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Completely uninstall Apple Remote Desktop Admin Apps
Here at my work, we have a very large and managed Macintosh environment -- 6,000 MacBooks, 30+ Xserves, and 1,000+ Mac desktops, all in an Open Directory environment. As such, Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) Admin is a very widely-used application for myself and my coworkers. When it works, it is awesome, but over the last year and a half at this deployment, a lot of us have randomly seen ARD Admin fail, for a lack of a better term. Symptoms are constant crashes, hangs when launching, not scanning through certain subnets or VLANs, and it won't connect to certain computers on your network. The way I have seen it happen is at first it becomes sluggish, and the application performs slow, then it goes into crashing and not working down the road. You try to reinstall the application and it gets you nowhere.

In the past, my coworkers have just wiped and reloaded OS X to fix this issue, which is kind of an unacceptable solution in my mind. Just this morning I got hit with the same issues trying to remote into some servers -- the application just hung, and it would lock and I would have to force quit it. I did not want to reload OS X to fix this issue, so I went looking for another solution.

You can't simply trash the ARD Admin application and then reinstall it; that does not work, as ARD Admin puts files and resources in many places. I have compiled a script, which I use in OS X 10.5 with ARD Admin 3.2. The script removes all resources that ARD admin installs on your system, and allows you to reinstall the application like it was a clean install. Here's the code:
#!/bin/sh
IFS=$'\t\n'
PATH=/bin:/usr/bin
export PATH

home=~
list="  # Remote Desktop Application
  /Applications/Remote Desktop.app

  # ARD Agent Software
  /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement
  /System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras/RemoteDesktop.menu

  # Application Support Files
  /Library/Application Support/Apple/Remote Desktop

  # Preferences
  /Library/Preferences/com.apple.ARDAgent.plist
  /Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteDesktop.plist
  /Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteManagement.launchd
  /Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteManagement.plist

  # Receipts
  /Library/Receipts/RemoteDesktopAdmin320.pkg
  /Library/Receipts/RemoteDesktopAdmin322.pkg
  /Library/Receipts/RemoteDesktopClient.pkg
  /Library/Receipts/RemoteDesktopRMDB.pkg

  # User Items
  $home/Library/Application Support/Remote Desktop
  $home/Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteDesktop.plist

  # Reporting Database
  /var/db/RemoteManagement
"

for file in $list
do
  if [[ -e $file ]]
  then
    rm -rf $file
  fi
done
exit
Of course, use this at your own risk, but I have tested it and it worked for me on my machine just fine this morning. I was able to reinstall ARD Admin, and it now works like it used to.
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Completely uninstall Apple Remote Desktop Admin | 15 comments | Create New Account
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Completely uninstall Apple Remote Desktop Admin
Authored by: chocky on Oct 21, '08 08:22:45AM
When I've encountered issues like this with ARD I've also had to remove:

/System/Library/PreferencePanes/SharingPref.prefPane/Contents/Resources/RemoteDesktop.bundle

or, in the worst case replace the entire SharingPref.prefPane

[ Reply to This | # ]
Completely uninstall Apple Remote Desktop Admin
Authored by: tom larkin on Oct 21, '08 09:30:59AM

I am seeing this more and more as our deployment goes on longer in time. We have several Mac Minis set up that do ARD display and observe scans to monitor students, these things go haywire the quickest. My iMac at work goes haywire every 6 months so far with ARD admin.

It is hard to say exactly where the problem lies as well. Is it not playing nice with the switches, routers, and controllers, or is it software related? Before at my last job we only had about 250 macs, so I never saw these problems. With over 6,400 macs I see problems like this on a constant basis.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Completely uninstall Apple Remote Desktop Admin
Authored by: neuralstatic on Oct 21, '08 09:38:56AM

i thik you'll have to escape the spaces or put in quotes

rm -r /Library/Application Support/Apple/Remote Desktop/
rm -r ~/Library/Application Support/Remote Desktop/

might work better as

rm -r /Library/Application\ Support/Apple/Remote Desktop/
rm -r ~/Library/Application\ Support/Remote Desktop/



[ Reply to This | # ]
Completely uninstall Apple Remote Desktop Admin
Authored by: neuralstatic on Oct 21, '08 09:42:53AM

and the others too: Remote\ Desktop ...
or just quote the path



[ Reply to This | # ]
Completely uninstall Apple Remote Desktop Admin
Authored by: tom larkin on Oct 21, '08 10:24:18AM

crap I totally forgot to put that in quotes...my bad

#!/bin/sh
#this will uninstall ARD admin and all it's components so you can reinstall it if need be
rm -rf /var/db/RemoteManagement
rm /Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteDesktop.plist
rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteDesktop.plist
rm -r /Library/"Application Support"/Apple/Remote Desktop/
rm -r ~/Library/"Application Support"/Remote Desktop/
rm -rf /Applications/"Remote Desktop"



[ Reply to This | # ]
Completely uninstall Apple Remote Desktop Admin
Authored by: matt.simerson on Oct 21, '08 10:52:07AM
#!/bin/sh
#this will uninstall ARD admin and all it's components so you can reinstall 

for file in 
"/var/db/RemoteManagement" 
"/Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteDesktop.plist" 
"/Library/Application Support/Apple/Remote Desktop" 
"/Applications/Remote Desktop.app" 
"$HOME/Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteDesktop.plist" 
"$HOME/Library/Application Support/Remote Desktop" 
"$HOME/Applications/Remote Desktop.app" 
/System/Library/PreferencePanes/SharingPref.prefPane/Contents/Resources/RemoteDesktop.bundle 
;
do
    if [ -e "$file" ]
    then
        echo "rm -rf $file";
        rm -rf "$file";
    fi
done


[ Reply to This | # ]
Completely uninstall Apple Remote Desktop Admin
Authored by: tom larkin on Oct 21, '08 01:11:12PM

Upon reading further into it, you can actually go as far to do this

#!/bin/sh #this will uninstall ARD admin and all it's components so you can reinstall for file in #Remote Desktop Application "/Applications/Remote Desktop.app" #ARD Agent Software "/System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement" "/System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras/RemoteDesktop.menu" #System Application Support Files "/Library/Application Support/Apple/Remote Desktop" #System Preferences "/Library/Preferences/com.apple.ARDAgent.plist" "/Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteDesktop.plist" "/Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteManagement.launchd" "/Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteManagement.plist" #Receipts "/Library/Receipts/RemoteDesktopAdmin320.pkg" "/Library/Receipts/RemoteDesktopAdmin322.pkg" "/Library/Receipts/RemoteDesktopClient.pkg" "/Library/Receipts/RemoteDesktopRMDB.pkg" #User's Home Directory Items "~/Library/Application Support/Remote Desktop" "~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteDesktop.plist" #Reporting Database "/var/db/RemoteManagement" ; do if [ -e "$file" ] then echo "rm -rf $file"; rm -rf "$file"; fi done

Thanks for the more efficient scripting method. I sometimes do things the hard way, and I think I like your method better.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Completely uninstall Apple Remote Desktop Admin
Authored by: chadvonnau on Jun 14, '13 11:51:48AM
I'm not sure what shell you were using when this worked, but this didn't work at all for me in Lion, using its default shell, bash. I simplified the script a bit and trimmed some paths that didn't seem to be used any more with ARD 3 & Lion.

#!/bin/sh
#this will uninstall ARD admin and all it's components so you can reinstall 

sudo rm -rf /Applications/Remote\ Desktop.app;
sudo rm -rf /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement;
sudo rm -rf /System/Library/CoreServices/Menu\ Extras/RemoteDesktop.menu;
sudo rm -rf /Library/Application\ Support/Apple/Remote\ Desktop;
sudo rm -f /Library/Preferences/com.apple.ARDAgent.plist*;
sudo rm -f /Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteDesktop.plist*;
sudo rm -rf ~/Library/Application\ Support/Remote\ Desktop;
sudo rm -f ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteDesktop.plist*;
sudo rm -rf /var/db/RemoteManagement;


[ Reply to This | # ]
Yes, but...
Authored by: schaps on Oct 21, '08 03:11:26PM

all those saved tasks and saved unix command templates - this would be a more complete hint if it included what to backup and later restore to retain those. That's what has kept me from doing this sort of thing sooner/more often.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Yes, but...
Authored by: schaps on Oct 21, '08 04:06:22PM
wow, self-spank (see below for that)- Following this didn't quite go right on computer - I ended up doing a script as follows:
#!/bin/sh
#this will uninstall ARD admin and all its components so you can reinstall 

rm -rf "/var/db/RemoteManagement"
rm "/Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteDesktop.plist"
rm "~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteDesktop.plist"
rm -r "/Library/Application Support/Apple/Remote Desktop/"
rm -r "~/Library/Application Support/Remote Desktop/"
rm -rf "/Applications/Remote Desktop.app"
rm -rf "/System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement"
rm -rf "/System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras/RemoteDesktop.menu"
rm -rf "/System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement"
rm -rf "/Library/Preferences/com.apple.ARDAgent.plist"
rm -rf "/Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteManagement.launchd"
rm -rf "/Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteManagement.plist"
rm -rf "/Library/Receipts/RemoteDesktopAdmin320.pkg"
rm -rf "/Library/Receipts/RemoteDesktopAdmin322.pkg"
rm -rf "/Library/Receipts/RemoteDesktopClient.pkg"
rm -rf "/Library/Receipts/RemoteDesktopRMDB.pkg"
then reinstalled from CD and updated - And it worked WONDERS on the functioning of ARD - AND, my lists and saved unix scripts are still there. Not sure where they are stored, but it seems everything works better now and I might just do this on a regular basis. Thanks

[ Reply to This | # ]
Use with care!!!
Authored by: bill06 on Oct 22, '08 04:20:41PM

Use with care!!!
Instead of creating a script, I ran the commands one at time in the Terminal window and the last command permanently deleted everything on my desktop. The quotes really should be around the whole path.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Completely uninstall Apple Remote Desktop Admin
Authored by: JPHT on Aug 25, '09 09:25:10AM

It has been my experience that you can preserve your scanners and lists by backing up

~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteDesktop.plist

then removing, reinstalling, and testing ARD before restoring the plist. My theory is that it's the postgre db that gets messed up most of the time not the plist, but I haven't thoroughly investigated that.

I make regular backups of the plist so I can restore a recent good one when ARD has issues.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Completely uninstall Apple Remote Desktop Admin
Authored by: s8ist on Sep 21, '09 12:42:56PM

I just deleted my entire desktop. THANKS!!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Completely uninstall Apple Remote Desktop Admin
Authored by: paolo29 on Feb 06, '10 08:00:10AM

me too how do you get the bastard back



[ Reply to This | # ]
Completely uninstall Apple Remote Desktop Admin
Authored by: umrk on Jul 25, '11 08:49:21AM

If it can be of some help, here is my experience about Apple Remote Desktop (3.5) problems, and the workaround I have found to solve them.
I have four Macs at home (3 iMacs + a MacBook). I have now installed Apple Remote Desktop on the “main” machine, the others acting as satellite machines, which I can observe and control in distant mode (which is why I bought this application).

I never experienced crash problems, but before and after installing Lion (on the four machines), I experienced somewhat random problems with Apple Remote Desktop being unable to access to the satellite machines, whereas these where recognized as present in my private network (= visible by Bonjour Browser, as well as accessible through standard Finder system ( Go -; Network)).

I have resolved this as follows : on each satellite machine, in System - Preferences - Sharing options, activate “screen sharing” (instead of “remote control”, which is the option you normally activate if you are Remote Desktop User, otherwise you do not get anything more with Apple Remote Desktop than what you already have in standard system functionality). NB : For some strange reason I cannot understand, these two options (“Screen sharing” versus “Remote Control” are exclusive).

Then, on the “main” computer, (outside Apple Remote Desktop), access to the Screen sharing functionality through the standard system Finder functionality (go -; Network -; machine selection + Screen Sharing click).

This normally works (possibly after you enter the username & password through which you want to access to the distant machine, username which of course has to match what you have specified within the preferences system; share options of the distant machine). Then, coming back to the sharing options on the satellite machine, and reversing from “Screen sharing” to “Remote Control”, Apple Remote Desktop miraculously works again on the main machine.

It is also important to note that in case each machine of your network uses a different user name and an associated password, you have to be aware of indicating the specific user name & password applicable to the satellite machine you want to access to. I had problem with AppleTV which I could resolve this way : the AppleTV password is unique, therefore if you have different password on your machines, it cannot work for all. I have suspected for a long time Firewall problems (either the standard Apple one, or the Intego one I have also installed), but I finally concluded that my AppleTV problems were not related to a Firewall problem, but to this password issue.



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