Clean up my mac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by crc13, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. crc13 macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2011
    I have the 27" quad core and I am a photographer. Love the computer, but I think I just need to clean it up. I find a lot of "stuff" out there to use, but am just wondering if any of you have used a good one. I would rather use one that has been proven.

  2. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    Programs like Clean my mac often cause more harm than good. They best way to clean your mac is to just trash the actual app. Yes, trace files are left behind in the library, but in many cases the size of those files are negligible.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Most of the files that are safe to delete are the ones that you have created. Go through your files and delete the unnecessary stuff. Apps like CleanMyMac may cause more issues because they delete files that may be crucial for OS X or some apps.
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Why do you think you need to clean your Mac? Does it feel sluggish in any way?
    Do you have enough RAM or is your page-in/page-out ratio too high (which indicates not having enough RAM - check Activity Monitor > System Memory for that and report back)?
    Is your HDD running out of capacity? Make sure you have at least 10 to 20 % if your HDD's capacity unused.

    Btw, stay away from CleanMyMac:
  5. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    Basically what it comes down to is doing it manually. If they are just old documents, then trash is your friend.
  6. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    Seems more relevant on something like an MBA if you are looking for space but not so much for an iMac--if I could find 5 or 6 GBs of junk on my iMac, I doubt I would even even notice it was gone.
  7. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    More likely than not, most of that "stuff" will be old image files. Best to archive them to an external drive (or a pair, for redundancy) and stashing one away in a safe place. You can use a (free) program like Disk Inventory X to see how you disk space is being used.
  8. BikerAlley macrumors member


    Feb 3, 2011
    Shreveport LA
    Well I'm new to Mac, But I have to say A Buddy of mine told me about a Good Program. It is called Hazel.
    As I said I'm new to Mac and find myself downloading files and then removing them if it was not what I thought it should be.
    When I drag an app it the trash I get a pop up from Hazel asking If I want to delete A list of Files that were installed with it.

    Have A Look and try it.
  9. Detosx, Feb 14, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011

    Detosx macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010
    A mixed bag of gardneing tools for a garden that might exist only in the user's mind

    I am a big fan of Onyx which is free and stable and safe - mileage may vary on the last two but I haven't personally had any problems or read of many instances where people have had problems. It is one of those Swiss army penknife tools of useful features. Aside from freeing up a lot of space on my small hard drive on a laptop, the laptop zipped along with that like new feeling. Placebo effect? Auto suggestion? It genuinely seemed a little faster. If you have good grasp of basic terminal commands you can get almost everything it does done without the app. It is free, though.

    I then developed that dreaded MS Windows obsession of 'how can I tweak my laptop to make it run faster?' On the whole I would say that is a waste of time and to just go back to using your Mac as a productivity tool; tweaking and removing parasites from Windows is like inadvertently owning an allotment that you periodically have to weed and tend to keep it running nicely. I am generalizing, there, I know but it was hard to escape that feeling, especially during the Vista years.

    Aside from Onyx, Xslimmer made a difference with applications opening faster - there seem to be a lot of tools out there for stripping out unwanted languages and unneeded PowerPC code but Xslimmer apparently is one of the better ones for keeping its database up-to-date with what is and isn't safe to remove. I first used it years ago and the worst that happened was that I had to re-install an application that it slimmed. That hasn't happened to me since. I previously used the free Monolingual, carefully I thought - and had to reinstall Leopard.

    Of the applications for fully un-installing applications I have a grudging respect for CleanApp, though you need to use it carefully. The reason I tried it out was that I was having problems removing MacKeeper! CleanApp logs any additions to your computer that are installed by new software, in theory allowing a 100% clean uninstall which, with big applications, dragging that application to the trash can leaves a lot behind, though usually harmlessly so; I figured if I got Cleanapp to monitor a fresh (re)install of MacKeeper I could then use CleanApp to fully remove it. It worked. Along with pointing out what new things had been installed and modified, Cleanapp also listed suggestions from the community users database of other things I might like to try to remove. There is a risk element there but I was desperate to rid myself of MacKeeper. I don't want to say anything bad about MacKeeper, it seemed like a competent suite of tools but I found I wasn't the only person who had trouble removing it. Some people on their forums were calling it a virus, which it isn't. I liked it's simple and fast duplicate file finder for removing duplicate photographs. More on that below.

    CleanMyMac - I couldn't tell you exactly why but it makes me nervous. It didn't find as many fragments to remove from applications that I wanted to remove as did Cleanapp or Appzapper.

    AppZapper - again, not freeware I'm afraid but I found its detection of things to remove second only to Cleanapp. It is billed as the uninstaller that Apple forgot to bundle with Snow Leopard. Perhaps all application removing apps use that for their byline, though! Up until I found Cleanapp this was firmly my favorite application remover and in many ways still is. It seems less of a gamble than (the community suggestions part; unlike Cleanapp AppZapper appears not to reference a database of people's uninstall experiences) Cleanapp. I think it would be easy to get carried away with some of the Cleanapp's community's suggestions for complete removal.

    AppCleaner - I was excited to try this one as I had heard people refer to it as the poor man's AppZapper. I found it found the least number files to remove when uninstalling an application. That is not to say that is necessarily a bad thing but I am AppZapper fan which I found thorough and safe. Cleanapp I would carefully use for removing huge sprawling Adobe and Microsoft trials - and for removing MacKeeper!

    Finally, and useful to photographers, removing duplicates! There are some iPhoto specific applications for removing duplicates that I could talk about but cutting to the chase the best overall duplicate remover that I found was TidyUp. It was easy to use and clear to me what I was deleting, what was and was not a close or exact duplicate, and from where - but once the limited trial timed out I didn't feel that I wanted to buy it. If I wasn't on a budget I would call it a must have, though. It was then that I moved onto the MacKeeper trial. Its duplicate finder was simple, quick and efficient, as far as I could see, though lacking in many preference search options. Some of its features are duplicated by Onyx, though, and it is debatable whether or not you need the services of it's anti virus plugin.
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    AppZapper, AppCleaner, TrashMe, and similar apps do not do a thorough job of removing all files/folders related to deleted apps. I tested several of these, using Skype as the app to be removed. Of 17 items to be removed:
    AppZapper missed 13 items
    AppCleaner missed 11 items
    AppDelete missed 8 items
    Hazel missed 9 items​
    I also tested AppTrap, CleanMyMac and a few others, but don't recall how many items they missed. All left files/folders behind. In most cases, they remove .plist files and a few others, but leave behind much larger files and folders. (you will find a discussion of these tests in the thread linked below)

    One app that I would not recommend, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere, is CleanMyMac. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much

    The only effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
  11. Detosx, Feb 18, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011

    Detosx macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010
    The Finder method is potentially dangerous if someone lazy or tired was trying, say, to delete one or two applications from a suite of applications from the same company. It is a good tip for those who don't know how to do a comprehensive search, though. CleanApp had the claimed merit of logging everything installed and modified by sprawling suites at the time of instillation, including files with no immediately obvious link to the parent. If you used the community option you were presented with a sprawling list of files and hidden files that other users had deleted for complete removal. Though the risk levels were identified with a meter rating for each suggested file and how many users had gone ahead and deleted that file, there is a risk element; a few of the files listed I wouldn't touch. For me something like CleanApp is a product of last resort, you put it in logging mode, reinstall the app that didn't uninstall cleanly but left you with nagware or problems. It isn't freeware but the trial works if you aren't too risk averse.

    Either way, a good strategy for people is to have your documents/photos etc on an external drive and additional backup drive and use Carbon Copy Cloner or Superduper (or better still follow one of the tutorials on using Disk Utility to do the same) to make a re-deployable image of your Mac's hard drive in its pristine state and keep that image on large thumb drive or spare hard drive, for a relatively easy reinstall in minutes.
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Deleting anything on a computer is potentially problematic, if the user doesn't know what they're doing or is careless. That's why, if you take the time to read the posted method, you'll see step #9, which states:
    The same risk applies in using any 3rd party app to delete files. The difference is, every such app tested leaves behind files that the manual method doesn't, so you not only have the risk of deleting something you shouldn't, you also have the ineffectiveness of leaving behind things you meant to delete.

    If anyone wants to use such removal apps, of course, they can. Just don't expect your Mac to be clean of all traces of uninstalled apps.

    Backups are always recommended, even if you're not actively deleting anything. That's just common sense.
  13. Detosx macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010
    And my phone would be a lot quieter if friends had more of it. It's great we are at ease with manual search but I didn't have complete success with that this time around and I hope my feedback helped some. Of the uninstaller apps that I tried I found CleanApp had substantially the largest detection rate through it's logging feature and if it was open source I would recommend it for it's community sharing.

    But the one word answer to the OP's question is, in my opinion, Onyx. It saves time and it's free. If someone can find something better than Tidy Up for finding duplicates and better still something that can find text-identical duplicates in files that otherwise report as different sizes, I would be glad to hear about it.
  14. walshlink macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2007
    How do you feel about XSlimmer?

  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    XSlimmer and Monolingual will both save some disk space (maybe 1-2 GB) by removing unwanted languages and architectures. HOWEVER, caution should be used with both of them. Remember, they will remove exactly what you tell them to remove, so if you don't know what you're doing, you could end up removing something you shouldn't, creating problems.

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