Is this how you uninstall apps?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by audiokeeffe, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. audiokeeffe macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2010
    I have been using Mac for quite a while and I've always deleted apps just one way. But I never knew it was officially the 'right' way to uninstall things...

    This is what I do:

    I go to the app that I want to delete, right click on it and click on 'show package contents', then i just delete the whole "contents" folder. The desktop icon goes white so I just drag it to the trash and that's it!

    Is this the right way to uninstall? Or does this cause small files to still linger somewhere on my computer?
  2. Rithem macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2008
    I actually use appcleaner to uninstall. It uninstalls the app along with all the library and sytem files associated with the app. Seems pretty thorough to me.
  3. DJ-R macrumors regular


    Feb 17, 2010
  4. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    You don't even have to delete the package contents first. You can just drag the application icon to the trash and then empty the trash. Of course there will be some peripheral files left over, but they are not very large.
  5. Den Deze macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2010
  6. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    May 8, 2008
  7. surfologist87 macrumors 6502

    Aug 19, 2010
    another vote for cleanmymac.
    I have deleted a lot of 'crap' along with properly uninstalling apps
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    In my opinion, the most effective method of fully deleting an app, along with all the files and folders it installs, is to do it manually, rather than depending on an app to do the job. One reason is that apps like AppCleaner, AppDelete and AppZapper mostly only delete .plist files along with the app, which are just small text files which don't affect your system and don't take up much space. Those apps ignore much larger files, like cache files, logs and other files in folders such as /Library and /Users/username/Library. None of those three apps are very effective, compared to manual deletion.

    From Best way to FULLY DELETE a program?
    In that thread, you will find a reference to TrashMe, which only runs on Snow Leopard. I haven't tested it, but some who have report that it's better than the three listed above.

    One app that I would not recommend, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere, is CleanMyMac. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much

    EasyFind is an alternative to Spotlight that makes locating files easier.

    To manually remove an application and all associated files:
    1. Launch Finder and search for the app name (hopefully unique, such as Skype)
    2. You can narrow the search to specific folders or search your whole Mac
    3. Searching "File Name" vs "Contents" usually provides better results.
    4. Click the + button below the search term to add criteria
    5. Click the "Album" drop-down and select "System files"
    6. Click the "Don't include" and change to "include"
    7. Sort by name, kind, date, etc. to identify components of the app, such as folders, .plist files, cache files. etc.
    8. Delete all files and folders related to the app.
    9. Don't empty your Trash until you've determined that everything is working OK, in case you need to restore something you deleted by accident.
    10. A reboot might be necessary to completely remove some apps.
  9. ale500 macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2007
    And how about of getting rid of M$ Word for instance ? Any ideas ?
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    MS Office comes with its own uninstall app. Search for "Remove". Of course, it may not remove everything. To completely remove any app, including Word, follow the instructions in my last post. That works for any app.

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