Best Mac cleanup software

Discussion in 'Mac Applications and Mac App Store' started by tomf, May 23, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    #1
    Hi,

    i am after a good program to use for cleaning my mac pro. It has become very sluggish recently and i just feel it needs a goear onyx is pretty good, can anyone recommend anything else?

    Any help and suggestions would be great,

    thanks
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    First diagnose the problem via Activity Monitor* and its CPU and RAM usage reports before cleaning stuff, since that is not needed** for Mac OS X.

    * Open Activity Monitor and select All Processes and then either sort by Real Mem to show you the process(es) using up your RAM or/and sort by CPU to show you the processes slowing down your Mac.


    ** Articles explaining why Mac OS X does not need maintenance software like CCleaner, MacKeeper or CleanMyMac:

    Then after you have done that, maybe more diagnosing is needed though, upgrade or remove the components needed to get a performance boost.

    If you want to enhance the performance of your Mac, be sure to check these two articles, do not just use applications, that promise to do it for you.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    #3
    ah ok thats interesting, thank you, i'll read those later tonight. i do agree that i think some of these cleanup programs are a bit of a con.

    ----------

    i have just ran the scan, it seems i have this thing called hiutil that is using a lot of the cpu. I have 13gb of ram in my mac pro so i imagine that side of it is pretty good.

    Does anyone know what this hiutil is?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #4
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    #5
    I found the tool CleanMyMac is good to

    - empty cache files
    - remove logs
    - securely erase files & trash can
    - uninstaller that can completely uninstall applications

    It also finds system junk and removes it.

    It may not be an essential tool to have but once every few weeks I let it perform a full scan and it seems my mac runs more smoothly again. Of course this might be a placebo effect - but if so it's a pretty good one ;)
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    zone23

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    #6
  7. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #7
    Get rid of it, it is JUNK (Sorry had to Capitalise this.)

    If there are problems and only if, then the better tool is Onyx.
     
  8. macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    www.emiliana.cl
    #8
  9. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    I would not recommend using CleanMyMac or any of its variants, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much. Here's a recent example. While you may not have experienced problems yet, enough people have that it's wise to avoid it, especially since there are free alternatives that have better reputations, such as Onyx.

    You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Most only remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process. These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space. In fact, deleting some caches can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt. Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.

    Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.
    If you elect to use such apps, be aware that in most cases, app removal software doesn't do a thorough job of finding and removing files/folders related to deleted apps. For more information, read this and this. If you just want to delete the app, drag the .app file to the trash. No other software needed. If you want to completely remove all associated files/folders, no removal apps will do the job.

    The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    #10
    @ GGJstudios
    thank you for your very informative posting
    that helped to clear a lot of things for me


    but I'm still wondering why defrag apps like this
    http://www.prosofteng.com/products/drive_genius_awards.php

    get "editors pick" or 5star rating from so many magazines and mac sites.

    they say it speeds up your mac considerably and they want 100$ for this app.

    are those just paid reviews to make money from people who don't know better?
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #11
    Emptying caches slows down your Mac. They do not need emptying, unless something has gone wrong.

    The daily, weekly and monthly periodic tasks that OS X runs already handles this.
    Like the option in the Finder
    Most apps are uninstalled by trashing the app. Those that require more complex installation usually have an uninstaller.
    A 4Kb text file in your user Library from a deleted app is not going to hurt anything.
    Ah. "System junk". That's like Space junk, right? :confused:

    I'm sure it also keeps away the elephants. Look! Elephant-free for 198 days.

    Use SOME of the RELEVANT routines in a utility like Onyx IF and WHEN you have a problem with your Mac.
    Otherwise: enjoy your Mac and get on with your work. ;)
     
  12. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #12
    Many of them are. The fact that they may be reviewed and praised on a blog or on a website does not necessarily indicate that they are useful or necessary for your Mac. You don't need any third-party apps to keep your Mac running efficiently.
     
  13. dyn
    macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #13
    It actually does. In quite a lot of cases it's the settings which are kept in a file that cause the problems, not the application itself. Removing the app does only that, it does not remove the settings (that 4kB file in your user library). When you removed an application permanently there also is no reason to keep the settings. Keeping settings is only meaningful when you are reinstalling the app. In all other cases it is better when it is removed. This is proper administration of a system: keeping things that are necessary, getting rid of anything that isn't. It prevents problems.

    I wish OS X had real application management. The MAS is one step in the right direction but it still lacks tremendously in the uninstalling department. I wish there was just 1 central application manager in OS X where you can uninstall apps. Windows has a major advantage over OS X in this area. It has that central application manager for uninstalling stuff. It also has uninstallers that give you the option to keep or delete the settings. Linux has everything except the option for deleting or keeping settings (you need to manually delete the settings just like in OS X).
     
  14. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #14
    How can a PLIST file of a deleted application muck with one's system?
     
  15. macrumors member

    bobsax

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    #15
    App Store

    I used to use tech tool pro.
    It would run a diagnostic and check many parameters.
    It no longer works on my iMac since I got 10.7.5 Lion?

    I think my HD is dying (it's groaning) and I would like to know if there is a test or diagnostic app for it.

    I feel much safer getting things from the App Store and they do have cleaning apps for the O.P.
    Anybody know if there are any HD diagnostic apps ?
     
  16. dyn
    macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #16
    Corrupted file, different version than what you are installing, wrong setting, incompatibility with the new OS (we've seen strange things with 10.4 -> 10.5), etc. There are many people who had to delete the plist for Finder, the firewall (consistently having to allow the app you already allowed permission), etc. to get things to work again. It happens to the in-built apps as well as ones from 3rd parties. Not something you'd run in regularly luckily but it can happen.
     
  17. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #17
    I agree that many problems in OS X are caused by corrupt or wrong settings for the OS or existing apps, but we're talking about plists left over from DELETED applications.

    Doesn't matter, file will never be read.

    We're not installing the app. We've deleted it.

    Doesn't matter. App will never be launched to read the wrong setting: it's deleted.

    Again, file will never be read. Doesn't matter.
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    ValSalva

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Burpelson AFB
    #18
    I would assume Cocktail is essentially equivalent to Onyx but it isn't free.
     
  19. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #19
    It actually doesn't. A plist from a deleted app has zero impact on a system, beyond taking up a few KB of drive space. It's no different that a simple text file. It is never read, since the only app that would have accessed it is no longer installed.
     
  20. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #20
    Windows sucks with this, you say everything gets uninstalled but this is by no means true, many times there are traces found in the registry and they interfere, not so on a mac if the App is deleted the plist file does nothing else then just occupying lets say 4 KB on your disk.

    Just complete nonsense, the App is deleted, you need to launch the App for it to make a difference, plist files from deleted Apps do nothing at all.

    Left over launchDeamons/Agents can affect the System but they are rare, almost all Apps which install these have uninstallers.
     
  21. dyn
    macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #21
    That is an assumption you are making. There are many people who install an app in the future again. Say when you run a trial version and you need to install the full version because the app maker doesn't allow you to upgrade from the trial to the full. There are other use cases.

    Exactly so why should we keep something that we are not going to use any more? Why delete the app in the first place as you can simply stop using it?

    Again, assumptions. There are use cases where this will happen.

    It actually does since people use 3rd party apps on their OS. The problem arises when you install a newer version later on or when you install a different app that might rely on certain software. There are many topics about this for nearly every mainstream OS regarding these kind of things. If you uninstall something because you want to not use it any more than everything it installed should be uninstalled. This prevents these kind of strange problems that are very hard to resolve.

    That is not a Windows problem, that is a problem with the uninstaller. A proper uninstaller simply uninstalls everything. There is no need to use the registry for example, it's just something that Windows offers for centralised configurations. It's not mandatory to use it.
    You are also incorrect about the leftovers interfering because that doesn't always happen. It is no different than in any other OS: left overs can interfere with stuff whether you like it or not. It is not a Windows-only problem. If you search around various Mac, Linux, FreeBSD, etc. forums you'll see the same kind of problems with leftovers as in Windows.

    Which is exactly what happens with the crappy uninstallers in Windows. The problem here is again not the OS but the uninstaller itself.

    All in all you can say what you want but there is absolutely no sane reason for keeping any stuff from apps that you deleted permanently. It only makes sense to keep settings when you want to reinstall the app. In all other cases there simply isn't. No matter how likely or unlikely you find it to cause problems.
     
  22. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #22
    The discussion is about deleted apps, not reinstalled apps. A plist left behind from a deleted app has no effect on anything, except consuming a tiny amount of drive space. If an app is reinstalled, that's a different scenario from the one you responded to, and in such cases, leaving a plist may be advantageous, as it may save the user from having to re-set app preferences. In the rare cases where a plist may be corrupted, it's usually detected while using the app, not on removal or reinstallation.
     
  23. vladobizik, May 27, 2013
    Last edited: May 27, 2013

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Location:
    Slovakia
    #23
    Partly due to GGJstudios' and simsaladimbamba's evangelization, I have been deleting apps by way of manually looking for all the references to it and deleting them (all the application support files or plists in the user and system Library folders, etc.). But I would like to ask about the files in the private/var/db/receipts folder (usually one .bom and one .plist file). Is it safe and advisable to remove those as well? I came across some warnings against removing them, as they might screw up permissions and permissions repair, but does it also apply to deleting references for uninstalled apps? Thank you.
     
  24. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #24
    Yes, it's safe to delete them.
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #25
    Most evidence suggests that Disk Utility's Repair Permissions does NOT do ANYTHING for third-party installed software.

    Try a simple test:
    1. Find some installed software with a bom in /Library/Receipts.
    2. Change the file attributes of the application -- make it unreadable by all.
    3. Run Repair Permissions.
    4. Hey presto, nothing has changed.

    The ability of RP to do anything meaningful is MASSIVELY overstated.
     

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