Easy way to Uninstall Applications from Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Easy way to Uninstall Applications from Mac OS X Snow Leopard

You may no longer need an app, or you may need to remove it to upgrade to a new version or to reinstall it. Mac OS X Snow Leopard does not have the Add or Remove Programs utility for uninstalling programs, nor does it need one, because almost all Macintosh applications are independent in a single folder or series of nested folders. Therefore, removing the application is usually as easy as deleting the contents of the installation folder from your hard drive (for example, removing the Quicken folder to uninstall Quicken).


“Always check the application’s README file and documentation for any special instructions before deleting any application folder! If you have created any documents that you want to keep in this folder, don’t forget to move them before sending the folder and its contents to the Recycle Bin. In fact, some applications may come complete with their own uninstaller, so checking the README and documentation may save you unnecessary steps.”


Some applications can leave preference files, startup applications, or driver files elsewhere on the disk besides their home folder. When you uninstall a program that contains support files in other areas, use the search box in the Finder toolbar to locate other files that may have been created by the application. Again, don’t forget to check if the app has an uninstall utility (or an uninstall option is available through the original setup app).

Spotlight searches can help find files. In this example, a search is performed on Microsoft Office 2008. By searching for the word office, a number of files were found that were created in other folders, such as the settings file in the Preferences folder. Usually you want to delete the main application folder and then remove those orphans.

Spring Cleaning, from Smith Micro, also has the ability to uninstall a program, as well as a feature that can find and remove orphaned files left from past applications.