Just What the Mac OS Needs: Amnesia

Koingo Amnesia IconIn general, the Mac OS is a cinch for installing and uninstalling apps. Most are just a matter of drag and drop. No muss, no fuss.

It’s one of the Mac OS’s major user-friendly features. I mean, take Adobe Acrobat as an example. A morning-long, gruellingly-complex install process on Windows takes seconds on a Mac. And getting rid of Acrobat is just as easy: drag it over the Trash and it’s gone.

But sometimes software developers break Apple’s rules in an effort to add unsupported functionality to their applications. This typically results in crap getting dumped all over the place in the Mac file system, which makes uninstalling those apps markedly more difficult if you’re not a Mac pro (or even if you are, sometimes).

And some specialized applications like widgets, Preferences panes, and application plug-ins, are just plain tough for anyone to manually remove (shame on you, Apple).

Enter Amnesia from Koingo. This useful little app is like Windows’ Add/Remove Programs feature. Amnesia has the power to search every nook and cranny of the Mac file system for any other app’s junk and really give it a thorough cleaning.

For example:

I thought I’d removed these all ages ago. Amnesia founds bits and pieces of each, along with a slew of associated files, that were collectively clogging up my file system and no doubt causing all degree of problem for me.

After Amnesia had identified the bits and pieces, it was a one-click uninstall process and my Mac had forgotten all about these unruly little applications.

I’ve spent a few hours using Amnesia now and I’d call it an absolutely essential app that every Mac user should have installed on their system. Or, more to the point, it’s a key functionality that Apple should build right in to the Mac OS.

There is one caveat to Amnesia, however: it’s designed as a power user tool. The average Mac user could get into trouble very quickly by uninstalling a bit too much from the Mac OS if they’re not careful.

Koingo should dumb Amnesia down at its default setting so that novice users are better protected from themselves. An “Advanced” toggle in Preferences could unleash the apps full power to us hardcore Mac pros.

2 thoughts on “Just What the Mac OS Needs: Amnesia

  1. I’ve used AppZapper for a few years and it also seems to do the trick. Of course, I don’t know how it compares to the product you’ve mentioned above, but I will say that AppZapper is a lot of fun. Simply drag the undesired application icon onto AppZapper’s window, hit a button and it makes a cool Zap! sound as everything gets, well, zapped.

    • I’d intended to mention App Zapper, thanks for bringing it up.

      App Zapper pales in comparison to Amnesia for a couple reasons. As you mention, it’s old. It hasn’t been updated in many, many Mac OS X versions. So it’s not as effective as it once was.

      But, more to the point, it doesn’t deal with the really tough aspects of the Mac OS, like Preferences panes, plug-ins, and Dashboard widgets. These things can be a doozy to remove.

      Plus, Amnesia found way more “crap” than App Zapper did in my tests.

      But I agree, on the user experience front, that wicked-cool Zap! trumps the silent Haitian-esque memory leach of Amnesia.

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