Review: AppZapper 2.0.1

Product: AppZapper 2.0.1
Developers: Austin Sarner and Brian Ball
Date Reviewed: 4-22-11
Retail Price: $12.95

As elegant as Mac OS X is, its Achille’s Heel is there is no clean and intuitive method for deleting an application. Some applications come with an uninstaller, but many do not.

You could drag the application to the trash – but that’s only half the story. Most apps leave their support files and preference settings littered around your hard drive, leaving the user to manually sift through the debris.

What Apple is missing is a more Mac-like method of managing and deleting unwanted applications. Enter AppZapper, billed as “the uninstaller Apple forgot”.

I’ve been aware of AppZapper for a few years now. I believe I even owned version 1.0 of the app at some point. AppZapper is now at version 2.0 and, while the basics have remained the same, there are many new features worth mentioning.

When you first launch AppZapper, you see a very simple dialog box appear:

AppZapper 2.0.1 screenshots

When you drag an application into the box, you will see the application and all its related support files. (You can optionally prevent AppZapper from removing them by unchecking the box next to the appropriate file.) Click the Zap! button, and ZAP! – the application and all its support files will be moved into the Trash.

With AppZapper, each application and support file you are about to “zap” is annotated with its file size, so you can see how much potential hard drive space you can reclaim.

AppZapper 2.0 screenshots

This was how Version 1 worked for the most part. Version 2 includes even more features that will assist you in the uninstall process. For starters, when you click on the toggle switch located on the upper right hand corner of the AppZapper window, you are presented with all the application icons on your hard drive.

AppZapper 2.0.1 screenshots

You can easily search for an app or modify the search criterion to further prune your application list. For example, if I wanted to look at all the apps I haven’t used in two months that are on my hard drive, I can do so with the convenient pull-down sliders located towards the top of the AppZapper window.

AppZapper 2.0.1 screenshots

AppZapper 2.0’s preferences are pretty simple and straight-forward. For example, you can disable the “ZAP!” sound effect or hide all Apple applications to prevent their accidental deletion.

Screen shot 2011-04-22 at 8.26.28 AM

AppZapper 2.0 can do much more than just deleting apps. New in version 2.0 is the added ability to delete plug-ins, Widgets, and even preferencePanes, as the screen shots below indicate.

AppZapper 2.0.1 screenshots

AppZapper 2.0.1 screenshots

AppZapper 2.0 can also track the serial numbers for your apps. Simply drag your apps into the “My Apps” window and you’ll see your icons displayed.

AppZapper 2.0 screenshots

Click on an app icon and you can get handy info like your purchase date and license info. I found this feature to be very useful and convenient.

AppZapper 2.0 screenshots

An unlicensed copy of AppZapper 2.0 will let you zap up to 5 applications. This is probably good enough for the vast majority of regular Mac users. If you do a lot of frequent application testing, like I do, the licensed version is worth the investment. AppZapper 2.0.1 retails for $12.95 – it’s not for everyone – but if you spend a substantial time installing and deleting applications (like I do), you’ll be able to easily justify its price from the amount of time you will save in using this app.

It’s a two trick pony that does what it says it will do, with elegance and ease.

AppZapper 2.0 earns a rare 5 out of 5 Bob Weiners.

These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • Bob Forsberg
    April 22, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I’ve used the initial release of AppZapper (now 1.8). It is as advertised, a very clean and thorough uninstaller of all things associated with an App. When attempting a 2.0 upgrade it says for 10.6 and above only, not 10.5.8 I’m running. Also noted in the window was a statement saying 2.0 is a free upgrade for 1.x users. 5 of 5 is a good call for this invaluable App.