Sometimes I get a mail from a customer who says "I tried to do something, it didn't work. After re-installing your software, something still didn't work."

What does re-installing software do?

Every application has a main application file and helper files. The preferences file, files in the application support folder, cached files, plugins, help and many more. These files contain information for the application but aren't essential. Re-installing an application may or may not touch these files.

Changing the preferences for instance during re-installation isn't necessary. If you have a very rare problem with the preferences then re-installing doesn't help.

What about un-installing before re-installing?

Any un-installation should delete all helper files. The core word here is "should". Does the un-installation delete only the app? All helper files or only some helper files? You can't know that.

There are applications available that help with un-installing. If the problem doesn't come from the helper file using such an application won't help you with your problem.

What to do instead of re-installing software?

  • Delete the preferences file. It's located in user/Library/Preferences. You may need to look a bit for the file. Mail Archiver from Moth Software has the file com.mothsoftware.mailarchiverx. You will need to log out and log back in.
  • Restart the computer. Seriously, yes. I need to restart the computer occasionally for RapidWeaver because it suddenly decides it can't write to a folder and I can't publish my website.
  • If your problem still exists contact support.