Macs have always been rather simple to use and didn’t scatter files all over the place. Mac OS X changed that with Unix underpinnings that are much more complex.
Getting rid of a Mac application isn’t just drag and drop and delete. There are application files all over the place. AppZapper zaps ‘em.
Some Mac installers put files in places you’ve never heard of, never visited, won’t go to, and probably don’t care about. Other Mac applications are pure drag and drop.
So you think. Even drag and drop installations can leave files buried all over your Mac. Once the application starts up, preferences get created, caches get set, support files get moved around.
When you finally decide to throw away a Mac application, what do you throw away?
Dragging the application to the trash is one way. But what about that application’s preference files? Where are they?
How about the support files? Some get tucked away in Application Support (sometimes for the whole Mac and all users, sometimes just for a single user).
Other files go here and there and eventually clog up your Mac with files that no longer get used.
AppZapper is one of those nifty applications for the Mac whose time has come. Why? Because we live in a complex world and the whole idea of the Mac is to make it less complex.
Keeping your Mac neat and tidy can be challenge. Tera and I are always trying out new Mac applications. Some of them stick preferences, caches, and other files all over the Macs innner folders.
There’s no rhyme or reason for it, either. The files take up space, memory, and when things go wrong I go looking for a problem, I usually find more clutter than I bargained for.
That’s the problem. What’s the solution? Some kind of nifty Mac application that tracks installations and zaps the whole thing when you’re ready to discard, delete, demolish, destroy.
AppZapper does that. And it’s about as simple as a Mac application can get.
It opens to a modest sized window which says “Drag Apps Here.” I assume it means the applications I want to zap, so I drag one into the window. In this case, it’s CyberDuck.
I’m zapping CyberDuck (an Open Source FTP application) because there’s a new version available which I’ll install later.
AppZapper does a little dance, spins a wheel or two, and pops up a list of CyberDuck related files. Aha!. It’s not just a single file. There’s the CyberDuck application, a CyberDuck application support file, the CyberDuck plist preference file, a CyberDuck cache file, and the new CyberDuck disk image which I haven’t installed. Yet.
AppZapper lets me keep the latter and zap all the rest. It’s one click. Zap.
Oh, put some padding in your ears or turn down the volume on your Mac. AppZapper zaps the application with a real zapping sound. It’s loud but in a reassuring way.
It’s that simple. But, you’re saying to yourself, that one click could also one click zap an app that you want to keep, right? Yes and no.
AppZapper has a cool “safety” feature which remembers the stuff you don’t want to remember (except where to find the list of things to remember). It remembers which applications you want to keep safe (like iTunes, iPhoto, etc.).
It also log tracks all the files you’ve zapped, just in case something gets messy. So far, nothing has. What’s impressive here is that it finds associated files to applications that I thought were only a single installed file.
If you’re like many Mac users, you like to try new applications. That also means you throw away applications. Now you can throw away the whole thing without worrying about throwing away the wrong thing.
You can always tell when you’ve struck a nifty Mac application when you wonder why Apple doesn’t build it in to Mac OS X.
Click Here to give AppZapper a try. You get five free zaps, $12.95 for unlimited. Choose wisely.
Tera Jean Patricks
This is soooo cool. So simple. So much a Mac application. It’s a one trick pony that does a trick you need.
Bambi, I’m impressed. Usually I’m the one who finds these cool little utilities. What have you been doing? No more Twinkies in the pantry?
Jack D. Miller
I’ve always liked the Windows Install Shield and the ability to uninstall Windows applications. AppZapper looks like fun.