AppZapper is a program I’ve been meaning to get around to reviewing for some time now, however, a major new version (1.5) was released yesterday so I felt now was a good time.
AppZapper’s aim is to make uninstalling applications on OS X as easy as it is to remove them. You may think that uninstalling applications is simply a case of moving the program icon to the trash, and in some cases it is, but often you will also leave behind all of the program’s settings and various other data associated with the program that is no longer needed, which obviously uses up hard disk space.
AppZapper works by finding all of the related files and folders of a given application, and lets you remove them as well. It has a drag and drop interface – either drop the program onto the AppZapper icon itself, or you can launch AppZapper and a drag and drop screen opens which you can drop programs onto. You’ll then be asked what bits of the program to remove, and then it will send all of those bits to the Trash, while making a satisfying zapping noise. It can save quite a bit of space – in the screenshot above I was able to free up an extra 60 MB while uninstalling NeoOffice using AppZapper.
A new feature in version 1.5 is ZapGenie, which scans all of your applications and shows you when you last used them, thus making it easier to find and zap any programs you no longer use. It turned out that I had lots of old iPod Firmware installers that I no longer needed – these took up around 200 MB of space.
And it’s not just limited to applications – AppZapper can also remove unneeded preference panes, plugins for Safari, QuickTime and iTunes, and screensavers. It also has some safety features – it won’t let you remove core programs needed for the operating system to run, or programs you are currently using – however these can be turned off if you’re feeling daring. You can also maintain your own ‘safe list’ of programs that you don’t want to be removed by anyone.
AppZapper is shareware, but it costs a mere $13 for lifetime upgrades, and you may even be able to get a discount. If you try a lot of Mac OS X software it may be worth having to free up the space taken up by applications you no longer use.