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.)
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.
Next, the program requests you perform a scan of the Applications directory (Figure B). Click the Scan button.
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).
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.
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.
- Mighty Mac App Bundle (TechRepublic Academy)
- End-of-the-year cleanup checklist for Macs (TechRepublic)
- Remove duplicate files on your Mac more efficiently with Gemini 2 (TechRepublic)
- New iOS 11 feature automatically deletes unused apps to free up storage on your iPhone (TechRepublic)
- 12 of the best software utilities for your Mac (ZDNet)
- How I tried to get Microsoft to turn me away from MacBooks (CNET)
- Portable Storage Policy (Tech Pro Research)
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 of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.