Clean and Speed Up Your Mac with CleanMyMac X

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In theory, Apple Macs manage themselves with regard to junk and system maintenance, or at least that’s the theory. As Macs age, their ability to deal with the day-to-day garbage of system life is somewhat diminished. The way to help older Macs stay happy and fast is to go for a third-party cleaning app. Apple power users are doubtless throwing their hands up in dismay right now, but for my own part as a Mac user since 1984, I can affirm that it’s important to use a cleaning app, such as CleanMyMac X, which we examine in this review.

This is a sponsored article and was made possible by MacPaw. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.

Cleanmymacx Main

New Broom

The software I’ve used for the last few years is an older version of CleanMyMac, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to take the newest version for a drive.

Protection removes malware and trackers to improve your security and privacy. Speed optimizes your performance by checking for drive or application errors. Applications has an uninstaller, which fully uninstalls apps which don’t follow Apple guidelines and performs routine maintenance on your drives and system. Finally Files gives you access to powerful tools to analyze large files and the space on your drives, and a Shredder lets you remove trash files permanently and fully.

Time to Clean Up

First thing you notice about CleanMyMac is how good looking it is. It’s fun to use because it’s so stylishly designed. In use it seems solidly built and seems to do its maintenance tasks without any problems.

Cleanmymacx Smartscan 2

CleanMyMac X is a Mac utility for cleanup, protection, performance, and managing applications and files. The Cleanup section scans your system for dead weight, files which should have been deleted but for some reason linger on. It also goes through mail attachments, photos and iTunes data for anything which shouldn’t be there, and finally goes through your trash in case there are any files stuck in there.

The ideal way to get started is to do a Smart Scan. This goes through a suite of the most common tasks – Cleanup, Protection and Speed – prompting you as it goes for a ruling on whether you’d like to delete the things it has detected.

Cleanmymacx Smartscan 3

Once that’s done, you should find that gigabytes of space have been recovered, and frankly, on a weekly basis that should be all you need.

If your Mac has gone for a considerable while without any maintenance to speak of, then you may want to drill down a little deeper, and this is when accessing the individual scanners and tools down the left side becomes necessary.

Apart from the Smart Scan suite, the last two sections are where you can find the most recoverable space. Space Lens lets you analyze the drives to see where the biggest files are hiding, and Large and Old Files lets you review, guess what, large and old files to see if you still need them.

Cleanmymacx Spacelens Scan

These two sections enable you to free up a LOT of space, especially if there are big files hiding in out-of-the-way folders that you’d forgotten about.

Cleanmymacx Spacelens Results

Aside from all of that, CleanMyMac stays running in the menu bar until you quit the app, prompting you occasionally to use it to erase big files in your trash or uninstall programs properly. Also in the menu bar there is a new handy drop-down of charts of system usage and other stats and links for quick access to cleanup.

Cleanmymacx Menu

Of the new features I really like is the menu toolbar drop-down – I personally find it very helpful. The new CleanMyMac X Assistant is also quite useful, and you can access this new feature from the button in the top-right corner.

Cleanmymacx Smart Assistant

The parts of the program I use the most are the Smart Scan, the Uninstaller and the Large and Old Files tabs. The biggest plus for me is how the app helps you find problem areas and files which are just dead weight but aren’t in an obvious folder. I’ve always found it quite annoying and difficult to do this job manually, so having an app to take care of it is really worthwhile.

Availability and Pricing

CleanMyMac X is available from the Apple Mac App Store or direct via their website for $39.95 for one-Mac and a one-year license, or for the princely sum of $89.95, you can get a one-Mac lifetime license buyout. There are further discounts for bundles of more users, and details about all of that is on the website. MacPaw is running a winter sale until the 29th. if you act quickly, you can take a 30 percent site-wide discount. It will be applied to all MacPaw products.

Side note: I should point out (because it happened to me during this review) that some users may find that their installation of CleanMyMac X might be hampered by their antivirus software. This is a known issue which is being addressed by MacPaw as this time, and we’re reasonably sure it’s a false positive. You can safely add an exception in your virus checker to get around the problem, after all, the app is available on the Mac App store, and that certainly wouldn’t be allowed if it was not 100 percent legit.

Phil South
Phil South

Phil South has been writing about tech subjects for over 30 years. Starting out with Your Sinclair magazine in the 80s, and then MacUser and Computer Shopper. He's designed user interfaces for groundbreaking music software, been the technical editor on film making and visual effects books for Elsevier, and helped create the MTE YouTube Channel. He lives and works in South Wales, UK.

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