Unlike Windows-based systems, MAC OS does not come with an Add/Remove Programs feature that will help you uninstall programs on Mac. However, it is quite simple to uninstall applications on MAC OS; you just move the application to the trash bin. Doing this, however, does not completely take care of uninstalling programs on Mac.
To understand why, you need to know that programs on Mac computers are of two types; the bundled programs, which can be uninstalled just by moving them to the Trash bin, and the non-bundled programs, which can be uninstalled using the same method, but additional manual work is required to clean up after them. Many programs leave behind settings and other small files that continue to take up space on your hard drive. These must be cleared out as well to ensure that you efficiently uninstall programs on Mac.
Removing the program preferences, shortcuts, and support files that were installed along with the program is a manual process in your Mac. If you do not want to be bothered with all this, it is best to use third-party uninstaller tools to uninstall both the non-bundled programs on Mac and clear associated files from your hard disk at the same time. Some of these tools are easy to use and come with search features that let you view a list of programs from which you can select the ones you want to delete, similar to the Windows Add/Remove Programs tool. While considering third-party tools for this purpose, do a search for freeware and open source tools. Some of these tools achieve excellent results and help you uninstall programs on Mac without draining your wallet.
Here are some third-party uninstallers for your Mac, and their features:
AppCleaner Uninstaller Software (Freeware)
This freeware application completely uninstalls applications from your Mac, and also identifies left over support files and preferences left behind by programs, and removes them from your hard disk. This freeware is available to uninstall programs on Mac for Mac OSX only.
AppCleaner allows you to uninstall programs using the following two options:
- Select the program that you want to uninstall and drag and drop it into AppCleaner
- Use AppCleaner to search your hard drive for all installed programs, widgets, and plug-ins. Select the items that you want to uninstall from the search results and delete them using AppCleaner
AppTrap Uninstaller Software (Open Source Freeware)
This free, open source application uninstaller for your Mac uninstalls selected programs from your Mac and takes care of supporting files, preferences and system files. AppTrap adds a preference pane to your system preferences, which, when enabled, monitors the files you send to your trash. When you delete an application, an AppTrap window pops up and asks you if you want to remove the trashed program’s associated files. AppTrap’s trash monitor makes the process more streamlined; you can use this tool to clean up files that you do not want to bother locating manually and focus on other tasks.
Mac OSX Uninstaller (Not Freeware)
Uninstaller is a Mac OS X native software that allows you to uninstall applications or just find changes made in a disk or folder by taking snapshots of file system hierarchy and comparing them between two dates. You can download a free 15-day trial period of this tool and test it without any other restrictions.
AppZapper Uninstaller Software (Not Freeware)
AppZapper is another tool that you can consider using. In action, it performs in the same was as AppCleaner does. You can download a trial version that will allow you to use some of its features. This program is not a freeware. It is recommended that before you purchase any Mac uninstaller tool, you should always evaluate if the tool does everything you want from it. Owing to the fact that it has a price tag, this tool should be able to provide more features that will help you uninstall programs on Mac more efficiently.
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Guest post by David Ritchie