Last Updated: June 8, 2021
- Ease of use: 5/5
- Smart Scan: Yes
- File Shredder: Yes
- Adware prevention: No
- Malware removal: Yes
- Customer service: Tickets and live chat
- Duplicate files search: Not included
- Scan Speed: Fast
Mac users who want their Mac to be as good as new at all times.
- User-friendly interface
- Easy download and installation
- Great for private browsing
- Duplicate file finder costs extra
- Limited trial version
- No phone support
CleanMyMac X’s goal is to keep your Mac device uncluttered so that it keeps running as if it was new. More often than not, temporary files are the reason why Mac users run out of space, making their device’s configuration sub-optimal. The suite of tools in CleanMyMac ensures that you never have to deal with cleaning your system manually ever again.
Many CleanMyMac reviews have recommended the application and have cited it as the best Mac cleaner there is. With a new version out in the market, we used the app, ran our tests to see whether it fulfills what it claims, and came up with our own CleanMyMac review. Read on to see what we found.
CleanMyMac is all about smoothness and efficiency in running your Mac device. It offers a ton of services and features, and we’ve listed them all down for you. We’ll decide for each feature whether it solves its purpose, and by the end of the review, answer the question “does CleanMyMac X work well?”
The Dashboard Drop-Down
The drop-down menu of the app sits on the dashboard of your Mac from where you can access it easily. You get a list of all your hard drives and the space occupied and available on them. There are other tabs on the drop-down list which show you the available memory (RAM), battery, CPU usage, network speeds, the space available on your Dropbox, the content of the trash bin – basically, a status overview of your Mac.
The battery tab lets you know about the different applications running in the background and the amount of power they’re consuming.
This tab lets you know about the stress on the processor from the other applications running in the background. Even watching YouTube on Chrome can increase the load on your processor by about 10%. Once you close those applications, the processor will become freer and you would then be able to use your Mac more smoothly. This contributes to the nuances between CleanMyMac and its competitors (like MacKeeper), securing its place among the best Mac cleaning software out there.
If you’re a DropBox user, the drop-down status overview of CleanMyMac will let you know the space available on your cloud storage in real-time.
But it gets better. In the latest version of the app, there are a bunch of new modifications to be seen and a new tab called ‘Protection’, with a “Real-time malware monitor” functionality available in the drop-down menu. It’s definitely not a top-notch antimalware solution, but it does offer some protection.
That’s about the dashboard app. If you want to go beyond and perform a clean-sweep on your device, getting rid of all extra files, you can click on the “Launch CleanMyMac X” button to fire up the main console.
With advancing times we have more options where we can store our files than ever before. Most people today use the SSDs to have a faster computing experience, but it comes with a price tag that’s substantially heavier than the conventional disk drives. With that said, it makes no sense to fill your limited drive space with files that you’ll never need and CleanMyMac solves this very problem.
Let us take a look at the different ways this app can free your Mac from all the junk and thus improve the performance of your device.
CleanMyMac’s System Junk cleanup is designed to remove the temporary files left behind by your operating system and apps that you have installed in your system. When these files are removed, you’ll not only be left with free space but also a smoother experience.
The service asks for permission to access your drive. Once you’ve granted complete access to CleanMyMac and hit ‘Scan’, you get the space occupied by these temporary files along with their details.
Moreover, when we were writing this CleanMyMac review, we were pleasantly surprised to note that when you run a smart cleanup scan, you also get to see if any potential threats are looming inside your Mac. If there are background applications that are holding back your Mac on its performance – you get a list of all those apps too.
After scanning, when you hit ‘Run’, CleanMyMac asks you to save your work and quit the applications that it prompts you to. Chances are that if you ignore this prompt, those applications might crash and you may lose all the unsaved data or changes. You can review and close the prompt if you’re certain it’s not going to lead to the loss of any crucial data.
Now, as CleanMyMac runs, it will perform an extensive junk file clean-up, remove all the malicious files that it could find, and close the background apps that consume memory and slow down your Mac. When it’s done, CleanMyMac will provide you with the new status of your system — the amount of space it freed, the number of malicious files removed and the performance hijacking tasks it shut down.
If you edit a lot of photos from your Mac, most probably there are temporary files piling up and eating up all your storage space. Moreover, temporary files are created every time you access the web, regardless of whether you’re viewing the images or downloading them.
CleanMyMac gives you an overview of all the temporary photos and thumbnails that are occupying space in your Mac so that you can delete them later. During the research for our CleanMyMac X review, we ran a smart scan and discovered about 290 MB of useless photo junk eating up storage in our system.
Whether they’re large or small, mail attachments can potentially use a lot of storage space when left to pile up. While many people don’t like to delete mail attachments, they’ll always be in your mail and it’s a great place to start clearing files that are no longer important.
So, once you hit the ‘Scan’ button, within a few seconds, depending on the size of your drive, you’ll get the amount of storage you’ll be saving if you decide to clear all the mail attachments.
iTunes is single-handedly responsible for taking a large bite of your storage. It’s a bloated app and stores all your libraries locally for faster access to music. But in doing this, it takes up a lot of space on your hard drive. The iTunes app is not built just to play music and stream videos. It’s responsible for storing backups (sometimes even multiples instances of backups) for your other Apple devices.
Here’s what else we found during the research for this CleanMyMac review:
When you click on the iTunes Junk option, you’ll be surprised by the amount of space occupied by the cache files and all the backups. Like the rest of the options, you can hit “Scan” and the app will do the rest.
This is an easy one. The thoughtful Trash Bins give you a second chance to verify your choices before you decide to permanently delete your files. But if you don’t timely delete these files manually, they’ll keep accumulating until you fill your drive to its brim.
CleanMyMac saves you the trouble of having to manually delete the contents of the trash bin by including the Trash Bin Cleanup feature in its suite of clean-up tools. When you hit the “Scan” button, within a couple of seconds you’ll be prompted with the space occupied by the files sitting in your trash bin from where you can click on ‘Clean’ to immediately delete them, this time permanently.
There are questions like “Is CleanMyMac X safe” which surround the use of the app, but in our tests, it turned out to be as safe as any other utility we’ve ever tested. Apple itself has notarized MacPaw’s CleanMyMac for being free from malware. So, the real question here is whether it can protect your system from the classic Mac OS viruses.
CleanMyMac can take the load of security issues off your mind from the features offered in its Protection package. If you run on the ‘Scan’ button in the ‘Protection’ tab, it will look at the newly installed applications in your computer and check if there’s any suspicious activity. Their knowledge base suggests that this scan only takes up what is peanuts in terms of system memory. Nevertheless, you can always toggle the monitor on or off according to your requirements in the CleanMyMac X Preferences.
If you turn this feature on, whenever you install a new piece of software and you are suspicious or have concerns about it, CleanMyMac X can help you neutralize the issue, if it finds any. With the functionality, you get from this feature, and the hassle you’ll be saving yourself from if ever your Mac were to get infected with a virus, you’re practically getting CleanMyMac for free.
Yes, viruses and other malware are not a menace when it comes to Apple users but scanning for suspicious files every now and then is one of the qualities of a good netizen. Perhaps there’s something phishy (pun intended) in your email or maybe a malicious .dmg file that could harm the systems of people you forward that email to.
CleanMyMac has an in-built Mac Malware Removal tool that will scan your device and emails looking for malware and will notify you when it can determine a potential threat to your system. This is notable since according to other Mac cleaning reviews, no other utility offers this functionality.
Quite often the C-suite of the high conglomerates and the judiciary of many countries struggle to articulate why public privacy, especially in terms of their internet activity, is relevant and valuable. They see public privacy as a blindfold. It’s difficult describing the obvious – privacy mirrors respect for the public, for the individuals, and is a major parameter for trust in the institutions and it affects an institution’s reputation to a large extent. That’s why so many people are using VPN services.
Achieving complete privacy is a daily practice. And when you commit to doing your part, CleanMyMac’s Privacy optimization software will help you in that process.
If you scan your Mac for all the privacy vulnerabilities, you’ll be surprised by the sheer number of instances from where your identity and data could be compromised (browser cookies, browsing history, call history from VoIP services, etc). Cleaning up these files will help both the causes – speeding up your system and improving your privacy.
Since this is a rounded CleanMyMac review, it’s worth mentioning the ways in which the app helps with speeding up your machine. You must have experienced low performance in your Mac at some point when you thought that perhaps your Mac was getting old or its components were degrading. It’s partly true because if you continue to use your Mac at sub-optimal settings for a long time, your device is bound to get laggy. Let’s see how CleanMyMac can help you with this.
You might not be aware of this but many applications have the setting to run at startup. This means that regardless of whether you are using these apps, they’ll stay turned on as soon as you switch on your device. Such apps include Dropbox, Skype, Adobe, Google Photos, Spotify, etc.
There are other apps that never fully end their service and have some components running in the background. CleanMyMac can identify these apps and processes that burden your processor and you can choose whether or not to keep these apps (or their components) running. Any other CleanMyMac alternative doesn’t offer processor optimization the way this app does.
CleanMyMac checks your device’s health in terms of your hard disk’s physical and logical condition from a pre-built set of scripts that are designed to maximize your Mac’s performance. These scripts can reindex your Spotlight’s database to make sure your searches are glitch-free, and they can also repair app permissions to ensure all your apps run well.
The service offers you a list of recommendations. This list may consist of but is not limited to freeing up RAM, speeding up mail, flushing your DNS cache, rebuilding launch services, verify startup disk, repair disk permissions, and reindexing Spotlight database.
If you run these maintenance tasks (which might take a few minutes to finish), you’ll be prompted with an encouraging message that says your Mac shall run smoothly thereon.
Next in our CleanMyMac review, we’ll talk about how it deals with the apps installed in your system.
Applications can leave behind a lot of useless files when you uninstall them. CleanMyMac offers a few specialized ways to get rid of that junk without losing any essential data.
CleanMyMac has an intuitive tool called the “Uninstaller” which lists all your apps, grouping them in order of the extent of their usage and when they were last used. There are other views that include the list of apps you have manually selected to uninstall, the 32-bit apps, and the leftovers. Selecting the ‘Leftovers’ will remove all the useless files left behind by previously uninstalled apps.
CleanMyMac offers another great tool, called the Updater, which you can use to keep all your apps up to date. Using this tool means not having to manually download and update each and every app on your device. All you have to do is select the app from the console and CleanMyMac will look for updates on the web and install their latest versions.
You can stay in control of your system extensions including widgets, plugins, dictionaries, and other items. The app will scan through your system and your browser to find all the plugins you have installed, and list them down for you, including the unnecessary plugins in Spotlight, and the Mac search tool. Here you can easily remove these plugins completely or temporarily disable them.
This functionality isn’t part of the trial version and is therefore not present in our CleanMyMac free review.
The CleanMyMac app offers 3 options to manage your files. The first option is managing your large and old files, the second one is the shredder, and the third is a new addition, called the Space Lens. Let’s take a look at each of these:
Large & Old Files
Here the app helps you identify the old files that take up big chunks of storage in your system and gives you the option to delete them right away. The scanning process barely takes a couple of seconds and this will help you clear up a lot of space.
A computer never really deletes your files. When you think you’re removing a file by hitting that ‘Delete’ option, traces of it will be left behind in your device’s storage until it’s overwritten by some other file at a later stage.
CleanMyMac’s file security tool, Shredder, ensures that those file traces are completely annihilated so there’s no possible way to recover them.
Among the latest additions into CleanMyMac’s suite of tools, Space Lens lets you compare all your files and folders visually. And because it’s new, many earlier CleanMyMac reviews have failed to cover it.
This new feature gives you an instant size overview of your system where you can browse your storage and see what’s taking the most space, in an instant. Basically, if you’re in a hurry and need to free up some space on your drives by deleting the unnecessary files, the Space Lens tool can help you quickly find the bulkiest files and folders.
The best part is that the whole process is graphical and visually appealing. Circles of different sizes and colors are used to represent files and folders. For instance, the solid-colored circles point toward folders whereas the empty circles mean they are files. The larger the circles, the more the amount of space they occupy on the disk.
When you double-click on a solid circle, you will be directed into that folder where you will find another set of circles of all the files and folders inside that first solid circle.
The Space Lens option lies on the panel on the left when you launch the CleanMyMac app. Once you click on the tool, the app will lead you to a page where you will hit the ‘Scan’ button to start the storage mapping process.
This process can be lengthy if it’s the first time you’re running it. Factors like the total disk space and the type of storage (HDD or SSD) also come into effect too. But when it’s done, you get a list of all your files and folders on one side and their graphical representation under a Space Lens header.
If you keep exploring by clicking on the circles, you’ll find the folders that are consuming the most space on your device. Mostly it’s the media files — the temporary files generated, when, say, you edit videos, or the duplicate libraries created when you back up your music from your phone, among other places.
If you’re using the CleanMyMac trial version, the extent to which you can explore inside the circles will be limited. There will be a point where the most you can do to identify the heavy files in a circle is right-clicking on it and then going with the “Reveal in Finder” option in the menu that pops up.
If you’re currently using the old version of CleanMyMac, you can go to the ‘Updates’ option under the ‘Preferences’ menu to update to the latest version which offers the Space Lens function.
Ease of Use
All the tools and features of CleanMyMac are intelligently grouped together under appropriate headers in its eye candy of a console. There are great graphics and animations, especially in the Space Lens tool, that lets you visualize all your data. The drop-down menu on the dashboard gives you a quick status overview of your entire system. So, all in, CleanMyMac X is super easy to use and has the gentlest learning curve among all the apps and services in its category.
You can find the Support option on the bottom of their website where they’ve tried to cover all corners by providing an extensive Knowledge Base. This page talks in detail about CleanMyMac’s features, licenses and subscriptions, optimization hacks, discount coupons, and a thorough ‘Getting Started’ guide.
They also have a page dedicated solely to a ton of frequently asked questions. Moreover, keeping the security of all its users in mind, MacPaw encourages its more tech-savvy users to submit any malware they’ve discovered and want the company to analyze.
And of course, you can always contact the company directly from under the Support tab for resolving any issues that you might have faced while using CleanMyMac. The site mentions 24/7 Technical and Sales support via their “Contact Us” option. We tested the live chat option and got a response within three minutes, which was impressive.
CleanMyMac X Cost
The cost of CleanMyMac X depends on the number of systems you plan to buy it or subscribe to it for.
For instance, if you plan on using it for a year, the CleanMyMac license costs:
- $39.95 for 1 Mac device
- $59.95 for 2 Mac devices
- $89.95 for 5 Mac devices
However, if you’re looking for a one-time purchase, you’ll have to shell out 89.95 bucks for one machine, $134.95 for 2, and $199.95 for 5 Mac devices. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, in case you change your mind or are dissatisfied with their service.
CleanMyMac Free vs Paid
While CleanMyMac is a paid cleaning software and its subscriptions and licenses are a tad more expensive than its more immediate competitors, the company behind it (MacPaw) believes in delivering value for its costs. CleanMyMac’s free version offers unlimited scans but has limited scope when it comes to other features. For instance, you’re allowed to remove up to 500 MB of junk, improve start speed up to 2 times, etc. Other features are either fully or partially blocked or available for one-time use.
Created by MacPaw, CleanMyMac X has a whole suite of features that make it a one-stop-shop for most Mac users. But in case you’re still on the fence, here are some alternatives:
CleanMyMac X vs. CleanMyMac 3
According to MacPaw, CleanMyMac X is an “all-in-one package”. The newer version, X, can find junk files 3 times faster than CleanMyMac 3. And when you scan for larger files, you’ll notice the difference in speeds.
CleanMyMac X vs. CCleaner
While both of these are reliable and well-established services, there are subtle differences to note between the two. For instance, CCleaner allows you to delete browser history in effect, in its free version. On the other hand, CleanMyMac X has the widest range of functionalities, including malware detection, quick system overview, system speedup, among a ton of other features.
CleanMyMac X vs DaisyDisk
Both DaisyDisk and CleanMyMac X are popular cleaning tools used by hundreds of thousands of Mac users. But while DaisyDisk offers elegant solutions for a lightweight Mac clean up, CleanMyMac X is more of a control panel for everything storage and security.
Malwarebytes vs CleanMyMac
Malwarebytes is antivirus software that’s dedicated to removing spyware, ransomware, scareware, and other forms of malware. CleanMyMac X is more of an all-rounder when it comes to your storage needs and privacy and security issues.
Do You Need a Mac Cleaner?
If you’re a content creator who makes a lot of heavy content or if you use bulky software, you’d have a large portion of your disk space already occupied. When the disk space is small, users don’t realize how quickly they’re filling it up until they reach the last few gigabytes.
There are hundreds of apps out there that claim to help you identify and clear the extra disk space, but most of them are just malware in disguise.
CleanMyMac Review -Verdict
CleanMyMac X offers a variety of easy-to-use tools that can quickly free up space on your device and get rid of suspicious files. All its features work as they did since their inception, providing a great combination of functionality, design, and user experience. To top it all, it also supports Macs with the M1 processor as well as the older models with Intel chips.
If you’ve always managed your files yourself and know-how and why (if ever) your system lags and you know how to fix it, that’s amazing! For others who want the ease of use and functionality over everything else, CleanMyMac is the way to go.
CleanMyMac is one of the safest Mac cleaning services out there. You can download CleanMyMac and install it without worrying about any privacy or security issues. It’s MacPaw’s flagship product and has been lauded by various CleanMyMac reviews.
After our comprehensive CleanMyMac X review, we don’t have any reason to believe otherwise. You get all the tools you can expect from a Mac cleaning app, and a lot more, including malware protection.
Although Apple doesn’t have any affiliation with MacPaw, the former did notarize the latter for being free from malicious files.
Peace of mind never comes free, and neither does CleanMyMac. There is a CleanMyMac trial version available whose services you can exploit before you commit to the paid version.
CleanMyMac has a suite of tools that will comb through your system, looking for suspicious files. If there’s a threat to your system, you’ll be immediately notified.
While CleanMyMac has a lot of features that you can use, its core functionality lies in its Cleanup utilities. All you have to do is hit “Scan” and CleanMyMac will do the rest by giving you a list of all kinds of temporary files and system junk that consumes space in your machine. Upon your approval, the service will free your device of that junk permanently.
It sure is. The app has been notarized by Apple itself for being free from malicious files, and even during our in-depth CleanMyMac review, we had no reason to believe there’s something shady with the app.