5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 10, 2006 11:13 PM by -djbolt-
-djbolt- Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
I just switched from PC to Mac, and I have no idea how to uninstall programs.

Im thinking you just drag the app to the trashcan, but does that remove all the files, or is there another way?

MacBook Ultimate, Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • mhunter Level 6 Level 6 (9,190 points)
    Hello,

    Some programs like Microsoft Office have their own uninstaller. But, those programs are a bit less common.

    For 95% of programs, yes, you just drag the program to the trash can. It's that simple.

    Mac programs store their various component files in a folder that is the Application. The application icon is actually just a special type of folder. So, deleting that does delete the entire program.

    It leaves the preference files behind for OS X. But, those are very, very small. So, I wouldn't worry about them.

    But, if you want to delete the preference files, those are located here:


    Hard Drive --> Users --> Your User Name --> Library --> Preferences

    For example, the TextEdit program's preference file is:

    com.apple.TextEdit.plist

    You would locate and delete that file if you wanted to delete TextEdit's preference file. Other programs use similar naming conventions.

    But, you should make sure you know for sure what program the file you are deleting is associated with.

    Personally, I'd leave them alone unless you are experienced in that area. They are tiny files, and not really worth much attention in this particular situation.


    I hope this helps.

    Let us know if you have other questions.


    P.S., if you'd like, go ahead and click the "Helpful" or "Solved" buttons on any of the posts / replies above if you feel they were helpful or adequately answered your question.
  • William S. Level 2 Level 2 (265 points)
    Preference files (.plist) are left in ~/Library/Preferences if you want clean those out too (I dont like anything left over). Sometimes other files are left (cache folders and application folders) that need to be removed too.

    I used to do it all manually (using spotlight search), but recently found AppZapper (http://appzapper.com/) and use that. Worth every penny and does a great job clearly everything out.

    But moving the program to the trash does "uninstall" the program. However some large ones (like Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver) install things all over your system, so just deleting them from Applications wont remove everything.
  • mhunter Level 6 Level 6 (9,190 points)
    Hello,

    Preference files (.plist) are left in
    ~/Library/Preferences if you want clean those out too
    (I dont like anything left over). Sometimes other


    Yes, some people don't like the slightest trace left behind. But, for the novice user, the PLIST files are not a big deal. They don't take-up much space, and are not worth accidentally deleting the wrong file for a novice.


    files are left (cache folders and application
    folders) that need to be removed too.


    Fortunately, that is done quite easily by running maintenance programs like OnyX that clear out the caches:

    http://www.titanium.free.fr/pgs/english.html



    I used to do it all manually (using spotlight
    search), but recently found AppZapper
    (http://appzapper.com/) and use that. Worth every
    penny and does a great job clearly everything out.




    Never used that program. It sounds convenient. But, I'm a bit cheap. I won't pay for anything I can do for free



    But moving the program to the trash does "uninstall"
    the program. However some large ones (like Adobe
    Photoshop and Dreamweaver) install things all over
    your system, so just deleting them from Applications
    wont remove everything.


    Yes, there is the occasional program like that. I'm happy to say that they are the minority. I don't like programs that scatter stuff about.
  • Dr. Smoke Level 9 Level 9 (56,585 points)
    Hi, -djbolt-.

    See my "Uninstalling applications" FAQ for important advice on uninstalling software.

    Good luck!

    Dr. Smoke
    Author: Troubleshooting Mac® OS X

    ---
    Note: The information provided in the link(s) above is freely available. However, because I own The X Lab™, a commercial Web site to which some of these links point, the Apple Discussions Terms of Use require I include the following disclosure statement with this post:

    I may receive some form of compensation, financial or otherwise, from my recommendation or link.
  • -djbolt- Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    the help was great.