I was doing a little Mac housecleaning yesterday—deleting old, unwanted or trial apps that I didn’t need. Since I’m always trying out new Mac apps, a few dozen bit the dust in my trash bin.
Not counting apps from Apple or Adobe (I’m Microsoft Free™ for over a year), my Mac is still loaded with over 100 3rd party apps—utilities and tools that do this or that (sometimes not very often, so the six month rule applies).
Not Counting Apple, Microsoft, Or Adobe
My Mac has two main tools which help to keep it clean and up to date. I use the MacUpdate Desktop to check for updates. Once a week or so it’ll scan my Mac and check version numbers, then connect to MacUpdate to match what I have with the latest versions.
The utility then downloads and updates the apps on my Mac. Handy and efficient.
What of those apps on my Mac that I want to delete? For that effort, I use CleanApp.
This Mac utility has a must-have feature. Behind the scenes, CleanApp automatically logs all the files and folders each installed app places on your Mac. When it’s time to delete an app, CleanApp knows where all the files are and gives you options to delete accordingly.
That two step method keeps my Mac’s apps up to date and uncluttered.
That said, there are still dozens and dozens of apps. Apple has dozens. Add Adobe’s Creative Suite and there’s at least half a dozen to a dozen more. Add Microsoft Office, and still more apps clutter up your Mac.
Excluding those apps from Apple, Adobe, and Microsoft, how many different 3rd party apps—utilities, tools, software—do you have installed on your Mac? Five? 10? Two dozen?
Obviously, my wife’s iMac would seem to have far fewer apps than my Mac. She has a few recipe apps (and her own web site featuring restaurant reviews from Honolulu—OnoDining). There’s Firefox. Path Finder. Tweetie. Carbon Copy Cloner. And perhaps a dozen other Mac apps I’ve installed to make my maintenance of her Mac a little easier for me.
That’s where my notorious Six Month Rule comes into play.
If I don’t use an app within six months, it gets deleted (often it gets installed again a month later, which means maybe it should be a Seven Month Rule).
One side benefit of using CleanApp is the ability to use trial apps for longer than the trial period (often two weeks to a month). When you install a trial app, it usually adds a hidden, secret file with the original launch date. The app uses that date to count down the trial period. After the trial period ends, the app doesn’t work.
When an app is deleted by CleanApp, often it deletes the secret date file, so re-installing the app starts the clock on a new trial period. No, I haven’t tried it with Adobe Creative Suite 5 or Microsoft Office.
So, what about your Mac? Do a quick survey. How many additional—non-Apple, non-Microsoft, non-Adobe—apps have you installed? The logical follow up question is,“ How many have you not used in the past six months?” Share your experience in the Comment section.