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I'm using Snow Leopard and would like to delete all traces of a program on my computer. I tried using AppCleaner but that does not remove some traces of the program as when I try to reinstall it detects previous installs.

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It would help if you gave us the program name.. –  radius Jun 29 '10 at 14:55
Programs like AppCleaner and AppZapper typically search your ~/Library folder for related Preferences and Application Support files. If there are other files lingering around that are not in ~, those programs won't find them. I'm guessing that whatever program you're trying to install is detecting a receipt from a previous installation. –  fideli Jun 29 '10 at 16:04

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Depending on what you're installing it may have dependencies. AppZapper or similar programs will normally look for just files with the application title in the name.

Programs such as Adobe Photoshop and others will put files that are not named likely in various places. Some trial software puts licensing files in your home directory. Often these are hidden or not readily accessible.

If you installed from a package there should be an XML file with a list of everything that got installed laying around somewhere. If you already ran AppCleaner is may have been removed though.

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If tools like AppZapper fail, you can try manual way using find from terminal

cd ~
find . -name "*PROGRAMNAME*" -print

and manually remove leftovers

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You shouldn't have to do cd ~ after opening Terminal. It starts in ~ automatically. –  Wuffers Oct 23 '10 at 21:29
If you open terminal from tools like e.g. Pathfinder, you may end up in current directory of that tool. Of course you can always use 'find ~ -name "NAME" -print' which makes the cd unnecessary –  Miro A. Nov 24 '10 at 16:25

Another piece of software that does a similar thing is AppTrap. It detects when an application has been put into the trash and prompts the user to remove files associated with that application. The automatic nature of it is a feature I appreciate.

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If tools like AppCleaner doesn't uninstall correctly the best is to give us the program name or ask the editor.
You might also want to inspect the installation package to find post install script that are run to check previous installation.

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