Uninstalling PhotoLab 4, retaining PhotoLab 5

The manual for PL5 says to delete the application, simply drag it to the Trash.

However, I know there is more to it than that. For this reason I have the utility Hazel keep an eye on such deletions and offer to remove ‘all the other stuff’. I tried deleting PL4 with PL5 still installed and this was the list that appeared.

Some of it is clearly marked as specific to PL4, but what about those other bits? I think the manual could do with an extra bit “To remove all traces…”

…I think that there’s much more than you see in Hazel.

When I search with DEVONtech “EasyFind” (free) or “FindAnyFile” ($) from the App Store, I get many more hits than I get in tools like Hazel. FindAnyFile also presents a list of search results that can be “flat” or in a canonical display. These apps

The “XPCCore” items relate to what you set for parallel processing (Advanced tab of preferences). These files can be removed and will be recreated upon need.

Example: FAF finds 22 items for PhotoLab 4, most of which are hidden in the user folder. You’ll also want to search for “dxo” and other words until done. Careful with what you delete, processed images can be in the list too…

Interesting. I did not know about Hazel and Find Any File.

I have found that most of the files that need to be removed are in the /Library and /User/CurrentUser/Library folders, mostly under Application Support, Preferences and PreferencePanes. Usually I just send them to the Trash, but I also run a search through the entire file system for files with the needed core text - in this case Dxo or PL4 or PhotoLab4 or PhotoLab 4, and remove them as well. Then, of course, there are the “com.” files which also probably should be removed.

Of course installers for products like PhotoLab have to be complete and if you accidentally remove a file or folder that should not be removed you can always remove the PL5 stuff as well and just reinstall. I have found that the software is pretty resilient and if you remove something that should not be removed it will generally be recreated when the software is run again.

All these searches could be made in Terminal.app, but I’ve never bothered to learn all the options of the find command…

Preventive approach:

  • create a new user and draw a list of all items
  • launch PhotoLab, change preferences, work and export a few files
  • draw a list of items as above
  • find the differences.

Not that lots of files change because of the os, but you’ll also find DPL’s offspring…