There was an easy way, way back in the day, when a Mac user could delete an app by using a simple drag and drop motion to the Trash.
Those days are gone. Mac OS X Lion is a more complicated beast. Mac apps scatter files hither and yon (I’ve been there; it’s not a nice place), and simply deleting an app doesn’t delete the garbage left behind.
Click, And Ye Shall Delete
Here’s the familiar story. You’ve tried out a few of those try-before-you-buy apps, maybe some games, and now it’s time to clean house. What do you do? There are really only three options.
Two options are free. The first, drag and drop an app to the Trash.
It’s free. It’s easy. It’s oh so wrong, because that app left behind preferences, and support files, and who knows what other stains were left on your Mac.
Or, a second way is to use an app like AppCleaner. It’s not the cat’s meow of uninstaller apps, but it’s free. And it’s easy.
Take a look at how easy drag and drop removal can be.
That’s it. What? You expected more? Didn’t I say AppCleaner was free?
Well, there is a little more. There’s Preferences. Choose SmartDelete and whenever you drop an old app in the Trash, AppCleaner will try to find associated files to remove, too.
And, there’s a nice feature to drag and drop apps you want to protect from someone else accidentally deleting them on your Mac. Two nice features. Free. But something is missing.
My favorite app deleter is CleanApp. What it does is different. It watches your Mac all the time. When you install, when an app creates a file somewhere, and remembers where all the digital cruft was placed, so when it’s time to delete it really, truly, honestly deletes it all.
What AppCleaner misses, CleanApp dismisses.
Wow. Two years of poetry in community college finally paid off.
AppCleaner is useful and works well, but it just doesn’t delete all files associated with an app on your Mac.
For that, you need an app cleaner that pays attention to what goes on while you’re looking the other way. Apps leave files everywhere on your Mac, and CleanApp knows where.
Choose free, or free, or not so free but better, when you need to delete those apps cluttering up your Mac.