Windows programs are notoriously difficult to remove, leaving bits of themselves all over the place and requiring not just the routine use of the Add/Remove Programs utility in Control Panel, but often also of third party uninstallers to make sure that everything’s been properly thrown out (registry entries in particular).
Perhaps surprisingly, Mac users who ‘just drag the app into the trash’ will suffer similar problems because that doesn’t actually remove those files that have been squirrelled away in the Preferences or Libraries folders. Which is where AppZapper comes in.
At its simplest, this is the kind of program Mac users love: just open it, then drag whatever you want to remove into the AppZapper window. After a second it displays a list that includes the application itself as well as all its related files, together with how much space each item takes up; click the Zap! button and you’re done. If you’re giving your Mac a serious spring clean, you can even delete more than one program at a time.
Good housekeeping like this is probably worth the modest purchase price on its own, but the new version of AppZapper offers more. For example, it’s easy enough to delete a program that you know you never use but what about all the ones you installed months or even years ago that you’ve forgotten about?
The new version includes a feature called the Hit List which is a highly visual way of searching for programs, widgets and plugins and then filtering them by size and when they were last used so you can see the stuff that’s cluttering up your disk. Click on an item and its associated files show up in the bottom window; click the Zap! button and they’re gone. This feature is cleverly implemented and recognises how people work in the real world, making it a valuable alternative way to remove unwanted programs.
Having got rid of the programs, widgets and plugins you don’t need, AppZapper then sets about taking care of the ones you do want to keep, courtesy of a new utility called My Apps which can be used to store important information about the software you do use, including its serial number, version, when it was purchased and so on.
This allows you to store all of the information related to your programs in a single place, making it easier to find – and back-up – rather than trying to keep track of a ragbag of e-mail confirmations, web links and paper receipts. Applications stored in the My Apps area can be sorted by name, date of purchase or the vendor’s web site, making them easy to organise.
Company: The AppZapper Collaborators