When uninstalling a program, which folder(s) should you check for left behind files?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by LouisvilleXV, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. LouisvilleXV macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2013
    I'm new to Apple computers and right now I only check Library/preferences. Should I check others for left behind files too? Which ones? I know the remaining files will be small, but I just like keeping my computer as clean as possible.
  2. Thraun macrumors regular


    Dec 18, 2008
    Abbotsford, BC
    Well, it really depends on the app itself. For most programs, everything is contained in the app package itself, aside from the .plist files, which are in the Library/Preferences folder as you mentioned (keep in mind there are 2 libraries - a system library and a user library, and they may both have .plist files related to the app).

    Some programs - notoriously the Office apps - distribute little files absolutely everywhere, and it's horrendous. Programs like AppZapper are supposed to automatically remove all those files, but I can't personally vouch for them.

    If you're worried about space, keep in mind .plist files and other support files are generally kilobytes in size, which is negligible.
  3. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    /Library/Application Support/ and the equivalent user folder is the only real place you need to look for most things.
  4. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago

    This. And a search with finder should reveal any leftovers that may have been missed. Some apps come with an uninstall routine but I always double check that nothing got left over.
  5. LouisvilleXV thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2013
    Where is the system library and user library? I found one, but I'm not sure which it is and where the other one is.


    Well, I thought I had located all of the files (for GIMP), but when I use spotlight, it still shows up. If I click the name in the spotlight search, it opens like normal, leading me to believe that it's still installed on the computer. Any help?
  6. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2007
    /Library/ & /Users/Username/Library/ respectively and I use AppCleaner to get rid of the leftovers on uninstall it works well.
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
    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.

    This is frequently not the case, as many apps have related files that can be in excess of 1GB.
  8. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Since that method was what I was going to suggest :)cool:), I guess you probably have some limited knowledge in this area. :rolleyes: :p

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