I’ve become a skeptic. Numerous software applications claim to clean old files and improve computer operation. Making promises is one thing, but fulfilling commitments is another challenge altogether. Fortunately, MacPaw’s CleanMyMac 2 delivers. The cost of this cleaning utility is $39.00 (USD), but you can sample it for free.
CleanMyMac 2 boasts a deceptively simple interface that belies its capacity. Once you download the app, you'll see the following eight options on the left console:
- Automatic Cleanup
- System Cleanup
- Large & Old Files
- iPhoto Cleanup
- Trash Cleanup
- Extensions Manager
This program is very flexible. You can immediately begin performing a specific cleaning task using the provided options. Alternatively, you can run an Automatic Cleanup, in which the program leverages CleanMyMac 2’s System Cleanup, iPhone Cleanup, Trash Cleanup, and Large & Old Files modules.
Clicking the Automatic Cleanup’s Scan icon triggers an automated wizard that scans the Mac’s disk, seeking accumulated junk that's cluttering the drive. Upon completion, Automatic Cleanup presents recommendations and lists all unnecessary files that can be removed to free hard disk space. You can then click the prominent Clean icon that instructs CleanMyMac 2 to remove the files.
When the Automatic Cleanup task completes, the program presents additional Manual Cleanup steps that you may wish to perform to free more space. Among these tasks are the Large & Old Files review, Trash Cleanup, and iPhoto Cleanup.
The System Cleanup feature scans the Mac and presents a visual representation of files that are found that CleanMyMac 2’s algorithms indicate are safe for removal. Clicking the provided Detailed Results button provides more information about the types, kind, and volumes of files to be removed, including user cache files, system cache files, user log files, system log files, broken application Preference files and login items, iOS software updates, iPhoto cache files, Universal binary files, application support files, and language files. Ultimately, using the program, I was able to remove 2.8 GB of unnecessary files from my year-old MacBook Pro.
The Large & Old Files module prompts you to specify a Home folder, and then the module performs a scan that enables the application to build a comprehensive list of large and old files. CleanMyMac 2 cannot determine whether these files are important, so the program gives you the option to remove any such files. Ultimately, I was presented the option of removing some 850 MB from my laptop’s drive.
iPhoto Cleanup reviews the iPhoto library, seeking unneeded original image copies. When you edit, crop, and enhance images, iPhoto retains a copy of the original image. Over time, these original images grew to consume almost 8 GB on my system’s drive. CleanMyMac 2 give you the option to identify and remove those files, should you wish to do so (I chose to keep mine).
If you empty the Trash and believe all trashed files are deleted, you are gravely mistaken. In fact, each partition and each drive possess its own Trash folder, which is typically hidden from the user. When you click the Trash Cleanup option, CleanMyMac 2 displays information revealing how much space can be freed from each Trash file, including the iPhoto library trashcan, which can become quite large. CleanMyMac 2 found several gigabytes of trash files that could be safely removed from my system, with the lion’s share present within my iPhoto library where I’d simply forgotten to empty the iPhoto Trash.
A handy Uninstaller is included to assist in removing unwanted programs and applications. An Extensions Manager also assists removing or disabling various widgets, application and Preference plugins, dictionaries, screen savers, and similar elements.
Finally, an Eraser helps you permanently write over trashed files to ensure that those trashed files cannot be recovered. Due to the manner in which such files must be overwritten, the task can require significant time, depending upon how many files are being erased.
In a nutshell
In the past, I’ve always believed that it was best to perform all these tuning and cleanup files manually. As systems have become more complex, and time has become more precious, manual tracking and deletion of junk files and unnecessary software is no longer efficient. Smart Mac users would do well to keep a copy of CleanMyMac 2 in their toolboxes to help accelerate the process.
Do you use CleanMyMac 2 in your organization? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.
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 of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.