Unifying Power Manager's Removal

Power Manager has always required files to be installed on your Mac. We have always included a means to remove those files.

We try to limit the number of files that need to be installed and, with successive versions, we have reduced those files to a minimum. In future versions, we hope to reduce that number further. Much depends on what macOS will permit. Some features require files be installed within /Library but, where possible, we avoid doing so.

Why focus on the number of installed files? I think of every installed file as littering the operating system. The installed files exist isolated and separated from the application. They are largely unseen and unknown by the user. If the application is removed, it is likely the installed files will be forgotten. In most cases, the remaining files will be harmless but they do add clutter – and I prefer to be tidy.

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The tidy bundles that form applications on macOS are a highlight of the operating system's design. When an application has to expand beyond its bundle, its feels regrettable.

So to help make it easier to tidy up after Power Manager, we have created a payload-free script-only removal package, .pkg. The installer package contains a script that will remove not only Power Manager 4 but also Power Manager 3 files – should any remain after all these years.

This means the package can be used to remove every version of Power Manager since 2005.

The use of an installer package for removal is quirky and counter-intuitive. Sadly there is no official way of removing installed files from macOS. Every developer must create their own solution. We have done this in the form of a removal tool included with Power Manager.

The use of a package brings numerous benefits. Packages are code signed and verified by macOS's Installer tool. Packages can be examined and their contents analysed without being performed. Packages can run scripts as an administrator without requiring additional code to be written.

Our removal package includes a single bash script that iterates over a list of files. If the files on the list exist on the destination drive, they are removed. The list includes both Power Manager installer and runtime created files. Once the script is finished, the computer needs to be restarted. The restart ensures any running processes associated with the files are quit.

Today's removal package is in addition to the removal tool. For now, the package offers another approach that we can fall back to for tricky support cases.

So while Power Manager is easy to install, it remains just as easy to remove.

You can find the removal package and more details at https://dssw.co.uk/powermanager/remove.

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Published by Graham Miln on