AppCleaner: The Free Mac “Uninstaller”

This post refers to

Samuel Gibbs of TUAW, who featured AppCleaner earlier this week:

Available from FreeMacSoft, the freeware (donations accepted) AppCleaner does what it says on the tin. Just like AppZapper, you can drag-and-drop the offending application onto AppCleaner to locate and delete all the associated files. Alternatively you can hit the Applications, Widgets or Others tabs to find and delete things directly from AppCleaner. “Others” thankfully includes Preference Panes, so you can get rid of any unwanted additions to your System Preferences with ease.

I have used both AppCleaner and AppZapper. AppZapper is often considered the gold standard of Mac app removal programs. Even though Macs don’t typically have installers/uninstallers like on Windows, in reality they should. While removing an application from a Mac is as simple as dragging the icon from the Applications folder into the trash, and eventually emptying it, generally there are supporting files (data and preferences typically) that get left behind.

For 90% of users, this isn’t an issue. These files are almost always small and unless you are a person who regularly uninstalls a lot of applications or tiptoes dangerously close to a full hard drive they will never get in the way. But if you are one of those people that needs your hard drive spick and span, it’s worth having one of these apps around.