Leaving job, help cleaning my work mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by fuzzychicken, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. fuzzychicken macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2010
    Hello folks,

    I am leaving my (academic) workplace. I have administrator privilege on this mac mini and I would like to clean as much possible traces of my activity. Not that I have done anything illegal, still I think if I have, by mistake, I think I should better clear the traces.

    Best option would be to delete user account and make it again but I am not allowed to do so as per the institute policy. Even if I do it, I am just inviting trouble as if I did something (when I don't really remember doing something)

    So is there any utility that would clear most of browsing history and stuff? Except Safari, I am removing all browsers using AppCleaner. (How do I remove all bookmarks in Safari in one go?)
    I need help removing all my mails and settings from Apple Mail. Can someone guide me which directories to delete?
    For MS office programs, is there any temp. folder where it stores files? that I should delete?
    Same goes for Adobe programs (photoshop, illustrator and acrobat)

    Any other advice that anyone can think of.

    Many thanks in advance.
  2. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2010
    Take it with you. Leave another one in it's place so it's not really stealing, just swapping.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Why can't you just delete the user and its files? Or do a clean install of OS X? Clean install would be the best for everyone as it should speed things up.

    You should be able to remove all bookmarks by going to bookmarks and then pressing cmd + A and dragging them to the trash.

    I don't have Mail set up on my MBA so can't see the file path but try looking at Library folders (both, user and Mac HD), there should be Mail folder which has all your mails and stuff.

    As for MS office, Mac HD/Users/user/Library/Application Support/Microsoft and Mac HD/Library/Application Support/Microsoft and then there is Microsoft User Data in /User/Documents.

    As for Adobe, see Mac HD/Library/Application Support/Adobe and ~/user/Library/Application Support/Adobe
  4. iDutchman macrumors 6502a

    May 9, 2010
    Amsterdam, NL
    Do a clean install. The best to make room for somebody else anyway. This person will get the most out of the Mac Mini when a clean install has been performed. Otherwise make a new account and from that one, delete the already existing one. (you need to make the new account the primary one). Otherwise swap a new clean harddrive in it if your to worried. Then you'll be sure no traces will stay behind:rolleyes:

    My employees do that all the time. New department? Well, swap the harddrive of the Mac Pro's. They buy the new ones from their own money, no problem.
  5. Decrepit macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2007
    Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
    Even if you've done nothing wrong, deleting a bunch of stuff before you leave can be considered suspicious.

    You might ask the IT department to do a fresh install on it so that it's out of your hands, and is clean and prepared for the next user.

    If you do it, once again, it can look bad. But if you frame it in the "it's been running a little more slowly of late, maybe a fresh install will make it run better for the next guy..."
  6. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2010
    Boot from the install disk and open disk utility the in the erase options you have the security options. it takes longer to do but makes sure there is no way anyone can recover your files.

    You would have to re install everything after though.
  7. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    Create a new admin account on the computer, login with that, then delete your existing account

  8. Heilage macrumors 68030


    May 1, 2009
    Start it up from the CD, go into Disk Utility and do a Secure Erase with 7 or 35 rewrites.

    If you're in the paranoid corner, that is. ;)
  9. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    May 8, 2008
    Just boot from the OS X disc and do a clean install. Safest and best way to leave a computer in my opinion.
  10. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    He doesn't have to be that paranoid. Simply zeroing the hard drive once is enough to prevent file recovery. Any more than that is just wasting time.

    If you want to leave the account intact I'd recommend:
    - For Safari, make sure you run Keychain and save all the names/passwords you need. Run Safari itself and save your bookmarks. Select "Reset Safari" from the menu and let it clear EVERYTHING. Then click the bookmarks button and delete all of the bookmarks.

    - AppCleaner should take care of stray application preferences from the apps you are deleting.

    - Clear out the home folder of all your files and run a "zero all free space" with Disk Utility.

    Nothing more needed really. But you don't have to do all this if you make a new user and then delete the old one, making sure to zero the drive free space afterwards.
  11. TonyK macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2009
    Doesn't work if S/N area tracked, which is how companies and schools like to do it. Or a service tag. Matters not if you left a replacement, you could be hit with theft and just trying to defend against the accusation is bad enough.

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