Wednesday, January 21, 2015 [Tweets] [Favorites]

MacKeeper

Peter Cohen:

But the real problems with MacKeeper that I can see is that it provides questionable value to most users, can destabilize an otherwise stable Mac, and embeds itself so thoroughly into the operating system that removing it is an uncomfortable and weird process.

Update (2015-05-06): Jeremy Kirk:

MacKeeper, a utility and security program for Apple computers, celebrated its fifth birthday in April. But its gift to U.S. consumers who bought the application may be a slice of a $2 million class-action settlement.

Update (2015-05-09): Thomas Reed:

In non-tech-speak, a hacker can create a link that will, if clicked, result in MacKeeper executing code embedded within the link! Such code could do things like wiping your hard drive clean, uploading data to a remote server, or downloading and installing malware.

Update (2015-08-21): Shawn King:

Half a million US customers are eligible to get at least some money back. If you know anyone who bought this crapware, please let them know about this settlement.

7 Comments

This seems completely unfair to me, when you think about the appropriate comparisons. For example, MacKeeper is far superior to submerging your Mac in warm, soapy water for 24 hours.

But Cohen never even broaches the topic!

(More seriously, I was genuinely surprised to learn it wasn't malware or spyware, as I'd always assumed. If Cohen is correct, they're white-hat scammers.)

"Removing a Mac app should never be more involved than dragging it into the Trash and emptying the Trash, and perhaps entering an administrative password if it's a legit app you've downloaded from the Mac App Store."

In which alternate reality? This only gives you the incorrect impression that the application has been uninstalled but it does not remove the preferences files, caches, etc. And for applications installed through an installer, there could be leftovers in a myriad of folders.

There's a reason why there are utilities like AppZapper.

Sure, applications may leave behind preference files, application support files, and caches. But wu would you need to uninstall them?

Back when we all had 20M hard drives (or 800K floppies!), sure, deleting every last file was a really good idea. But what's the point of deleting a disused preference file? Sure, it wastes a little disk space; you can rent that disk space for a century for less than it costs you to open your Library, navigate to Preferences, find the file, and drag it to the trash.

Caches? The whole point of a cache is that it doesn't get too big, and old stuff gets purged.

@Mark

• Google Earth Cache in ~/Library/Caches/ Google Earth: 4.5 GB. On a 256 GB SSD drive, that's not little disk space to me.

• Items in the ~/Library/Caches folder being automatically purged when the application binary has been removed, I've never seen that happens.

The problem with some of these files from a developer point of view is that you did not request them to be created in the first place: e.g. the files in Caches created on your behalf by NSURLConnection, the very upsetting .lockfile in Preferences.

Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Comments RSS Feed for this post.

Leave a Comment