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Yank: Uninstall Shouldn’t Be This Hard

Published February 19th, 2007
Yank - Your Mac's Uninstaller Yank Uninstalls Mac SoftwareOriginally downloaded July 19, 2006. I recently got around to trying out Yank, as I was also trying CleanApp and AppDelete. All of these try to do the same basic thing: Delete an application and all of its scattered pieces from the system. Mac apps are actually very tidy... especially compared with Windows. But some do install things like contextual menus and preference panes, and most install preferences files (.plist), application support files, cache files, and so on. Of the apps in this category, Yank is by far the most expensive, and in my opinion is the least user-friendly.

So, what's so unfriendly about Yank? Unlike the other comparable apps, in order to uninstall anything, you have to use Yank as the app's installer in the first place! When you do, Yank keeps track of everything that gets installed and creates a "yank" file. If you want to uninstall the app later, you drag the "yank" file to Yank's window. This process isn't easy or intuitive in the first place, but consider a new customer trying out Yank: The application opens up, and there's nothing you can do! In order to uninstall any app, you have to have a "yank" file. Ah, of course!

Now, I do like the attempt to be precise and comprehensive here, but seriously, this is way too much work. CleanApp has a more elegant solution: Start using CleanApp's background "watcher," and you'll have a comprehensive, accurate list of all apps you install from then on. Yank's concept is just way too complicated for what is a pretty simple problem.

For apps you have already installed, Yank's developer maintains a library of "yank" files, and you can download any of them that you like to uninstall your legacy apps. You can also share any "yank" files you make with that library. But you know what? The items in the library don't always identify which version of the application the yank file corresponds to, so how accurate are these going to be for em:your particular versions? Kind of misses accuracy points there, in my book. This means, if you can't trust the shared "yank" files, or if there simply isn't one available for an app you want to delete, you have to first install it with Yank... and then uninstall it with Yank.

Seriously, folks at Matterhorn Media, this seems like an awful lot of work, doesn't it? Especially since you're asking customers to pay $20 (on sale... it's usually $30!) instead of $10 for the privilege. Just thought I'd point this out.

Oh, and I didn't mention that Yank is a Carbon app made with RealBasic. And I didn't say whether I thought that was a plus or a minus. Just info. :-)

Version as tested: 1.3.1.

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