So installing/uninstalling apps won't gum up the works like a pc??

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by VoodooDaddy, Jun 12, 2006.

  1. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2003
    I've been installing various freeware apps just to see what it does and the ones I choose not to keep I drag it to the trash to uninstall. For example, this morning I was trying to find something to play a .wmv file (VLC won't). I know about flip4mac, but a lot of people say is slow cause its not a UB yet. So I found someone on another mac forum that said divx player would, that it played every kind of file he had tried. So I download the install pack, install it, open the .wmv and it won't play. So I drag the divx app to the trash.

    When I would do a fresh install of XP on my computer I was always reaaly picky about what I put on initially. Cause over time installing/uninstalling stuff would cause the system to lag. So in the example above I would cringe if I installed/uninstalled something fresh off a reformat/reinstall and it didn't work properly. (My mini is 2 weeks new, so essentially I'm looking at in the same way as a fresh install of XP)

    This kind of thing (system lag) doesn't happen with a mac right? I've seen people confirm this, that a mac doesn't have a registry to get corrupted like an MS OS, but I just wanna make sure. I don't wanna be installing things willy nilly if its gonna cause problems down the road. When I uninstall an app on the mac, all traces of the program are gone? Nothing left hanging around to give me any problems later on?

    And is it simply as easy as just dragging that icon from the apps folder to the trash? That gets rid of everything?

    I know I'm probably worrying over nothing, as I have it in the back of my mind that all the install/uninstall won't bog the mac down, but old habits/fears dies hard.

  2. thewhitehart macrumors 6502a


    Jul 9, 2005
    The town without George Bailey
    Dragging your run of the mill application won't make your system lag. The only thing most apps leave behind are preference files in your library that take up mere kilobytes. These preference files, or .plist files, won't screw around with anything if they're not being used. You might as well keep them too if you ever decide down the road that you want to reinstall that app that you trashed.

    OS X is built so that you don't screw around with the files that the system needs to run smoothly. If you tinker in, let's say, the System folder, it's going to ask you for an admin password if you tried to delete anything. Such is the nature of a true multi-user system like Unix that your actions as a user typically won't screw the whole system up.

    Basically, you have to try to screw your mac up a lot more than it takes to screw a Windows pc up.
  3. UKnjb macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2005
    London, UK
    If you are using Tiger, there is AppZapper (shareware, $12.95) that is supposed to remove all of the associated files stashed away during the installation/running of you app. Don't forget that sometimes there is an Uninstall app within your original app package.

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