Best utility for cleaning Mac - unused preferences etc


macrumors 68040
Original poster
Apr 23, 2004
There must be gazillions of files I do not need or belong to apps I've long since deleted.

What's the best utility for cleaning your Mac e.g. unused preference files etc? I've searched the MAS but all of them seems pretty unpopular.


macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
Austin, TX
There's a reason the cleaners in the MAS seem unpopular. They're unnecessary and potentially do more harm than good.

Honestly those "gazillions of files" probably don't amount to more than a couple of gigabytes of hard drive space, and for the most part have no effect at all on how your system runs. Why risk a cleaner app when such apps have a history of overcleaning and removing things they shouldn't? Let the system take care of itself.

If an app includes an uninstaller, use it. Otherwise trash the app and don't worry about the rest. I've never used any cleaner apps in the 25+ years I've been using Macs.

I'm sure others will be along with differing opinions, so feel free to decide for yourself. Everyone has different experiences with these sorts of things.


macrumors 68040
Original poster
Apr 23, 2004
I agree. I just thought it would be good to free even a few GB. I have major data. MBP 1 TB + four other 2TB drives all getting full. 2019 and still no super fast multi TB solutions. I wish I could upload everything super quickly and even better yet, download what I needed within seconds.

Just out of curiosity, what are the fastest could solutions and what are their tiers?


macrumors 65816
Nov 28, 2010
France - between Ricard & Absinthe
I too in years of using PPC and Intel Macs have never used a cleaning app from the MAS. However there is a better way of removing apps than directly trashing them.
The standard procedure of removing applications (trashing them) is not always reliable because it still leaves behind traces, often many associated files for a single app. These traces of applications that accumulate in the Mac can and will affect its performance over time, and of course waste valuable HD or SSD space.
I've always used AppCleaner to remove applications. It's free, and very simple to use.

The only other maintenance and cleaning utility I've used is Onyx. An excellent, free utility used to verify the structure of system files, delete caches and automatically rebuild various databases and/or indexes. Plus the official download is malware and adware safe.
The version used must be compatible with the specific version of your OS, i.e. not recommended with a beta version of OS. Always ensure you have a backup of your system before using any maintenance and cleaning utility, but I've never had a problem with Onyx.
I have never used CleanMyMac or other similar utilities, and never will.
HERE's a good related link from this forum.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.