Actually uninstalling Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe’s Creative Cloud installs a heap of random apps and tools and other bloatware. It’s pretty bananas, but it really gets obnoxious when you want to uninstall Creative Cloud1.

You can uninstall CC and it’s apps using Adobe’s uninstaller tool. But you wouldn’t expect that this leaves behind a bunch of apps and processes, many of which just continue running, starting at login, invisibly:

Some of the hidden processes left behind after “uninstalling” Creative Cloud include Core Sync Helper and CCXProcess.

Adobe offers an entirely different uninstaller app, called the Adobe Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool (1.7MB direct download). When I ran that tool, it listed nearly a dozen things that I opted to “Clean Up”, but even after rebooting, CC’s lingering processes were still running.

Among the things still left behind were two folders in /Applications/Utilities. One of those folders contains a handful of aliases to various “Uninstall Adobe…” items, the originals of which are in the ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/ folder, but launching any of them does nothing. Who knows what they’re meant to do. Who knows what the Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool actually did. Who knows how to uninstall Creative Cloud.

As for the Core Sync process, trash the Core Sync folder in /Applications/Utilities and the launch agent plist in ~/Library/LaunchAgents/.

I try not to assume that Adobe’s being creepy or malicious by choosing not to uninstall everything with their uninstaller tool, but it sort of rubs me the wrong way. More likely a matter of Adobe’s taste.

  1. This is one of the major benefits of installing through an App Store: simple to install, simple to uninstall. Neither the user nor the developer can mess with it.