Free Mac Cleaning Software?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rs14smith, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. rs14smith macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2009
    Hi all,

    I have had my 27" iMac for about 2 or 3 years now and I feel as though it is becoming a bit sluggish. I have 16GB of ram installed, but still at times it still seems as though my computer runs slow or that something on my system takes up more memory than nesscarry or my memory is not reallocated as free memory when I close programs etc. until I free it myself with a cheap app I bought called MemoryFreer.

    I'm just looking for a nice all one one solution if possibly application that you can run every once in a while to make sure everything on your computer is running correctly and fix issues. Or it might be time for just a fresh reinstall of the OS...
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You really 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. It 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.

    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.

    Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software.

    For performance issues, there are a few things you can check:
    • Check your Login Items under System Preferences > Accounts to see what you have automatically launching.
    • Also check /Library/LaunchAgents/ and /Users/yourusername/Library/LaunchAgents/ for items launching at startup
    • Look at what widgets you may have running.
    • Launch Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes". Then look to see what may be consuming system resources.
    • Take a look at the System Memory tab at the bottom of Activity Monitor to see if you have excessive "page outs", a sign that you may benefit from more RAM.
    • Make sure you're not running any 3rd party antivirus app, as many of those will drain resources, reducing performance. They're not needed to protect your Mac.

    Also, there's more to memory management than just free memory.

    Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
  3. agentphish macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    Also, kill the files inside your User/Library/Caches and reboot.

    There could potentially be things there causing slowdowns.

    Don't trust "mac cleaner tools"

    If you're really concerned, backup your stuff, erase & install the machine, then just transfer your data back (just the stuff from your user folder) and re-install your Apps fresh.

    I have found that the best way to get the most speed.
  4. rs14smith thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2009
    Yeah that's what I was thinking. Just seems less troublesome than all these other tips.
  5. coops macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
  6. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Such files will not impact performance. They only take up disk space. Removing them will not improve performance.
    Wrong. You're confusing temporary and language files, defragmentation and system performance.
    You don't need 3rd party apps to keep a Mac running at peak performance.
  8. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2011
    Even if it just clears up space (and doesn't help performance) I'm happy with using Onyx. Clearing space can be a big deal with a 64gb or 128gb MBA.
  9. niksimpsons macrumors member


    May 12, 2011
    Thanks for your view GGJstudios.I agree removing all unwanted files only creates free space. Creating free space enhance performance its not only me who is saying it is discussed here also

    No point of confusion here I am suggesting to solve all such issues such as fragmentation and unwanted files removal that all responsible for mac performance.

    Regarding your last point my clarification is itself given by macrumors here:

    Hope I am able to make myself more clear. :)
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Freeing up disk space only enhances performance when you're running low on free space. Going from 40% free space to 45% will have no impact on performance. Going from 5% free to 10% free certainly may improve performance. That is why I said:
    Fragmentation is not a performance consideration on Mac OS X in most cases. It's possibly a concern when partitioning some drives.

    About disk optimization with Mac OS X
  11. -tWv- macrumors 68000


    May 11, 2009
    If you have a backup. Doing a clean install might help. If you copy back over only the important data/applications afterwards it will start you over with a clean slate and most likely increased performance.
  12. niksimpsons macrumors member


    May 12, 2011
    Agreed!! but rs14smith (thread starter) have not discussed about the free space available. Instead only explained that he using Mac from last 2-3 years. There could be cluster of files eating up space. He might have performed heavy tasks (more read write operation or move heavy files from one place to another, audio video action). which could generate fragments and as result operations taking more time to respond.

    Not sure what you mean by performance but what I mean to say is exactly same as described here by Apple: Disk optimization .... to improve data access times and minimize time moving a hard drive's head. Minimum access time means operation taking optimized time to perform. Also, Apple have a clear view on fragmentation "" and said there is no harm in using third party utility for the same.

    However, we are not discussing about what the fragmentation is? What we are trying to figure out what possible outcomes and solution could be of the problem faced by one of our member rs14smith and that is about to speeding up the Mac. Can we start thinking from here:

    I think it is matter of unwanted files eating up its necessary free space so that it become sluggish with many operations simultaneously and after closing and clearing the same it come to normal.
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That same article also says:
    And also:
  14. niksimpsons macrumors member


    May 12, 2011

    Right.. the same article further says - "If you think you might need to defragment"

    and thats why I feel need of defragmentaion in this case due to the very simple reason that Mac is being used from last 2-3 years and chances are even fragment are more bright.
  15. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    The article mentions a rather old Mac OS X version, and as I work with very large files myself and various external HDDs, I was once tempted to scan my HDDs with iDefrag, and after years of use with lots of data added and deleted and so on, iDefrag showed a fragmentation of less than 1%. In Windows I could get beyond that in less than a day and had a typical fragmentation of 30 to 50 %. Maybe Mac OS X is that good?
  16. MacBill, Jun 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2013

    MacBill macrumors newbie


    Dec 31, 2010
    Western Montana
    I hate to tell you this, but there is nothing called "Accounts" under the System Preference menu
  17. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    you posted on an almost 2 year old thread

    current systems show System Preferences -> users and groups

Share This Page