CleanMyMac recommended or not?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bobright, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. bobright macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    I notice lately my iMac has been a little sluggish and was looking into some apps that can tidy things up to when I first bought it. What do you guys think about this app or ones like it, good or bad?
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010

    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. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    All so-called cleaning apps for OS X are lies.

    OS X will handle junk by itself.

    If you want to speed it up, consider freeing up space in the drive, or change the HDD to an SSD.
  4. bobright thread starter macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    Thanks will check it out

    @yj don't have a full SSD drive but do have a Fusion
  5. MacPC macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2006
    I won't use any of the so called Mac Maintence apps.As I recalled, CleanMyMac is the biggest offender, a borderline virus for the Mac. I mistakenly tried it serval years back, it totally messed up my Mac. Don't do it!!!!
  6. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Just to clarify, it is not a virus (infection and propagation without user interaction).
  7. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
  8. fuchsdh macrumors 65816


    Jun 19, 2014
    It's not a virus. It does what it says on the tin. Whether it's worth the money for you is another question.

    OS X doesn't handle junk by itself, hence why I have to clean out gigabytes of useless Safari top site thumbnails with regularity.

    Whether or not you'll get your use out of Cleanmymac depends on how much maintenance you do manually or with other 3rd party applications like OnyX or Grand Perspective. It's certainly the most "user friendly" utility I've tried, to the point of annoyance (little animated splash pages and the like, and with version 2 they made drilling down to do manual cleanup right off the bat more difficult.)
  9. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    How many websites do you visit per day?

    I just checked my cache folder for Top Sites (i use Safari daily) and there are exactly 5.1 MB of images in there. I have never manually cleaned the cache nor used any third party tools to "clean up" the Mac.

    What are you doing that you are "regularly" (how regularly?) cleaning "gigabytes" of top site thumbnails, or are you just male-cow-excrementing as I suspect?
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Actually, it does. However, OS X is not going to arbitrarily or automatically empty your Safari cache, history, cookies or web site previews, as you may need them. Those things are up to the user to maintain, which is quite easy to do within the Safari app itself. There is no need for any third-party maintenance app or user interference to properly maintain OS X.

    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. 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.
  11. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle

    I have used Onyx for a few years as a maintenance tool for clearing font, system, and browser caches and tweaking my OS X interface - it's never let me down once.
  12. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    You can disable Top Sites if you want. Here are my notes from a few years back, maybe it still works this way??

    To completely disable Top Sites, go to Safari > Preferences > General

    New windows open with: Top Sites
    Change it to something else. Obviously, you can do the same for New Tabs.

    (You'll also see Top Sites in the Show All Bookmarks window. Drag that up, don't stop when it first stops moving. It will be reduced to a thin bar.)

    Now delete the Image Cache. Choose Safari > Reset Safari... and select Remove All Webpage Preview Images. Click Reset. Now go to YourUserName/Library/Caches/ and select the Webpage Previews folder. Press Cmd-I and click Locked. Now it won't accumulate a jpeg and png of every web page you visit. I saved over 500MB of disk space!
  13. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Two myths -

    1) Apple OSX takes totally care of itself and doesn't gain any improvement in use by 3rd party apps/scripts.

    2) Third party apps are a panacea for slow Macs and can with one push of a button make everything wonderful.

    The trouble with those that believe Apple OSX takes care of everything is a lack of understanding as to what really goes on under the hood and the lack of understanding that not all systems are alike (meaning as we add apps, fill up drives etc.) the characteristic of the system starts to become more unique.

    Tools like Onyx work quite well IF one takes the time to learn what options are there and what they are really doing. There is always the situation of "overkill" and leaving end users quite unhappy if not frustrated.

    I have used in the past Onyx and items like iDefrag. Onyx worked nicely for me and also added some fast access to certain options I personally liked. While iDefrag did its job reasonably well, it also had options for the inherent dbs's within OSX which proved to be very useful in certain situations where btree manipulation had value.

    Last - for most people, there are simple things that can be done to keep the wheels well oiled which include don't over fill the drive(s), try to keep web browser histories limited as well as certain log/tmp/dmp files and so forth. This is all info that can be found in various articles and forums so I'll stop here.
  14. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    I have been using CleanMyMac for many years now. It's updated frequently, and it works well for cleaning up apps after you delete them. If you're like me and download app after app from the MAS and other places, it's a great tool for that.

    It is problematic when it comes to it trying to delete old files (which amazes me that they even added this feature in 2.0), and when you mess with applications. Many apps these days have DRM, and a simple removal of a language folder will make it stop working.

    In a day and age where the Safari cache is like 10GB sometimes, and we only have 128GB drives again, it makes sense to use something like this. You just have to keep an eye on it, read through all the information it has found, and make sure to uncheck things you don't want messed with.

    No, these things don't work well with just a scan and then clicking OK. You have to put a little effort into it.
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That's not a myth. There is no noticeable improvement offered by any of those apps/scripts for the vast majority of Mac users.
    This is ironic, coming from someone who says:
    This truly displays "a lack of understanding as to what really goes on under the hood." Browser histories have zero impact on system performance. They are extremely small files that do not require any system resources. Also, unless there is a specific problem with a specific app that requires deleting a log/tmp/dmp file, it is wiser to leave those alone, as they can be useful in troubleshooting. They don't take up a significant amount of space, unless you have a specific problem. User's shouldn't have such little free space on drives that such files would be required.
    Actually, it doesn't do a good job in deleting app-related files. 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:
  16. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    My my someone is rather sensitive here.

    Why don't you look up the reasons to delete or trim browser histories and cache. You might learn a valuable lesson.

    There are various files that grow in size and take up space, as well some get read and that too can slow a system down when drives are beyond a certain level of being "full."

    When people talk about slowness of a computer, it often relates to the applications they are using and all things associated. Now please don't take this to heart but you are really not offering any information of value here when the vast majority of Apple support people, IT industry and various sites devoted to computer upkeep will find your comments rather well.. lack luster if not a dolt offering.
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I'm not sensitive at all. Just debunking misinformation before it misleads those who may not know better than to believe some of the things posted here.
    LOL. I've been very familiar with how browser histories and cache works for many years. I don't need to look anything up. My statements stand. If you have what you believe is a valid argument otherwise, perhaps you should post specifics, rather than a general "look it up" recommendation.
    We're not talking about a drive which is almost full, which isn't going to happen because of logs, temp files, caches or browser histories. If a drive is full, unless there is a specific problem, it's full because of user files stored on it, which will take up far more space than all logs, tmp, dmp, histories, caches, etc.
    This is exactly why routine deletion of the file types you describe is unnecessary and counterproductive. If someone has a performance issue, they may need log files to troubleshoot. If you delete them, you've lost that advantage. If you delete cache files, system performance is degraded while those are being rebuilt. Caches exist to improve performance. Deleting them without specific reason doesn't free up as much space as moving some user files to external storage, and it hurts performance. Also, if the performance issue is with a certain app, such as Safari, caches, cookies, etc. can easily be deleted from within the app; no 3rd party "maintenance" apps are needed.
    That is your uninformed opinion. Nothing more.
  18. MacPC macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2006
    No after how you put it, it is a malware to say the least.
  19. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    It can be considered malware if you want, but one you download and install yourself.
  20. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    A nice short list of options to improve Mac performance -

    - SSD is faster than standard mechanical drives.
    - RAM while many systems run fine on 4 gigs, consider if possible more.
    - Keep the computer from over heating as this causes all sorts of issues.

    House cleaning -

    Outdated caches can slow down start ups.

    Some apps may be 'bad actors' and slow down overall performance. If you suspect an app is behaving poorly, you can check the activity monitor and see if it is eating up processes and memory. If you are not using that app at the given time, consider killing the processes.

    Widgets - simple, if you have widgets you don't use, remove them. (More true of older versions of OSX)

    Login/start up - check to see which apps are engaged upon login/start up. If they are not required, remove them from the start up.

    Software updates - hit and miss. It usually fairs well to keep software updated. However, sometimes it is worth waiting a few days before upgrading to see if the upgrade itself has issues.

    Safari - lots have been written on how this is a memory hog application. If you like Safari, use it but consider keeping it as streamlined as conveniently possible. While cache is a good thing, it might serve well from time to time to delete it and start a-new. As well, over sized histories serve no real purpose. Consider clearing history or using Safari "reset" every few weeks.

    Mac's own house keeping - Many of us simply keep our computers on all the time and possibly use sleep. This might appear convenient but from time to time it is valuable to shut down or restart the Mac as Mac's own house keeping is queued by a power up and/or a power down. Tools like Onyx provide an opportunity to run some of these Mac house keeping scripts and tools on the fly rather than depending on shut down or start up to queue them.

    Drive overload -
    Depending on the drive and your software install, Macs can start to get sluggish if the drive is "too full." There is no set rule or standard as to when a drive is too full. However, many consider it "safe" to keep at least 20-25 percent of the drive at all times free. Thus, if the drive is 75-80 percent full, you might take some considerations to free up more space.

    As I mentioned before, there are various files that can be deleted and applications will start a new replacement file - various logs, temp files, and more. These types of files need not be removed with high frequency but from time to time if found beneficial. Caches reconstitute themselves rather quickly for most solid performing apps as well as logs and temp files.

    Empty the trash out. Some people suggest that for SSD drives, to wait until it is somewhat full before emptying as to avoid unnecessary read/write of the drive. It is unclear if this is of real value.

    Using third party tools for the drive - simple tools like Monolingual can free up considerable space. As always care should be taken. Monolingual simply removes installs of languages that you elect to remove. Some software provide choices of language but the language "packs" are all installed. If you use only English, you don't need German, Spanish, French, Mongolian or whatever. Stripping out these other language packs works quite well to free up drive space.

    Defrag - Microsoft, IBM and Apple at one time or another insisted their systems don't require any defragging yet Microsoft years ago started implementing a defrag tool and IBM's OS/2 had enjoyed 3rd party defrag tools that showed marked improvements on disk handling and speed. Today, with SSD, defrag might not be a great option but for standard drives, that deal with messy large and small app generated files, it can be useful to consider. The idea is unfragment files and if possible locate in a contiguous fashion. Tools like iDefrag as example can do this and also more advanced improvements. The caveat of course is drives that are failing that are engaging a defrag tool can end up with damaged files or systems. If your computer is not with an issue of this sort, you might* consider it for a mechanical drive.

    Alternative to defrag - The easiest alternative is to use a tool like Carbon Copy Cloner and back up the entire system. Reboot from the back up to see if it is working properly. If yes, then re-install your home drive from the back up. What this will do is lay down files in a non-fragmented form and with some instances, create contiguous files. This holds more value for those with SSD drives as a defrag tool does lots of file moves and this back up restore does limited read/writes/destroy.

    Permissions - another possible tweak but has peoples on both sides of the argument of value. The pro group suggests that from time to time it is worth while to do a permissions repair on systems that have been up and running or rather, been used for months on end and loaded with software. For me, I have found no improvement that can be noticed in performance but it remains an option some advocate.

    Killing processes - its not a bad idea to look at the activity monitor from time to time to see which apps over days are using the most memory and processes. You may find that your system is simply memory limited. If so, consider opening up less applications at a time. Of course, if your Mac allows for upgrades of RAM, that too can be considered.

    Hope this helps anyone looking to do some tuning/tweaks to their system and as always, read up first on what you are trying to do to get a more in depth informed view of the task at hand.
  21. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    Nice tips and I might add that a clean install every 2 months a good too keep things running good.
  22. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    What? Why wait two months?
  23. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    Your saying sooner?
  24. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Once a week would be too often, though I like my system clean, thus every 17 days.

    As for Windows, once I had a very strange problem, which was probably due to a bad HDD, where I had to install Windows 5.0 that often (twice per day), that I could remember the serial number. Ah, those were the days.
  25. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Some good stuff in there, with only a few "adjustments":
    This isn't true. You can run Macs for months at a time without restarting or shutting down, with no adverse performance impact. OS X has maintenance scripts that run daily, weekly and monthly at prearranged times. They are not triggered by shutdowns or restarts or power up events. If the Mac is in sleep mode at the time of a scheduled maintenance event, that script will run when the Mac is awakened. If the Mac is shut down at the scheduled time, the script will not run on power up. You can use Maintidget to see the last time the scripts were run, or to manually run them.
    10% is usually sufficient free space, but on newer Macs with much larger drives (0.5 TB and more), even a lower percentage will be fine.
    Some people repair, or recommend repairing permissions for situations where it isn't appropriate. Repairing permissions only addresses very specific issues. It is not a "cure all" or a general performance enhancer, and doesn't need to be done on a regular basis. It also doesn't address permissions problems with your files or 3rd party apps.
    If repairing permissions results in error messages, some of these messages can be ignored and should be no cause for concern.
    If you're having performance issues, this may help:

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