Apple

Three apps for cleaning older Mac installs

Erik Eckel recommends that you perform routine maintenance on older Mac systems to keep them free of old, unneeded files that could negatively affect performance.

Technology professionals learn many difficult lessons. The school of hard knocks doesn't employ graceful and forgiving teachers. Real world education is rude and abrupt. Occasionally, though, repetitive experiences result in understanding. One fact you can wield confidently is Macs collect detritus as they age. Most users fail to regularly clean their systems, which can lead to storage and performance issues. Thankfully, several applications are available to help.

CCLeaner for Mac OS X

Piriform's CCleaner has long proved popular on the Windows platform. Some administrators and users are surprised to learn there's a Mac version, too. The free utility provides a simple (and to so many Windows users a familiar) interface for removing Internet cache files, Internet histories, cookies and even download histories, and not only within Safari but also for the Firefox and Google Chrome browsers.

The application also offers options for deleting Trash contents, directory service cache, and log files, which can consume serious disk allocations over time. Additional included tools assist in repairing file permissions, securely erasing free space and even uninstalling applications.

AppCleaner

Others, including LifeHacker, tout FreeMacSoft's AppCleaner as the go-to utility for removing unwanted applications. The free tool, which earns almost five stars from MacUpdate, simplifies application uninstallation by enabling drag-and-drop program deletion. Many users, and even some Mac administrators, mistakenly believe that programs install as a single file. They do not. A single program can leave numerous related files and libraries behind. For optimal performance, it's important that all an application's associated files typically be removed when the program is no longer needed and is uninstalled.

The program, which consumes few resources, supports uninstalling applications as well as widgets, plug-ins and similar apps. A SmartDelete feature even assist users in properly uninstalling programs that are dragged into the Mac's Trash.

CleanMyMac

MacWorld and Tucows are among those recommending CleanMyMac, About.com's Best Mac System Utility of 2012. A single six-month license is reasonably priced at $14.95, with a lifetime license offered for just $29.95. The program proves makes short work of removing outdated cache files, unnecessary log files, left over program detritus, and other useless data.

CleanMyMac offers additional features, too. The software includes an application uninstaller as well as tools for removing unneeded universal binary files, unneeded removable device information and simplified resource-consuming extension management.

Regularly perform clean up tasks

Regardless of which cleanup utility you select, be sure to set a regular schedule for removing stray, previously uninstalled application files, unnecessary log and cache information and assorted various other needless files and even potentially programs. Removing these remnants, unnecessary files, and needless other components frees disk space, improves performance and assists Macs in optimizing available resources.

About

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

2 comments
JBuckster
JBuckster

Where does MacKeeper lie in terms of doing clean-up? Thank you, Jim Buckley

brandons
brandons

Titanium Onyx is another oldie but goodie that does a great job of cleaning up the detritus from your little Mac. One of the great things with Onyx is that Titanium offers versions of it for the Mac OS all the way back to Jaguar.

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