Software

How to completely remove unnecessary programs from Macs with App Uninstaller

Many Mac users just delete an application's icon when they no longer need a program, but that doesn't remove every file in the program. That's where tools such as Pocket Bits' App Uninstaller come in.

Mac users add and remove programs many times over the course of a Mac's lifespan. However, just deleting an application's icon doesn't remove all the program's files, libraries, and information.

As multiple programs are installed and deleted, over time, unnecessary and orphaned files and data collect on a Mac and clutter the system. To ensure optimal disk capacity and performance, Mac users should use a reliable application uninstaller to ensure programs and applications are properly and thoroughly removed when they're no longer needed.

SEE: Ebook—Boost your Mac productivity with these 10 techniques (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Some third-party utilities, such as MacPaw's CleanMyMac 3 and CCleaner Professional for Mac, include an application uninstaller. But system maintenance programs typically include additional other system cleaning and, sometimes, health and monitoring components not all users require. And, these more elaborate programs typically cost more, too. CleanMyMac 3 costs $39.95 for a single license, while CCleaner Professional runs $24.95. Pocket Bits'App Uninstaller is solely an application uninstaller and costs only $5.99. (Note: $5.99 is the app's sale price for a limited time—the price is usually $9.99.)

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Image: Pocket Bits

How to use App Uninstaller on your Mac

After purchasing and downloading the 2.6MB App Uninstaller file from Apple's App Store, and upon opening the program for the first time, App Uninstaller requests you confirm the Home and Applications directories (Figure A). Click the Confirm Home Directory and Confirm Applications Directory buttons, and confirm the destination directories by clicking the subsequent Allow Access buttons that appear, to proceed.

Figure A

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Image: Pocket Bits

Next, the program requests you perform a scan of the Applications directory (Figure B). Click the Scan button.

Figure B

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Image: Pocket Bits

The scan operation on my test late 2013 MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i5 CPU and 8 GB RAM took less than 10 seconds to complete.

Upon completing the initial scan, App Uninstaller lists the hard disk's free space, used space, and installed applications. The program also displays the amount of disk space each detected program occupies (Figure C).

Figure C

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Image: Pocket Bits

To remove an application, and all of its corresponding libraries, directories, and information, check the provided circles and click the Remove button (Figure D). To save time, the program permits selecting multiple applications for removal simultaneously.

Figure D

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Image: Pocket Bits

After clicking Remove, the App Uninstaller displays a confirmation screen listing the applications selected for removal, highlighting the corresponding components, and specifying the amount of disk space that will be freed. The App Uninstaller then presents a preliminary screen. Clicking Proceed prompts App Uninstaller to remove the programs.

When finished (in my tests the removal of almost 300MB of files required less than two seconds), the program displays a confirmation window listing the uninstallation results (Figure E). Clicking the supplied Finish button ends the procedure, and the Mac is now free of unneeded and unnecessary applications, libraries and files.

Figure E

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Image: Pocket Bits

Also see

About Erik Eckel

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

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