Places applications store additional files?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by -Ryan-, May 10, 2009.

  1. -Ryan- macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #1
    I'm looking to get my Mac running as close to factory spec as possible without having to reinstall the OS. As a result, I'm looking to get rid of any and all files that Apps leave behind when they're deleted. Like where preferences, caches etc are stored. If someone has a list of places that these are usually stored I'd be very appreciative! :)
    Thanks!
     
  2. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #2
    Are you looking simply just to save space? Most of the extra files are so tiny you won't even notice them. They are littered around. If there is some other reason it might be worth it I guess but maybe if we knew more why you were trying to do this we could tell you if it'd even be worth the effort. I can't see any reason why you'd want to waste the day. :)

    If the apps are still installed though, App Zapper should do it for you.
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
    Well written applications store preferences in ~/Library/Preferences/ and additional support files in ~/Library/Application Support/<name of app>/

    The preferences file will be a reverse dns named file like com.apple.iTunes.plist...
     
  4. -Ryan- thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #4
    Hi, I was really just wanting to do some general housekeeping on my computer so I don't have random files littered all over the place. For example, I recently replaced Office 2004 with iWork 09 and am wondering whether there is any guff left about since then. Do you not think it's worth my effort?

    And thanks for the help robbieduncan, I'll have a look around there now for stuff I no longer have. :)
     
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #5
    Generally speaking the files are causing no real harm. I suppose if an app lists the preferences folder internally for some reason (I can think of no reason to and the standard APIs for accessing the preferences would not do this) then the extra files would have some impact, but realistically you're not going to notice any improvements by chasing all these files down.

    I always migrate my entire preferences folder when I reinstall the OS or get a new machine. I have preferences files for apps I've not used for a number of years and everything is fine :)

    If it makes you feel better then there is no harm though :D
     
  6. -Ryan- thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #6
    Thanks very much again. I've trawled through those folders and deleted stuff that I'd migrated over from my Powerbook 4 years ago! I had all sorts of preferences files for games I hadn't played in years as well. I just knew that there was a lot of bulk building up over the years, so even if it is a placebo effect, it's nice to know I have a clean system! ;)
     

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