Whether you need an uninstaller or not or not is arguable. There are now four kinds of Apps…
- Apps that use installers often have, or should have, an uninstaller included with the package. Unfortunately some of those uninstaller are not very good and leave some detritus behind. Uninstaller applications that have daemons to track what is installed where can be very helpful in that case
- Drag and drop installs should be easy to uninstall, but the first time they run all of them will create preference files, support folders and files, and lots of other stuff scattered all over the system that cannot always be easily found for deletion. Most simple uninstaller utilities search for application and/or developer names to make that association and that is not always accurate or complete. High end uninstall utilities often make use of online database information to identify all the various bits parts and pieces.
- App Store installs are a piece of cake to uninstall because the App Store standards require everything to be encapsulated or sandboxed so it is pretty much all in one piece. Simply open Launchpad, find the icon for the app then click and hold until the icons begin to shake and a small x appears at the upper left corner of the icon, click on the x and it is done. The best part here is once you have purchased an App Store application you can always download it again if you decide you really do want it.
- Apps installed with OS X cannot and should not be uninstalled. Too often they are deeply linked into the system and provide services for other system apps and function.
So an uninstaller utility can be helpful with two out of the four types of application installs and in truth can be used with three out of the four. I have some utilities such as TinkerTool System 4
that have a simple search uninstall utility and it works okay on most applications. However I am always trying new software and I am a bit anal about keeping my systems free of obsolete, unattached, or otherwise useless files and folders. The uninstaller I rely on is CleanApp 5 (beta)
. Not only does it log installations as they are made, it checks online database records of files and folders deleted for various apps and a surprisingly useful feature it categorizes apps as third party, system, app store, non-app store, incompatible, and relic programs all of which can be very helpful in keeping your system clean. It is not a tool I use every day or even every month, but it has proven helpful many times.NOTE:
I have no relationship pecuniary or otherwise with Synium Software, the publisher of CleanApp, other than that of a satisfied customer. CAUTION:
Any uninstaller utility should be used with judgement and caution. Mavericks and Yosemite do a pretty good job of protecting themselves from unintentional harm, but it is always better to err on the side of caution.