Hard to UNinstall Applications on Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by lugesm, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. lugesm macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2007
    Have owned a Mac for only 17 intense days, but I have learned a lot . . . . thanks in large measure to the help I have received on this Forum. Thank you.

    One frustrating item is the removal of applications. Being new to this machine I have searched for several applications that were useful on the PC. I have downloaded several similar Mac programs but kept only a couple of them.

    I thought that UNinstall was just a matter of dragging the application icon to the trash. Not so.

    I downloaded "Journler," a personal journal program, but decided not to keep it. Dragged the application icon to the trash; thought I was done. Since then I continue to find remnants of that program all over my computer. Just found another two this afternoon.

    As most of you know, Windows has an UNinstaller built into the operating system. Granted, it does not always work, but it is pretty good in the current version of XP. It seems to me that such a function is needed in OSX.

    I wonder if Leopard will include this helpful feature ? ? ?

    I would think that there are only so many places for an application to hide its component parts. Does anyone know if there is a written process for removing all parts of a given program?
  2. Iamtherealwoody macrumors 6502


    May 28, 2007
    Gainesville, Florida
    I use AppDelete as well and sometimes Ill use spotlight to search for any remnants. AppDelete doesnt always get rid of everything, im pretty sure it doesnt alway remove other folders that the program created.
  3. lugesm thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2007
    I took a look at AppZapper, and it looks pretty good. The price is only $12.95, so it is not much of a risk.

    Would love to hear opinions, please:
    Is AppZapper better than AppDelete? Or the other way around?

  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Some applications are just horrible and messy the way they do this. The biggest culprit in my eyes is Adobe Creative Suite 3. Using the Uninstaller is mandatory, otherwise it'll stop you installing again.

    I hate what Adobe are doing with their apps in that respect; it all started with the ridiculous Acrobat Reader Downloader or whatever it's called.
  5. lugesm thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2007
    WOW ! ! ! ! !

    I started searching the Internet for Mac UNinstallers and found a TON of information, most of it conflicting.

    Some users of AppZapper swear by it; others claim it is junk . . . . and so it goes for other such programs. No wonder Apple has not ventured into this dark water.

    Confused. :confused: :mad:

    Time to go back to Windows?
  6. Diaresi macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2007
    I just use spotlight - easy enough :)

    Windows obviously does uninstalling better (Mac OS X does "installing" better :p) but I see both as pretty equal since most of the time you need to go into Program Files and Application Data in Windows to get rid of the things left behind.
  7. Cameront9 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 6, 2006
    I'm not sure about the Journaler app, but for most Apps, The little files that they leave behind on your system will do no harm whatsoever. Just forget about them. There's no registry to get corrupted like in Windows. Also, if you leave the preference files, if you ever decide to install the app again, your preferences will still be there...
  8. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
  9. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    The drag-to-trash method is great most of the time...it means that all my preferences are kept if I ever reinstall, and barely takes any space. For bigger apps, I always have AppZapper...
  10. goodtimes5 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
    The spotlight method works best for me. Usually I just drag the application to the trash though and don't bother with the preferences files. They're only a few kb anyways.
  11. prostuff1 macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2005
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    Same here! I find the way AppTrap works to be the best solution. No messing with other programs right away.
  12. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Re: Journal or whatever it's called.. Everyone says how great it is, I gave it a shot, hated it, and couldn't friggin figure out how to install it! I now HATE the program. Don't judge OS X uninstallation because of that PoC
  13. lugesm thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2007
    thejadedmonkey -

    Not to get off the subject at hand, but I had the same problem with Journler. I could not get it to work; that's why I deleted the program . . . . or at least parts of it.

    On a brighter note, I found MacJournal to be a superb application for keeping a journal. Not free, but well worth the cost.

  14. Brendon Bauer macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2007
    Good 'ol USofA
    I personally use CleanApp. I find that it finds every file associated with the program quite well. It runs a small process in the background that tracks every file ever created by applications. When you want to delete an application, it lists all the files associated with that application and you can choose to trash whichever you like. Or if you want to save it for later (in case it will cause problems to delete) you can archive it and make sure everything still works. If not, just unarchive it and the files goes back to exactly where they came from.
  15. Blubbert macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2006
    i find the drag to trash method a fine way of uninstalling all software that didnt come with an uninstaller. Once you drag an app to trash, all you are left with are some preference files, which in their own right are as inert as a noble gas and take a tiny amount of space. My Applicaton Support folder in my user library takes up only 191 Mb of space, 150 Mb are mail messages in Opera and my hash file for shakespeer. I have 110 Gb of space, so that small amount of used space doesnt bother me.
  16. FredAkbar macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2003
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Nice simile :D.
  17. lugesm thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2007
    Another disappointment:

    After reading good things about "AppTrap" version 1.0.3, I downloaded the program and installed it. Activated the program and clicked to select "activate on startup."

    Then, I downloaded the troublesome application "Journler" and installed it. I knew this one spewed files all over the computer, so it would be a good test of AppTrap.

    After installing Journler I dragged its icon from the applications folder to the trash. Sure enough, I got an AppTrap window advising that there were other files. I clicked the small arrow on the left side of the window to display the additional files. There were two (2) other files listed. I elected to remove everything.

    Then, I opened Spotlight and typed in "Journler." To my surprise another 9 (nine ! ! ! ) items came up. I tracked all of them down and deleted them one-at-a-time. All of these files contained the name "Journler" in some part of the file name.

    Very disappointing performance by AppTrap !
  18. elcid macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2007
    Again, as many others have said, you cannot base OSX off of a fourth-party (doesnt seem to deserve being with third party :) ) program. Programs where the people creating it dont care about anything other than making it work will spew crap all over your system. Its the same as with Windows I find.

    This is the reason why I will still reformat my system once a year. I just love that new computer smell I get after a reformat!
  19. rob5 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2003
    AppZapper is awesome. Sometimes I delete apps for the hell of it just to see my screen zap when I click the button.
  20. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    For most applications you just drag them to the trash.
  21. Carrot007 macrumors regular


    Sep 18, 2006
    Uninstalling programs can just be as much of a problem on windows as on mac.

    Some people, the kind who often make badly written programs want you to use their program so much they pay little attention to it's removal as from their point of view why would you remove it.

    99% of windows programs leave things behind and nice mac programs should keep eveything that shoudl be uninstalled in the .app so just trashing it is pretty much the same as most windows unistallers.

    However as I mentioned some program as so badly written that unless you had something spy on them during install then you will never get rid of every part of it, and this is just as true on windows as on the mac.

    So to put it bluntly, install poor software at your own peril no matter what your platform.
  22. monstergirly macrumors newbie


    Mar 12, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    Here is the MacRumors guide:

    AppZapper is pretty neat-o and does the job for me!

    I’ve had a Mac now for about 8 years and I have NEVER had the problems uninstalling stuff like I did on a PC w/Windows. Although I do have to give M$ credit for adding that “Add or Remove Program” feature to the Control Panel in Windows. I think it has been improved over the years and seems to works better now, at least on the PC I have to use at work!

    Switchers from PC to Mac look for this same functionality and we’re quick just to tell people that they can just “drag it to the trash” and it’s gone. This may be true on a certain level, but as illustrated by lugesm and other new users, some apps still leave junk behind. But at least the junk doesn’t get logged in registry files or system files where you can’t find it in order to delete it!

  23. Osarkon macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    I've had no problems whatsoever with it, I've been using it to take notes all Semester so far.

    I find it quite nice, although the formatting tools leave a lot to be desired. It's not that bad though. :)
  24. Eric Piercey macrumors 6502

    Eric Piercey

    Nov 29, 2006
    Perpetual Bondage
    Beat me to the punch. Exactly. To highlight: no registry makes uninstaller unnecessary. The few files left behind are harmless and actually useful later on should one choose to reinstall.

Share This Page