Apps on Mac OS X scatter files here and there on your Mac. Deleting a Mac app just isn’t what it used to be. Can it be as easy the drag and drop that iTrash says it can be? Yes. And no.
Drag And Drop Can Be Hairy, Scary, Or Easy
iTrash is one of a number of Mac apps which claim to delete apps from your Mac, including those hard to find preferences, support files, even orphaned files.
For the most part, and with most apps, iTrash trashes the apps and their files.
However, other apps claim the same thing—drag and drop to delete.
What do they do that’s different? And why are there so many safeguards built-in to make sure you only delete only what you should delete, and not what you shouldn’t?
Mac OS X is powerful, but fragile. Delete the wrong files, and OS X turns your Mac into an attractive desktop paperweight. iTrash aims to prevent that.
9 Ways To Protect Apps Before Destruction
The interface could not be easier to figure out. Fire up iTrash. Open your Finder’s Applications folder. Find the app you want to delete. Drag and drop onto iTrash.
What could be easier?
iTrash works behind the scenes to find all the associated files and folders for the app you want to delete. It works on apps, Dashboard Widgets, Preference Panes, and on all hard disk drives connected to your Mac.
The Expert Mode uses a special algorithm to track down hard to find files. The Ghost Mode works in the background and starts up iTrash even when you drag and drop an app to your Mac’s trash.
The History Log tracks everything that iTrash does. There’s also a built-in Put Back feature with Quicklook support.
iTrash will help you find orphaned files which may stick around after an app has been deleted.
You can even protect apps and their files from deletion.
iTrash speak a bunch of different languages and includes an update function. What’s not to like? It’s inexpensive, easy to set up and use, and works well to delete most Mac apps (good for letting you try out new apps, and deleting those you don’t want to keep).
The Down And Dirty Darkside Of Deleting
Deleting apps and associated files on a Mac is not child’s play. It can be dangerous, especially if an app that deletes files deletes a file that OS X needs to keep running, or a file that another app needs to launch and function.
My litmus test for such apps is simple. Many apps have a trial period of two weeks or a month. Start up such trial apps and they often place an invisible, encrypted file somewhere on your Mac that starts the trial period timer clicking. Any Mac app that can track, record, and delete those invisible files, thereby resetting the trial period clock, gets my attention.
In the recent past, we’ve outlined 5 Easy Ways To Delete Apps From Your Mac, pointed out How To Trash Mac Apps For Free Or Not So Free, and reviewed my favorite, CleanApp: The Mac’s Out With The Old Uninstaller.