what's the best UnInstaller?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by genome2k, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. genome2k macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2010
    Hi guys I am kind of an app maniac but I am also "neat freak". I am always tempted to try out softwares but also get obsessive to clean up every trace of a software when it comes to remove an APP.

    I've tried a number of Uninstallers but none of them give me peace. Different UnInstallers would give you a different list of files to be removed. And comments were also inconsistent on MacUpdate.

    As to my own observation, AppZapper was weak as I could manually find preference files left in the system folders after its "cleaning job". And CleanMyMac was sort of overkilling as it removed maybe some .plist file that were also related to other softwares, and caused other softwares failed to function (yes maybe i chose too many files to remove).

    So whats your say?

    1. What is your choice for uninstalling?

    2. Is there any APP monitor all the system and ~/ folders for file changing/file generation and categorize all the changes by applications - so I could manually check if it was "clean"?

    3. Btw, do you use any "sandbox" app when you test a software?

    Thanks ;)
  2. Jolly Giant, Apr 15, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011

    Jolly Giant macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

    Sep 15, 2010
    Hamburg, Germany
  3. genome2k thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2010
    Thanks a lot Jolly. Thats very informative.

    However, I'd like to consider GGJstudios' manual solution the last resolve. Or it's a way to confirm an APP is really gone. But I guess we still need to discuss what the "Best practice" is, meaning the "best" way in terms of both efficiency and effectiveness.

    1. Will that be a good strategy to use the combination of TrashMe (or alike) and a manual search? -- If we know what kind of files/locations are mostly missed by TrashMe we can use TrashMe for a "preliminary deletion" then we append a manual search to clean up the residues. The purpose of doing so is to reduce the manual work as much as possible.

    2. Any idea about using AppleScript/Automator intead of doing the manual finder search everytime?

    3 Btw, what do you guys use to edit a plist file? Sometimes a plist file is associated with multiple softwares and you cannot simply delete it -- you need to edit it.
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    1. If you use one of the removal/uninstall applications and then also have to use the manual method, why not use the manual method only? It is less steps.
    2. You could save the search and just change the search term.
    3. I don't do that, thus I can't comment on it.

    Anyway, also read the rest of the thread you got linked to, at least GGJstudios' posts, as he shows, that Finder found more items than the removal/uninstall applications.
  5. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    i use an uninstaller app like App Cleaner (free) for the convenience and then if its an app where i think files would be left over, i find them in Spotlight with system files shown.
  6. pawelthegreat macrumors member


    Jul 23, 2010
    Guelph, ON, Canada
    I use AppTrap which is basically an addon to System Prefs.

    It comes up only when you put an app in the TRash asking of you would like to delete associated files.
    It has never been a problem for me.

    Any comments on this software??
  7. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
  8. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Why? It's already been proven that none of the removal apps are completely effective. The bottom line is this: Do you want something convenient? If so, simply drag the app to the Trash and be done with it. Do you want something that completely removes the app and all its files/folders? Use the manual method. The removal apps are a poor compromise between those two.
    No, because TrashMe is like the other apps. It removes some, but not all, of the files/folders associated with the apps. If you have to use the manual method to clean up after TrashMe, why use TrashMe at all?
    No, because not every app names the associated files/folders the same way. Also, you have to ask yourself how often you plan on removing apps. This shouldn't be something you're having to do on a regular basis.
    Give an example where you would need to edit a .plist file that is used by multiple apps.

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