Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by JudasX, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. JudasX macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2007
    Quick question for some more advanced users...

    I've been toying with a lot of applications for my macbook lately, and I have found some real winners. Unfortunately, I found even more losers.

    I delete these applications by dragging the application icon straight to the trash...but i always have a feeling that they are never fully deleted. These suspicions were confirmed after google searching a bit. I heard even AppZapper and AppDelete don't do the job.

    In my /Library/Preferences folder, I have hundreds of .plist files and other stuff that I might not need.

    how can i clean up old messes from past applications?
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    My best advise is just to leave 'em. They won't hurt anything and they take up virtually no space.

    If you must, the easiest method is to do a spotlight search for the deleted application's name, and then trash the files that come up (using common sense to determine if they can be safely deleted or not).
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Spotlight indexes that folder by default so you can run a quick search for the app before deleting it. In all honesty, having those small leftover PLIST files will have no effect on your machine whatsoever, unless you ever reinstall the app.
  4. JudasX thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2007
  5. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    if your using leopard spotlight has stopped indexing both the root and user library. to search for the plists in the library again open a finder search window with command-F then change the search parameter to "system files" (you have to add it from "other...") and "include". then search for the application. delete anything in the user and root library. you can see where these files are located by adding the path bar by choosing View->Show Path Bar.

    this is basically what appzapper and appdelete do. a downside is it takes a bit more effort and appzapper and appdelete search a few more parameters other than just the name of the app. you could also search the company of the app for more results if there are any. most apps have a plist file in preferences and sometimes a folder in application support. some apps also leave caches or install their own folder in /Library.

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