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AppZapper: a great big upgrade for a small utility


I discovered AppZapper years ago. It was a huge boon for me, helping me keep my support folders a little cleaner as I began the early stages of my habit of installing 2 or more new apps a day, trying them, and usually deleting them. It let me drag an application to its interface, and would then search for related files that application may have left around the hard drive. A quick double-check (by me) to make sure it wasn't mistaken, one click and poof, all traces removed.

I've tried other, similar applications over the years ... CleanApp has some great features, and Amnesia is pretty cool, but AppZapper "just worked." I managed to stay loyal to it long after I had assumed its development had gone dead. Then, to my pleasant surprise, a major update dropped yesterday. My AppZapper is not only freshened up, it's bursting with some very cool features.

The standard drag and drop panel of old is still around, and its automatic search is snappier. Up at the top corner of that first panel, though, is a switch flips the panel around, revealing the "Hit List." This clever screen lets you sort a grid of all your applications, plugins, preference panels and widgets (all together or individually) based on their last-opened date and file size.

You can, for example, see all the apps on your drive that are larger than 50MB and haven't been touched in the last two months. From there, you can click on one, see its related files in the bottom bar, and click the "Zap" button to say goodbye. You can also launch apps directly from this screen, which is helpful for those moments when the app's name sounds familiar, but you can't for the life of you remember what it does. These are 90% sha-na-na-na, hey hey for me, but it's always nice to be sure.

Random warning: the new version of AppZapper makes a rather loud, somewhat grating zapping sound when performing a delete. I recommend you jump straight into preferences and disable that (before it scares the whole house in the middle of the night because you forgot to turn your speakers down when you were testing it out).

Lastly, there's a whole license management section built into AppZapper now. It's not just for apps you hate anymore, but the ones you love. Just drag items from Finder or out of the Hit List to indicate you own them. It will create a card for the app, and clicking the card flips it around and allows you to enter purchase info, license details and attach files. Not as full featured as something like 1Password or LicenseKeeper, but it's a really well-executed touch on this new incarnation of an old classic.

My license of old seemed to upgrade fine, so I believe existing owners of AppZapper can enjoy the upgrade for free. New users can try out a free download, and pay $12.95US if you love it.

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