When it comes to applications, Mac users have never had it so good. We have tens of thousands of apps to try and choose, and an official App Store which makes buying and installing a simple, one-click affair.
There’s just one little problem with this new era of Mac app proliferation. How do you get rid of apps you’ve installed and tried out, but don’t want. Here’s the best way.
The Unofficial Uninstaller
For whatever crazy reason, Apple decided not to provide an app uninstaller into OS X. I’m sure Apple has official reasons, but uninstalling apps can sometimes lead to disaster.
Even Windows has an uninstaller app, so why not the Mac? Granted, there are a few free Mac app uninstallers, but they can only delete files they find.
My favorite Mac app uninstaller is CleanApp, now at version 4.x. It’s been around a few years and does one thing most other uninstaller apps do not.
Instead of guessing which files from an app need to be deleted, CleanApp actually watches in the background when a new app is installed, and notes where it puts files.
If an uninstaller doesn’t know exactly where an app’s files are located, removal is merely a guess. CleanApp knows.
CleanApp has a built-in logging service which tracks each app and file it creates and saves. Anytime an app makes a change, CleanApp knows about it, so when it’s time to delete or uninstall a Mac app, you get a list of every file associated with that app before it gets deleted.
CleanApp also works as part of a Clean Community of many thousands of Mac users who have deleted files from apps. That database makes sure that files you delete are files you should delete.
Uninstalling isn’t the only option, though. CleanApp can remove specific language packages from applications, saving space on your hard disk drive.
Some apps are universal binary apps which run on PowerPC-based Macs. CleanApp can strip out code that won’t get used on your Mac.
Just in case, there’s also a secure and archive function so you can test the uninstallation of an app before deleting the files. It’s also a good tool to use to find file duplicates to save space. While the new version of CleanApp is faster, and has a few more features, the list of files displayed to uninstall is more confusing than the previous version. That needs to be fixed.