4 Apps to Clean Up Your Mac and Keep It Running Tip Top

OSX is very good at keeping itself clean, when compared to all the registry cruft that can occur with Windows – mostly due to not having a registry that gets filled up. But instead, OSX keeps configuration data in separate folders, often in the hidden Library folder.

Uninstalling Applications

Application uninstall in OSX is very simple. You simply delete the application from the Applications directory in Finder. But this doesn’t remove any of the configuration data or other files that might have been created by the application. This can be handy if you plan to re-install the application at some point in the future, but if you don’t plan to then this can lead to a build up of non-useful data on your drive. Other things can also be left lying around like startup scripts, device drivers and login items. With that in mind, it can be useful to go through and clean up your Mac every so often. OSX allows you to do this manually either through Finder or through the command line, but let’s face it – who wants to spend time doing that when there’s apps that’ll do it for you?

Clean My Mac 3

cleanmymac

We’ve reviewed Clean My Mac 2 and Clean My Mac 3 here at reviewmacsoftware.com and this application is quite probably the most popular application available. It works well, is unobtrusive and when you drag an Application to the Trash it will automatically pop up and ask if you want to delete configuration entries too. Clean My Mac 3 also scans other areas of your hard drive to remove as much clutter as it can, as well as performing some optimisations of Mail and Spotlight databases which can also help speed things up.

MacBooster 3

This app from IoBit is very similar to Clean My Mac 3, although it has a fairly strong focus on security of your Mac rather than speed – although it does have some aspects related to speed. MacBooster 3 claims to have an antivirus but I wonder if I have done something wrong because it didn’t even notice when I downloaded the Eicar test virus.

MacBooster 3 icon
MacBooster 3 icon

Like Clean My Mac 3, Macbooster provides a screen (screenshot to the right) which allows you to fully uninstall Mac Applications and their associated files. MacBooster also provides cleanups for iTunes related junk files – such as obsolete iPhone backups, iOS application downloads that you may well no longer need and iOS images for reinstalling your phone. Be careful when deleting these to make sure you’re not deleting something you may need to use in the future though.

MacBooster 3 will also scan your photo libraries to attempt to find duplicate photos. When I tried this I found that it thinks similar photos are actually duplicates. This can be a good thing because if you’ve been a bit click-happy you may well have a bunch of very similar looking photos and you only really need one. This can clean up some good space too.

MacBooster 3 will also scan your hard drive for large files – files that may have been used previously to install something, or movie files that you ended up not really wanting but then forgot where they were. This in itself could clean up heaps of space on your drive enabling you to not need to carry around that extra USB drive.

Detox My Mac

detoxmymac

We’ve not looked at this one, although it has been recommended a few times in comments on other articles, but is treated quite similarly to all the other Mac Cleanup software titles by the majority of Apple forum frequents – that is to say, they insist such things are not necessary. As you’ll see at the end of this article, we tend to agree in principle but with the proviso that you know what you’re doing to administer your Mac manually. You can check out Detox My Macs claims at detox-my-mac.com

MacKeeper

We reviewed MacKeeper some time ago but have since changed our minds on its usefulness and many sites on the Internet do not recommend the use of MacKeeper – and given how hard it can be to get rid of (and the speed of its antivirus scans) we can’t recommend it either.

General

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 5.20.40 PM

It’s fair to say that if you’re a reasonably proficient Mac user you probably won’t need any of the ‘speed up my mac’ type software. Cleaning up files after you’ve finished with them, making sure there’s no extraneous login software running and checking the Activity Monitor to see what’s eating up your CPU will probably make more sense than spending hard earned cash on something you can do yourself. But for novice users these programs can be helpful – just be careful that you don’t end up deleting more than you should and breaking something. As always, a good backup is the best idea before installing and playing with any of these kinds of things.

If you’re looking for other ways to speed up your mac, check our article which gives some good tips, How To Speed Up My Mac

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2 thoughts on “4 Apps to Clean Up Your Mac and Keep It Running Tip Top”

  1. Hi Steve,
    Hope you are well.
    I live in Western Australia. My MacBook Pro is struggling at the moment with very slow operation and the fan humming.
    Could you give me some advise please?
    CHEERS,
    Marcus

  2. seema.chipbyte

    There is a reason why I bought a Mac, it was not to be one of the cool kids that wanted the best of the best. No it was because of the music production I do on it. Hours and hours sitting in front of my Mac copying, pasting, moving, deleting, hour after hour just beating on my Mac in a endless assault to get my work done. That is the key part, my work. I work from home, it is great, but even if it is from home it is still work and it still needs to get done. So my Mac, I have it because it is fast, gets the job done and comes back for more.

    But what happens when it doesn’t want to do those things anymore?

    I move around massive amounts of information and yes even on the almighty Mac this can cause a problem after a while. Things fragment, programs get corrupted issues come up. My light speed Mac slows down to a crawl and all of the sudden I simply can not get any work done. Because I work from home there is no IT guy to call and ask to come fix it. No instead I have to figure out what is wrong. I am lucky, I did, but not after trying everything under the sun first and wasting countless hours looking for one program that can do what I needed instead of ten programs. One program to lead them all….okay that was a lame Lord of the rings reference, but that program was/is Detox My Mac. A simple to use program that did not just fix my issues, it put my Mac on overdrive again. A few clicks and my Mac was clean and ready to rock and roll again.

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