Completely Remove Apps & Software on Mac OS by Manual Terminal Uninstall

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Most apps in Mac OS X can be easily removed by dragging them from the / Applications / folder to the Trash, and many others come with associated removal applications that clean the house and also remove the apps completely. Moreover, there are third-party utilities for Mac OS that can make removing apps completely as simple as drag and drop.

Another solution, which is best reserved for and intended for use by advanced Mac users only Being familiar with the command line and having a deeper knowledge of Mac OS X is the thorough manual removal of an app and all of its components, which is what we’ll cover here.

This process method is much more technical and relies on the terminal to complete the entire removal procedure. Again, this is for advanced users only and it is rarely necessary to delete an app or application components in this way. We break down the steps into a few parts, first we find the app and related components, which requires some knowledge and discretion to determine what is related and what is not, and second, the actual deletion of the correct files. If you are an experienced user who is very familiar with this prospect and you just want an executable command without any explanation of what’s going on and why, you can skip to a concise version below.

How to Find all components of apps / software in Mac OS X

We use Terminal and mdfind, although other command line search tools can work for this purpose as well. The common syntax to use is the following command with the flag -name *:

mdfind -name “application name”

* You can also use the widest search possible without the -name flag, but your results may be less accurate, or that is helpful up to you

For example, to find linked files and components with Teleport, the Mac OS X keyboard and mouse sharing utility for controlling multiple Macs with a single keyboard, you can use the following:

mdfind name “teleport”

This broad search should return anything on the Mac associated with the name of the application – it doesn’t mean, however, that you should delete everything returned by the search. Preview anything found, you may need to adjust your search parameters to determine if you find all the necessary components of the application and / or software.

Generally, you are looking for binaries, the .app files and remaining parts of the software such as plist files, preferences, caches, daemons and other accessory files and components associated with many apps in OS X. Application components can appear in a wide variety of locations, including but not limited to the following file paths:

/ Applications /~ / Applications /~ / Library / Application Support /~ / Library / Preferences /~ / Library / Caches /~ / Library / Containers / Application]~ / Library / LaunchAgents / Application]~ / Library / PreferencePanes /~ / Library / Saved Application State /~ / Downloads // System / Library / LaunchDaemons // System / Library / LaunchAgents /

To reiterate, this may or may not be a complete list of where related files are stored for a particular application, so it is important to pay attention to what is reported by the mdfind command. If what you want to remove completely is a command line tool, it could have components in different binary directories, either / usr / bin / usr / sbin or others,

Completely remove apps and remaining application components

Only delete the related files that are suitable for deletion. There is no universal answer to this, so you should pay attention to the files found through the mdfind utility. Make sure you know exactly what file it is you are deleting and why you are deleting it – as already mentioned, this is really for advanced users with advanced knowledge of Mac OS X – you don’t want to accidentally delete the wrong thing. You can then permanently delete the files using the rm or srm command, if you are not familiar with the rm command it is not reversible so be careful otherwise you may accidentally delete something important.

If you’re not incredibly sure of what you’re doing, you should at least come back up the Mac before moving on, which is a good idea to do regularly anyway.

Here’s an example of the rm with a sudo prefix to allow administrator privileges, deleting some fictional files in imaginary locations (yes, these were created up to prevent copy / paste and misuse of the ridiculously powerful rm command):

sudo rm -rif ~ / Directory / Component / Removeme.panesudo rm -rif / TheLibrary / LaunchDaemons / sketchydsudo rm -rif / usr / sbin / crudrunnersudo rm -rif ~ / Download / sketchydaemon-installer.tgzsudo rm -rif ~ / .Tofu /Preferences/com.company.crudrunner.plist

Again this is an example, the ‘sudo rm -rif’ component is real, but none of the directories or files is, it will depend entirely on what you find with mdfind and what you think should be removed.

Manual removal of apps and components in OS X via Terminal: The Condensed Version

Impatient? Command line expert and know exactly where to find junk? Here’s the condensed version, without explanation – don’t jump here if you don’t know what you’re doing:

You can also choose to remove the components from the GUI with the Finder. Getting rid of users’ cache files and other ~ / Library / components is easily done through OS X’s Finder, while digging into deep system directories or unix directories like / usr / sbin / with the GUI isn’t particularly recommended. This process works to remove standard software that comes with Mac OS X, but it is not recommended for no very compelling reason.

If you’re getting beyond any of this, it’s because this is really much more advanced than what an average Mac user would ever need to do it. For the vast majority of Mac users, it’s best to use a more traditional app removal method, or use a thorough application removal tool like AppCleaner, which is free and basically performs the same search process, but then through an automated graphical user interface.

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How to Completely Remove Apps & Software in Mac OS X by Manual Terminal Uninstall: FAQ

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The time to complete the How to Completely Remove Apps & Software in Mac OS X by Manual Terminal Uninstall tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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