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Uninstalling Applications
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Mar 26, 2005, 01:58 AM
 
Posted by CharlesS in the MacNN Feedback Forum.

"One of the things that is beautiful about Mac OS X is the application bundle format. On OS X, most applications, although they look like single files, are actually folders. These folders which look like files, or "bundles" as they are called on OS X, contain not only the program itself, but all of the support files and resources it needs to run. If an application is self-contained in this manner, then chances are no installer will be needed to install all its separate parts on your hard drive. The upshot of all this is that the majority of applications on OS X can be installed simply by dragging them to your Applications folder, and can be uninstalled by dragging them to the Trash and emptying it.

Of course, there are some legitimate exceptions to this rule (and some poorly written applications which use an installer even though it's not necessary). In these cases, however, the author of the application will usually distribute an uninstaller along with the application. For some applications, the installer you used to install the application also has the ability to uninstall it. In general, though, if you didn't have to run an installer to install an application, you won't need an uninstaller to remove it.

If you really want to remove all traces of an application, you can check the Library/Preferences and Library/Application Support folders inside your home folder. There may sometimes be a file inside one or both of these folders which contains application settings, support information, etc. for the app. However, it is generally not necessary to delete these files as they usually take an insignificant amount of space on the disk, and will not cause any problems if left alone. Plus, should you ever decide to put the application back on your hard drive and start using it again, your settings will be just how you left them if you didn't delete the preference files, so it's usually best just to leave these files alone.

In summary, in the majority of cases, all you will need to do to uninstall an app on the Mac is drag it to the Trash. It really is that simple."

Detalied explanation here .

A simple video showing the process here.

Much credit to Brad on the AppleInsider forums .

*Much editing to be done later.
( Last edited by mindwaves; Mar 29, 2005 at 03:33 AM. )
{{{ mindwaves }}}
     
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Apr 1, 2005, 02:55 AM
 
And if the pesky application DID happen to include an installer (One in the .pkg format which Apple's installer uses)

You can always use Desinstaller
     
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Apr 4, 2005, 04:29 PM
 
Originally posted by King Bob On The Cob:
And if the pesky application DID happen to include an installer (One in the .pkg format which Apple's installer uses)

You can always use Desinstaller
DesInstaller is a dangerous piece of software. It can remove files that are needed by other applications or system components.

If a program needs to be uninstalled, it will come with an uninstaller, and you should use that.

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May 28, 2005, 07:13 PM
 
Desinstaller
     
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May 28, 2005, 07:14 PM
 
video link not working.
     
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May 28, 2005, 08:09 PM
 
also try reinstall openbase application like daylite. alos some apps are leaving stuff everywhere like in Frameworks folder of where not...and what about the preferences files?
     
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Nov 21, 2005, 05:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by ZXspectrum
video link not working.
He's simply dragging IE to the trash and emptying it. You're not missing out.
     
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Dec 18, 2005, 04:44 PM
 
What is the difference between "secure empty" opposed to just emptying trash?
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Jan 4, 2006, 01:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by jmault
What is the difference between "secure empty" opposed to just emptying trash?
jmault
That's a simple question with a complex answer.

Emptying the trash normally erases the link to the file's data. The data is still on your disk except that there's no easy way to access it. Programs that can recover data in situations where you accidently deleted a file or where data corruption occurs and files are magically lost, will find the 'lost' data on your disk and recreate a link to it.

'Secure empty' is for peace of mind. When you empty a trash, the data may still be on your disk and accessible to someone with a program that recovers data. Secure empty simply makes sure that data is unrecoverable by overwriting it with garbage data.

Secure empty basically guarantees that no one will ever be able to recover the file...including yourself.
     
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Jan 4, 2006, 10:02 AM
 
i was jjust gonna post , on how to uninstall cuz i was wonderin that also. I'd be all lookin for the uninstaller an couldn't find it for any of my programs so i was gonna come on here to ask but already found the topic. But I think its G how mac OSX has all the files into 1. Saves a lot of bullshit
     
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Jan 4, 2006, 03:44 PM
 
thanks mindwaves / charlesx - your post is the missing nugget of information apple should have put in the mac help files

just cleaned up 7gb of apps I dont need - i'm loving it.

also found this nifty app monolingual to remove unwanted language files.... only saves a few hundred mb tho...... but still!
     
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Jan 5, 2006, 10:27 AM
 
Adam on the MacCast podcast was talking about AppZapper for removing applications and their associated files. He seemed to think it was good.
     
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Jan 6, 2006, 06:30 PM
 
In my (semi-limited) experience. After deleting the app, a quick check in Spotlight, with the app name as a search string, will reveal any residual files (like.plists or config files) that also need to be gotten rid of.
     
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Jan 6, 2006, 06:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by KeyLimePi
Adam on the MacCast podcast was talking about AppZapper for removing applications and their associated files. He seemed to think it was good.
I wonder if AppZapper can uninstall itself?
     
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Jan 6, 2006, 10:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by gunga
In my (semi-limited) experience. After deleting the app, a quick check in Spotlight, with the app name as a search string, will reveal any residual files (like.plists or config files) that also need to be gotten rid of.
Read the third paragraph of the original post for info on that.

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Feb 17, 2006, 09:16 AM
 
What about MS Apps like "Test Drive for Office". Where does it leave all the sneaky stuff that checks if you installed it before ??
     
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Apr 3, 2006, 04:44 PM
 
AppZapper has just come into version 1.3...
     
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Apr 11, 2006, 03:57 PM
 
Does anyone know how to uninstall office on mbp? I can't find the office tools which has remove office. Anyone know?
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Apr 13, 2006, 04:58 PM
 
Same uninstall process as listed above. Dump in Trash.
{{{ mindwaves }}}
     
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Apr 28, 2006, 07:59 AM
 
I'm also curious if AppZapper can completely clean out an application. Take Synergy, for example, which has a 7-day trial and according to the activity monitor, has dozens of framework files open, and someone mentioned that some apps leave crap in those folders as well, so Synergy, being a sytem pref panel, seems like a good candidate.

I'm going to try AppZapper on Synergy after the 7-day trial has run out. If it resets the trial, AppZapper works. If it doesn't, the app is crap, imo (despite the legal ramifications).

Also, I should find another application which I haven't installed and which has the potential of leaving stuff around the harddrive, and diff the "sudo ls -AR > hd.txt" result to really see what it installs.

EDIT: Never tried AppZapper on Synergy, but a Spotlight search on it cleaned it out and reset the timer (not that it matters since I found a better freeware alternative now, called ByteController). However, SketchUp doesn't clean out properly. The trial countdown remains even after I scanned the entire harddrive after changes the app made.
( Last edited by eobet; May 11, 2006 at 12:11 PM. )
     
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Jul 18, 2006, 09:01 PM
 
Uninstalling apps should be a built in feature of the Finder and its omission disappoints me.
     
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Jul 18, 2006, 09:06 PM
 
A built-in feature of the Finder? Why should it be? I think you missed the point of mindwaves original post.

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Oct 30, 2006, 05:50 PM
 
OK, can someone tell me how to delete the files HP installs after running their Printer Software installer? I can't find them anywhere. Most annoying is that I have to use Bonjour to add a printer, it won't let me do it via IP and select the driver manually.

Doing a search for HP or 3600n doesn't come up with anything.
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Nov 12, 2006, 11:04 AM
 
Add in my vote for Appzapper. I've used that to GREAT SUCCESS. I love it.
     
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Nov 23, 2006, 09:00 AM
 
After dumping a range of applications by dragging them to the trash, I now have several files that won't empty. This creates a series of message boxes every time I empty the trash asking me if I want to cancel emptying or continue. Not the end of the world but annoying. 3-4 show up as "File in use" although I am definately not using the application. 1 shows up as "File locked". Problem is that none of these files actually appear in the trash so I assume they're buried in the application bundles.

Any suggestions on how to find and modify these files so the trash will empty without message windows. Thanks in advance.
     
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Nov 24, 2006, 01:28 AM
 
Holding down the Option key will empty any locked files. For the ones that claim they're in use, it could be that some app has a "helper" application associated with it that is running silently in the background. I'd just go to System Preferences -> Accounts -> Startup Items and make sure nothing associated with that app is running at startup, then just reboot to quit anything that's open.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
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Nov 24, 2006, 09:49 AM
 
Thanks for the help...worked like a charm.
     
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Dec 1, 2006, 12:26 AM
 
My Itunes recently became corrupted and now whenever I load it up my computer freezes and eventually shuts off. I tried downloading the update but that didn't change anything. I'm trying to delete itunes and then reinstall it but I can't find an uninstall feature and when I try to delete it using trash it says it can't delete itunes because "ItunesHelper" is in use. I have no idea what ituneshelper is or how to find and delete that. Any suggestions?
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Dec 28, 2006, 05:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by bishopazrael View Post
Add in my vote for Appzapper. I've used that to GREAT SUCCESS. I love it.
ditto from me couldn't be easier
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Dec 30, 2006, 07:52 PM
 
download AppZapper. All you have to do is drag the program into AppZapper and if locates all of the files for the program and then you zap it and secure empty trash or empty trash. Either one works.
     
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Jan 28, 2007, 11:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Bambilla View Post
My Itunes recently became corrupted and now whenever I load it up my computer freezes and eventually shuts off. I tried downloading the update but that didn't change anything. I'm trying to delete itunes and then reinstall it but I can't find an uninstall feature and when I try to delete it using trash it says it can't delete itunes because "ItunesHelper" is in use. I have no idea what ituneshelper is or how to find and delete that. Any suggestions?
Thanks
The reason is because iTunesHelper is INSIDE the iTunes application (which is actually just a folder with a .app ending). It's a process that runs in the background and watches for insertion of audio CDs or connected iPods, and automatically launches iTunes when either happens.

Use Activity Viewer (in Utilities) to kill iTunesHelper, and you can delete iTunes with no problems. Alternately, a simple log-out/log-in or restart (either) will do it, as well.
     
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Mar 23, 2007, 11:56 AM
 
What are your thoughts on CleanApp?

CleanApp - System/Disk Utilities
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Mar 23, 2007, 03:26 PM
 
appzapper is a nice little app. i used it, and like how it works.
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May 2, 2007, 07:13 AM
 
I need windows media player to run streaming video from a site. I visited microsoft download center and downloaded the listed wmp 9 file for OS X. Now what came up doesnt behave as something to be just dragged and dropped into the apps folder. And, the file that got downloaded has ".sitx" extension which mac dont recognise I suppose.

Is there a simpler solution to my need? Like is there mac version of media classic player that could be used?
     
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May 10, 2007, 05:29 AM
 
.sitx is used by the StuffIt Expander compression utility. Don't bother with StuffIt (their time is over), get a Utility called "Unarchiver" to decompress .sit and .sitx files.

However, to play windows media video, just search for "Flip4Mac". Install that, and QuickTime will play windows media. Please don't bother with the Windows Media Player. It really sucks.
     
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May 10, 2007, 05:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
.sitx is used by the StuffIt Expander compression utility. Don't bother with StuffIt (their time is over), get a Utility called "Unarchiver" to decompress .sit and .sitx files.
The Unarchiver doesn't do .sitx, as far as I can tell - just .sit.

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Dec 18, 2007, 04:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
.sitx is used by the StuffIt Expander compression utility. Don't bother with StuffIt (their time is over), get a Utility called "Unarchiver" to decompress .sit and .sitx files.

However, to play windows media video, just search for "Flip4Mac". Install that, and QuickTime will play windows media. Please don't bother with the Windows Media Player. It really sucks.
I still use StuffIt with no problems. And your are DEFINATELY right about wmp on OSX
     
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Oct 30, 2008, 10:03 AM
 
The video link included in the initial post is no longer working. For those interested, you can watch a video on how to uninstall applications here
     
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Jan 4, 2009, 12:40 PM
 
I use AppCleaner with no problems at all.
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Jan 21, 2009, 01:30 PM
 
Same here with AppCleaner. I use it and it seems to work fine. Although I wonder sometimes if it gets the necessary .plist file associated with whatever application I am eradicating. I find that those pesky preference files that remain from an application that has been deleted can build up and potentially cause problems if not gotten rid of. Peace out . . .
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Sep 15, 2010, 02:12 AM
 
Some people cant cross the street without tripping on the curb. That includes me LOL
Now Mac users need a video to show them how to put something in the trashcan?
Once again, if you dont want an application thats on your hard drive treat it like any other file you no longer want. JUST PUT IT IN THE TRASH! Dont make it complicated.
( Last edited by 512ke; Sep 22, 2010 at 09:53 PM. )
     
   
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