how to completely remove programs?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by kincept, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. kincept macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2008
    Its easy to delete an application, but allot of times there is a trail a mile long of html, pdfs, in twenty languages and when you choose to reinstall the program again it doubles everything.

    I am having trouble finding and removing programs in there entirety and everything connected to them?

    someone said there are programs that help?
    example, I have reason 3.0 and upgraded to 4.0 it had all the 3.0 stuff manuals installed everywhere even though I upgraded it, i had a problem with 4.0 installation and had to delete and start all over but all the extenstion files were all over the place and allmost impossible to delete.

    also some pdfs wont let me delete them or htmls even though i deleted the application which is very they are stuck or something.
  2. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008

    this questions have been posted here before. Please use the search feature next time.
    On my site I wrote a tutorial on uninstalling apps in Mac OS X (including removal apps).

  3. Montie Da Champ macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2008
    what I do is right click the app in the app's folder. hit show content files, erase those, erase the .app file, and then do a spotlight search for the app and delete whatever is relevant in there.
  4. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    99% of the time, doing any "cleaning" is completely unnecessary. If an application shipped with an Installer package, that package can usually be run again to uninstall. If it was just an app bundle, you can delete the app bundle and not worry about anything else—almost all the time, all it'll leave behind is some preference files which are tiny and harmless.
  5. chscag macrumors 68030


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Great website! I've got it bookmarked for future reference.

  6. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
    Thanks! Be sure to come back, there is something new every day.
  7. Poseidon macrumors regular


    Feb 14, 2007
    Coralville, IA
    Excellent little guide for us newbies types.

    One final question: Having used PCs for so long, I'm used to the easy "add/remove programs" part of the control panel, and couldn't find anything like that. If I'm understanding the newbie guide, that's on purpose.

    Is there anything out there that will duplicate that particular feature? One advantage is that it allowed me to see various individual items, including add-ons, expansions and the like; so far I can't figure out how to do that on a Mac.

    (Basically I've just installed Office Mac 2004; apparently there is a Test-drive program of the same type out there and I'd like to find/uninstall it but not the regular, full program.)

  8. spooky mulder macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2008
    i use.....

    works well
  9. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008

    as far as I know there is no application that would list all applications allowing you to uninstall right from there.

    Here's an overview of where stuff is on your Mac:

    • Applications are in the Applications directory in Macintosh HD/Applications
    • Add-ons and plugins are typically in /Library/Application Support/<application name> or directly in /Application Support
    • Finder contextual menu items are in /Library/Contextual Menu Items
    • Additional System Preferences panes are in /Library/PreferencePanes
    • Dashboard Widgets are in /Library/Widgets

    If an item is in Macintosh HD/Library it's available for every user, if it's in <your home directory>/Library it's only available for the respective user.

    There is a third Library folder in Macintosh HD/System/Library. It's used by Mac OS X. Don't mess around in there unless you know what you're doing.

    I hope this overview will help you to get used to the way applications are handled in Mac OS X. Most applications behave correctly and use these directory structures (especially the Application Support folder).

    Just come back to me if you need more information.
  10. asmallchild macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2007
  11. ADKIc3mAnX macrumors newbie


    Mar 21, 2011
    NY USA
    So pretty much any left over files don't have to be removed they can just stay where they are to avoid deleting something important right?
    Thanks For You Help In Advanced
  12. SHADO macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2008
    Not necessarily. When upgrading any program, you need to delete all of the data left by the previous version to ensure maximum compatibility of the newer version (or when reinstalling the same version of the same program).

    If you use a program such as EasyFind to search for the application name, it will show you all files associated with the app. You can delete those without worry and to avoid deleting something important.
  13. grantwolsey macrumors member


    Sep 14, 2010
    I too just did a clean install back to Snow Leopard so I could do a once and for all clean upgrade up to Lion and found myself with needing to completely delete a program to cut down on the clutter that accumulates on my "new" mac.

    In my case the program is Google's "Chrome" web browser, which I only installed for two extensions it has for Facebook, but since have found out that Safari has these extensions now (!) So the good news is I can just use Safari but the bad news is I already downloaded and installed Chrome...eff.

    Everyone on this thread gives some uninstaller program as the solution but then this mackindergarten guy came the closest to what I actually wanted: a way to scour your computer and get rid of any files that have to DO with an unwanted program, without installing ANOTHER program to get rid of it (kind of goes against the whole idea)

    I did all this and looked in the aforementioned places, but does anyone else have an idea of what I may have missed?


  14. umbilical macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2008
    FL, USA

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