If you’re like me, you try different applications on your Mac. At Mac360, it’s what we do. It’s our lot in life. It’s not a lot, but it’s a life.
Getting rid of Mac applications that are not ready for prime time has always been a chore. It still is.
I like AppZapper. If anything, it has a cool icon and a neato sound effect. Zaaaaaappp. However, it’s not going to be as thorough as you might like for zapping all files loaded on your Mac from an application you no longer love.
Enter Yank. Yank is Matterform Media’s answer to an age old issue. How do you get rid of all the files associated with a Mac application that you’re trying to remove?
That’s easier said, than done. Most non-Apple-Adobe-Microsoft applications get by with a great installer. Drag and drop.
When you’ve decided you no longer love the application you tried, or a newer version is available, you could always drag the old to the trash.
Except for a preference file here and there, that worked. But OS X is a different animal. Some applications put files everywhere (an exaggeration, but you know what I mean).
Plus, some even require the dreaded “kernel extension” files, which I loathe and try to avoid wherever possible (that reminds me of the instability of Mac OS 9 with conflicts between Control Panels and Extensions—messy).
Worse, there’s just no “official” uninstaller that tracks where everything went (all the installed files), and simply removes them all when you give the go ahead.
What Yank does is monitor the installation process. For each application you install, Yank monitors the Mac and saves a “Yank File” which records changes to your hard drive, and tracks the files installed.
When you’re ready to yank the old, bad, ugly, broken, tired, outdated application from your Mac, Yank requires you to click “Uninstall.”
I like that. Not only does it sound handy and simple, it probably goes much farther than AppZapper (gawd ,I love the sound effects and the price) by tracking where files went.
So, let’s say you buy Yank, install it, and use it to zap a handful of applications you no longer want on your Mac. Sounds good so far, right?
Except that all the applications on your Mac were already installed before you installed Yank, so there’s no real monitoring to track the previous installs.
Yank Files to the rescue. Matterform Media keeps a Yank File Sharing Service. Download Yank Files which were created by other Yank users, and use that “profile” to yank, zap, remove, trash, destroy the application and files you don’t want anymore.
The wonderful sound of plausibility echoes through my keyboard as I type.
OK, you’re already thinking what I’m thinking, right? What If™ someone creates a Yank File profile for a particular Mac application, you download it, try it, and it removes a bunch of files that you want to keep?
That’s scary, so I hope there’s some kind of review process for submitting Yank Files for use by others.
Yank also uses something called Sonar Technology, which Matterform says can “locate every installed file.” They also boldly say, “Yank is the only product that can remove any software from a Macintosh computer, no matter how it was originally installed.”
Installation is as simple as those words are strong. Yank is drag and drop. Upon launch, Yank’s opening dialog box asks for the license number. There’s also a demo mode. And a tour. After that, it’s drag and drop or point and click.
You get three choices to click. Install, Uninstall, and Share. Install is simple, but it’s an extra step.
Install is default. Drag a new (or old) application’s installer program, or the actual application, or even the package file (used to install applications) into Yank. Yank uses that to create the Yank File, which aids removal later.
Now Click Uninstall. Double-click a Yank File or drag it to Yank to uninstall an application.
Finally, click Share. This lets you search the Matterform Yank Server to find Yank Files for applications that Yank didn’t watch get installed, but that you want to install.
Still with me? There’s not much on the list yet. Ironically, the application AppZapper was at the top of Matterform’s Yank Files list. Not much else.
Again, plausibility of Yank’s benefits seems high. It also seems like plenty of extra effort to rid ourselves of Mac applications we no longer want cluttering up our Macs.
Obsessive compulsive? Anal retentive? Or, are Mac users neat by nature?
I clean out my Mac from time to time. Sometimes every week. Sometimes once a month (depends on how busy I’ve been), though I’m sure I try out more Mac applications than the average Jellystone Park bear Mac user.
In the end, as always, your mileage may vary.
Sometimes I zap applications by simply selecting it in the Finder and clicking Delete. Every now and then I’ll check the Library/Preferences folder and clean that, too.
Once in awhile I’ll visit the /Library/Application Support folder, and clean that, too. I like AppZapper. That icon is just soooo Flash Gordon, and the sound effect is reassuring.
Yanks’ $20 price tag doesn’t bother me, and seems worth it considering the whole “plausibility” issue. Click Here for the Yank details and demo download.
Still, I wish there were a better way.
Tera Jean Patricks
So many Mac applications. So little time. Yank seems to me to be a lot of extra steps.
Everything has a price tag these days. So does peace of mind. That’s why we’re Mac users.
Carol Mary Miller
I like AppZapper’s sound effects when it zaps a file. It makes you feel good. Unless you start to think that it zapped something it shouldn’t.
Jack D. Miller
I just leave things on my Mac. Isn’t this, as Tera says, ‘much ado over not much?’ I get a new OS from Apple every 18 months, so that keeps my Mac clean.