need to change anything in preferences. If you simply follow each step, in order, all the circled items will appear.
    There are no applications that can do what you want. All app-removal applications leave application elements behind. Also, they don't work if the application itself has been removed.

    If you have remnants of programs on earlier Time Machine backups, you would either need to delete those files or those backups, or only selectively restore files from Time Machine, instead of restoring everything.
    If you're unsure of deleting any particular file or folder, don't. If you don't feel comfortable following the removal instructions, you're better off just leaving things as they are.
     
  8. valereee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    #9
    Okay, thanks! Maybe someone will come up with something like that eventually. Maybe with so many using Time Machine, this will be something other people will be looking for too.

     

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