Uninstalling Programs in Mac OS X
The key to making sure your computer stays running fast is to do maintenance on it regularly. I recently wrote two articles for both the Mac and PC that explained the installation and use of two applications that help you do this very easily. If you are interested in all around maintenance for your Mac you can read how to do so here
This particular article is about another application for the Mac called AppCleaner, which assists you in uninstalling programs completely without leaving junk files behind. There are two types of applications that get installed on a Mac, bundled and non-bundled. Which means there are two types of uninstallations which I am going to go over with you today.
Bundled applications can usually be recognized by their installation method. When you double-click on the .dmg file you usually see a window pop up that instructs you to drag the icon to your application folder. This is all that is required because all the necessary files that are needed to run the program are packaged inside the icon.
To uninstall this type of application you simply drag the icon from you application folder to the trash bin. Ta-da!!! Nice and simple, the application has now been uninstalled.
Non-bundled software can also be recognized by its installation method. After you click on the .dmg file you usually see a window with a button to install the software which is followed by a series of familiar windows where you have to click “Next” all the way through before the installation begins. Then you usually see a progress bar as the software installs on your computer and finally greeted with a “Success” confirmation when it’s done. This type of software not only places an icon in your application folder but also installs files to other directories on your computer. Sometimes these can be very hard to track down and get rid of when you are finished using the application. Fortunately there is a very simple way to ensure you get everything during the uninstall process. It’s called App Cleaner and it is a very simple program to use.
To start, you can either do a Google search for “App Cleaner for Mac” or you can follow this link download it.
Once you have it downloaded there should be a file in your downloads folder called “AppCleaner_1.2.2.dmg” or something similar. There may be a newer version since the writing of this tutorial.
Double-click on this icon and you will be greeted with a window that looks like this.
This is an example of bundled software. Simply drag the icon to the Applications folder to install it.
Once you have done this, navigate to your Applications folder and click on the icon to start the program. You should be greeted by a window that looks like this.
Notice the simple toolbar at the top of the window. There are three buttons that uninstall three different things. If you click the “Applications” button. You will be provided with a list of all the applications on your computer and you can simply put a checkmark by the application(s) that you wish to uninstall. Once you have done this, click the “Search” button in the lower right hand corner and App Cleaner will find all files related to that particular software. You will then see a “Delete” button in the lower right hand corner. Simply push that button and the job is done.
The alternative method is to simply drag the icon of the application you wish to uninstall into the window of App Cleaner and it will do exactly the same thing. Simply hit the “Delete” button and App Cleaner will take care of the rest.
The second button is labeled “Widgets” and the third button is labeled “Other”. This refers to any widgets you have installed and “Other” usually refers to any plugins you have installed. There are two methods to uninstall them just like in Step #6. You can either select them from the list provided or you can drag the icon, widget or plugin into the window of App Cleaner and then click the “Delete” button.
It’s just that simple. App Cleaner will find all related files to whatever it is you wish to uninstall and make sure they get deleted as well. The application always provides a list of everything it finds so you can see what has been found. Even though bundled applications can be dragged to the trash bin, I still prefer to use App Cleaner for all uninstalls. Just to make sure that everything is wiped out. I think that you will find this little utility extremely useful and very easy to use. You’ll probably notice that App Cleaner has an uninstall button on the toolbar. Should you wish to get rid of App Cleaner, perhaps in favor of a similar application you can simply use this button to get rid of App Cleaner, or you can drag the App Cleaner icon to the trash bin.
While App Cleaner is shareware and is a free download, don’t underestimate its effectiveness. It is a very effective utility. I hope this helps you Mac users out there with managing your applications and keeping your computer as clean as possible.
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