Someone for the love of god recommend me a FREE program uninstaller

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Misskitty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 18, 2010
447
2
I cant believe its this difficult, I look up the top ones and they say its free, then after i waste my time to install this garbage it says i have to buy! Someone please tell me theres a free program out there that can uninstall my programs.

If only OSX could do this, we wouldnt need 3rd party s/w for this very basic task!
 

simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
4,850
734
Auckland
I cant believe its this difficult, I look up the top ones and they say its free, then after i waste my time to install this garbage it says i have to buy! Someone please tell me theres a free program out there that can uninstall my programs.

If only OSX could do this, we wouldnt need 3rd party s/w for this very basic task!
Have you tried just dragging the app to the trash???
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,427
762
I cant believe its this difficult, I look up the top ones and they say its free, then after i waste my time to install this garbage it says i have to buy! Someone please tell me theres a free program out there that can uninstall my programs.

If only OSX could do this, we wouldnt need 3rd party s/w for this very basic task!
You don't need 3rd party uninstaller apps and if you elect to use such apps, be aware that in most cases, app removal software doesn't do a thorough job of finding and removing files/folders related to deleted apps. For more information, read this and this. If you just want to delete the app, drag the .app file to the trash. No other software needed. If you want to completely remove all associated files/folders, no removal apps will do the job.
The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,931
1,604
New England, USA
You don't need 3rd party uninstaller apps and if you elect to use such apps, be aware that in most cases, app removal software doesn't do a thorough job of finding and removing files/folders related to deleted apps. For more information, read this and this. If you just want to delete the app, drag the .app file to the trash. No other software needed. If you want to completely remove all associated files/folders, no removal apps will do the job.
The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
Nice...very nice!

Steal my thunder with a better post.

Sheesh...upstaged again!:(

;) :p
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,907
32,241
Boston
You're probably spending more time trying to find an uninstaller then if you drag the app to the trash and then search out ~/Library for the cruft.
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,337
251
This is one area where, IMHO, Macs lag.

Yes, in many cases (if not most) you can delete an application by dragging to the trash with no ill effect. So what if some prefs remain? They're small. And ditto with many other support files.

But not always. And in fact on some occasions you may be deleting an application because it's causing problems or not working correctly, so you may definitely want to get the prefs and maybe caches.

I have found AppZapper to be useful in the situation where I want to get the prefs and maybe caches; it's like most application removal utilities. But it's just a matter of convenience: some applications have prefs that are easy to find, but if you have a bazillion applications, and the name of the pref is com.obscure.prefs for the application SomethingElse, it helps.

A well behaved application will have an uninstaller, particularly if it's running around installed kexts or whatnot. Most uninstaller general utilities, however, don't go that deep. They won't find all the caches, frameworks, BOM files, receipts, fonts, etc that a problematic program installed. And some of the programs that cause problems are precisely the ones that require you to remove every speck of their existence.

And sometimes the issues relate to licensing and copywrite management; developers do stuff so you can't pirate. But then it gets hard to find what they installed that's preventing you from upgrading or running a program. I had huge problems with that and MS Office, and even with Apple's iLife stuff. No installer utility helps with that, unfortunately.

So yeah, an unintaller utility can be convenient. But you still need to use the application's uninstaller first, so save it if it came with the download, or look online for it. And learn how to manually delete stuff; you'll probably need it someday.

And tell Apple to have a pref pane for doing it. The days of pretending you could just drag all Mac applications on and off floppies is long gone so stop pretending it's that easy. Even Apple's support has to run a long KB article on how to remove pesky iLife applications by manually going into prefs, and even into the Receipts folder (which of course they hide by default)[ts3249]. Sheesh.
 
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