How to uninstall a program

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Mac-HD, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. Mac-HD macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2008
    After 20+ years of Windows, I finally got my 1st Mac Pro 2 days back. Everything went smoothly including installing 4x750 Samsung Spinpoint drives from newegg, 4 GB of extra memory from OWC, Raid set up, and so on.

    Operating the Mac is just so frustrating as I am not used to. Help menu seems useless.

    For instance, I want to uninstall a program that I installed as I want to reinstall it. In Windows, you've this wonderfull control panel that has everything. Mac's Utility folder has some stuff, but not what I am loking for. I love the right-click mouse feature in Windows; can't seem to have that work on my Mac. Anyway, to be honest, I am a bit frustrated.

    So, is there any kind of resource available which lists everything that the OS does without any pretty pictures or over-simlifications? The 81-page manual on Apple site didn't do much good to me.

    And, how do you uninstall a program? Throwing the .app file in the trash didn't help.
  2. OlBlueHair macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2008
    You can set up right click by going to the system preferences panel and clicking on mouse. If you have a one button mouse you can right click by pressing control on the keyboard as you click.

    To uninstall a program, go to the applications folder, or wherever you placed the program, and drag it to the trash. That's it.

    I don't know off hand of a place to look up answers, but if you ask, most mac people will be more than happy to help.

    With the mac OS, there are usually 2 or 3 different ways to do the same thing, so you get to choose which way works best for you...and usually, when you are stuck on how to do something, think of the easiest, most direct way to do it and that is what does it. Even now, after ten years of using Mac OS, when I get stuck, I often find myself trying to make the task harder than it is.

    Don't worry, your frustration will go away in about a week.

    Good luck, and welcome to the mac.
  3. riscy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2008
    Welcome to the Mac World (What a brave New World)

    Usually deleting an app is as simple as dragging it to the trash can, nothing else is needed. There are one or two apps that delete things automatically, but most people just seem to drag to the trash. (By the way, what app are you trying to delete??)

    One thing I would suggest is set up two fingered scrolling ASAP - as soon as I discovered that on my MacBook I was converted!!

    Go to System Preferences>KeyBoard and Mouse, and click on "Use two fingers to scroll" - when I go to a PC laptop, I get very frustrated when I cannot use this feature!

    Enjoy your MBP, you lucky person!!
  4. srl7741 macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2008
    In my world
  5. J@ffa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2002
    Behind you!
    It sounds like you're entirely new to Macs. In that case, I'd recommend David Pogue's Switching to the Mac book. It specifically addresses how to do things you did on Windows on the Mac, as well as the general way things are done (differently or not). There's also a more general book on Leopard itself, but this one sounds like just the thing for you.

    If, though, you prefer being taught directly then Apple's retail stores offer hands-on training and seminars for new Mac users, and presumably Windows switchers. Some people love these, others find them patronising: it depends a lot on how you much you know about technology. I'd also check out the Find out How section of Apple's website, and more specifically these videos. :)
  6. evilbert420 macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    It's not that simple

    For many applications just dragging it to the trash doesn't delete everything. There are still files in the various Library/Application Support and Library/Preferences directories, as well as potential startup items, fonts, and receipts. For example, if you want to delete Apple's own Logic Studio, just dragging the application files to the trash still leaves you with OVER 30 GIGABYTES of installation files that haven't been deleted.

    Uninstall is one of the biggest usability gaps with Mac. There really needs to be a unified installer/uninstaller to ensure that all the files get deleted. The original poster is correct; this is one area where Windows figured this out back in 1999 and built infrastructure into the OS to handle these common tasks.

    To answer the original poster: there really isn't any way unless the vendor was kind enough to include an installer/uninstaller program (most don't).
  7. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    If the application can't be uninstalled by dragging it into the bin, then there should be an uninstaller for it. (Do a cmd-q to make sure the said app is closed).

    Don't worry, in a month you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. Just give it a chance.

    I use AppZapper, it costs but its great. Removes everything.
  8. GoKyu macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2007
    New Orleans
    Riscy: The OP bought a Mac Pro (desktop), not a Macbook Pro :)

    Here are two good webpages to check out:

    Apple Switch 101 - Helps with all the Mac basics

    Also from the Apple website...

    On Windows, I used to... - Gives you a nice comparison chart showing what you did in windows, and how you do the same thing on a Mac.

    I know the frustration, I felt it for maybe a week when I got this computer back in January....but it really isn't bad, and now I'm hooked on OS X. I don't want to go back to windows :)

    One other thing, *most* of the time you'll drag an app to the trash, but that's not always true - really big programs like Photoshop (or any of the Creative Suite), do use installer programs and the uninstaller is hidden away under the Utilities folder inside of your Applications folder.

    Also, pick up AppZapper - It's $13, free updates for life, and not only does it delete the app, but it finds all the related support/settings files as well. Just drag an app to the appzapper window instead of to the trash. That's all I use anymore :)

    Hope this helps,

  9. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    He has a Mac Pro.
  10. Mac-HD thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2008
    Wow! At least you can count on the Mac users. Thanks so much.

    Here is the problem. I bought Sony EX1 camera last week. Am into making movies - getting ready for my 1st feature for distribution. That is why I switched to Mac (Final Cut Studio).

    I loaded Sony's ClipBrowswer for Mac. It refused to work (was installed properly). Worked so well on my PC. Then I pushed the app into trash, and removed it from the trash just to be sure. It didn't work as now, when I try to reinstall it from the disk, it says you already have it installed (but I don't see it).

    In the mean time, searching through the web, I found a program called AppTrap - an uninstaller. It says when you drop an app intio trash, it will ask if you want to remove the associate files. Wonderful.

    Except that I can't find the ClipBrowser app in the app area as I trashed it and removed it from the bin. Unless I see it, I can't put it back into trash.

    In Windows, you can always go to the program / systems files and find the .EXE file. That logic isn't working here for mac.
  11. riscy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2008
    Oops, sorry. Apple-ogies, I misread MBP.

  12. macffooky macrumors regular

    May 13, 2004
    The 51st State
    A couple of things that *might* help.

    From OS X 10.4 onwards, Apple crippled the Find function so that it couldn't find invisible files/folders. If you can't find the trashed/untrashed app with Spotlight/Find then try EasyFind. Make sure you check the Invisible Files & Folders option.

    If your application was installed with an installer, as opposed to telling you just to drag it into /Applications, then you'll probably be able to reinstall the whole shebang or just locate the application itself within the package with Pacifist.
  13. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    Let me add to that by saying, if it does use this kind of installer,
    the layout of the installed files is usually visible if you expand
    the installer package. Then you can see what went where, and
    you can find out what to delete.

    But knowing Sony, they'd do it some really awkward non-standard
    way, or use a VISE installer, etc etc.
  14. scottydawg macrumors 6502


    Jan 22, 2008
    Sacramento, CA
    I just purchased my first Mac and I found the book by David Pogue "Mac OS X Leopard Edition - The Missing Manual" invaluable. There are so many good tips, keyboard shortcuts, instructions on all the programs and quick reference areas I can't imagine not having this book now (even for experienced users).

    Here it is on Amazon:
  15. OlBlueHair macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2008
    Reading this, I have to ask if you are being confused by the mounting of the installer disc vs actually installing the app. Sometimes I have seen this confuse girlfriends, etc in the past. I'm not trying to be condescending, but I don't know anything about you so I will post step by step how you install on the mac...because what you wrote up there is very confusing.

    Step one - insert CD, and it mounts on the desktop, or when your app is downloaded from the net, click on it, it unstuffs, and then it mounts just like an inserted cd.

    Step two - either you find the app on the mounted disc and drag it to your applications folder (in effect, copying it over from the cd to your computer) or you click on the installer.

    Step three - eject the mounted image or cd by clicking on it once, then pressing command e, the eject button, or dragging the disc to the trash, where the trash will turn into an eject icon.

    Step four - find your app in your app folder (or wherever you installed it - you can install stuff to anywhere, to the desktop if you want, for example) then click on your app. It should start up and you are good to go.

    The reason I said all this, and sorry if you already know it, was because you said it never ran right to begin with, and you were saying you drug it to the trash, then out, and that it says it is installed, etc.

    That is how you install. What you need to do right now is search for any file with the name of your prgram and delete it. Try spotlight, little spyglass icon at the upper right of your desktop...or look yourself in the directory users/your name/library/ might find something there. Or try your app zapper program, then RESTART.

    Now, start over and install like I said before.

    I have never used any app zapper program...99 percent of the time you just drag the app to the trash, then empty the trash and you are good to go. Sometimes you have to check for other files, like in Final Cut Pro, if you are going to be using that as you state - you have to remember to empty your scratch disc files....or else everything you capture will stay on your drive taking up space long after you are done editing.

    Also, I don't know this Sony product but I have to say that I have used Final Cut for years and I'm fairly certain the Sony product is not even needed. It is very simple to import clips in Final Cut, feel free to ask if you need to.

    Sorry if this sounded like I was talking down to you, however it sounds like the install is confused in some way.
  16. randyhudson macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2007
    East Coast
    Great question! For example, how do I uninstall the trial version of Office shipped on every new Mac? The guy at the Apple store assures me that Office hasn't written to any folder other than "/Applications/Office 2004 for Mac Test Drive". Really?

    EyeConnect is another fun one to uninstall. Even if you search their website, you can't find the correct instructions to remove it. And the default search in Finder is no help. It doesn't search in places like "/Library" or "/System" without some tweaking.
  17. Mac-HD thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2008
    I think we are using two different languages. In fact, I had to reread your steps a few times to make sense out of it. How did I install? Inserted the disk, located the folder, and double clicked at the right link. Isn't this what you are suggesting via the 4 steps?

    Anyway, I could reinstall it somehow. It is working fine now. Also, I have switched to a regular mouse. Just couldn't get used to the Apple one.

    Incidently, the keyboard and mouse came with barely foot-and-a-half long cables. Does it make sense? I had to find a USB extension cable for the mouse.
  18. antzona macrumors regular


    Jan 10, 2008
    That Apple mouse has a right-click, you just push down on the right side of it. There doesn't appear to be a left and a right button, but they are there. It will take you two days to get used to. Just go into the system preferences and click on Keyboard & Mouse to set it up to your needs.
  19. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    Sony Clipbrowser would have installed an app in the Application folder and also other files/folders in either the Library folder in your home folder or in the root of Macintosh HD.

    to find these type "sony clipbroswer" into Finder's search then highlight the "Filename" button and then add a "System files - include" search attribute (you may have to add this from "Other…").

    here is a picture to help you

  20. GotPro macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2007
    As everyone else has said... usually you simply drag the app you want to delete to the trash.

    Just to help you understand a few differences, and why Microsoft has the uninstall control panel (which doesn't ALWAYS work, depending on how the app was written... which I suspect is the case here with Sony working their non-conforming magic)...

    With Windows... you have files in multiple places for one program, and then entries in a registry file. The APP that you launch in Windows is usually a SINGLE FILE EXECUTABLE APPLICATION.

    Not so in the Mac world....

    Everything that the APPLICATION needs to run on the app is... well...

    Let me give you an example...

    If you Open your Applications folder, and double click on the app "iTunes"... itunes launches! Seems easy, just like windows, right?


    The is actually a DIRECTORY containing ALL OF THE FILES TYPICALLY THAT ARE NEEDED (including configuration files sometimes) to launch the app.

    Right click on iTunes in the Applications folder, and you will see a directory called CONTENTS. The actual EXECUTABLE for iTunes is buried within this directory. It's called a PACKAGE.

    However, to the end user, this DIRECTORY, or PACKAGE OF FILES called iTunes looks like a single executable program.

    The beauty of this over windows is TYPICALLY several fold:

    1) YOU CAN COPY / BACKUP THE ENTIRE APP BY MOVING / COPYING IT. If you re-install the OS... simply drag the "App" into whatever folder you want... and it works... bata bing!

    2) No need for a complex registry system as all information is kept within the package (this is breaking it down simply.. there are still preference files etc. stored in standard UNIX places).

    3) To delete the app, TYPICALLY all you need to do is drag it to the trash. Voila! GONE!

    No problems.

    However, if a company doesn't write an app the way Apple recommends and specifies... that can't be helped... which is what seems like you had happen to you!

    But really, in most cases, it's a MUCH better system than windows!

    Oh, and about the cable.. Apple ships an extension cable in the box, and a USB port on the keyboard to plug your mouse into!

    Hope that helped!


    Attached Files:

  21. GoKyu macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2007
    New Orleans
    I'm not sure about the keyboard, but the reason the mouse cord is so short is because the default Mac keyboard comes with USB ports built-in, one on either side.

    For me, I ended up not liking the default keyboard *or* mouse, and went back to what I was used to - a wireless keyboard/mouse setup.

  22. OlBlueHair macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2008
    Yes, but sometimes when you install something you don't double click on a link, you will have to drag the app from the cd or disc image (whatever is mounted) to your apps folder (or wherever you want to install it). There will be a time in the future when you see what I mean because not everything comes with an installer, you just drag it over.

    To use the right click on your apple mouse go to system preferences, mouse, and set it can also set the side buttons and scroll wheel to your liking.

    Also, like the above poster said, the mouse cord is short because the keyboard has 2 usb ports on it, and your computer should have come with an extention for the keyboard usb cord...mine did.

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