Do You Need Mac Cleaning Software? And Which One is Best?
Built-in Mac Cleaning
Starting with macOS Sierra, Apple offers Optimized Storage:
Optimized storage in macOS Sierra and later can save space by storing your content in the cloud and making it available on demand. When storage space is needed, files, photos, movies, email attachments, and other files that you seldom use are stored in the cloud automatically. Each file stays right where you last saved it and downloads when you open it. Files that you've used recently remain on your Mac, along with optimized versions of your photos.
While this is an amazing thing to have built-in, it doesn't quite get the job done for many heavy Mac users. Most Mac owners need a cleaning software program that does more than just optimizing storage. Further, these users need the cleaning platform to be neutral about storage: Apple obviously pushes its own paid cloud storage.
Creates More Storage Space
A basic CleanMyMac 3 scan runs through the following items: system junk, photo junk, mail attachments, iTunes junk, and trash bins. It cleans up each of these areas, creating more space on your hard drive and speeding up your Mac.
It also identifies files on your hard drive that are particularly large and/or old, allowing you to make cleaning decisions on these individual items.
My first scan with CleanMyMac3 cleared up over 10 GB of space. It also identified nearly 12 GB of large and old files for me to review.
Mac Health Check
Get a quick overview of your computer health right from your menu bar. I’m pretty certain my computer is on borrowed time given its age, so I think about its lifespan fairly frequently. I like that I can quickly click on the CleanMyMac 3 icon straight in the menu bar to get an overview. The overview tells me how much RAM I have and how much space is available on my hard drive. It also gives me an update on my battery health and if my trash bin is full.
Based on what I see, I can attempt to free up memory right from drop down or empty my trash bin. I can also launch CleanMyMac 3 or open the app preferences.
Works On a Schedule
Run CleanMyMac 3 on a schedule. With a newborn at home, I don't keep track of the small stuff, like scanning my Mac's health, as well as I'd like. CleanMyMac 3 allows me to set a schedule for the program to launch and scan without any intervention from me. Hallelujah!
The app automatically installs with a few reminders that you can customize based on your needs. These reminders include alerting you when you have too little memory or hard drive space and notifications for when your trash bin is over a certain size. Additionally, the app can let you know it's available to properly uninstall programs when you drag them to the trash bin, or it can let you know when an open program is no longer running correctly.
Mac Cleanup Tips
As well as this smart cleanup software, there are numerous other free strategies you can follow to improve your Mac’s lifespan. Keep your device safe, clean and tidy with the below tips.
Organize Your Files into Folders
One of the most common ways for your Mac to become disorganized is by not having designated locations for important files. If your device has files scattered all over the place, it’ll soon become difficult to locate what you really need. Instead, manually go through and create folders to organize your work. This is for you, so use whatever strategy works best for your memory.
If you work with lots of files, be specific and narrow-down any folders to make things easier to access. For example, rather than a folder titled ‘Work’, specify the department to make it easier to locate your files. Also, avoid using the desktop to store your files as this can become hectic and reduce your Mac’s speed. Screenshots automatically save there, so make it a part of your schedule to organize your desktop.
Delete Disk Images
Most Mac’s have a full Downloads folder where files quickly pile up until you no longer know what you’re dealing with. A great way to create more storage space on your device is to type ‘disk image’ into the search bar in your Downloads folder. You can then delete all the files downloaded as DMG files. These are just taking up storage space without any purpose, so go ahead and throw in the trash.
Delete Mail Downloads
If you receive numerous attachments with your e-mails, these will download and save to your Mac, taking up unnecessary space. No matter their file types, you don’t need these on your device. A great tip is to avoid double-clicking a file in an e-mail because this action saves the file to your Mail Downloads folder.
Every few months, go through this folder and make sure you haven’t accidentally downloaded attachments you don’t need. Instead, use Spotlight and type in ‘Mail Downloads’ to locate this folder.
Keep Your Web Browser Clean
You’ve probably heard people say “Empty your cache” on your web browser when you encounter any loading issues. As you search through the Internet, your Mac is saving search terms and temporary files which are called caches. Although this information might be helpful to how your device operates, these files aren't useful to you.
As an example, you might accidentally look at an outdated website without even realizing because you haven’t refreshed your cache. There’s a wide range of Mac software that can achieve this for you, or you can manually clean the cache yourself.
Delete Apps You No Longer Use
Whether your Mac came pre-installed with an array of apps or you like to play around with downloaded apps every now and then, your device can quickly become filled with programs you’ll never use again. Not only is the app itself taking up storage space on your device, but many also download files and folders which leave a trace on your device.
Thankfully, there are many free programs that make it easier to delete apps you no longer need. For example, AppTrap comes with a free installation that cleans up background files you don’t want any more. Begin by dragging the apps to the trash can and AppTrap will automatically locate any files associated with this app on your hard drive so you don’t have to manually search.
How CleanMyMac3 Differs From CleanMyMac2
If you’re searching for a cleaning program for your Mac, you might have come across CleanMyMac2. But, how does this differ from the third version? First, there’s a new safety feature that educates the app on locating old files that should be deleted. The software can also location even more broken files than the previous version and eliminate any that you no longer use. This helps to free up more hard drive space on your Mac.
CleanMyMac3 also has additional features to track your device’s performance. For example, you can monitor the battery, storage space, and battery of your device in more detail than ever before. CleanMyMac3 can also alert you of any warning signs to look out for that could potentially harm your Mac.
Alternative Mac Cleaners to Choose From
My above CleanMyMac3 review is honest and informative, but if you’d like some alternative Mac-cleaning software, here are some others to choose from.
This cleaning software for Macs is great if you’re not big on technology or are looking for a simple-to-use program that is helpful and effective. DaisyDisk displays all the important information in a graph so it is easy to digest. The software features a layout that makes it easy to locate big files and navigate through any important documents on your device. From the home screen, you’re presented with how much storage space you have left on your Mac, and this automatically updates on a regular basis.
Scanning might be a lengthy process, but this is certainly thorough and you won't be disappointed with the outcome. For example, a 250 GB hard drive will take around 10 minutes to scan, which is significantly quicker than most Mac-cleaning programs. I love that you can customize the scanning process to individually scan folders, should you wish to. The drop-down menu offers a viewing experience of the Finder so you can get all the information you need, and extend the scanning process.
Another alternative to CleanMyMac is Data Rescue. First, I love how quick and simple this software is to operate. You can install, register and begin scanning in just a few minutes. The interface is also simple to understand so you don’t need any experience of cleaning software to operate this program. In fact, the installation process walks you through using the software so there’s no confusion. Data Rescue dives deep into your device to offer an exceptional scan through all of your files. For example, you can locate files using an array of searches to dissect what you’re looking for.
Something to consider is that Data Rescue doesn’t offer quick scanning, so if you’re impatient, you might become frustrated. However, the software has tried to fix this issue by updating you with e-mail notifications so you’re aware of the current scanning process.
Finally, this software is a great go-to if your Mac isn’t loading as quickly and efficiently as it once did. For example, if it’s struggling to boost, a cleaning software can help to resolve this issue. Begin with a Quick Scan to feel an instant benefit. This scan will quickly recover files. It might take a few minutes, but there are other options for a Deep Scan if you’re really struggling to amend your device.
This software performs an excellent job at erasing junk files without requiring you to fig around and put in the work yourself. For a reasonable price, it comes with an array of applications, but these are still limited compared to CleanMyMac3. The sorting and erasing process is fairly responsive and quick, and Disk Doctor doesn’t have you waiting around for a long time which is ideal.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use software, Disk Doctor is equipped with a simple interface. At this point, you can see how much capacity is left on your computer’s hard drive as well as the amount of storage space being used. You don’t have to follow any instructions or manually click any ‘next’ steps to perform a scan, as you simply click the ‘scan’ button’ and it’ll begin working. This software will continue investigating your device by finding junk files. It’ll scan a variety of areas on your Mac and the interface presents a brief review of the junk files it discovers.
Erasing any unwanted files is quick and after each scan, you’ll receive a notification of the amount of space remaining on your device. Overall, it’s a fairly minimal Mac software but has some great advantages.
Mackeeper is a software suite from Kromtech that claims the ability to speed up your computer, remove worthless files, and provide a connection to real-life humans for all of your Mac-related needs.
The software provides a connection to tech experts 24/7 through an integrated live chat system. They can provide you with assistance no matter the time your computer starts to give you issues. The program also supports a find-and-fix module that allows a remote Apple professional to scan and repair any issues that your Mac might have.
Despite initially glowing reviews of the Mac cleaning software, MacKeeper, we've come to believe this is a problematic product and you should uninstall it and consider other options. Zeobit created MacKeeper, and it did a decent job in its infancy. However, after selling MacKeeper to Kromtech in the past couple of years, the product deteriorated.
Problems with MacKeeper
Mac experts report a myriad of problems with MacKeeper including:
· Pop under ads (which are advertisements that appear underneath your current browser and you will see the ad once you close your browser)
· Repeated reminders to clean your computer when you don’t need to do so
· Fake/purchased reviews in tech websites
· Hiring overzealous and questionable affiliate marketers
· Scattering MacKeeper files throughout your computer, making it very difficult to uninstall· Destabilizing your Mac by not “playing nice” with other applications and programs
Why is My Mac Running Slow?
If you’ve noticed your Mac isn’t running as fast as before, there are a few strategies you can follow to improve its performance. Below are some easy-to-follow steps to improve your device.
One of the best strategies you can do to speed up your Mac is to close applications you’re not using. To improve usability, Mac’s like to keep applications running in the dock, but this can decrease your device’s performance. To fully shut-down an application you no longer need, select ‘Quit’ and this will stop it from running until you next open the application.
Most of us hold off software updates because this means being without our Mac for a while, but not doing this is actually decreasing your device’s performance. Next time you have a suggested update, don’t hold it off and do it right away. You can also switch on automatic updates so this happens whenever necessary.
What Are Your Thoughts on This Cleaning Software?
I hope you enjoyed reading this CleanMyMac3 review, which has a substantial amount of features to improve your device’s performance. Compared to similar software on the market, this is one of the best cleaning programs you can purchase, and all for a reasonable price. It’s suitable for everyone to use as it’s easy to operate and it does overcomplicate any scanning processes.
What are your thoughts on CleanMyMac3? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so share your feedback in the comments.