Review - Trend Micro App Cleaner for the Apple Mac

Apple MacBook - sepia style

Trend Micro has a new utility that is designed to thoroughly clean the system when you uninstall apps you no longer need on OS X. Just how good is it and will it keep your Mac’s disk clean?

The standard way to remove apps you no longer need on your Mac is to drag them from the Applications folder to the Trash in the Dock. OS X deletes them and that’s it. Only it isn’t.

Not all the files associated with an App are stored in the app itself (which is actually a folder containing many files). In the hidden Library folder are preference files , caches, and other items. Most apps store files outside of the app in the Applications folder and to really remove everything, they must be found and deleted.

If you don’t, it is unlikely that anything really bad will happen, but it is not impossible. Mostly they are relatively harmless data files.

The left-over files from apps you have removed add to the disk clutter and they use up disk space. The more files and space used on the disk, mainly mechanical disks rather than SSDs, the more slowly they perform.

Modern Macs have SSDs and they have a different problem. Some of them are very small and are only 128GB, so when you have finished with an app and never want to use it again, it is best to remove all traces of it so that you recover the maximum amount of disk space.

Trend Micro has a new app in the Mac App Store called App Cleaner: Uninstaller and Remove Associated Files. It is designed to help you to remove apps and clean up the left-over files.

App Cleaner from Trend Micro aims to thoroughly clean all the files associated with apps when you uninstall them

The only problem is that it does not do as good a job as rival utilities.

The interface is quite good and after giving it permission to access your Applications folder, it lists all the apps as large icons. They can be sorted by name, size or last opened date.

Tick boxes next to apps enable you to select them and the Deep Uninstall button at the bottom is used to remove them.

Click Deep Install and a list of the files associated with the app is displayed. I chose to remove Desktop Aquarium and here is the list of files that Trend Micro App Cleaner found:

Trend Micro App Cleaner for the Apple Mac uninstalls apps you no longer need

As you can see, three files were found and could be removed. It seems OK, but to see how good it really is, I ran the free AppCleaner, which has an almost identical name (no space between App and Cleaner), and has been around for years. Here’s what it found:

AppCleaner finds and removes all the files associated with an app when you want to delete it in OS X

Six files. AppCleaner finds and deletes more files, freeing up more disk space and removing more clutter.

I see nothing in Trend Micro’s App Cleaner to tempt me away from AppCleaner.

The reason for its poor performance is, I suspect, because of the restrictions Apple places on apps in the Mac App Store. It's not really Trend Micro's fault, you simply can’t create power tools that work effectively with all the rules and regulations of the Mac App Store.

Trend Micro should take the app out of the store, rewrite it to do a more thorough job and make it a download from its website. As it is, I cannot recommend it. I used AppCleaner to remove it. Sorry Trend Micro.

Title: App Cleaner: Uninstaller and Remove Associated Files
Price: Free
Developer: Trend Micro
Size: 2.7 MB
OS X: 10.10 or later
Verdict: There are better app cleaners available.



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