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Uninstalling Applications on Mac OS

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White Paper

“Uninstalling Applications on Mac”




About the methods that can be used to uninstall applications on Mac.



Tuesday, November 1, 2011
www.mac-uninstall.com




                                      www.mac-uninstall.com
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Index

Whitepaper..........................................................................................................................................1
“Uninstalling Applications on Mac OS”.............................................................................................1
Summary..............................................................................................................................................3
Introduction..........................................................................................................................................4
How Applications Are Stored on Macs................................................................................................5
       The Applications Folder...........................................................................................................5
       Application Bundles.................................................................................................................5
       Additional Files........................................................................................................................6
       Application Aliases..................................................................................................................6
Differences between methods for uninstalling applications on Mac OS and uninstalling applications on
Windows..............................................................................................................................................7
User issues with uninstalling applications on Mac OS........................................................................7
Freeware and shareware that uninstall Mac OS applications..............................................................8
       AppZapper...............................................................................................................................8
       CleanMyMac...........................................................................................................................9
       AppTrap...................................................................................................................................9
       ZSoft Uninstaller......................................................................................................................10
       TrashMe Uinstaller...................................................................................................................10
Problems with freeware and shareware...............................................................................................10
Manual removal of Mac OS applications............................................................................................11
       Drag the application to the trash..............................................................................................11
       Search for the application........................................................................................................11
       Look in Library folders............................................................................................................11
       Look in the Preferences Folder................................................................................................12
Other Methods for Uninstalling Mac OS applications........................................................................13
       Use the Installer Program........................................................................................................13
       Remove Mac OS applications using Launchpad.....................................................................13
       Use Finder to Remove Application Bundles and Application Files.........................................13
Main Research Points..........................................................................................................................15
About www.mac-uninstall.com ….......................................................................................................16




                                                         www.mac-uninstall.com
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Summary

Uninstalling Mac OS applications may not be as easy as it seems at first glance. Many Mac users locate
applications they wish to uninstall in the Finder application and drag and drop them in the Trash. Later,
they discover that bits and pieces of the application are still located on their hard drive, taking up space.
Though often, the bulk of the application is removed by dragging and dropping the application icon to
the Trash, as much as 30% of the application can remain on a Mac computer after uninstalling it in this
way.

Mac users need more information about how to remove applications successfully and completely from
their hard drive to free up space. We offer comprehensive information to help Mac users better
understand how applications are stored on their computer as well as a comparison between removal of
applications on Mac OS and removal of applications in Microsoft Windows. Armed with a greater
understanding of how applications are stored on a Mac, we provide detailed instructions on how to
successfully find these applications stored in files in various locations on your Mac. Once you've found
the files, removing them manually from your computer is easy.




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Introduction

Macs are notoriously easy to use and easy to maintain, but one thing Mac users often have trouble
dealing with is uninstalling applications completely from Mac OS. Mac OS applications are stored
differently than applications on Windows. Uninstalling Mac OS applications often must be done
manually in order to successfully remove all of the bits and pieces associated with the application you
wish to delete.

                                                                Removing applications from the Mac using manual
                                                                methods can be time consuming and challenging for
                                                                some Mac users. The development of freeware and
                                                                shareware programs have made it easier for Mac users
                                                                to remove space-consuming application files from
                                                                their computer without having to go through the
                                                                manual efforts of finding each file where it is stored
                                                                on the Mac and dragging and dropping it in the trash.
                                                                But freeware and shareware programs vary in terms of
                                                                their abilities to successfully remove all of the files
                                                                 affiliated with a particular application.
Image 1: MacMost.com host, Gary Rosenzweig describes
                                                    In this whitepaper, we discuss the various freeware
and shows users how to drag and drop applications from the
                                                    and shareware packages that are available to help
Applications Folder to the trash manually in a YouTube Video,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUEHTqxwRHA .
                                                    Mac users remove unwanted application files from
                                                    their hard drive. We also discuss manual methods
that can be used to remove any files that were left over by a shareware or freeware uninstall
applications.




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How applications are stored on Mac OS

                                     Whereas Microsoft Windows utilizes a registry to keep applications
                                     organized and accessible, the Mac OS stores applications in bundles
                                     in “Finder”, the application that is used to manage the file system.
                                     Finder can be used to search the file system and launch applications.
                                     It is easy to located and use Finder. It is located in the Dock and can
                                     be activated simply by clicking on its icon.

                                         You can find any given application on the Mac OS, in the
                                         Applications Folder and launch it by clicking on the icon that
                                         represents the application. But, though the bulk of the application is
                                          accessible to be uninstalled from your computer via the
 Image 2: The Mac “Finder” icon, located  Applications Folder, when some applications are installed, they
 in the Dock.                             may deposit files containing user preferences and other supporting
                                          facets of the application in your library folders or in your
                                          preferences folder. When you drag and drop the icon in the
Applications Folder to the trash, these supporting files and preference files will not be deleted. You'll
have to go in and delete these by hand.

       The Applications Folder

In the Applications Folder on a Mac, applications appear to be just a single file, but in fact, you can
control-click on the icon for the application and see that it contains a “package” of contents. When you
control-click on the icon and you'll be given the option to “See Package Contents”. When you click on
this option, it will take you to a window where you can see what the icon actually represents, which is
typically several files.

       Application Bundles

Application bundles are unique to Mac OS. Microsoft Windows does not store applications as
“bundles”. When you look at an application icon in Finder, it appears as though the folder itself is one
complete clickable file located discretely in one place on your computer. In some cases, this is true.
Some applications are indeed self-contained and store all of the files that are needed to run a particular
application in one folder.

If a particular application that you'd like to remove from your hard drive is stored as an application
bundle and you drag the icon for the application to the trash, then you've successfully uninstalled the
application and you probably needn't worry about other files that have been left behind or folders that
have found their way into other places on your hard drive. However, if the application in question is not
stored as an application bundle, you will probably have to spend some time looking through other
locations on your Mac where application files could be hiding. Either way, it might be beneficial to
look more closely in your library and preferences folders for remnants of the application if you're intent
on freeing up as much hard drive space as you can for your Mac.


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Finding out whether a particular application exists on your Mac as an application bundle or not is easy.
Simply right-click or control-click on the icon for the application. If you see a heading, “Show Package
Contents”, then it is likely that the application is a bundle.

        Additional Files

                                                                      Often, additional files that support different
                                                                      functions for the application in question, are stored
                                                                      on the Mac in various places. These additional files
                                                                      may have stored information regarding your
                                                                      preferences for the application, for example.
                                                                      Preference files often do not take up a lot of space
                                                                      on your hard drive and therefore, do not have to be
                                                                      removed, but many people like to have the option
                                                                      of removing them anyway.
 Image 3: Check the Preferences Folder in the user Library to see
 if there are leftover pieces of applications you've uninstalled on
 your Mac. Source: Carbonite, Manually Uninstalling,
 http://carbonite.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3701/~/
 %5Bmac%5D-manually-uninstalling, November 1, 2011.



        Application Aliases

If you stored an alias application for the application you are trying to uninstall, you'll want to remove
that as well. Aliases may be located in the Dock or you may have to do a search for them. Do a search
for aliases from the Finder's toolbar. Type your application name into the Search field and then press
“Enter”. Your Mac will then search for those items containing the application name. The Search
function won't uncover application files that do not have the exact name entered into the search field.




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Differences between methods for uninstalling applications on Mac OS and uninstalling
applications on Windows

Because the Mac OS is fundamentally so different from Microsoft Windows, there are some major
differences in the way applications are stored and uninstalled between these two operating systems.
Microsoft Windows, for example, utilizes a registry and most Windows programs include an
uninstaller. The uninstaller is easy to use and can be run by activating the Add/Remove Program's
control panel. Once applications are uninstalled using this Add/Remove function, they no longer take
up hard drive space on a computer running Microsoft Windows.

Many Mac users attempt to remove Mac OS applications by dragging and dropping the application
icon in the Application Folder to the trash, thinking that, like the Microsoft Windows operating system,
removing applications must be this easy. Later, Mac users find that these application icons were only
the tip of the iceberg as far as the files that it was storing in other locations on the computer. The files
stored as a package under the icon in the Application Folder were not the only files or folders
associated with the application. Then, users are confounded with the problem of figuring out how to get
these extraneous application files off their hard drive.

User issues with uninstalling applications on Mac OS

Once Mac users realize that their application files may be stored in multiple places on their computer,
not just in the Application Folder, they want to know how to remove those extraneous files from their
hard drive to free up space.

With many Mac OS applications, it is necessary to go through several steps to remove all of the pieces
and parts of an application from a Mac. Mac users who are trying to free up hard drive space may be
puzzled by the multiple steps involved in the process of uninstalling application files. There is some
sleuthing required in order to find application files that have been left behind following an uninstall on
a Mac. Manually locating the extra little files that have been leftover by an application you're trying to
completely uninstall from your hard drive can be time consuming and require some effort. Thus, Mac
users have looked for other resources to help them quickly and easily uninstall applications completely
from their hard drive.




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                                                                8

Freeware and shareware that uninstall Mac OS applications

Freeware and shareware applications can help you uninstall Mac OS applications without having to go
through the process of manually removing them. These freeware and shareware applications have
varying levels of success at removing all of the application's contents from your computer. The only
way for you to know whether you've cleared all of the different files from a particular application off
your hard drive will still be to check manually.

                                                                MacKeeper

                                                               MacKeeper can be downloaded free of charge to
                                                               removed unwanted applications, files, and programs
                                                               from the Mac. It can be used to completely remove
                                                               Microsoft Office Mac, Norton Anti-virus Mac,
                                                               Limewire Mac OS X, Firefox Mac, as well as any
                                                               other application on the Mac, leaving no trace of the
                                                               applications behind.
Image 4: MacKeeper. Source: Green, E. Applications and
Programs to Speed up Your Computer,
http://www.dailyblogging.org/software/applications-to-speed-
up-computer/



AppZapper

AppZapper is a third party uninstaller that searches for preference files for applications you wish to
uninstall. After you've dragged and dropped the icon from the Application Folder to the Trash,
                                         AppZapper can do the rest and remove the preferences and
                                         cache files that can be left behind.

                                                    AppZapper also allows you to view and sort through your
                                                    applications and license information.




 Image 5: AppZapper. Source: Wachtl, R.,
 AppZapper- Uninstaller for OS X Snow Leopard.
 http://ryanwachtl.com/post/1271852016/appzapper-
 mac-app-uninstaller




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                                               CleanMyMac

                                               CleanMyMac is a built-in uninstall module. It is capable of
                                               finding and deleting preferences files as well as other support
                                               files for applications that you're wanting to uninstall
                                               completely. It is an all-in-one solution for helping Mac users
                                               free up space on their hard drive.




 Image 6: CleanMyMac. Source: Johnson, J.
 Thanks to Our Weekly Sponsor:
 CleanMyMac.
 http://mac.appstorm.net/tag/cleanmymac/



                                             AppTrap

                                             AppTrap is a free third party uninstaller for Mac. AppTrap is all
                                             about keeping things as simple as possible for Mac Users and it
                                             tries to provide the “uninstall” function that Apple forgot to
                                             include on a Mac.

                                             AppTrap doesn't actually function as an application, but rather as
                                             a System Preference pane that you install to run in the background
                                             on your Mac. When you drag and drop an application icon from
                                             the Application Folder to the Trash, AppTrap prompts you to
                                             delete the other files that have been installed in the library,
                                             preferences folder, or in the application's cache.
Image 7: AppTrap. Source: Mac Only Source.    AppTrap misses application files here and there, but creates a
http://www.maconlysource.com/category/05-
software-archives/
                                              seamless interface with the operating system allowing Mac users
                                              to experiences some of the simplicity that is so familiar to
                                              Windows users in removing applications from the hard drive.




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                                                              10

                                              Zsoft Uninstaller

                                              ZSoft uninstaller can be used like the Add/Remove function on
                                              Windows, but it also offers other features. ZSoft observes
                                              installation of new applications so that later, if you want to uninstall
                                              that application, ZSoft knows how and doesn't miss any files located
                                              in the library or preferences folders.

                                              ZSoft finds and deletes temporary files on your Mac, freeing up
                                              even more of your hard drive space. It located files from
                                              applications you've already uninstalled and deletes them.

 Image 8: ZSoft Uninstaller Box. Source:
 ZSoft Software, Software Details:ZSoft
 Uninstaller 2.5.
 http://www.zsoft.dk/index/software_details
 /4




                                               TrashMe Uninstaller

                                              TrashMe uninstaller is a user-friendly program that locates
                                              application files you wish to uninstall from your Mac, including
                                              those that are affiliated with the software, but located in other
                                              peripheral places on your hard drive. TrashMe is easy to use.
                                              Simply drag and drop the icon for the application you wish to
                                              remove to the Trash.

                                               TrashMe also protects Mac users from accidentally removing
Image 9: TrashMe Uninstaller Interface.        applications that they want to keep. Uninstalled applications are
Source: Sultan, S., TrashMe, a free            stored in a log file as well, just in case you need to look back and
uninstaller app for Mac.
http://techiezlounge.com/trashme-a-free-       see the applications you uninstalled in the past.
uninstaller-app-for-mac.html




Problems with freeware and shareware

Freeware and shareware that is able to uninstall Mac OS applications may not be able to remove all of
the additional files or folders associated with a particular application. In that case, you will still need to
use a manual method to fully remove all trace of the application. Many of these freeware and shareware
programs do an excellent job at removing those extraneous files in most situations, however, if you're
intent on freeing up as much hard drive space as you possibly can, use a freeware or shareware
program to do the bulk of the work and then, follow-up by manually sifting through the files on your
computer to find any that have been left behind.


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Manual removal of Mac OS applications

Manually removing Mac OS applications is quick and easy and allows you to free up hard drive space
better than some freeware and shareware programs that attempt to uninstall applications for you.
Manual removal of applications doesn't take long, if you know what to look for and how to find it.

                                                               1. Drag the application to the trash

                                                           Start by going to the Application Folder on your Mac.
                                                           Find the application you wish to uninstall. Then, hold
                                                           down the control button and click on the icon. You'll be
                                                           given the option to “See Package Contents” if the
                                                           application is an application bundle. Then drag and drop
                                                           to the Trash. This will be sufficient to remove many
                                                           applications completely from your Mac hard drive.
                                                            However, for other applications that have installed
 Image 10: Drag and drop the application icon from the
 Application Folder to the Trash to begin the process of
                                                            information in your user library or preferences in your
 uninstalling an application manually. Source: Ho, J.       preferences folder, you may need to complete additional
 Installing applications on Mac.                            steps.
 http://www.applesource.com.au/software/soa/Insta
 lling-applications-on-a-
 Mac/0,2000070819,339287568,00.htm             If you still have the application's documentation on
                                               hand, you might be able to find information in these
documents about how to uninstall the application completely.

             2. Search for the application

Using spotlight (a search feature on the Mac OS) do a search for the application you wish to uninstall.
The search may reveal any aliases on your computer as well as any extra files you didn't find. Spotlight
is supposed to create a virtual index of all files and other items in your system. If you have an alias for
the application you wish to uninstall in the dock, simply drag it off the dock. If you find an alias located
elsewhere on the hard drive, drag and drop it in the Trash to remove it.

Be cautious using Spotlight to find application files in Mac OS X 10.4. Spotlight on Mac OS X 10.4
does not search system-related folders and it won't find extraneous files left by the application on your
Mac. Using Spotlight on Mac OS X 10.5 or later may be profitable, but Spotlight is not terribly reliable
at uncovering hidden or invisible files on any version of Mac OS X.

             3. Look in Library folders

After you've dragged and dropped your application into the trash, it's time to start searching through
your computer for other files associated with the application you wish to uninstall that have been left
behind on your hard drive. It's likely that the search that you did located most of the files associated
with the application, but just in case, look in your library folder for things you might have missed.

There are two library folders on your Macintosh; the library for the main hard drive for the whole

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system and the library in the user folder. More than likely, if the application you wish to uninstall has
placed files or folders in other locations on your hard drive, it would probably put them in the library in
your user folder.

Begin by looking at the library level in your user folder for files that have names that look as though
they would fit with the application your are trying to uninstall. If you see files that look like they
belonged to the application, drag and drop them into the Trash.

           4. Look in Preferences folder

After you've looked through your user library at the “library level”, you'll want to look at your
preferences and see if there are any files stored here by the application. The application preferences are
usually very small files that don't take up a lot of space on the hard drive. As such, it isn't really
necessary to remove these. Their effect on your Mac will be negligible. But, if you see files that match
the application you are trying to uninstall in the preferences folder, go ahead and drag and drop them in
the trash as well.




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Other Methods for Uninstalling Mac OS applications

There are other methods that you can use to uninstall application on your Mac if you just don't feel
confident that you can handle a manual removal and if shareware or freeware applications are not able
to help you out either. The other options that are available to you to help you uninstall applications on
your Mac will depend somewhat on the type of application you're trying to uninstall. If you're not
willing to go through the effort to search through your computer for extraneous application files, it
might be worth a try to use one of these alternative methods instead.

        Use the installer program

Some applications on the Mac OS have an installer program. If the installer program happens to also
have an uninstall or “remove” function, it's possible that you could simply utilize this function to
remove the application from your hard drive. This option won't be available for all applications, but
newer application installers often include a “remove” or “uninstall” function.

Check the application developers web site before you uninstall an application. Sometimes the
application developer will have information online about the correct way to uninstall a Mac
application.

                                                                Remove Mac OS applications using launchpad

                                                          If you're using a Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), you might be able
                                                          to uninstall an application using Launchpad if you bought
                                                          it from the Mac App Store. If you're using Lion and you
                                                          purchased your application from the Mac App Store,
                                                          simply start Launchpad (located in the Dock or in the
                                                          Applications Folder). Then, find the application you wish
                                                          to remove. Click and hold your mouse on the application
                                                            icon until it starts to jiggle and then, as long as the
 Image 11: Launchpad. Source: Craver, T. Back to School     application can indeed be removed in this manner, you'll
 Apple Gadget Must Have's.                                  see a small “X” in the upper lefthand corner of the icon.
 http://www.techny.com/2011/08/apple-gadgets-for-back-      Use your mouse to click on the small “X” and then click
 to-school-os-x-lion/
                                                            the Delete button. This will uninstall the application
                                                            completely.


        Use “Finder” to remove application bundles and additional files

Using Finder or “Command F” to remove application bundles and application files can be somewhat
risky if the application was installed using an installer. If you use Finder to search for files that match
the application name, you may be able to find a number of the application's files, but some of them
could still remain hidden or invisible.

One of the risks involved in uninstalling applications has to do with suites of applications that share

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code between multiple applications within the suite. If you try to use Finder to uninstall some of the
applications in the suite, other applications within the same suite could be rendered non-functional.
Further, using Finder, you could accidentally uninstall system-related components and cause your
computer to become inoperable. Accidentally removing important system components is a particular
risk for Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, and Mac OS 10.3 Panther users.




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                                                   15

Main Research Points

Leftover application files that are no longer in use after uninstalling an application on the Mac OS can
take up a significant amount of hard drive space. If you're needing more room on your hard drive,
getting rid of these extra files can be pretty important. Figuring out how to safely remove these
extraneous non-functional application files from your hard drive requires a cautious approach,
however. Some Mac users have accidentally removed files that affected the performance of their entire
operating system. Other Mac users have removed files that caused other applications to become non-
functional.

The best approach for uninstalling applications definitely depends on what Mac OS version you're
dealing with. If you're using a Mac OS 10.7 or later, you may be able to uninstall your applications
using Launchpad if they were obtained from the Mac App Store. Using Spotlight to search for
extraneous files left after uninstalling the application bundle from the Application Folder may not be
the best approach for versions of Mac OS before Mac OS X 10.5.

Uninstalling an application on a Mac is not always easy, no matter what operating system version
you're using. The best method, based on the research, utilizes a combination of freeware/shareware like
MacKeeper, and a conservative approach to manual file removal to achieve the best outcome in terms
of freeing up the most hard drive space. Using freeware or shareware to remove as many of the
application files from their various locations on the hard drive can cut down on the amount of time it
takes to uninstall applications entirely by hand. Visit the web site for the application developer who
developed the application you wish to uninstall and learn more about uninstalling the application in
question, and where files may be stored on your hard drive. By checking first with the application
developer, you'll be less likely to uninstall application components that are being used by multiple
applications that are part of a suite or worse, components that are absolutely necessary for your system
to work.

After removing the application using freeware or shareware, you can then use a manual method to
search the user library and preferences folder for any applications that have been left behind, but be
cautious about removing files without checking with the application developer first. If you have doubts
about whether application files in question are related to your application and have no functionality in
terms of other applications, leave it.




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                                                  16

About www.mac-uninstall.com

Mac Uninstall is a web site devoted to helping Mac users successfully and painlessly uninstall
applications on their Mac. Mac Uninstall keeps the process of uninstalling applications quick and
simple for Mac users.




                                       www.mac-uninstall.com

				
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Description: Uninstalling Mac OS applications may not be as easy as it seems at first glance. Many Mac users locate applications they wish to uninstall in the Finder application and drag and drop them in the Trash. Later, they discover that bits and pieces of the application are still located on their hard drive, taking up space. Though often, the bulk of the application is removed by dragging and dropping the application icon to the Trash, as much as 30% of the application can remain on a Mac computer after uninstalling it in this way. Mac users need more information about how to remove applications successfully and completely from their hard drive to free up space. We offer comprehensive information to help Mac users better understand how applications are stored on their computer as well as a comparison between removal of applications on Mac OS and removal of applications in Microsoft Windows. Armed with a greater understanding of how applications are stored on a Mac, we provide detailed instructions on how to successfully find these applications stored in files in various locations on your Mac. Once you've found the files, removing them manually from your computer is easy.