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That’s where clean up applications come in. It’s not an intuitive chore to complete on our own and often we realize our computers are due for a digital cleanse when problems start occurring. Why not let your computer clean itself? Better yet, clean, protect, AND speed up.
We chose to examine the CleanMyMac X application for this deep dive. Computer cleaning software is essential in these digital-heavy days, yet somehow often forgotten. We place so much of our lives into computers and the internet, that keeping them fast and secure should be a priority.
CleanMyMac X is a Mac cleaning and security software made by the mother company, MacPaw, and it is available for current Mac operating systems. It is notarized by Apple and boasts that it’s the “most user-friendly problem fixer for Mac.”
The program’s purposes include:
- Speed up your computer
- Keep your internet activity private
- Protect your computer from malware
Mostly intended to provide cleaning and maintenance to your system, CleanMyMac X also includes malware detection capabilities.
You can purchase the software directly from the website or even through the App Store. As an alternative, you can download a free trial to give it a spin before you buy. As you’d expect, the application is kept up to date as the digital world needs to be. The last update for this software was this very month.
Especially for the high-use or slow computers out there, cleaning software is a must. In truth, it’s a necessity for anyone with a computer. For this reason, we’ve compiled this CleanMyMac X review to see if this software lives up to the hype.
Table of Contents
Who’s It For?
Let’s be general: CleanMyMac X software is for anyone that owns a Mac computer.
Now, let’s get specific. If your Mac is fresh from the Apple Store, new as can be, as in not even any greasy fingerprints on the screen yet, you’ll be ok without this software for a few months. But it’s kind of like brushing your teeth.
Sure, your teeth are clean now, but if you go a few months without brushing them, you’re in for a chore. And maybe even some deeper issues you aren’t even aware of. The same goes for your computer cleanliness.
The more we use our computers, the more information they have to store and organize. There’s bound to be a ton of files we forget about or don’t even know to exist at all, forgotten applications, and sneaky viruses. CleanMyMac X takes care of all this and takes the garbage out for you.
People that would benefit from this product include:
- Average computer users that want to stay on top of their Mac maintenance
- Small businesses that need to ensure their computer remains efficient
- Hard-core gamers that need to harness the most speed out of their computer
- The remote worker who needs to keep their files under control
CleanMyMac X is a great software choice for the computer user who needs a program that is quick and easy to use. The interface is informative and clear, which helps avoid a coding-like page of confusion. This makes it nice for a person that is accustomed to or prefers simple to use interfaces.
The application is purchased in a yearly subscription and you’ll save money if you need to cover multiple computers. You can buy a license for one, two, or five Macs, so it’s a great cost-effective choice for families with a lot of computers.
We’ll give a nod to the price as well. The cost to outfit one Mac is just about as much as you’d pay to eat a big lunch. And that covers you for a year. Not bad! Thus, CleanMyMac X will also satisfy the thrifty folks out there.
Again, if you just opened your new Mac, there’s nothing to clean right off the bat. But, the CleanMyMac X software doesn’t just clean, it also protects. It would still be a good decision to subscribe to keep your shiny new Mac from housing vile malware.
The user this software is no good for is a person who doesn’t have a Mac. Scroll on by, this product is useless for you. Or, go buy a Mac, and welcome to the club!
What We Like About CleanMyMac X
We’re big fans of computer maintenance. When it comes to keeping our computers running smoothly and protecting them from digital corruption, we’re all in. But, it’s good to be picky about these things too.
In the field of computer cleaners and antivirus software, there is a decent selection on the market that will work for a Mac. Here’s what we specifically like about the CleanMyMac X product:
- Slick user interface
- Specific modules
- Clears up space like a champ
- Amps up computer speed
The application screen is clean, simple, and easy to read. Finding the information you need is quick and won’t take any digging around. You can also customize the menu bar to feature you’re most interesting stats.
The ease of use is supreme for this application. It’s intuitive and not confusing in any way. The newest update came with a total refresh of the app’s aesthetic. The icons and animations are modern and smooth. Even the sounds were updated!
In the newest version, you’ll have:
- Augmented accessibility
- Improved design
- Enhanced performance
You want your Mac apps to have a style on par with your computer, and CleanMyMac X delivers.
Instead of needing to run a massive program all at once, which might eat up some computer power and require a restart when you’re in the middle of something, the capabilities of CleanMyMac X are subdivided into modules. You can run these modules independently of each other to focus down on a specific need.
Here’s a glimpse of a few of our favorite upkeep modules:
Large and Old Files Module:
Great for the file hoarders out there. You might have some large documents (old college thesis or spring break photos from 2010?) that you don’t need sitting around and taking up space. Quickly locate those squatters and kick them out.
Especially if you’ve had your Mac for a while, who knows what kind of gunk you have stuffed in those digital closets. This one is sure to be an eye-opener.
This will be your classic module. It will perform standard cleaning by dusting off your computer memory, repairing broken permissions, and work behind the scenes doing all the dirty work you need it to do. Truthfully, it does a lot but the overall result is faster processing speeds and boot-up times. That’s the kind of outcome we can stand behind.
Space Lens Module:
This mode is a magnifying lens to center down on those massive folders that capture the most space on your hard drive. It offers you a glance at the major space-eaters so you’re aware of who’s hogging the couch. Keep them around or clear them out – the choice is yours, but at least now you know!
The module creates an interactive map that encapsulates your entire hard drive. It’s incredibly easy to use and great for the visual learners among us. This is one of our favorite features about the CleanMyMac X software, as just like the Large and Old Files module, it will probably surprise you to find what’s been taking up space on your hard drive.
There’s more beyond that. Like the Updater Module, Photo Junk scanner, and a document Shredder. We discuss all of these features in the Overview Of Features section below. In a sweeping phrase, CleanMyMac X does a lot and we love that it happens all from one application.
This program is a fantastic way to condense down your computer upkeep tasks and put them all in one place. Routine duties like emptying your trash can, updating your applications and operating system, and clearing your cookies can all be done from the CleanMyMac X interface.
This streamlines the process, makes it more efficient, and lessens the chance that you’ll forget to do something. It’s kind of like hiring a virtual assistant to take care of your computer, so you don’t have to worry about it.
Clears up space
This is the main purpose of the application and it works like a charm. It will effortlessly unclog gigabytes of space and leave you with a faster computer and more memory. Not everything stored in our computers is visible from the desktop. Likely, your machine is stashing tons of invisible cache files, broken documents, and unused applications.
CleanMyMac X takes out the trash on all of this junk. And that’s worth its weight in bitcoin alone. Better still, it will clear the junk out in mass. No need to single-pick through each item to toggle the delete button. Do it all in one go and forget about it.
Also to note is the speed of the scan. It will only take about a minute for the program to search through your computer to present you with a lineup of identified junk for your review. If you’d rather not review the files, simply click the “Clean” button and let the program take care of them for you. Easy as can be.
Capturing the most speed out of your computer is a result of regular maintenance. When there’s less pollution to muck through, your computer is free to run fast. It just takes one click to free up RAM (your computer memory) from the CleanMyMac X interface.
When plugins and programs are unknowingly humming away in the background, CleanMyMac X will rat them out and shut them down to keep your computer running at full speed. Yes, this is the kind of nark you want hanging around.
There are some additional perks to the software that might be unexpected. It comes with a handy Assistant that gives you personalized tips for cleaning up your Mac.
With its availability through the App Store and as a notarized by apple product, you can be assured that it is not malware, unlink some other “cleaning programs” available. It can be appreciated that you don’t have to worry about this program not doing only what it is supposed to do.
If you’re looking at other programs, proceed with extreme caution and be sure that you are investing in an authentic product. Malware likes to disguise itself as something useful and hide its true intentions of harm.
When it comes to computer programs, it’s helpful to take a glance at who else is using and supporting it! We’ll start here: Facebook uses this program. That should tell you a lot about its authenticity and efficiency. You’ll also find reviews of the application in publications like Forbes, Cult of Mac, VentureBeat, and more.
CleanMyMac X is rated at 4.9 stars and users rave about the following capabilities:
- Unloads massive amounts of memory space
- Seriously speeds up and smooths out computer processing
- Fun sound effects and beautiful interface
- Super easy to use and incredibly productive
There’s a lot to like
Chiefly, we like that this application packs a ton of use into one convenient place. It’s easy to use and performs an incredible amount of functions, can reveal a lot about your system that you weren’t aware of, and can greatly aid in regular Mac maintenance.
Staying current on protecting your computer and freeing up memory space can not only provide you with a faster machine, but it can also save you from having to purchase an entirely new computer when your current one starts moving like molasses.
What We Don’t Like About CleanMyMac X
The Malware could be improved. In user tests, it fell short in detecting all the existing threats, though it was able to find most of them. To be noted, the intention of CleanMyMac X isn’t to be a malware detection service, it’s simply an additional feature.
Many users suggest also using the program Malwarebytes to supplement CleanMyMac X to provide the most protection from malware.
Thankfully, Macs are inherently safer to use than PCs as there are far fewer malware and viruses constructed to target them directly. However, these still exist, so it’d be nice if CleanMyMac X did a bit better in this category.
Though the price isn’t shocking, CleanMyMac X is more expensive than other cleaning service applications. You’re probably paying for the design and ease of use, so it could be completely worth it for you. Considering we also rate the support quite high for the program, believe that your payment also contributes to this access.
A major downfall of the application is that it doesn’t search for duplicate files! This might come as a surprise. Perhaps it doesn’t recognize this as a flaw. Whatever the reason, duplicate files take up useless space on the hard drive and should be included in a standard scan.
- Great interface: pleasing to look at, makes sense, and is easy to use
- Fast and efficient: it gets the job done and it does it well
- Functions are segmented into modules: this makes it easy to run a specific mode if you need to
- Detailed scans: you’ll get a list of what each scan has reviewed and a further option to take a look at other files that may be worth cleaning after each go
- Malware detection could use improving
- Duplicate files are not detected
CleanMyMac X is available for download directly from the MacPaw website or through the Apple App Store.
There will be no physical box received. Instead, the product is completely digital. When you download the program, it will be available as a new application for you to run.
Open up the program and explore the features and modules. The interface is beautiful and easy to navigate through. Take a deeper look at all the modules described in detail in the Overview Of Features section below.
With your purchase of a CleanMyMac X subscription, you’ll also get access to their customer support service. But the real win of it all is after you run your first scan and your computer receives the following:
- 5x more free disk space
- 2.5x faster app launching
- 4.5x faster boot time
Overview Of Features
We covered some of our favorite (and least favorite) features above, but in this section, we’ll highlight the main capabilities of the CleanMyMac X software. There are five main functions of the program and they are further subdivided into modules.
You can simply click Smart Scan to run all of the functions simultaneously, or pick and choose the features you wish to employ.
The CleanMyMac X main functions include:
- Application management
- Files management
We’ll explore each of the above features and their included modules further.
This is the bread and butter of CleanMyMac X. It will likely be one of your most-used functions, aside from speed maintenance. In this area, the program covers your computer system, photos, mail, iTunes, and trash.
CleanMyMac X can remove up to 74 GB of junk for you in one scan! Hopefully, you don’t have that much, but it’s nice to know the program is capable of handling it.
This function will scan your system and roundup items like temporary files, old updates, user log files, document versions, and more. A quick click of the “Clean” button and your hard drive is clear of a few gigabytes of space.
Photos are among the trickiest of files. They can get buried away and forgotten quite easily. And you might have corrupted photos that no longer display or duplicate photos you aren’t aware of.
When running the Photo Junk mode, CleanMyMac X scans your computer for photos specifically. And you’ll probably be surprised at how much there is to clean up here. But don’t worry, it’s not going to delete any photos without you knowing. This process will just scan your photo libraries for large files and useless caches.
Did you know that all of the attachments you’ve received in your mail are taking up space on your computer? There’s sure to be some you want to keep, but also to be a mountain-sized amount of which you could do without.
When you run this function, the program will tell you which e-mail accounts it has scanned. It will save your local disk space and remove saved copies of mail attachments from your Mac but they’ll still be accessible from your inbox, so you won’t lose them forever if you don’t want to.
This scan will also optimize local mail data by preventing your mailbox from saving things like little logos and such that come in brand and company e-mails. There’s a lot that your computer holds on to that you aren’t aware of!
Far more than music, iTunes houses videos, iPhone backups, and more. It’s common to unknowingly have download subscriptions occurring every week. Before you know it, iTunes is overflowing with data. This scan will target:
- Old software updates
- Old device backups
- Copies of iOS apps stored on your Mac
- Outdated iOS data stored in iTunes
CleanMyMac X will search through iTunes and round up the trash for a quick clean and suggest more files for you to review to free up more space.
Maybe you thought that dragging a file into the trash can icon meant it was gone. Nope, it’s still leeching space away from your current programs. Yes, you could simply empty your trash can manually from your desktop, but why not include it in this Mac cleanup program? This allows you to manage all your cleaning in one concise location.
This function will empty all of your bins in one go, so you won’t have to go slogging through your drives (like external hard drives) and apps to find all the trash out there. It will also bypass any random Finder errors that might be prohibiting manual action to get those bins emptied for real.
The downside of having the wild world of the internet before you is just that. Through normal browsing and online participation, you expose your computer to infection of malware and viruses.
Protecting yourself from the wiles of the web is key in not only protecting your identity but also maintaining your Mac. This feature will void your Mac of viruses, adware, and spyware.
CleanMyMac X performs Malware removal and enhances your privacy. This isn’t it’s strongest feature, but it’s nice that it’s included in this cleanup tool.
You might not find much, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look. Macs aren’t typically the number one target of computer attackers, but it’s very possible to end up with malicious programs on your computer.
The most common threats you’ll find are unwanted programs, browser infections, ransomware, and adware.
Unwanted programs often make their way into your system under the guise of another application. Unfortunately, the mask program is typically labeled as something that doesn’t sound like adware or spyware, like “MacBooster” or “MalwareCrusher”.
If you were to see these applications on your computer, you might wrongfully assume they were system care programs. Scarily enough, it’s estimated that up to 20% of Macs are infected with unwanted programs! Yikes.
Browser infections are also quite common because most users utilize their computers for internet access. This type of malware can cause your browser search engines and homepages to redirect to ads and steal your information.
Here’s a lineup of some more possible malware:
- Ransomware: this is a venomous program that elicits the computer owner to pay money, aka paying a ransom.
- Spyware: These sneaky codes work to capture your sensitive data. Scarily enough, it can take photos with your webcam and hijack information you are inputting into a web form, like passwords or credit card information.
- Backdoor: the most dangerous of malware types. Why? It’s a gap in code that allows hackers to creep into your system and drop off viruses and access your files. Yeah, it’s nasty.
There are a lot of icky hacks out there. It might seem like your system is running fine, but there could be a lot going on behind the scenes that you aren’t aware of.
The general term for junk programs is “bloatware” and it does just that – bloats your system with crap, slows down your computer, and compromises your privacy. Malware can take a serious toll on your computer and a scan takes less than a minute to perform.
Beyond detecting malware, CleanMyMac X also works to clear cookies and stored data to keep your Mac secure if malware finds its way on your computer.
The privacy module focuses on finding sensitive information stored in your computer via browser caches, email attachments, chat logs, and WiFi networks. These are considered harbors of sensitive information in the idea that if your computer was compromised, a hacker would be able to collect this information and use it in notorious ways.
In terms of internet browsers, this cleanup will also cover cookies, browsing history, and auto-fill forms. Overall, this feature will rid your system of vulnerabilities to protect your Mac and keep you safe.
Computer speed is incredibly important to users. The last thing you want to do while attempting to load a presentation for your next zoom meeting is waiting for ages on your computer to catch up.
All of the above-mentioned cleanups will greatly aid in speeding up your computer by providing faster boot times and more responsive apps. Beyond that, CleanMyMac X includes further functions for the very intention of speed enhancement.
The optimization module will help you with identifying automatic logins, launch agents, hung applications, and heavy consumers. You don’t need to shut off all automatic logins, but this app can help you identify some you might not have been aware of.
Launch agents refer to applications that boot up along with your computer. These can slow down your load time drastically. If you’ve been turning on your computer, then leaving it to struggle through the load while you go make your morning coffee – here’s the section you need
To amp up your system’s performance, CleanMyMac X features a maintenance function. This mode will work to free up RAM, run maintenance scripts, flush DNS cache, speed up your mail, rebuild launch services, reindex Spotlight, and repair disk permissions. That’s a mouthful. And we’re glad for it.
This module is further divided into specific uses, including the following mini-modes:
- Free Up RAM
- Free Up Purgeable Space
- Speed Up Mail
- Repair Disk Permissions
There’s more beyond that. This can be a helpful approach to running very specific scans for optimal computer maintenance. If you’re aware of an exact issue your computer seems to be having, like for example your Spotlight searches seem to be sluggish, select the Reindex Spotlight mode to target the problem.
Another major memory hog is applications and the haul of data they bring with them. You might believe that an uninstalled app is gone forever. But, just like your trash can, remnants can be floating around your hard drive. In come the three functions of this section: uninstaller, Updater, and extensions.
This function ensures that when an app is uninstalled, all features that belong go with it. There won’t be anything left behind. It will even categorize its findings after running a scan, so you can see apps that are labeled unused, uninstall leftovers, and 32-bit applications (old apps that might not work with recent Mac operating system versions).
In case you need assistance in managing the most current status of your applications, CleanMyMac X will run an Updater scan to let you know.
This mode will cover browser extensions, preferences, plugins, and widgets. It’s easy to lose track of these sorts of items, so this categorization is quite useful.
If you tend to pack things away as digital keepsakes, this module will help you locate and tend to files that are clogging up your system. Scanning through your files regularly can help you stay on top of these contents before they overwhelm your disk space. You can manage files in several ways here by utilizing the Space Lens, searching for Large and Old Files, and using the Shredder.
We’ve already discussed our favorite module on CleanMyMac X and here it is again! This is an awesome at-a-glance look at the major space hogs on your hard drive. It’ll run you a detailed list and provide that interactive map, showing the biggest space eaters as large icons, then descending from there.
The list that it can provide will show you the file name, a description of the file, and the amount of space it’s consuming.
Large and Old Files:
Get those memory thieves out of the house quickly by scanning for old and out of use files. And become aware of large files that you’ve been keeping that could benefit from some slimming down.
Just like uninstalling apps, deleting files can leave bits behind. Make sure deleted documents are gone for good by using the shredder feature. It will securely erase sensitive data, making them unrecoverable. The shredder will also work to remove items that have been locked by Finder errors.
Along with the built-in functions, CleanMyMac X also comes with stellar customer support. Though the application is easy to use and operate, you could still run across issues that you aren’t sure how to deal with.
Navigate directly to the brand’s help page from the CleanMyMac X application window. You can also select to contact the support team and provide app feedback. On the website itself, you can read a helpful FAQ section. You will also find a Quick Fix question form to search through MacPaw’s Mac Help Desk info vat to help solve your problems as well.
Click the icon in the top right-hand side of your toolbar and you’ll find a quick view screen to give you a glimpse of important info. It’s easy to scan this overview no matter what program you’re in and you can open the CleanMyMac X program directly from this dropdown. You’ll get a synopsis of the following information:
- Trash: your data limit and how much of it you are utilizing
- CPU: your computer’s speed, utilization, and operating temperature
- Network: the internet you are connected to, as well as your upload and download speeds.
- Protection: a look at if the malware monitor is operating or not
Best Practice with Running a CleanMyMac X Scan
First off, download the free trial! This will give you a good idea of what the program is capable of before you invest. If you’re happy with what you see, subscribe to CleanMyMac X to have regular access.
Once you have the program, you’re ready to start freeing up some considerable space and protecting your sensitive data.
It’s recommended by the program to start with an initial all-encompassing scan with the Smart Scan function. This feature will hunt out the gunk and junk in your drive and then make personalized suggestions for more tasks you can run from there. After your Smart Scan, you can pick and choose the modules to run.
There might be standalone functions that will be helpful for you to run more frequently than others, based on your work and unique use of your computer. Here are a few instances:
- A professional photographer might like to run the Photo Junk mode regularly and the Trash Bin function to search through all drives with the click of one button
- A busy virtual assistant might run the File cleanup modes to keep their system free of old files
- A gamer would like to run the System Junk and Speed modules to make sure their computer stays as fast as possible
- The average family-share computer user would find benefit in running the privacy scans and malware detection to make sure their computer stays free of malicious threats and privacy is secure
As you can see, CleanMyMac X provides an umbrella of services that can trickle down to satisfy a range of unique users.
For routine maintenance, run the program weekly. You can pick a specific module to run more often, depending on your needs.
From our review, we found CleanMyMac X to be a useful and worthy tool. It will help you scrub your hard drive and rid yourself of old files that are lingering about. Furthermore, this software scans for malware and will help you annihilate it before it causes any issues or breaches in security.
It’s affordable and even better of a deal when you’re covering multiple computers. It falls a bit short on performing as a malware detection service, but thankfully Macs are inherently a bit safer in that aspect.
Overall, the CleanMyMac X gets a thumbs up from us. Staying on top of your computer wellness can save you major bucks in the long run, by helping your computer to run faster and free up memory space. The importance of computer maintenance can’t be argued, and this is a tool that can get the job done. And look good while it’s doing it.