MacKeeper Review: Keep Your Mac Private, Fast and Secure

Mackeeper Featured

As I’ve stated a few times in these pages before, Apple’s closed ecosystem prevents full access to its devices, so you can’t inadvertently break anything. But sometimes you may need to gain access. While macOS has become much better at managing itself over the years, system cruft does accumulate. Systems gradually accumulate junk and bloat over time, meaning they are not running at their peak efficiency. There are those who say it’s best not to mess around cleaning your Mac because they do it for themselves. But what if they don’t? This is when MacKeeper may come in handy.

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

Mackeeper Icons

Keep Mac Clean and Fast

MacKeeper is a cleaner app for Mac, which scans your Mac for security, cleaning, privacy and performance purposes. The security side scans for adware and spyware infections, viruses, spam, etc. As with most aspects of the software, it does this through either built-in features or an interlocking suite of separate programs.

The cleanup features improve performance through the removal of clutter, detection, erasing of duplicates and a smart uninstaller to correctly and fully remove installed software. The privacy functions scan databases of leaked passwords to match your email to compromised IDs on the Web and gives you the passwords you need to change.

Mackeeper Ready

Scanning for Threats

MacKeeper contains many features and gives the impression of being very comprehensive. It scans a variety of useful inaccessible places in your Mac for junk and performance-related issues.

Down the left side, there is a list of vertical tabs containing all the features. At the top of the list is the Find & Fix tab. This performs the basic four scans in one go, giving you a one-button solution to clean your Mac fully without too much attention to detail. I like this feature a lot, as I’m very fond of pushbutton solutions to tech problems.

Mackeeper Scanning 3

But if you only want to scan a particular aspect of your Mac, you can drill down the list. First is the security tab covering the MacKeeper antivirus and adware detection suite. These trap threats by comparing them to an online database, as is usually the case.

Mackeeper Antivirus

Next is the cleaning tab comprising the Safe Cleanup, Duplicates Finder and Smart Uninstaller. This removes any orphaned files and duplicates (in size, name and date) and helps you to uninstall programs fully. If developers follow the Apple guidelines, then all the files pertaining to the program are contained within the app.

But some developers from other platforms litter the folders with libraries and other external files. These are left orphaned and littering your system when you lob the app into the trash to uninstall it. MacKeeper detects those files and deletes them.

Mackeeper Duplicates

The performance tab contains the Memory Cleaner, Update Tracker and Login Items manager. Mac memory is supposed to be managed by the OS, and Apple makes a big deal about this. But any macOS user will tell you that this isn’t always so, especially for older Macs, whose software may be malfunctioning and not performing these checks adequately.

Cleaning out memory, especially if you leave your Mac on all the time, is sometimes a good thing. The update tracker flags when a piece of software has an update, and it’s always good from a performance standpoint to be using the most up-to date version of software you use all the time. Finally, the Login Items tab helps you figure out if any of your startup items are slowing down the startup sequence of your system.

Mackeeper Login Items

Finally, the Privacy tab contains ID Theft Guard, Private Connect VPN and StopAd. The last two are self-explanatory, but the ID Theft Guard is a useful thing which tells you if any of your logins around the Internet have been compromised. It scans lists of compromised emails and passwords and compares them to the email address you provided when you set the software up. This is actually a really good feature and one which is absent from a lot of the other cleaner suites.

If it gets any hits, it’ll tell you the site and the password that’s been compromised. (You can also add additional email addresses to scan.) This means you can change any other sites where you use the same password. Obviously, using the same password for multiple sites is a bad idea for this very reason.

Mackeeper Idtheft Found 1

On the right side there is a chat window with access to a human support technician. As soon as you install the software, the tech starts chatting to you. I would guess the initial approach is a bot and that you are transferred to a human as soon as you interact with it. It’s a very innovative and futuristic approach having a live person to support you 24/7, but it’s a feature not without its problems.

Mackeeper Personal Tech

As I say, having the human touch in the form of a support tech who chats to you about your system is certainly innovative and potentially useful, but I found the approach a little aggressive and unnerving, if I’m honest. I would tentatively suggest that this approach should be softened or at least delayed.

Having someone message you immediately when you install the suite, almost as if they are watching you, is an undesirable first impression. It would be better to offer the chat and wait for the user to initiate contact, in my view. That said, I can see the benefits of this approach, and I’m sure it comes from a good place. It just needs to be a little less pushy.

In Summary

MacKeeper is a comprehensive and easy-to-use suite of tools to help keep your Mac healthy and productive. It’s a good suite: a clean and easily understandable interface, the list of tools is impressive, and the level of support you get for the money is tough to beat. But for me personally, the online support was a little too in-your-face. If I was buying cleaner software, I think I’d prefer something without a shop assistant hovering about asking me if I was okay. That said, someone without any technical experience, older folks for example, may be really appreciative of the extra help. This is what you’re paying for here, not just a suite of software, but 24/7 help with using it.

The software is available for a free one-time fix as a download from the website. The regular price starts at $14.95 a month for one Mac for individuals who don’t want to commit to a yearly license. For three Macs on a 12-month plan, the price is $119.40 annually. For one Mac on a 12-month plan, it’s $95.40 annually, and you can pay $8.50 per month and cancel at any time. Plus, of course, you can get MacKeeper at a discounted price if you buy it on Black Friday or a Christmas shopping spree.

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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