Tip: How to delete apps and panels installed in OS X System Preferences

Tip: How to delete apps and panels installed in OS X System Preferences

Those who have had a Mac for a long time are probably already familiar with this type of situation, but those who have just left the Windows world, when having contact with OS X, do not know very well how to proceed to delete an application. The truth is that Apple should have put an app uninstaller on its system, something we discussed back in 2007!

This would be the easiest way for the user to identify and execute the action. But that does not mean that deleting an app on OS X is a difficult task on the contrary. Here are the possibilities:

  • If the app in question comes with an uninstaller, use it (usually it is inside the / Applications / folder);
  • If you downloaded the app from the Mac App Store, open the Launchpad, hold down the icon of the app you want to delete and click on the "X" when it starts shaking;
  • If the app does not fit the scenarios above, then just drag it to the Trash.

Some applications / extensions / plugins (such as Flash and Java, for example) are installed in System Preferences. Even if you don't have an official uninstaller, it's easy to get rid of them. The truth is that, even with an official uninstaller, some apps simply leave this icon in System Preferences as a “trail”.

Removing a panel in System Preferences

However, to delete them, everything is very simple. Just open System Preferences and click the button directly on top of that icon, as shown in the image above.

By following the tips above, you reach the desired result, which is to delete the app. However, these methods leave some “dirt” related to the app on the machine. This is not a problem, but if you have been doing OS X upgrades over old systems and installing / uninstalling several apps over the years, you may have accumulated a lot of "garbage". Do you know when you see someone saying that from time to time it is good to install a system from scratch because it improves performance? This “garbage” is not unrelated to that.

For these and others there are applications like CleanMyMac. They scan the system to find files related to the app you want to delete, leaving your machine really clean.

CleanMyMac 3 Preferences Panels

CleanMyMac can also easily delete these applications / extensions / plugins, just by going to Extensions Preferences Panels.

I commented on CleanMyMac because it is an app that I have been using for a long time and I like it a lot, but there are others for which they propose to do the same thing; just choose your favorite.

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Since we are talking about System Preferences, it is worth noting here that they are a very important part of OS X because there you define a lot of the system's behavior. And to make things easier, they have some really cool features / shortcuts that you might not know about.

Accessing System Preferences

By pressing the icon on the Dock, for example, you have access to all the configuration panels.

Accessing System Preferences

Even accessing any of these panels, you can easily jump to another by pressing the icon above.

If you have no idea where the resource you want to configure is, the chances of it being in System Preferences are huge. And even if you don't know exactly the name of the resource itself, you can type what you want in the search and the system itself helps you find what you are looking for.

Accessing System Preferences

Note that there is no panel with the name shortcut, but if I type this in the search for System Preferences, OS X gives me some options and most likely one of them will be the one I'm looking for.

Accessing System Preferences

You can of course also use and abuse Spotlight to get what you want it is quite a tool!

If you’re cracked by keyboard shortcuts, know that if you press the key Option and some other key that has a function related to any of these panels, the saying whose opening in front of you, at the time. Take the test: press the key Option + F2 to see what happens; or Option + F6; or yet Option + F12.

As always, there are several ways to do a task on OS X. Choose your favorite!

(via iDownloadBlog: 1, 2)