What’s in a name? Well, as you can probably tell, both of these apps “zap” apps you don’t want anymore. You thought that deleting an app was as simple as throwing it into the trash? Welcome to the world of application reference files. These nasties get left behind by every app when it is first run. After a while, these little guys build up. Preferences, plugins, etc all are in these files. The best way to get rid of every file related to an app you want to delete is to use an app “zapper”/deleter. This showdown is dedicated to two apps that have recently been in the spotlight, AppZapper ($15) and AppDelete (freeware). If you want a detailed review of AppDelete, take a look at a previous post on MacApper here.
Just A Note: I created a test “app” called “DemoFile.app” and a fake preference file named “com.macapper.demofile.plist”.
Take command of your unused apps
When I dragged my demo app to AppZapper, it displayed a window with the two files associated with DemoFile.app, the preference file and the app itself. From here, you can uncheck any file that you don’t want “zapped”, which is a great feature. All I had to do was press “Zap” and boom, those two files were in the trash. A cool feature of this app is that it makes a zapping noise when you click Zap. This app also has an awesome user interface (UI), which is a plus.
This app may not have the great user interface that AppZapper has, but it still does the job. When I dragged my demo app to the AppDelete icon, it displayed a simple window asking if I want to delete all of the related files of DemoApp.app. Notice that you cannot choose what files you want to delete and what files you want to keep. After pressing Ok, my files were moved to the trash without a sound, literally.
Other useful features
If you click on the genie lamp icon on the bottom-left of the “Drag The App You Want to Delete Here” window, it displays a list of all the apps you have installed, and you can check off which ones you want to delete. If you click on the lighting bolt tab next to the genie lamp, you can choose a widget/preference pane/ipod updater/screensaver/plugin that you want to zap. Very useful!
Puts all of the deleted items in a folder in the Trash labeled “AppDelete” plus the name of the app contained in the folder.
AppZapper wins by a large margin. With it’s awesome user interface and sound effects, AppZapper is the deleter of choice. Of course, if you are a) strapped for cash or b) cheap, then AppDelete does the job very well. I use AppDelete because I am to cheap Go grab a 5-Zap trial of AppZapper here. Enjoy zapping!