New to Mac, How do I completely delete a file on my computer?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Hieveryone, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    I downloaded BlackMagic Disk Speed Test and just deleted it.

    What I did was go to finder ---> Applications ---> Right click on BlackMagic Disk Speed Test ---> Clicked Open Package Contents ---> Then I dragged everything into the trash. Then I dragged the app to the trash.

    How can I be certain all the files from the app are off my computer?

  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    You could've simply dragged the app to the trash without bothering to open the package content, the result would've been the exact same.

    With that said, you've already done everything there is to do.
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    You missed the final step, which is:

    Empty the trash.

    Files and folders in the trash continue to take storage space.
    Drive space is not released until you empty the trash.

    You really don't need to open a package, as all the files in that package will go in the trash when you drag the app there. It's not the same as sometimes in Windows where you have to empty a folder before you can delete the folder. You don't need to make a simple app delete too difficult. On a Mac, generally it's nothing more than dragging an app to the trash, and empty the trash, and - that's all that's needed (there's normally no need for a special uninstall)
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    For apps downloaded from the Mac App Store (MAS), you can just completely remove them by opening up Launchpad, locating the app, holding down Option and clicking on the X sign that appears when the Option key is held down.
  5. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Installation across OS, with few exceptions:

    In Windows:
    Files for a program are in /Program Files/. Other files are spread throughout the file system in various places, like in the Users/x/Appdata folder.

    In OSX:
    Files for the program are in /Applications/. The launch icon includes an integrated subdirectory that houses all the program files. All preferences for the application are in /Users/x/Library/Application Support/. Preferences usually aren't deleted by users, as they generally take up less than a MB per application and aren't worth the trouble of deleting.
  6. Hieveryone thread starter macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014

    Hey guys, so I went on YouTube and did what this guy said.

    Can anyone please verify if this method is OK?

  7. laurihoefs, Apr 16, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014

    laurihoefs macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2013
    I would strongly advise against the method used in the video. It involves a very high risk of accidentally removing important files. If you look closely to the files being removed in the video, you'll see, they include emails (including one whole Thunderbird mailbox, named All mail.msf), images and other documents that have nothing to do with the app he's trying to remove.

    Just dragging the application and its settings folder (from Users/'Username'/Library/Application Support/) to trash, and then emptying the trash is enough in most cases.
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Why not just save the trouble, go to Launchpad, hold down Option and click the X sign that appears on the app to remove it? That's guaranteed to remove everything.

    If you're still nervous, go get AppZapper and it'll automatically remove all the pertinent files.
  9. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Berlin formerly London
    ^^^^ This or use the finder to find everything with the app name or the
    company name, such as "DriveX" or whatever.

    Finder will list all the prefs / system files relating to that name.

    Then drag them all to the trash and empty OR secure empty, if you're
    sure you don't ever want to see them again.

    Careful, that youtube video is a bit silly, major mistakes can be made
    and simply dragging app to the trash or using something like app zapper will do
    99% of the time.

  10. Mesonoxian macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2014
    When you delete a file in OS X, the operating system is not actually erasing the data, but rather it just marks the space that said file took up on the physical hard drive as free space to be written over with new data, and 'unlinks' the file from directory/folder/filesystem entries. This does not actually write over the deleted data, hence it still can be recovered using third-party programs.

    So, if you need to completely delete sensitive files (financial information, government secrets etc), use the option called "secure empty trash". The OS then overwrites the deleted file with random data before it 'unlinks' the file from directory/folder/filesystem entries.

    Hope this helps!
  11. Hieveryone thread starter macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014

    Thanks, I'll be careful!

    Does anyone know if Disk Doctor from the app store would help? It says it deletes app cache and app data.

    Not sure if that's the same thing.
  12. snaky69, Apr 17, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014

    snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    If I may ask, what makes you so insistant on trying to delete files on your computer? It won't make it run any faster.

    I'd leave Disk Doctor alone.
  13. Merode macrumors 6502


    Nov 5, 2013
    Warszawa, Poland
    I bet on Windows habits..
  14. Tulani macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2012
    app Deleting

    i use AppDelete Lite form the Mac App store.

    not sure if it does anything better than dragging to trash but I noticed it also removes any remaining app residual files
  15. Hieveryone thread starter macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    Windows 7! I guess I'm just paranoid if files just sit there it might slow down my computer over time.

    I know for a fact if you got a PC, you dare not leave any junk files on there because it WILL slow down over time :mad:

    I guess I just need to get use to dragging and dropping and trust that any files that are left will do no harm :apple:
  16. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Slowdowns occur when too much storage is used on a magnetic platter hard drive, when there is less than 20% free space left. Assuming you have a retina MacBook Pro: Since you have neither a magnetic platter hard drive nor less than 20% free space, deleting stuff will gain you absolutely nothing in regards to performance, whether you are on windows or on OS X.

    Slowdowns on windows usually occur due to corruption in the registry from installing and uninstalling so much crap or for the reason stated above. There is no registry in OS X, so that can't happen.
  17. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Slowdowns on high space utilisation are very prominent with SSDs. Google it.

    OS X uses a series of setting databases which play the same role as the registry in Windows. These databases can get corrupted as well.
  18. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
  19. Trek2100 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    Sevierville, TN
    Since the OP is not comfortable with the good advice that has been given, i.e, drag to the trash and delete the trash, etc., I would suggest the OP purchase the book "Switching to the MAC the missing manual" by David Pogue for the version of OSX that is on the computer. It explains everything you need to know.

    My piece of advice, OSX IS NOT WINDOWS!!!!! Get out of the Windows mindset. I was trained on most all of the MS operating system from PC-DOS (first version for the IBM PC), MS-DOS all the way through Win 7. Trust me, there is a learning curve when switching to OSX but it is not difficult. The book I mentioned has a wealth of information and makes switching a piece of cake.

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