Some Mac users try every application and utility available. Put me in that category of Mac user.
I’m constantly trying new Mac apps, always looking for something better, which means my Mac gets loaded.
How do I get rid of the those applications that I install but decide not to keep?
For now I’m using Clean-App, a straightforward Mac utility that watches what gets installed and removes all the right files.
That’s a rather simplistic one-liner for what should be easy on Mac OS X but isn’t.
The Mac’s application installation method is both remarkably easy and complex.
On the easy side, it’s drag and drop simple. Download a file, unzip or open the disk image, drag to the Applications folder. You’re done.
How does installation get much easier than that? Uninstallation should be so easy. It’s not.
On the complex side, an installer puts the new Mac app in the Applications folder. Supporting files end up getting scattered all over the place.
There’s files in the Preferences folder, there’s files in the Application Support folder; files here, files there, who knows where.
I’ve used AppZapper to rid my Mac of discarded applications, but it has limitations and doesn’t find all the files an application leaves behind.
I’ve used Yank but finally had to yank it after a few problems cropped up.
I’ve settled on Clean-App because it does two things very well.
First, it watches my Mac’s files and folders during the installation process.
That way it knows where an application installation placed various files, folders, and hidden files.
Second, Clean-App removes all those files. So far, the new version has been flawless and fast.
In simple terms, it watches your Mac’s files and folders. When an application or utility is installed, it tracks the files. It also tracks files created by the app or utility you installed.
Knowing where all the related support files reside on your Mac is useful when it comes time to remove the files.
Removal has been quick and painless, even when an application leaves behind many files in many locations.
In some respects, Clean-App is easy to use, just like AppZapper. It’s drag and drop. Drag the application you want removed to Clean-App.
It finds the appropriate files and gives you the option to Create Archive (just in case), or Delete Files.
Clean-App has a standard Mac tool bar with obvious selections. Applications, System Accessories, Languages, Cache Files, Unused Files, Log Files, Temporary Files, Hidden Files.
Scroll through the list of each, select the application you want to “uninstall” and click to delete. It’s that simple. Categories can be searched and sorted.
Unfortunately, Clean-App doesn’t give a healthy list of what’s OK to delete from your Mac and what’s not OK. User beware.
If you’re worried about all those utilities you add to your Mac and want to get rid of a few, this is an excellent way to start. For $10, Clean-App displayed more polish and comfort than all the other uninstallers I’ve tried.