How to assure that every trace of a program is deleted after uninstalilng?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Suno, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Suno macrumors 6502

    Suno

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    #1
    I hate programs that litter my computer with their crap even after I uninstall it. Turns out that the program Parallels, which I installed and used maybe 3 times many many months ago and proceeded uninstall, is now proving to be a pain in my ass with a constant shower of error messages. I googled for solution, but the only option available was through Terminal, and evidently whatever commands I typed proved futile because the error message is still popping up.

    So now I'm installing Parallels *again*, but only so I can make sure that there isn't even a trace of it left after this time. Honestly, I thought I was freed from this problem when I moved over to Macs from Windows...
     
  2. iPhonesandMacs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    #2
    App Zapper
     
  3. anarti macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Location:
    Scotland
    #3
    AppCleaner - free and does the job.

    At least OSX does not leave "a lot" rubbish after removeing the program. Look at linux for instance, files/leftovers are all over the place.
     
  4. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Southern Cal
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    In most cases, app removal software doesn't do a thorough job of finding and removing files/folders related to deleted apps. For more information, read this and this. If you just want to delete the app, drag the .app file to the trash. No other software needed. If you want to completely remove all associated files/folders, no removal apps will do the job.

    The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
     
  6. derbothaus, Feb 23, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013

    derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #6
    No.
    Even GGJ's tutorial may not get everything like launch daemons, receipts, and apps that shorten and change the names of supporting files. If it is Cocoa it is usually straightforward with App Support and .plist files to delete. In this case AppZapper and the like will find the files for you. Parallels as mentioned above has tons of .kext and other pieces to deal with. Best to google search and hope the dev lists how to uninstall or better yet includes the uninstaller. (Like Parallels does) Not much you can do if they write a crap uninstaller.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    This isn't true. First, in the vast majority of cases the app name does appear in associated file names. In the more rare cases where it doesn't, such files are usually found because the app name usually appears within the contents of the file, even if not in the file name. Also other files installed at the same time can usually be found with step 8, by searching/sorting by date.

    There may be some cases where the Finder method may not find everything. In those cases, apps like AppZapper will not find the files, either. I have never seen any case where such an app found elements that the Finder method did not find.
     
  8. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #8
    What's not true? That Finder.app can miss things you search for? Relying on Finder and it's heavily subsidized spotlight index can net you wrong results and omitted content. Sometimes. There is that possibility. Not sure what you are nitpicking here?
     
  9. Ploki macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #9
    technically you *could* make an automator script that is exactly what AppZapper does. (or just make GGJs tutorial into an AppleScript)
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    It's not true that AppZapper or similar apps will find components that the Finder method will not. It's not "nitpicking". It's fact.
     
  11. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #11
    You're not getting my point. I never said that AppZapper finds things the Finder does not. Please re-read. I even told the user who was suggesting AppZapper "no".
    You are nitpicking my post because I mentioned AppZapper as half usable in a certain context. And it is. But if you want to shed context and say things like "That's not true" to the context you invent to prove a point that does not need proving, knock yourself out. I am not a professional forum poster so please be nice.
     

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