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mac library cleanupBy nature, humans always want to improve their quality of life by finding or inventing the easiest possible way to do something. This basic behavior continues on even in the digital age. Computer users rely on applications to make their computing life easier.

But life is not static. What we consider as the best solution today might become obsolete tomorrow. Most of the time, there are also more than one solution to a problem, more than one way to do something, more than one best Mac app to achieve the same thing.

The result is a bloated Applications folder which filled with unused and outdated apps. Here are two steps that I took to tidy up my Mac’s Applications library.

Step 1: Updating Outdated Apps

Actually, there’s not much of a problem here. Most modern applications come with automatic updating. If you turn the feature on, the app will check whether there’s any update available and then pop-up the notification.

But this process has to be done individually. And the availability of updates is different from one app to another. If you have hundreds of apps on your Mac, checking and updating them all could take a lot of time.

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Luckily there is a more convenient way available. To check the status of your applications, you can use the help of another application.

One of such apps is Bodega Bodega - A Centralized Mac App Store Bodega - A Centralized Mac App Store Read More . Jackson discussed this app a little while back. This is actually a kind of application store where you can browse for applications and download the ones that you want. Some of the apps are free and some others are not free.

mac library cleanup

But Bodega can also be used to check the availability of applications updates. Just select the Applications folder from the left pane and Bodega will show you the status of your installed apps.

You can sort the result by status – updated, free updates, and paid updates, and click the “Get” or “Buy Now” buttons to update a specific app.

mac library cleanup

But Bodega does not show all of your apps, only the ones that matches the data that they already have. The reason is – as mentioned in their support page – that they want to be sure that they’re giving users the right updates and information on those applications.

Another alternative that you can use to update your apps is AppFresh How To Automatically Update 3'rd Party Apps on Your Mac How To Automatically Update 3'rd Party Apps on Your Mac Read More which is specifically built for this purpose. We’ve discussed the features of this app already so I won’t repeat the babbling here. AppFresh gives more complete list of applications, but it doesn’t offer the experience of “discovering new cool apps” like Bodega.

applications library

Step 2: TrashMe – Delete Unwanted Apps Entirely

Using Bodega or AppFresh, you can find unwanted apps that still reside inside your machine. Maybe those apps are so old that they are unusable, maybe you’ve found another better alternatives, or perhaps the available updates are not free anymore and you are not willing to pay for the updates — like iCompta here.

applications library

To uninstall apps in Mac, you can just drag and drop them to the Trash and get away with it. But there are apps that will leave behind some system files. Even though these leftover files are harmless, they do litter our system.

To get rid of any app completely, you need the help of uninstaller app. We have discussed three free uninstaller for Mac 3 Free Uninstallers to Clean Up Obsolete Files [Mac] 3 Free Uninstallers to Clean Up Obsolete Files [Mac] Read More before and they work just fine. But I’ve just find another alternative that I like called TrashMe which comes from the same developer who created TunesArt Enrich Your iTunes Experience With GeekTool & TunesArt [Mac] Enrich Your iTunes Experience With GeekTool & TunesArt [Mac] Read More .

applications library

Using the app is as simple as dragging and dropping your unwanted app(s) to the drop zone. You can also use the “Places” on the left pane to search for and filter your unwanted app(s). After you found the one that you don’t want, check the box next to it and click the “Related files” button.

You will have a list of the files related to the app that you are going to delete. Double-check for unrelated files. You don’t want to delete files that you still need. If everything is checked, hit the “Delete” button.

TrashMe will ask for your confirmation one more time. Be brave and move on with your life.

You may continue uninstalling other unwanted apps based on your findings from Bodega and AppFresh. I myself also using TrashMe to uninstall other uninstallers, which I no longer use.

What about you? What method do you use to tidy up your installed applications? Do you know other alternatives to the applications mentioned here? Share using the comment below.

  1. Arkieflyer
    August 5, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Since 10.5.4 (I believe), the use of cron has been replaced by launchd. The important user reason, is that the OS now checks for the last time the daily tasks were run and runs them on startup if that is more than 24 hours past. Same for weekly and monthly tasks. You can check for yourself when those tasks were run without even using Terminal, just open Console (in your applications/Utilities folder). Open the "Files->/private/var/log" list and scroll down, looking for "daily.out," "monthly.out" and "weekly.out".

    Of course, there are several free third-party utility apps that will do this as well as other useful tasks. OnyX is one of my favorites. Various caches that don't get deleted can often cause problems with browsers, fonts and other operations easily corrected by these little apps.

  2. Arkieflyer
    August 5, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Since 10.5.4 (I believe), the use of cron has been replaced by launchd. The important user reason, is that the OS now checks for the last time the daily tasks were run and runs them on startup if that is more than 24 hours past. Same for weekly and monthly tasks. You can check for yourself when those tasks were run without even using Terminal, just open Console (in your applications/Utilities folder). Open the "Files->/private/var/log" list and scroll down, looking for "daily.out," "monthly.out" and "weekly.out".

    Of course, there are several free third-party utility apps that will do this as well as other useful tasks. OnyX is one of my favorites. Various caches that don't get deleted can often cause problems with browsers, fonts and other operations easily corrected by these little apps.

  3. Mac Cleanup
    July 5, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    OS X relies on nightly, weekly and monthly maintenance scripts scheduled via cron to clean up temporary files. These scripts are set to run early in the morning around 3AM. There is no easy to change this time without editing specific files from the command line.

    Users can manually run these scripts from the command line by typing:

    sudo periodic daily

    sudo periodic weekly

    sudo periodic monthly

    Using the command line to run these commands is an unfriendly solution for the average user.

  4. Mac Cleanup
    July 5, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    OS X relies on nightly, weekly and monthly maintenance scripts scheduled via cron to clean up temporary files. These scripts are set to run early in the morning around 3AM. There is no easy to change this time without editing specific files from the command line.

    Users can manually run these scripts from the command line by typing:

    sudo periodic daily

    sudo periodic weekly

    sudo periodic monthly

    Using the command line to run these commands is an unfriendly solution for the average user.

  5. thurana
    June 5, 2010 at 3:14 am

    AppTrap resides in the System Preferences so it virtually has no
    "actual interface". It just reacts to whatever app you throw to trash
    without the ability to bulk uninstall. Aside from that, the
    functionality more or less the same to TrashMe.

  6. Joey
    June 3, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    What about dot files? Does it remove the "hidden" files for the apps we want deleted as well? Or do we still have to go in and "find" them ourselves?

  7. dude
    June 2, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    AppZapper is good too

  8. Brian
    June 2, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Does TrashMe do anything that App Trap does not?

    • Anonymous
      June 5, 2010 at 1:14 am

      AppTrap resides in the System Preferences so it virtually has no
      "actual interface". It just reacts to whatever app you throw to trash
      without the ability to bulk uninstall. Aside from that, the
      functionality more or less the same to TrashMe.

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