When you buy a new Mac, everything is super-fast. With just a click, an application opens instantly while boot up times are just a few seconds. This is really just perfect. With everything on the Mac happening so fast there is nothing to complain about. The problem starts after using the Mac for awhile. You notice that things start taking a while longer. Bootups take over a minute and apps seem to take forever after a click to start. Before you know it, you have the “not responding” message. What could be happening to this Mac?
No matter what the model of the Mac is, using it over time fills up its disk space. After all, you store personal files, business files and even family members and friends could have folders in there. These are useful but they are not all there is in your Mac. There is a lot of junk stored together with all these useful stuff. The junk comes from files that are saved in duplicates, extensions that come with applications, broken downloads, old apps that did not uninstall well and so much more. How do you clean this up? No, you do not take a clean piece of cloth and wipe every part of the Mac!
There are third-party apps that specialize in cleaning Macs. These are known as Mac cleaners. There are many of these in the market but here we will only focus on the best. Before we determine what the best Mac Cleaner is and why, let us look at some things you need to know.
Choosing the Best Mac Cleaner in 2018
If you just search for the word “Mac cleaner” on any search engine, you will find hundreds if not thousands of options. Each of these claims to be the best but that cannot be true; there can only be one best Mac cleaner. Which one is it and how do we determine this?
We need to bear some considerations in mind in order to make the right choice. Let us look at what these considerations are and why they matter.
1. It does Actually Clean
What is the app designed to do? You do not want to just add apps to your Mac that take up space without helping clean the Mac. A Mac cleaner needs to have cleaning as its main purpose. If cleaning is only a secondary function then it is not worth having. A good cleaner is able to detect all the junk in the Mac and get rid of it permanently.
The cleaning process should be so effective that it frees up a considerable amount of disk space. It should delete various kinds of files that take up space without being useful.
2. Ease of use
The reason why we are going for a Mac cleaner is to avoid the having to clean manually which is tiring and annoying. The cleaner you choose should not complicate the process any further. It should be very easy to use with a clear interface that has all its functions within reach. Navigation buttons and instructions of use should be visible and easy to understand.
This is not about how neat the interface looks but how clever the application is. The ideal Mac Cleaner is smart and knows just what to delete. It is able to separate junk and useful files. It only deletes what you do not need leaving behind important personal file and, most importantly, system files remain intact. You do not want to get an app that does more harm than good getting rid of everything in the Mac leading to system crashes and/or data loss.
4. Customer support
It is not uncommon to experience a few problems now and then as you use an application. It is at this times when you need the support of the developers. Therefore, you better choose a Mac cleaner whose customer support is available around the clock so you can get answers to your questions at any time. To know how good or bad the customer support is, look at the app’s reviews online and you will get the right picture.
It is said that cheap is expensive and though this is not always true, it is always good to bear it in mind. Free Mac cleaner apps are great but do they get the job done? The latter is the most important consideration when it comes to the cost of the Mac cleaner to get. Paid apps tend to have more features than free apps. They do more than just clean and their cleaning is near-perfect.
Paid apps will be sold at different prices depending on what the developers want. How much should you budget for a cleaner app? The prices vary from very little to very expensive. I would recommend that you look at what the application offers against the price. The app should be worth the money it is sold at depending on the features it offers and other considerations named above.
One-off fee or subscription-based payment; what to choose? This depends on what your financial situation is but generally subscriptions are more expensive than one-off fees.
The Best Mac Cleaner of 2018: Our Top Picks
1. CleanMyMac X
Undoubtedly, the crown of the best Mac cleaner goes to CleanMyMac X. it is all you would ever need. I am talking from the perspective of a person who has used and loved this app. Here I will share how my experience was and why I believe everyone should have this on their Mac.
Let us start with the name. CleanMyMac X is made Macpaw, a company that is best known for previous versions of CleanMyMac and Gemini, an app that specializes in removing duplicate photos and files among others. The previous version of CleanMyMac was called CleanMyMac 3; why is this one called X? Well, the company has been in the field for ten years now and they decided to celebrate their tenth anniversary with this latest release and honor it with the name. It not the name that makes CleanMyMac X special; it is what it has to offer!
The Perfect Interface
It is said that a pretty face is not everything but we all know that it matters. MacPaw knows this as well and that is why they put in the best efforts in coming up with the CleanMyMac X’s interface. When you open the app you are met by an interface that is beautiful and very easy to understand. All the functions of the app can be accessed from the menu items arranged in various groups on the left side of the screen. Click on something and it will open up more options on the right side of the window. With just a few clicks you can clean your Mac and do all the other activities you can with this app.
The Best Mac Cleaner that Does More
Truly, the core function of this application is to clean up junk and leave your disk clean and make the Mac operate faster. However, this is not all it does. Other than being a cleaner, CleanMyMac X is a malware detector, performance optimizer and much more. With it on your Mac, you can rest easy knowing that your computer is in good hands and no harm will come to it. It takes care of your drive so you can do what you do best without worrying about performance issues.
Effective Cleanup like no other
This is the core business of this app and it does it perfectly. It is able to detect all the junk in the Mac and remove it. It cleans out old large files, iTunes junk, mail attachments downloaded, photos junk and browser junk. This junk can be anything from broken downloads to outdated backups. This is not the only junk in your Mac. System junk makes up a huge percentage of the clutter in your Mac. This includes data from broken apps, caches and logs among others. These can take up a lot of space and cause errors to occur. CleanMyMac will sweep these away and leave your disk clean and clutter-free.
CleanMyMac X does not just delete what it finds in its search for junk. It asks you first so you can choose what to keep and what to get rid of. With this approach, the Mac is left clean and you will be happy knowing you only lose what you want to. Those large and old files do not have to go; only what you do not need has to.
All the cleanup of your Mac can be done with one button. All the trash bins in the Mac can be emptied using CleanMyMac X’s delete button.
Easy and fast Cleanup
Simply use the smart scan button and this cleaner will look through all the folders on your Mac, collecting data that can be safely deleted and when done it will tell you what it would like to get rid of. Choose what you want gone and the cleanup will only take a few seconds. You never have to worry about losing important system files. CleanMyMac X is fitted with algorithms that help it distinguish between junk and useful files. Only the junk is deleted.
CleanMyMac X is 17 times faster than CleanMyMac 3. Considering that the latter was one of the fastest Mac cleaners at its time, it means that the speed of its predecessor is almost unbeatable. Scans take a short while and deleting junk takes an even shorter time. You can move from a sluggish Mac to a fast one in seconds!
Boost Mac’s Performance in a Single Click
Cleaning up your hard drive will improve Mac’s performance but it is not the only method you can use to make your Mac perform well. There are many other ways including freeing up RAM, close apps that are eating into memory space and much more. CleanMyMac allows users to do all these with just a single button and achieve a speedy Mac within a very short time. Simply select the “Optimization” or “Maintenance” menu option!
Using CleanMyMac X, you can see what apps are running improperly and taking up too many resources at the expense of Mac’s performance. Also, login items can be managed. These are apps that start every time the computer is booted. When there are too many of these, the booting takes a long time. To stop this slow startup, use CleanMyMac to manage the startup items. Remove all but those that offer protection from malware and you will notice that your Mac will boot just like it did on Day One. Unlike other Mac cleaners, this one not only removes the visible login items but the hidden ones as well.
Do you ever wonder why computers belonging to developers never seem to slow down? Well, they have a trick up their sleeves. Guess what? CleanMyMac 3 brings this trick within your reach and simplifies the process. Simply go to the maintenance menu and run maintenance scripts. This will rotate logs and rearrange system libraries among other changes resulting in better performance.
Protection Never Seen in a Mac Cleaner Before
This is not only the best Mac cleaner but also the best malware protection app. You no longer have to install an antivirus and cleaner separately in your Mac. Just install CleanMyMac X and you will have the best of both within one app. Using its advanced malware detector, this app is able to find any hidden malware and block it before it causes any harm. It detects everything from ransomware to viruses and worms. CleanMyMac X is not just a malware detector; it is also a malware cleaner and it reverses any damage done by malware.
It is not just protection from malware that is needed on your Mac. You also need to be protected from prying eyes of people who have no value for your privacy. CleanMyMac X will fully clean the browser history in seconds. Outdated WiFi connections are deleted easily as well as recent downloads, cookies and other information you share online that is private. The next time you hand that friend your Mac, you can do so with confidence knowing that CleanMyMac X has got your back.
Manage Apps in One Place
If you thought that the functions of CleanMyMac X are over, you could not be any further from the truth. It comes with an uninstaller and updater to make it very easy to manage apps from one place. The updater checks for updates of all the apps installed on the Mac. Whether the apps are from the Mac Store or other sources, you will be notified when a new version of an application is available for update. You do not have to look for each update one by one; how cool is that!
When an application is uninstalled by dragging to the Trash, some information is still left in the Mac and this can pile up as more applications are deleted and occupy considerable disk space. The CleanMyMac uninstaller fully removes an app all that it comes with so you have a clean drive without leftover junk.
By now you must be convinced that this is the very best Mac cleaner and wondering how you can get your hands on it. Start by going to the MacPaw official website and downloading the free version. When you try CleanMyMac X you will agree that it is the best Mac Cleaner. Combine it with Gemini by Macpaw and you will have a very speedy and perfect Mac.
This is an app made to get rid of any unused files from your Mac but it also does more. The CCleaner is available in three versions, the free version, Professional and the Professional Bundle. The free one is a good cleaner but its features are limited. The Pro version has great features and is very affordable. At an extra fee, the Pro bundle adds file recovery, disk fragmentation and hardware inventory to the already great Pro Cleaner. Here we will be focusing on CCleaner Pro as one of the best Mac Cleaners and see if it is worth the hype.
A simple interface is an important part of any Mac Cleaner. If it is intuitive it is even better and CCleaner makers understand this. They made an interface that is very easy to use and users usually can get around it as soon as they install the app. It may not be very graphical or pretty but it is simple enough to get things done even by new Mac owners.
CCleaner Pro is a feature-packed app that does everything to optimize and improve the performance of your Mac. This is done very easily. When the app is opened, two buttons meet the user; the “Analyze” and “Run Cleaner” buttons. These are shown along with a list of the cleanup options. There is so much data you can delete with this app. This includes logs, recently used files, browser cache and other caches, downloads, language files and others. All you need to do is choose what you want gone and click on the “Run Cleaner” button.
The good thing about CCleaner Pro is that it lets you select what you want to delete and does the rest while you just sit back and watch. Do not worry; the deletion process will not take too long. With the fast and efficient cleanup of the Pro, you will have a faster computer within no time.
It is not just junk files that the CCleaner professional helps with. It also helps protect your privacy. This is achieved by deleting all data that is private along with the junk. You can analyze your cookies, browser history and other kinds of date and delete them. This ensures that your private information does not land in malicious hands of prying people. Having the latest software is a good idea because this has better performance and fewer bugs. In CCleaner Pro, automatic updates are the norm. This ensures that you have the latest version of the cleaner that gives the best results.
CCleaner is what you need to optimize your Mac and keep your online presence private. You can start off with the free version and within no time you will be ready for the Pro. When that time comes, you can purchase the CCleaner Pro for only $19.95 from the developer’s website.
3. Disk Doctor
Is anything ailing your hard drive? The Disk Doctor will investigate and give a comprehensive report. The most common cause of hard drive problems is having too much junk in them. The Disk Doctor knows this and aims at eliminating these junk files before they become serious problems. This is achieved through an easy search and deletion process of all junk guided by Disk Doctor.
I must say I love the icon of this app which is a hard drive with a stethoscope handing around it. It looks really cool! The latest version has a sleek interface that is easy to use and supports Retina Display making it perfect for people using Macs that have this feature. The interface is very straight-forward with everything clearly explained. You will not have any trouble finding your way on this application.
There are two themes to choose from namely, dark and light. You can choose whatever you want and enjoy all the features the app has in an environment you feel comfortable in.
Disk Doctor Pro is capable of removing tons of junk from your Mac within a few minutes. Just after installation, this app with automatically scan the entire Mac and tell you what can be removed safely from the Mac. What is this junk that is taking up hard drive space without being of any use? There are many kinds including files left behind when apps are uninstalled, browser and applications caches, app logs, temporary files, outdated backups and broken downloads to name but a few. Disk Doctor is able to find these and much more when it scans through your Mac.
Finding junk is not enough; we need them deleted so the space they occupy on the hard drive is left free and ready to be put into use. Disk Doctor is as effective in cleaning as it is in finding junk. Even those large old files that are taking up space can be found and deleted. It is important that you only delete what you can afford to lose. Do not delete an important document because you will not get it back later.
The free Disk Doctor demo is available from its main Fiplab website (Fip Lab are the makers of Disk Doctor). Download this and get a feel of what the app is all about. You can use a few of the available features but to fully enjoy what this app has to offer, buy the Disk Doctor Pro. Disk Doctor is one of the most affordable Mac cleaners. Buying directly from the makers only costs $9.99.
The DaisyDisk is not only the best Mac cleaner, but also the best at the visual representation of the drive’s occupancy by files. It makes a beautiful display of this occupancy in what looks like a daisy. DisyDisk is a utility that has much more to offer than just a pretty display. You can use it to assess the state of your disk and make the right decisions. It is very easy to find extremely large files and you can get rid of them with a few clicks. Using DaisyDisk, you will have an optimized drive that is perfect for a Mac that is to perform well.
If we were to crown one of the apps here as the best in interface design then DaisyDisk would take the crown. The interface of this application is very easy to use with the dark and modern looks making it attractive. Even novices are able to use this application without any problem. It is that simple!
DaisyDisk is not in itself a Mac cleaner. Rather it maps the data on the disk and gives a visual display in the form a colorful wheel. Using this wheel map, users are able to tell where each file is stored on the hard drive and how much space it is taking. Using this information, users can make informed decisions and take the right actions. It is just what you need when you get the “Start-up disk almost full” message.
At a glance, you can tell which large files are taking up lots of space. Simply preview them and delete them directly from the application. This creates more space which makes the hard disk perform faster and gives additional space for storage of important files. You can also use DaisyDisk to find junk files and delete them with just a few clicks. However, the layman may have trouble finding the junk because DaisyDisk does not tell you it is junk (unlike the best Mac Cleaner; CleanMyMac X). Do not worry though, DaisyDisk will never allow you delete important system files whose absence can affect the working of your Mac.
Unlike other Mac cleaners that work only on the startup disks, DaisyDisk can be used to scan any drive connected to the Mac. This can be anything from hard drives to Flash disks to network storage and everything in-between.
You must be already curious about where to get the DaisyDisk app. You can download it from the Mac App Store or the maker’s official website. It is important to note that the version available on the App Store does not support scanning in administrative mode. This is a mode that gives the user more power on what can be deleted and what files he or she can view. This mode should be used very carefully though, because a slight mistake can cause problems with your system. Only use this mode if you are sure of what you are doing. If you are not sure, just stick to the normal mode that is safe and poses no risks to the system.
5. Drive Genius
Drive Genius offers users a combination of many tools in one application. This app was made with Mac’s hard drive in mind. It aims at ensuring that the hard drive performs at its best. Drive Genius will take care of ensuring your hard drives are in their optimum health and prevent any problems. If any problems arise, the Genius will get to the bottom of it and come up with a suitable solution.
Intuitive is the word that best describes the interface of the Drive Genius. The deep blue is the main color but it is brightened up by various shades of blue and some white. It looks nice but what is even better is the way the tools are arranged. At the left-most side of the screen are the main features namely DrivePulse, System Overview and Drives. Click on any of these and more options will be shown so you can choose whatever action you would like to undertake.
Drive Genius is a clever tool that knows that you need an optimized Mac even without telling it. This is why it keeps track of what is happening on the Mac monitoring it and giving warnings when any issues are noted. This monitoring is done in the background by a tool known as DrivePulse. This tool is able to monitor the physical and logical state of your disk as well as the fragmentation. It also detects viruses. In case any of these is detected, this sends out a notification so you can take the necessary action to be it to repair the drive, correct fragmentation or any other. In case of a virus attack, DrivePulse moves all infected files to the Trash.
Cannot wait to Drive Pulse to do its systematic scan? You can find out what malware is disturbing your Mac by running the Malware scanner. This is a very thorough scanner and though it takes time, the final results are worth it because every part of the Mac will be searched and malware detected.
What about cleanup? Drive Genius has two tools that help Mac users clean their hard drives up. The first is the “Find Duplicates” utility. This will help you find files that are stored as duplicates on your Mac. Only the latest version of a file is kept while the older duplicates are deleted. This is not done without your consent; you choose what you want to delete.
There is a free version and a paid version. As you would expect, the latter has more features than the prior. The Drive Genius app is available at $99 which is quite expensive. Is it worth the money? Try the free version and decide.
The easiest way to delete an app from your Mac is to move it to trash. This however usually leaves behind some extra files. To remove all the files associated with an app when it is uninstalled, this is the Mac cleaner to use. It clears everything ensuring that the hard drive's space is only used to store data related to apps that are actually useful.
This app is very easy to use. Just drag apps you would like to uninstall and drop them in the small window of the AppCleaner. All the files associated with the app to be uninstalled are listed and you can uninstall them at once. Even widgets associated with the app to be uninstalled can be deleted. The files deleted are sent to trash and you can confirm and be sure of what you are deleting.
7. Disk Inventory X
This is one of the best free Mac Cleaners. It gives its users visual and textual information about disk usage. It is easy to install and has a simple interface.
When opened Disk Inventory X will show a simple disk selector dialog box. Select the disk you want and this will expand to a large Window. On the left pane, you will see the total size of files and folders in hierarchical order. On the right side, you will see a colorful graphical presentation of the file types of color coded. You can see detailed information about a certain app by selecting it. With this, you can know what is taking too much space and you can remove it to give your hard drive some breathing space.
8. AVG Cleaner for Mac
This comes with a clean interface with two main features. The first is the “Disk Cleaner” which scans for junk files stored in the hard drive and removes them. Any leftover files, log files and hidden cache will be detected. You can clean these up by pressing on the “View & Clean” button.
The other major feature is the Duplicate Finder. To use this click on the “scan now” button and you will be presented with all the duplicate files and you can decide to delete them. Just click on the “Clean” button. AVG Cleaner for Mac is a simple yet very powerful tool and to top it all it is free of charge.
This feature-packed utility is the best Mac cleaner. There is so much you can do with this. From verifying the startup disk to structuring the system files to configuring parameters in the Finder and other Apple applications like Dock and Safari you can do it with this app. You can even carry out disk maintenance and cleaning. You will be able to delete caches and remove apps and all they come with. Databases and indexes can be rebuilt as well.
You must be thinking that you can do all these with Terminal. Well, you can but you would have to remember complex commands. With OnyX you get to do all the above activities without having to remember a single command. However be careful not to delete files or features that are important unknowingly.
These are six of the best Mac Cleaners there in 2018. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. It is upon you to choose the one that suits your needs the most. The most prudent thing is to try out the free versions before buying the license. You could even try out the free versions of all the recommendations we have here before choosing. We have already done this and can confidently say that CleanMyMac X is the best Mac Cleaner of 2018.
CleanMyMac X is perfect because it wraps very many things in one. It is a Mac cleaner, anti-malware and privacy protection app all in one. It is also good at maintaining and optimizing the hard drive for the best Mac. In short, Clean MyMac X ensures that your hard drive is in its best state. That is just what you and I need. A drive that responds fast with fast start-up, opens apps fast and the internet connection is fast. This app will take your Mac’s speed to what it was on the first day.
No matter what version of OS X or MacOS it is you are using, CleanMyMac is compatible with it. Even the latest MacOS Mojave is fully supported. If you just upgraded you need this app. It will clean up junk from the previous OS you were using so you have a clean slate to start on. With a clean Mac and the Mojave, you will surely have one of the best experiences ever. Try this today and let us know in the comments section.