How can I completely uninstall any given program from Mac OS X Leopard (10.5)?
I'm obviously new at Mac... I've installed programs only through .dmg installers. I haven't compiled anything myself. Everything is in the Applications folder.
There is no universal uninstaller in Mac OS X like there is on Windows. You can simply delete a program to "uninstall" it, but its preferences and other files are left behind when you do this, which is probably not what you want.
However, there are third-party applications that can do this. AppZapper is one such program that allows you to completely uninstall other applications, including all the crap that they leave behind. It's not free, but AppCleaner is a free equivalent that seems decent enough if you don't want to pay.
Uninstalling applications installed by drag-and-drop
If you installed the application by simply dragging and dropping a folder or the application's icon into your Macintosh HD > Applications folder, the application was distributed as a bundle. A bundle contains all of the components for the application in a single folder that is represented by the application's icon.
Applications that are distributed as bundles can generally be uninstalled by dragging the application's icon to the Trash. However, one should still consult the application's documentation for uninstall instructions.
Uninstalling applications installed by running an installer
Many applications require that you run an installer to install the application. The installer is a special program that installs all of the application's components in specific areas of your Mac OS X system. Installers are used when either the application is not distributed as a bundle, or the application requires some of its components to be installed in system-related areas outside of the Macintosh HD > Applications folder.
When uninstalling such an application, it is very important to consult the application's documentation to determine how to uninstall it. Common techniques employed by developers for uninstalling applications that were installed using an installer include:
Using Find to locate and uninstall application components
In general, it is risky to use Find (Finder > Command-F) to locate an application's components and Trash them in an attempt to uninstall an application, particularly if the application was installed via an installer.
Therefore, it is always best to consult the application's documentation, the developer's Web site, or the developer for uninstall instructions.
Uninstalling leftover application preferences files
After you have uninstalled an application, its preferences files may still remain on your system. This can be true even if you uninstalled the application using a developer-provided uninstaller: some uninstallers leave the associated application's preferences files in place in case you later reinstall the application.
The following information will help you to locate and trash an application's preferences The following information will help you to locate and trash an application's preferences files after uninstalling the given application: