This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Nektony Software. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author, who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.
Despite the fact that Macs have a mostly deserved reputation for being trouble-free, they do of course, like any computer, get cluttered with the dregs of applications and installations. Also like any other computer, they suffer from difficult-to-remove apps that leave traces. Macs are usually quite good in that respect, as most app developers adhere to a policy of keeping all the parts of an app contained in an app content folder inside the Applications folder… but the exceptions prove the rule and hey, not everyone adheres to the guidelines.
Even without rogue apps sprinkling data all over your system, system cleanup is a matter of speed and efficiency; if you have space used up on your drive by clutter, you better clean it because free space is a valuable resource that you need to keep things running smoothly. Cache for memory, graphics and the like needs free drive space, and you need to make sure it’s as free as it can be.
In this article we look at a sleek new ally in the fight against system clutter, App Cleaner from Nektony.
A Clean Sweep
App Cleaner is a free app to download and use, but you can add a little important functionality and remove ads using an in-app purchase upgrade to the pro version if you choose to do so. At $3.99 for the upgrade, it’s not, however, a purchase most of us would fret over for too long. But is it worth it?
The program is very cleanly designed and serious looking, which makes a refreshing change from some utilities which look like they were designed by someone suffering from caffeine psychosis. It’s clean and businesslike and conveys a certain trustworthy solidity which is refreshing in this market. When you have a piece of software which scans and corrects your system folders, you want to trust it right out of the box, and good clean design goes a long way in that respect.
The main use of App Cleaner is to completely delete apps, not just the app itself, but any ancillary files which might be loafing about on your system doing nothing and taking up room.
Using the program is very easy. First you are asked not once, but twice, to authorize access to your Applications folder. Then once the folder has been scanned, you can select an application from the list on the left and see all the attached files on the right.
Files found can be sorted with a drop-down on the left into groups, comprising “All Applications” found or just the “Large & Old” ones. These space hogs are of course the main ones you should be concerned with for saving space and improving performance.
You can also from a drop-down on the right sort all the found apps and fragments by name, size, date and selected, and view in ascending or descending order.
At the top of the left column you have two buttons, although they are not obvious at first. The blue A button deals with full Applications.
The grey R button scans for Remains – files left by applications no longer in use or lacking a parent app.
Using these tools, you can search for and delete fully any applications, ones you still have fully installed and no longer need, and any which are still lingering around your system despite being previously “uninstalled.”
Having selected the apps or fragments you want to remove, just click the Remove button. The app presents you with a list of things you are about to remove. Then confirm removal by clicking the remove button again. That’s it. Simple and clean.
One of the key benefits you get from upgrading is the ability to search for unused applications that can be large and wasteful; you also get to search the system folder. Once you upgrade, any greyed-out menu items become usable.
Upgrading is easy: Just click the big yellow button at the top of the app and input your Apple ID. A whisker under four bucks later, you have a fully functional utility without any ads. Simple.
Once you’ve upgraded you can use functions unavailable in the free version like the Uninstall feature, the ability to include system folders in your searches and of course the removal of all in-app advertisements. You can use the app without upgrade, but the extra functions are really worth it.
There are a LOT of app and system cleaning apps out there for Mac, and most are okay. Some are a little shall we say “rinkydink” from the standpoint of design and interface, which for some of us reduces our perceived trust in the app. Obviously the functionality should be the only important thing, but of course design also plays a part. A well-made app that is well-designed and laid out just screams trust. App Cleaner is good-looking and works well and everything about it feels solid and dependable. The app is small, fast and easy to use.
More to the point it does a great job of tracking down lost files (some which other cleaning apps missed in our case) and disposed of them neatly and cleanly. The free app is fine and good to try it out and see how it feels, but for a little under $4 to upgrade, the option is there to support fine software.
If you have any comments about app cleaning in general or Nektony App Cleaner in particular, please let us know in the comments below.