An open community 
of Macintosh users,
for Macintosh users.

FineTunedMac Dashboard widget now available! Download Here

Topic Options
#32222 - 12/20/14 05:35 AM App Cleaner for Mac
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
I have previously installed one of these cleaner apps, I don't remember which one, and there was a problem with actually getting rid of it. Is there one that is good or, more to the question, do I need it?
_________________________
Mid 2010 MacBook Pro 13"
2.4GHz, 750GB SATA HD, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.7.5
1 HDX1500 2TB Ext.HD, 2 HDX1500 1TB Ext.HD
HP Laserjet 6MP printing postscript via 10/100 Intel print server
Netgear WN2500RP Range Extender (Ira rocks!)
Linksys WRT1900AC Wireless Router
Brother MFC-9340CDW Color Laser
iPad Air

Top
#32225 - 12/20/14 08:21 AM Re: App Cleaner for Mac [Re: slolerner]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
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.


Edited by joemikeb (12/20/14 08:27 AM)
Edit Reason: add caution
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#32264 - 12/22/14 09:07 AM Re: App Cleaner for Mac [Re: joemikeb]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
Joemike told you pretty much what you need to know.

I use AppCleaner (freeware). It doesn't do much except delete the program and its preferences file(s). Sure, you could that on your own, but at least AppCleaner is safe and sometimes deletes help files as well that you might miss. I've also used the uninstaller function of CCleaner (freeware version), a program that I still have doubts about but which appears to do not much more than AppCleaner. I'm leery of more complex, paid programs because I worry about, and have read about, instances where the uninstaller deletes files it wasn't supposed to.

Sometimes, after using AppCleaner, I use EasyFind (freeware) because it's a thorough search program with lots of options, allowing you delete even invisible files. I feel like I know OS X well enough that I can usually tell when a file is related to the program I want to delete. For example, I type a search for "Broderbund," the company that made the program I want to delete. There might still be a file on my hard drive with "Broderbund" in it that AppCleaner didn't catch.

I should note that I've gotten into trouble doing this because of deleting a file I wasn't supposed to. There are so many Adobe files, for example. Or my Logitech mouse's files. But I'm cautious. I don't take chances with files I'm not sure about. There are many of those in OS X.


Edited by deniro (12/22/14 09:11 AM)
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

Top
#32265 - 12/22/14 09:22 AM Re: App Cleaner for Mac [Re: deniro]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
I noticed that CleanApp is 50% off now. Only $7.49. Looks like a good deal. Unfortunately for me, it requires 10.8 or higher.
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

Top

Moderator:  alternaut, dianne, dkmarsh