How to Properly Delete Programs on OS X Mavericks

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by SenileTomato, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. SenileTomato macrumors member

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    #1
    I currently own a MBP Retina with OSX Mavericks, and I am having trouble finding out how to properly and completely delete and/or uninstall programs from my Mac. I have searched the net and found various tutorials, all of which only seem to do a partial job. I assume and truly hope there is a full proof plan for taking useless programs off your Mac, but I have not found one. Advice anyone?
     
  2. Yakibomb macrumors 6502

    Yakibomb

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    #2
    I use a little app called 'AppZapper'. You just drag the app you want to delete onto it and it deletes all the preference and other files that go along with it. Not sure if that's the "best" way to do it, but it works good enough for me :)
     
  3. simsaladimbamba

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    #3
  4. SenileTomato thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Unfortunately this guy wasn't very clear in his tutorial, as he kept switching between older and newer OSX. I get the jist, but I am still a little confused. Thanks for the advice though.
     
  5. simsaladimbamba

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    #5
    Then ask me, what exactly was not clear. Since I created that video upon the steps outlined in the text guide I linked to, I should be able to help.

    And just to be clear, I made that tutorial with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and inserted the differing parts from OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion where appropriate. OS X 10.9 Mavericks might differ again though.
     
  6. SenileTomato thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    That's exactly my point....as in my OP, I mentioned I am operating under Mavericks, and therefore specifically needed a tutorial on how to properly remove programs from MAVERICKS...not any other sort of OSX. I do appreciate the video although it became confusing. Fortunately, I have found an alternate way to delete all files including the program. You can do this by using AppCleaner, which has just proved to work greatly for me.

    http://appcleaner.en.softonic.com/mac
     
  7. simsaladimbamba

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    #7
    But then again, AppCleaner is not thorough like Finder is.

    Anyway, I opened OS X 10.9 Mavericks as VM to see, what was different, and hell yeah, it is still the same procedure. But just get used to Mac OS X first and then try it again later, once you are comfortable using Mac OS X.

    To learn more about Mac OS X: Helpful Information for Any Mac User by GGJstudios
     
  8. SenileTomato thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    And how do you figure?
     
  9. simsaladimbamba

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    #9
    How do I figure what?

    AppCleaner not being thorough? I tested it and compared the results with AppZapper and Finder, and guess what, Finder was the most thorough.
     
  10. SenileTomato thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    Nevermind, thank you for the help!
     
  11. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    #11
    Something like AppZapper has a pretty simple process underlying it: it gets the application, the prefs, the cache, the widget and the whole ~/Library/Application Support folder for Skype. Frankly, I would think dragging the Skype app, continuing the example, would get that. Or you could do it manually.

    The problem with searching as detailed in the video is if for some reason Skype has been used much. I got about two pages of hits: images, email messages, etc. With some boolean work I could trim that down further and further...but why? In the end I still had to decide what was necessary to dump. Some other applications, for example, had components that interfaced with Skype. I might not accidentally wanna delete those.

    And try it with something that uses plugins; the application may have installed them, but you'd never find say the framework with tracing down the symlink in the application package itself. Or BOM files. Or prefs under other names. Fonts? Man files? You could go on forever.

    But why? I actually think the safer route is to do as Apple suggests and drag to trash. Or use the application's uninstaller; the fact they might provide one is a hint that you need to use it. Otherwise, if what's left doesn't cause problems, ignore. Or erase your hard drive and start over if need be. A bad application (Colormunki once in my case) can be a nightmare to get rid of if it installs non-standard stuff that does cause problems; but there is no one way out of that; even searches won't help.

    I have junk going back a decade on my mac that takes up a minute amount of disk space and isn't worth the time to track it down and do something with it. Maybe you have tons of free time, but if not, just throw it in the trash and see if that works.
     
  12. Pharmscott macrumors 6502a

    Pharmscott

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    #12
    Your video is great despite OP's comments. Thanks for supporting and giving back!
     
  13. plasticphyte macrumors 6502

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    #13
    If an application has its own uninstaller, then it is best to use that.

    A classic example is Adobe CS products; as Adobe uses a custom installer process, they include an uninstaller that removes all relevant installed files.

    If it's a simple application, say Google Chrome, then deleting the app from the Applications folder, then removing any preferences from:
    ~/Library/Preferences/<appname>
    /Library/Preferences/<appname>
    ~/Library/Containers/<appBundleID>

    In some cases, items may also need to be removed from:
    ~/Library/LaunchAgents/
    /Library/LaunchAgents/
    /Library/LaunchDaemons/
     
  14. SenileTomato thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    I definitely agree but unfortunately many applications do not have this option. :( Hence why I have now bootcamped my Mac.

    ----------

    If only your video was thorough.
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #15
    In a pinch AppZapper and Appcleaner can do what you're asking and do it easier then using Finder if you're not comfortable with it.

    As for bootcamp, windows is fine, though even its uninstall leaves a bit of cruft, especially in the registry - just saying, that nothing is perfect :)
     
  16. simsaladimbamba

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    #16
    What is missing?
     
  17. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #17
    The method in the video does not work properly in Mavericks. This is touched on a bit at the top of the page linked earlier. If part of the application is in the main /Library folder or folders under there in Mavericks that Finder search in the video will not show it, even with it set to show system files. See my post #9 in this thread for examples.

    I have just been using the free app iFileX for these types of searches. It finds everything by default and you don't have to mess with that show system files business.
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #18
    If you elect to use such apps, be aware that 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:
     

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