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Very Dirty Uninstaller

Been a longtime user, but had to do an uninstall for reasons that don't matter to this post. But damn even using a Pro Uninstall program left so much crap. Hiding Joplin in so many places that isn't set to uninstall with the default installer is just wrong and worrisome that there is a lack of thought of such matters put into this program. Literally thousands of thousands of MB left behind. . . Not good folks.

Yes, I'm reinstalling because Joplin is one of the best programs of this sort. Though not everyone will know how to properly check for leftovers other than in the fridge. Be responsible and address this nonsense.

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Some more details on what exactly was left behind might be useful

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Are you sure, because that's literally terabytes...

Most is left in .config and depending on how many notes saved the size can be enormous. Many left App Data. Some left in windows prefetch. There were others but I didn't keep a list.

The point raised by @sflorg intrigued me.

I undertook a quick check of a Joplin install and uninstall on Windows 10. I concentrated on file and folder creation only. I avoided tracking any Registry changes because I did not have the time or inclination to do so.

Joplin was installed using the "Just for me" option. The install was watched using NirSoft Folder Changes View v2.32

# Folder added during install Contents Uninstall
1 C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Programs\Joplin 447MB Removed
2 C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\@joplinapp-desktop-updater 157MB Remains
3 C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\@joplin\app-desktop 6.2MB Remains
4 C:\Users\<user>\.config\joplin-desktop 514kB
(default install)
Remains

1 - This is the main program file location for a "Just for me" install. It was removed after an uninstall.
2 - This only contains a copy of the Joplin installer. It remained after an install.
3 - Appears to contain cache info as well as the spellcheck dictionary and window-state-prod.json. It remained after an uninstall. I assume that none of this data was actually put there by the installer itself.
4 - This is the user's profile containing all notes and resources created by the user. It remained after the uninstall which is logical as, (1) the installer did not install it (2) the process of just upgrading could wipe all user data. The size of this data depends on how much the user has stored in Joplin. I suppose that if the user does not want it the user should delete it (assuming they know where it is!).

So;

1 - is removed
2 - isn't removed and probably should be
3 - isn't removed and probably should be
4 - should not be removed automatically

Therefore;

From my quick test the uninstall process possibly leaves behind 163MB of data and the user's personal data. Admittedly this was an install followed by an uninstall so C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\@joplin\app-desktop may get bigger over time.

Finally;

Pre-fetch and Superfetch are nothing to do with the installer or Joplin. Windows keeps track of the way the computer starts and which programs the user commonly opens. Windows saves this information as a number of small files in the prefetch folder (prefetch) or memory (superfetch). Windows refers to these files to help speed the start / loading process.

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I would have to disagree to a point. (4) should be deleted, or at least an option on the uninstaller to remove all saved data. Not everyone would know how manually to do so, and to be honest it indeed can become very large if one saved a lot of notes. This is just how so much wasted space can accumulate in one's HD. It should be an option. It's the right thing to do. No if ands or buts about it.

Yep, the .config folder can get quite big. There's a post on this forum asking for people to report their config folder size and some are multiple gigabytes!

I disagree that the user data should be removed with the app when uninstalling. A common method of correcting an install that has gone "bad" is to uninstall and then reinstall the app. If it defaults to deleting all user data that is going to cause quite a problem. Also I do not know how the installer currently works when upgrading. If it just overwrites the current app then there is not problem. If it uninstalls and then installs the new version then the act of just upgrading could destroy all user data. Not a good thing.

I do agree that it may be good to have the ability to purge the user data upon uninstall - as long as it was not on by default and it was made very clear what was going to happen.

Whether the installer creator @laurent uses can do this is another thing however. Also the user data folder does not have to be located at C:\Users\<user>\.config\joplin-desktop. The --profile option when lauching Joplin will let the user place their config folder pretty much anywhere. The uninstaller will not, possibly cannot, know where that is as it is an argument manually appended by the user to the Joplin executable when launching / creating a shortcut.

If this is seen as a something that should be addressed I am wondering whether the uninstaller could at least display a message upon completion stating that the user data has not been deleted and where it is located by default. Anyone who has set up a --profile path, due to the very act of doing so, must know where their user data actually is.

I have to make it clear I am not a dev, just a long-time user having a discussion with another long-time user :slight_smile:

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Looks like the uninstall process can be customized via scripts: NSIS - electron-builder


I'm taking notes on this because I've had a problem that I hoped would be solved with an uninstall and then "fresh" reinstall. My laptop can't de-encrypt some messages that had large photos embedded. I tried erasing those messages on my desktop--which was having no issues--but the laptop still reports a de-encryption error. I even erased the resource (photos) in dropbox. Still the error.

So, I'd hoped a fresh install would clear the error. But it immediately reported the same error. So, I think there is cached data somewhere that didn't go away.

Suggestions? I'll post this as a separate thread, too.

Robb

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