AppTrap – The Feature Apple Forgot?

AppTrap IconThird party applications – we love them. It’s a fair assumption that you do too, or you wouldn’t be reading MacApper. However, for every application or utility you install that turns out to be a gem, there are probably a few that end up not being used after the first run.

Generally, an application can be uninstalled simply by dragging it to the trash. Most apps though, leave preference or support files behind which can build up over time. AppTrap installs as a preference pane and when activated runs in the background until you drag an application to the trash. At this point, it displays a dialog asking if you want to delete all associated files. Quite slick and very transparent for users.


The developer has billed AppTrap as the feature that Apple forgot, but it is also the feature that you can install and forget about. It’s approach is more Mac-like than the similar applications like AppZapper and AppDelete, which involve running one application just to delete another.

There is; however, one known issue that the developer notes on the download page – it can’t uninstall itself… yet.

AppTrap is open source and free although donations are accepted. Which uninstaller tool do you prefer for OS X?


9 Responses to “AppTrap – The Feature Apple Forgot?”

  1. MB-switcher on November 6th, 2007 9:16 am

    is this app leopard compatible yet?
    and how effective is it compared to other alternatives like appzapper you also have mentioned in your review?

  2. Bruno Casarini on November 6th, 2007 9:23 am

    I currently use AppCleaner. It’s very good: uninstalls applications, widgets, screensavers… Take a look:

  3. Michele on November 6th, 2007 10:11 am

    Hazel is working great for me. Before using Hazel I used AppZapper.

  4. Steve Halford on November 6th, 2007 10:40 am

    @MB-Switcher – I had AppTrap installed on my home Mac when I upgraded to Leopard and it seems to be working as expected since.

    I think AppTrap is more effective than the alternatives because you don’t have to remember to run AppZapper etc. when you want to delete an application, its always there when you need it.

  5. E.T.Cook on November 6th, 2007 12:46 pm

    Personally, I don’t like this method of uninstallation management. I like to force another application to open to uninstall an application. Everytime you update an application, it produces a false positive if it threw the old version in the trash…very annoying…especially when I made the mistake of telling forklift (has the same feature) to uninstall the application…and it deleted all my preferences.

  6. Mac App Cleanup Made Easy « Insomnic Dreams on November 6th, 2007 1:30 pm

    [...] App Cleanup Made Easy MacApper has a good rundown on an application called AppTrap which can make uninstalling applications from your Mac easier.   [...]

  7. MB-switcher on November 6th, 2007 5:35 pm

    thanks for the reply…apptrapper sure looks promising and I also think that it is a pro to not having to run an app to uninstall.

    however, I was wondering if it is as effective in finding the files that are installed with the .app to be uninstalled.
    it might be an interesting article to compare all the big uninstaller apps by having them try to uninstall the same app and to see which one finds all the associated files (or maybe to count how many “false” it tries to uninstall.

  8. Tom on November 7th, 2007 7:04 am

    I tried deleting google earth with AppTrap and it’s trying to delete the crash reporter from Adium as well as stuff with SmartReporter (a SMART drive status reporter):

    I would recommend avoiding deleting everything AppTrap suggests. AppCleaner is not a bad alternative, but I fear for it to have similar problems.

  9. 70beb3a4169a on May 10th, 2008 4:12 am



Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!