Why doesn't Mac OSX delete unnecessary files after removing programs?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by LoganT, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. LoganT macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #1
    It seems that whenever I uninstall an application, there is always an empty folder of the program I uninstalled in Library>Application Support and possibly others. Why wouldn't OS X delete those automatically after I uninstalled them? They obviously don't take up too much space cause it's just an empty folder, but why doesn't os x automatically delete it?
     
  2. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #2
    youre not uninstalling the application you are just moving them to the Trash i presume? some applications that use installers provide a uninstaller or script.

    AppCleaner provides a feature called SmartDelete that monitors the Trash and searches for an application's other filess if dragged to the Trash.
     
  3. LoganT thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #3
    Well, I use AppZapper. I believe it deletes the stuff inside the folder like the .plist file, but doesn't delete the folder it was contained in. It might be for security reasons.
     
  4. LoganT thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #4
    AppCleaner is free, I'm going to try it out. People on iusethis.com say it's better than AppZapper.
     
  5. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #5
    its pretty much the same but i find it better as it has the SmartDelete feature and is free.
     
  6. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    #6
    Maybe when someone re-installs an application they'd like to have their preferences and other files in tact? The majority of people would vote for application settings familiarity over the need to worry about how little space is occupied by such files.
     
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #7
    How would OSx know what files an application has generated? App Cleaner keeps a database and is not perfect anyway.
     
  8. squirrelist macrumors regular

    squirrelist

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Silver Spring MD
    #8
    While it would be possible to delete the settings files for the current user and the system, you would have to go into root access to delete settings for other users on the machine. Seems dangerous to me. Try AppZapper or AppCleaner (free) if you want the files for your own account and the system (if you have access) automatically.

    From my experience it doesn't keep a database. When you drop in a .app bundle called "X Program" it searches your drive for all files and folders also called "X Program" and gives you the opportunity to any of them.
     
  9. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #9
    No database. I don't even think AppCleaner searches the entire drive either. It just removes the "app" file and then searches common library folders for ancillary files that may have been created. It won't for instance remove all the components of a complex install (like microsoft office if memory serves).

    Removing an OSX app is still 100 times more reliable than Windows though.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    You can't beat drag and drop. The downside is the fact that apps start puking out various files in ~/Library and even in /Library. Regardless the stuff that's left around is typically harmless and easily removed either manually or using appzapper.
     
  11. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #11
    Yep. When uninstalling apps in my windows days it usually involved manual registry deletions, a prayer and a pint of whiskey.

    With OSX, I could care less if a dead file is left behind every now and then. When I do find it though, chances are it's not needed (like a windows DLL file lurking in the system folder for example).

    Life is much more simpler for me these days and I stay sober. :D
     
  12. kashkha macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    #12
    It may be harmless, but it can be annoying. The trial version of Coda left a workflow in my services menu which I can't figure out how to get rid of. Anyone have any idea how?
     

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