When is the last time you checked your Mac hard disk for how much space is left? It is always a good idea to leave about 1/3 of your disk available to allow your system to move files around as you use your Mac. If space is getting thin on your hard disk, you will want to do some uninstaller for Mac activities.
Fundamentally, MAC always has a Thrash Icon where you can drop the files and applications which are not needed. However, you should know that few applications more files linked to them which are not visible. To fully understand how Mac applications are installed on your Mac, you need to understand a packaged or bundled application is different from a self-contained application that pretty much has one executable file.
For instance, take the well-known Mac web browser called Safari. This application is bundle of executable and helper files that collectively are packaged under the Safari icon. When you right-click or use ctrl-click, you can see all of the Safari program files from the ‘Show Package Contents’ option. The files and file locations are shown. If this were the application that you wished to uninstall, ideally you would perform uninstaller actions by locating each file and bringing it to the trash bin.
Some programs which are installed in one folder as well as all of the program’s files are located there. It is very much important that you know the location of all your files, including preferences and application support files. Some of them can be quite large which are related to graphics animation and multimedia publishing and video development software; a notable one is called DVD Studio Pro.
While preferences files are usually small, they are there so that you have a reference point already in place should you wish to reinstall an application at a later time. However, new preferences can also be established later as well so deleting them might be fine. You will find your preferences files within your user name library folder (as ~/Library/Preferences) or in the root of your hard disk’s system volume name as /Library/References.
The location of application support files can be either the Application Support folder within your user name’s library folder, or ‘Application Support’ within the ‘Library’ folder. Use the Show Package Contents option by right-clicking the application icon to open the Finder window to view the files and folders that are part of the application. Click on the support file to drag it to the Trash bin. Be sure the application is not running during any uninstallation action. Once you remove from the trash bin, your application files are permanently deleted.
Some applications also come with their own Mac uninstall apps. To determine if the application you wish to remove has such an uninstall program, go to the application installation file and run it to see if there is an uninstall option. To use the command line to try to uninstall an application, use the same name of the installation file with the uninstall name instead. For example: ‘[appname]uninstall.pl’.
There are also uninstaller programs which one can buy. Be careful of which you choose as some may not remove all files to an application. A program such as AppZapper or AppTrap does in fact look for files beyond the application executable.
This guest post was written by David Ritchie. David Ritchie is a software development writer. His current area of interest is uninstall software with an emphasis on how to correctly uninstall programs on Mac.