how does AppZapper/AppCleaner know where extra files are?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by btownguy, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. btownguy macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2009
    Considering picking up either AppCleaner or AppZapper for uninstalling applications from OS X. Question is, how do these products know where all the little extra files are? Are there ever instances where they accidentally delete files from other apps (because they match some string similar to the original app)?
  2. Achiever macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2008
    I don't know the specifics of how they work, but they both do work and work well. Between these two, I would recommend Appcleaner because of price and because the developer of AppZapper has not updated the app in some time (possibly abandoned the app).

    Other apps that have good app delete features include Hazel & Forklift. Both are primarily apps that do other things, but have the functionality to delete applications and all of the attendant files. I am not aware of an instance where files have been accidentally deleted using any of these apps.
  3. 1ne macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2009
    Canada Oil Country
    +1 AGREED!:D
  4. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    There's a terminal command that shows all the files related to a particular application. Problem is I have completely forgotten what it is (I never use it).
  5. -tWv- macrumors 68000


    May 11, 2009
    I also recommend appcleaner because it does exactly what appzapper does if you turn on smart delete in the preferences. This detects extra files when you simply drag apps to the trash. So you don't have to open the app to delete after that. Appcleaner also makes it extremely easy to delete preference panes, plugins, and widgets. I use this in conjunction with Hazel which also detects for related files (sometimes one misses something and the other one catches it) and also lets you create rules to organize your folders automatically. I would recommend both, quality apps.

    These apps have never deleted anything that belongs to another app but they ask you if you want to delete them before you do. So just look over them really quick when it asks and make sure they are files that are from the app you are deleting.
  6. Dedonut macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2007
    No. CA

    I posted this in another discussion area but it was old, so I apologize if I'm posting the same question again inappropriately. This site is far more recent than the 2007 site I went to earlier.

    Re: AppCleaner: I know how it removes unwanted apps and related files, but I can't find an explanation (perhaps no one else needs one) of what the other features of AppCleaner do. Even the download site isn't clear.

    The Widgets Tab: I assume it lets you review, select, and delete them individually. However, under the Others Tab, I have 14 files displayed, (e.g., AdobePDFViewer.plugin, Flash Player.plugin, iPhotoPhotocast.plugin, BOINCSaver.saver, AppleIntermediateCodec.component) and others. I don't know if Others is showing me unnecessary files from previous versions of these apps, or if these are files currently being used by current versions of the same but updated apps and I shouldn't delete them. I use Adobe, and iPhoto, BOINC (a SETI manager) and Flash Player (if it's necessary for some websites). I just don't know, and can't find and explanation for, what the Others Tab is showing me. Is it safe to delete any files listed in the Others Tab when they appear? Can someone tell me? Thanks.

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