CleanMyMac is probably the top competitor to Mackeeper. While Mackeeper is a controversial product with a lot of bad reviews, CleanMyMac has a good reputation in the Mac community as an effective and lightweight Mac cleaning tool.
You can read more about its complete features on their website.
I recently got a license of CleanMyMac 3 and thought I’d review it for the readers of this blog as well.
Download and Installation:
CleanMyMac 3 can be download for free from this page, but you do need a valid license to activate it fully.
The installation is pretty simple too. Just open the .dmg archive, drag the CleanMyMac3 app to your Applications folder and you’re done.
Freeing up RAM with CleanMyMac:
One of the things I like the most about CleanMyMac is that it sits in your Mac’s menu bar and you can simply click on the little icon to check your hard drive, battery and memory stats. I often use the ‘free up RAM’ function to get some more free RAM on my Macbook Air. This comes in handy especially if your Mac doesn’t have a lot of memory.
You can always exit CleanMyMac completely. Just click on its icon in the menu bar, then the little gear at the bottom right and click “quit”.
Macs, just like PCs, product unnecessary system junk files that need to be removed from your hard drive regularly. These junk files include:
- User cache files
- System cache files
- Language files
- Log files
CleanMyMac found 1.93GB of junk on my Mac. Almost all of which is unnecessary and can be securely removed without causing any problems. Simply clicking the “clean” button gets rid of all those files.
The photo junk module scans your iPhoto library and removes the unnecessary data that does not affect your photos. It also gives you the option of replacing your larger RAW files with high JPEG files. This is a very useful feature if you’re a photographer and use iPhoto a lot. Note that a RAW file is normally 500% or 5 times larger in size than a JPEG file.
This module scans your hard drive for the email attachments the Mail App might have saved somewhere. After scanning, it lets you decide which ones you want to delete. I don’t use the default Mail App so I have no email attachments to clean.
If you have an iOS device such as an iPhone/iPad/iPod then you will find this module very useful. It scans your Mac for the following:
- Old iOS device backups
- iTunes Cache
- Copies of iOS apps stored on your Mac
- Broken iTunes downloads
You can select the files you want to get rid of after the scan is complete. It found a 2.35GB of unnecessary files on my Mac.
Just in case you don’t want to hurt your trash’s feelings by emptying it directly, you can do so using CleanMyMac.
Large and Old Files:
Macs normally come with SSDs which is great for performance, but it also means the storage space is usually not enough to keep downloading huge files and not worrying about running out of storage. My Macbook Air has 256GB of storage and I have to constantly move large files to my external hard drive.
CleanMyMac makes this easier by scanning your whole drive for large files.
After scanning, it also tells you how long you have not used each file for so you can decide whether you should delete/move it or let it stay on your hard drive.
You can use the smart cleanup module to perform all of the above tasks and clean all the junk in one click. Personally, I like to use each module separately and review the files before deleting them.
Sometimes when you need to remove an app from your Mac, simply moving it to trash isn’t enough. There are leftover files in various locations that you need to remove too. The Uninstaller module lets you uninstall apps from your Mac and removes all the files/data associated with them as well. What I liked about it is how you can sort the apps by the data they were last launched so you can have a better idea of how frequently you use each app.
Simply select the app you want to uninstall from the left pane and it will automatically select all its associated binaries, logs, etc. You can deselect any item from the right pane if you want. I’m not sure why would anyone want to keep that, though.
This module includes little maintenance scripts that optimize your Mac’s performance. I run these almost every week. There’s also an option to clear your Mac’s DNS cache. You can clear your cache using the following terminal command:
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
There are options to
- Reindex your Mail app database (this will speed up your Mail application)
- Rebuild launch services database (this will make each file open with its default app)
- Reindex Spotlight
- Repair disk permission
- Verify startup disk
The privacy module simply lets you remove your browser history, cookies, etc. as well as skype/messages data. I don’t use this module but some of you might find it useful.
The extensions module lets you remove your browser extensions, any additional preference panes you might have installed, spotlight plugins, launch agents etc.
If you want to delete any file and want to make sure it is never, ever recoverable by any data recovery software, the shredder can be of help. Click “select files’, locate the item you want to remove and then click “shred”. You can also drag and drop multiple files into the shredder.
You can download CleanMyMac free of charge from their website. But a license is needed to activate the full functionality.
A single license of CleanMyMac goes for $39.99. They do apply some discount if you buy more than one licenses. Here is the full price structure:
Or you can also buy the Macpaw bundle which includes CleanMyMac 3 as well as two other apps from Macpaw i.e. Gemini (to detect and remove duplicate files) and Hider 2 (to hide and password protect your data).
CleanMyMac vs Mackeeper:
I prefer CleanMyMac for the following reasons.
CleanMyMac has a much better reputation than Mackeeper.
Unlike Mackeeper, you can actually quit CleanMyMac completely and only use it when you want.
The UI designers at Macpaw have done an amazing job. I absolutely love CleanMyMac’s minimal interface.
Fewer Bells and Whistles:
CleanMyMac actually comes with fewer ‘tools’ than Mackeeper – and that is how I like things. Brief and effect with no clutter.