Deleting Apps and Associated Files

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Otto Pylot, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. Otto Pylot

    Otto Pylot Guest

    I know this has probably been asked before but I can't seem to find the
    answer. I have a mid-2011 MacBook Air running 10.7.5. I'd like to
    upgrade to the latest OS which shouldn't be difficult. However, I'd
    like to clean things up a bit after the upgrade and delete apps that
    don't work or ones that I don't use. I'd also like to delete their
    associated files just to keep things clean and orderly. In the old days
    it used to basically be just the app and prefs. Now a days, it's a bit
    more complicated. Suggestions and or guidance?
     
    Otto Pylot, Dec 24, 2013
    #1
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  2. Otto Pylot

    Király Guest

    Places to look for apps' associated files:
    ~/Library/Preferences
    ~/Library/Caches
    ~/Library/Application Support

    For apps that to System tasks also look in:
    /Library/Preferences
    /Library/Caches
    /Library/Application Support

    It's generally a waste of time seeking out and destroying these files.
    They don't do anything except take up space, and the space tends to be
    so small that you do not gain anything significant by reclaiming it.

    Make sure you back up before updating your OS.
     
    Király, Dec 24, 2013
    #2
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  3. Otto Pylot

    Otto Pylot Guest

    Places to look for apps' associated files:
    ~/Library/Preferences
    ~/Library/Caches
    ~/Library/Application Support

    For apps that to System tasks also look in:
    /Library/Preferences
    /Library/Caches
    /Library/Application Support

    It's generally a waste of time seeking out and destroying these files.
    They don't do anything except take up space, and the space tends to be
    so small that you do not gain anything significant by reclaiming it.

    Make sure you back up before updating your OS.[/QUOTE]

    Thank you. Good to know about not really having to delete the
    associated files. I was more concerned about compatibility issues if
    those were left behind but if that's not a problem why bother?

    What would be yours, or anyone's for that matter, recommendation for
    making a backup (at least of my data).

    Would it be best to first go to Mountain Lion and then after a period
    of time jump to Mavericks, stay at Mountain Lion or, if I don't have
    any issues now, just stay with 10.7.5? I'm just a "regular" user
    (internet, Office, usenet, etc) and don't even bother with iCloud
    so....
     
    Otto Pylot, Dec 24, 2013
    #3
  4. Otto Pylot

    Lewis Guest

    How is it more complicated? For most apps, you delete the app and you're
    done. Sure, you CAN go digging through the preferences folder and delete
    the 1-2K pref file, but why.

    There are apps like Adobe {anything} that litter thousands of files
    into dozens of locations and are nigh-impossible to remove completely,
    but those are pretty much restricted to Adobe.

    I guess the 'more complicated' is Mac App Store apps will have a folder
    in ~/Library/Containers, but most of these are quite small and not worth
    rooting out. Certainly having them there for apps that are not being
    used (or are no longer installed) will not hurt anything.
     
    Lewis, Dec 24, 2013
    #4
  5. Otto Pylot

    Savageduck Guest

    Thank you. Good to know about not really having to delete the
    associated files. I was more concerned about compatibility issues if
    those were left behind but if that's not a problem why bother?

    What would be yours, or anyone's for that matter, recommendation for
    making a backup (at least of my data).

    Would it be best to first go to Mountain Lion and then after a period
    of time jump to Mavericks, stay at Mountain Lion or, if I don't have
    any issues now, just stay with 10.7.5? I'm just a "regular" user
    (internet, Office, usenet, etc) and don't even bother with iCloud
    so....[/QUOTE]

    I updated directly from OSX 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) to OSX 10.9
    (Mavericks) without issue.
    I just had to get used to some of those SL to L, ML, & Mavericks app
    and appearance changes.
     
    Savageduck, Dec 24, 2013
    #5
  6. Otto Pylot

    Guest Guest

    not at all.

    any product that's part of a suite with shared components has to have
    an uninstaller because if you want to remove one app from the suite,
    you have to know what to leave so that the rest will work.
     
    Guest, Dec 24, 2013
    #6
  7. Otto Pylot

    Király Guest

    An exteranal hard drive at the very least, and a full backup made to
    it by Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner, or SuperDuper. The latter two
    make bootable clones that you can start up from and restore in case
    anything goes wrong. I always have at least two good backups of my
    system.
     
    Király, Dec 24, 2013
    #7
  8. Thank you. Good to know about not really having to delete the
    associated files. I was more concerned about compatibility issues if
    those were left behind but if that's not a problem why bother?

    What would be yours, or anyone's for that matter, recommendation for
    making a backup (at least of my data).

    Would it be best to first go to Mountain Lion and then after a period
    of time jump to Mavericks, stay at Mountain Lion or, if I don't have
    any issues now, just stay with 10.7.5? I'm just a "regular" user
    (internet, Office, usenet, etc) and don't even bother with iCloud
    so....[/QUOTE]

    No one's mention the app clean deinstallers that are out there:

    https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/21453/cleanapp
    https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/25276/appcleaner
    https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/23149/appdelete

    I use AppDelete. It runs on 10.7 or later. CleanApp runs under 10.6 and
    still has problems. AppCleaner is free. I'd start with that one first.
     
    Michael Vilain, Dec 25, 2013
    #8
  9. Otto Pylot

    Guest Guest

    and it's good thing because they don't work very well. all they do is
    search for files that it thinks are related to the app. sometimes it
    gets it right and sometimes it doesn't. when it doesn't, not good
    things can happen.

    if an app doesn't have an uninstaller, just drag to trash. if it does,
    use the provided uninstaller.

    or just ignore it. unless it's taking up huge amounts of space, there's
    not a compelling reason to bother.
     
    Guest, Dec 25, 2013
    #9
  10. Otto Pylot

    J Burns Guest

    I use AppCleaner.

    I used AppDelete when I had Tiger. Sometimes I'd use it just to see
    what files were associated with an app.
     
    J Burns, Dec 25, 2013
    #10
  11. If the OP doesn't care about all the cruft left over by applications in
    the ~/Library folder, your advise would be OK. But they specifically
    asked about cleaning out ALL the crap an application leaves behind.

    If this were my mother, I'd go with your advice. But they want more.

    Yes, those utilities have the potential for cleaning out way more than
    they should. I used CleanApp to remove CandyBar which leaves all sorts
    of things throughout the system. I scrambled through my mirror, my
    backups, and TimeMachine to get the relevant icons and system plists
    back. Yes, it asked me if I wanted to move those file to the Trash and
    I said yes. Never again. It should have come with it's own uninstaller.

    Let the OP decide if they want something more than just dragging stuff
    to the Trash.
     
    Michael Vilain, Dec 25, 2013
    #11
  12. Otto Pylot

    Guest Guest

    there point is there's no need to bother. it's a complete waste of time
    since those files are tiny and completely inert and do not make one bit
    of difference to the system.

    some people think it might make a difference because they're used to
    windows where uninstalling something often does matter, but on a mac,
    it does not.

    the preference files and other stuff are almost always tiny and take up
    almost no space. you would need to delete hundreds of them to save a
    whopping megabyte of space, which won't matter on multi-gigabyte
    drives.

    there are exceptions, such as apps like garage band which have huge
    assets that take up a lot of space but most apps don't do that.

    if an app has a kernel extension, removing it may be worthwhile, but
    apps with kexts will come with an uninstaller which will do the right
    thing, so again, there's no need for any of these cleaner apps.

    if you really want to remove cruft, start with the system folder. how
    many people really need all the man pages installed?
    which means they cause more problems than they solve, especially since
    there isn't a problem to begin with.
     
    Guest, Dec 25, 2013
    #12
  13. Otto Pylot

    JF Mezei Guest

    I am thinking in particular of Adobe which has a number of directories
    that are obvious, but also under a totally different name (the name of
    the company that does the serial number autnentication stuff). When
    browsing the Library folder, you might be tempted to ditch it, not
    knowing it is a critical part of Adobe software.

    On the other hand, going through the proeferences and deleteing astuff
    from apps you only trialed and deleted makes sense. It is just a matter
    of good system management and knowing what apps are on your system and
    what associated files come with it.

    If you are the type who buys a new system every couple of years and
    re-installs everything from scratch, then you need not be concerned with
    cleaning up unnecessary files. But if you upgrade in-situ and/or
    migration assistant, then you will find that cruft will follow you and
    accumulate over the years.

    Removing unnecessary stuff from those folders helps you know what is
    needed in them and makes it easier to find stuff when you need to.
     
    JF Mezei, Dec 25, 2013
    #13
  14. Otto Pylot

    Guest Guest

    that's one reason why apple made the user library folder invisible. you
    shouldn't be screwing around in there.

    if you want to uninstall adobe software, use their uninstaller, which
    will do it in a way that won't screw up anything.
    it has no effect other than taking up an imperceptible bit of space.

    right now, my preferences folder is 42 megabytes.

    it's about 1/100th of a dvd.

    it's less than 1/10000th of a 500 gig hd.

    it's not worth worrying about.
     
    Guest, Dec 25, 2013
    #14
  15. Otto Pylot

    Daniel Cohen Guest

    Better, two hard drives or one with two partitions, and use one for Time
    Machine backups, and the other for SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Coner,
    Because these are two different methods.

    I find the Take Control series of books often useful, and there is one
    about backups.
     
    Daniel Cohen, Dec 25, 2013
    #15
  16. Otto Pylot

    Otto Pylot Guest

    Thanks everyone. So far I have CCC 3.5.4. I'm looking at getting a WD
    My Passport Slim as my backup drive but I understand that there are
    some issues with CCC and WD drives as far as making a bootable backup.
    I have a query into CCC about using the My Passport Slim, Mavericks,
    and bootability. I ran AppCleaner and my drive is cleaner than I
    thought, as far as I can tell.
     
    Otto Pylot, Dec 26, 2013
    #16
  17. Otto Pylot

    Guest Guest

    some hard drives use a bridge chip that isn't bootable but those days
    are long gone.

    if you clone a bootable drive, it will almost always be bootable.
    sometimes the clone process isn't 100% complete and it won't be
    bootable, but that's not a drive issue. rerun the clone and it will be
    fine.

    the only issue with western digital drives is the crappy software they
    come with (actually, not just western digital). do not install. do not
    even think about installing. use superduper or carbon copy cloner
    instead.
    completely unnecessary.
     
    Guest, Dec 26, 2013
    #17
  18. Otto Pylot

    Otto Pylot Guest

    Ok. So as long as I don't install any of the software that comes with
    the WD My Passport Slim, reformat the drive as a GUID and use CCC to
    clone my existing HD to it, I should be able to boot my mid-2011
    MacBook Air (once I select the drive at startup) from the Passport Slim
    via USB if I need to?
     
    Otto Pylot, Dec 26, 2013
    #18
  19. Otto Pylot

    Guest Guest

    yes.
     
    Guest, Dec 26, 2013
    #19
  20. Try it and see if that works. If not, post any problems you're seeing.
     
    Michael Vilain, Dec 26, 2013
    #20
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