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Is there any way to safeguard your harddrive when installing trial software?

I want to make sure each and every file that was installed gets deleted, is that possible?

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Related questions about uninstalling applications in general: 1 2 3 4 5 –  Lri Jul 19 '12 at 16:25

4 Answers 4

Depending on the application, you can just go to Applications, right-click on the file and click Move to Trash, and that will remove the application and all of its supporting files.

This isn't always the case, because certain applications will add configuration files or other packages that aren't actually part of the application (won't appear when you click on 'show package contents').

Best way to handle these is with another program. There are programs designed to hunt down support files for applications and remove them from your machine such as AppCleaner.

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Note that deleting the application bundle does not remove personalized files in your ~/Library, which contain e.g. preferences or supporting resources. Programs that come with an installer, especially those requiring admin privileges, are also much more difficult to remove. –  Daniel Beck Jul 18 '12 at 20:54

AppCleaner will do this for you. Drag the app onto the app and it will locate all the support files and offer to remove them along with the app itself. It's free.

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What you want to do is fine a program that searches your hard drive and makes a list of what you have on your hard drive. Then after you install some trial software, it runs and see if any files were added. It's a bonus if it stores the hash of files to see if they change as well.

However, there are certain files that will always fail the hash check which are files like, log files.

Another way to do this is to install trial software in a virtual environment.

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In the case of pkg installers, you can see what files would be installed by them with something like lsbom -s ~/Desktop/Install\ USB\ Overdrive.pkg/Contents/Archive.bom.

/var/db/receipts contains bom files for previously installed packages and applications installed from the App Store.

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