If your job is to administer Macintosh computers, odds are that much of your time is spent working with Adobe’s Creative Suite. And while many have been tempted to uninstall Adobe products out of frustration, removing Creative Suite entirely can be an important (and difficult) step to effective troubleshooting or a clean upgrade.
Uninstalling Adobe CS2:
The only way to completely remove Creative Suite 2 from a system is do so manually, using the list of CS2 files posted at Adobe’s own support site. Unless you specifically need CS2 for legacy work, it’s best to remove it completely before installing CS3 or CS4, as having multiple versions can corrupt preference files and make the applications behave erratically.
Uninstalling Adobe CS3:
Loading CS3, on the other hand, isn’t always as easy as following a checklist. The installer can become convinced that some or all of the suite is already present, even when there isn’t any usable software available. For this very reason, Adobe has a script to uninstall the Photoshop CS3 beta, the non-bundled versions of Acrobat 8, or even just a previous CS3 install that somehow went wrong.
CS3Clean, once double-clicked, runs in the Terminal to remove every application, file, preference, and driver that might be preventing a fresh installation. The script offers two official “levels” of cleaning, the first removing everything *but* Acrobat 8, the second removing all CS3-associated files, plus a mysterious third option which isn’t listed (or explained) but is often recommended by Adobe’s phone support representatives, and a secret fourth which removes *all* Adobe and Macromedia software.
The script also uninstalls CS3 in about 10% of the time the programs actually take to install initially. That means that rather than installing CS3 individually on the machines that require it, you can often save time by including Creative Suite in company-wide disk images, then removing it on the workstations where it isn’t needed.
Uninstalling Adobe CS4:
Adobe released the Creative Suite Cleanup application, a graphical tool to remove all traces of Creative Suite 3 or 4. Use the pull-down menu to select your version of Creative Suite, then highlight the components you want uninstalled at hit the “Cleanup” button. If you’re prompted to try uninstalling the product instead, click the “Cleanup” button again to remove all your Creative Suite components by brute force.
With these tools you can eliminate these versions of Creative Suite, allowing you to install the newest version (or just reinstall your existing software) trouble-free.