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Deleting Application Support Files

Hi Gary, I have two questions for you

1. I saw the episode about deleting applications and how it leaves behind garbage such as support files. I was wondering, does only applications leave behind garbage? Will deleting documents, photos, videos, etc leave behind supporting files?

2. I also saw the episode about accounts. Does a guest account deny someone the privileges of saving documents, changing settings, and installing or uninstalling applications? Is a guest account simply a temporary account that doesn’t save any settings or preferences while limiting one’s use of the computer on such things as mentioned above?

Thanks Gary, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer these simple questions.

— matt

Comments: 3 Responses to “Deleting Application Support Files”

    10 years ago

    Well, applications create documents. They also create support files, yes. Documents don’t create anything. But applications can create support files for documents, yes. Deleting just the documents can leave behind support files. Most of the time these are tiny and not worth tracking down. Preferences, for instance. They can actually come in handy as if you ever re-install the application, it can remember your preferences.
    If in doubt, see the site or support for the application. Ask them.
    A guest account wouldn’t be an admin, so they won’t be able to install applications. They can save documents, of course. But if they save them to that account, they will lose them when they log out as the entire account gets cleaned out.

    8 years ago

    My question is this: Can I delete all my support files and still have my applications run properly? I purchased a utility called WhatSize, and it revealed I have 41.7GB of support files cluttered throughout my drive. I’d love so much to hit the delete button on those. :) Let me know, and thanks in advance!

      8 years ago

      If you delete files without knowing what they are, you will likely do damage to your apps and perhaps your operating system. “support files” is not enough of a definition. You shouldn’t delete them without knowing exactly what they are. You might end up with apps that no longer work, and perhaps even cripple your operating system as well.

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