Published on 8th April 2015 | by Tim
CleanMyMac 3 Review: Clean Up. Speed Up. Health Up.
If you’re like me, then you’ll want to keep your Mac in tip-top condition and free from any unnecessary files that might be taking up space on your hard drive. I’ve tried many apps over the years and found CleanMyMac to be one of the best. I’ve been using CleanMyMac 2 for some time and have now upgraded to CleanMyMac 3 which adds an updated look and several new features.
First of all, why do you need to keep your Mac clean? Well, some people will say cleaning utilities in general are a waste of time and aren’t necessary. By and large that statement is correct, you can easily clean out anything unnecessary manually but that takes a lot of time. Plus there will always be files and data left behind, such as when you uninstall apps by moving them to the Trash. You’d be surprised at how much space you can free up using an app such as CleanMyMac and how much better your Mac will perform afterwards.
In a nutshell, CleanMyMac scans your hard drive and displays files that can be safely deleted to free up disk space. This is ideal if you’re running low on space, especially if you’re using a MacBook Air with 128GB storage, or if you find that things are running a bit slow. It also helps to maintain your Mac over time by constantly identifying large and unnecessary files that can be removed and it completely removes apps from the system.
When you launch the app you’ll first see the Welcome screen and you’ll be prompted to scan your entire hard drive. There have been several improvements to the speed of scanning in CleanMyMac 3 and it now scans at a much faster rate when compared to the previous version. I’ve also found that it scans deeper in system areas and scans your hard drive in areas not available before, such as iTunes and Mail. Using CleanMyMac 3 for the first time the scan did take a little longer than normal to complete, but after a clean out any new scans now take significantly less time.
After the scan has finished it will identify safe files to delete and you can easily remove these with one click. I generally like to know what I’m deleting and prefer to browse the files beforehand so that I can add and remove files as required before deletion. I would always recommend that you take the time to do this in case you remove anything that you may need at a later date.
There are several categories where files are identified and you can click into each one to view the files that CleanMyMac has earmarked for deletion. In this new version, you are provided with a summary for each category detailing the amount of data that can be smart cleaned, along with a summary of the types of data that are part of that category. This is immensely useful as most of us have no idea what many of the files on our Macs do or how important they may be. The summary also provides the total amount of data that has been located and that can be deleted, you can then review further details if you want more manual control.
If like me you choose the manual route then you’ll be presented with a list of data types and clicking on each will again display more finely the individual files or groups of data that can be removed. One thing that CleanMyMac does and does well is to provide you with a helping hand and clearly explains exactly what it is that you’re deleting and what it does. It’s up to you to then make an informed decision on whether to keep the file or to mark it for deletion.
Deleting the data
As you delve further into the results of the scan you’ll come across many items that might be quite large in size and that you might not have considered for removal. Many of these files are buried deep within the system or are part of the various apps that you might use so they’re not something that you would usually see or access.
Most of the files that take up the space whenever I run a scan tend to be System Junk and this can contain language files, user caches, localisations, development junk and a whole host of other data that might not be needed. Removing this data can free up a chunk of space for most people and at the same time can improve the overall speed of your Mac and various applications that you might use. As an example, before using CleanMyMac I had never cleaned out the cache for Safari and upon doing so found that Safari ran and loaded pages much faster.
CleanMyMac can also highlight iPhoto original files that can be removed, doing this on my very first scan again saved me a huge amount of space. Whenever you import photos to iPhoto some are rotated so that they display the correct way up but in doing so creates a duplicate file. CleanMyMac identifies the original photo and the rotated duplicate allowing you to remove the unwanted photos. The same is true of any photos that you might have edited, there will be two versions in iPhoto both the original and the edited version. If you’ve never cleaned out iPhoto, then it might come as a surprise how many duplicates are present and how many can be removed. If you have a rather large iPhoto library then removing all the duplicate photos can help to make things run a lot smoother.
Two new categories added to CleanMyMac 3 are Mail Attachments and iTunes Junk. Mail Attachments will display all of the attachments to any emails that you might have and give you the option to remove them. If you’ve already saved the necessary files elsewhere on your Mac then you can easily delete the attachments and claim back disk space. It might also help to identify any large attachments that you’d forgotten about or weren’t aware of, especially if any are attached to junk emails. With iTunes you might be harbouring iOS updates that have been downloaded and installed on your iOS device, but the installation files remain on your hard drive. Also hiding might be downloads that you have cancelled and the partial files remain, these can be removed.
All of the Trash bins on your Mac are scanned which includes the main Trash, iPhoto Trash and any Trash bins belonging to email accounts. You can then choose to empty the various Trash bins entirely or you can take a selective approach and mark items individually.
Lastly CleanMyMac will display any Large & Old Files, as these are your own personal files they will need to be reviewed before they can be deleted. The title speaks for itself and you’ll be presented with a list of large files and any old files that you haven’t opened in some time. It’s up to you to then mark these for deletion depending on if you need to keep them or not.
Maintaining your Mac
There are a number of utilities included with CleanMyMac that can help maintain the system and that can help to fix problems. The main utility that I use is the Uninstaller and this will allow you to completely remove any app including all the small files that would normally be left behind. You can receive a prompt from CleanMyMac if you drag an app to the Trash asking if you want it completely removed, this can be setup in the Preferences.
Two new utilities are Maintenance and Privacy, both of which have helped me to fix problems and free up disk space. Maintenance provides you with a number of tools that can speed up certain apps or functions of your Mac and that can also help to resolve any issues that you might encounter. One tool that I found especially helpful is Flush DNS Cache, I have had trouble visiting certain websites but after a quick run everything was working perfectly. There are also tools to reindex spotlight so that search speed is improved and you can also speed up Mail with a quick reindex of the envelope database. Privacy will allow you to delete various items relating to your internet browsers such as cookies, history, download history and anything else that might be stored locally. It also allows you to delete items from the Messages app, such as your messaging history and any attachments that you might have sent that are also stored in the background.
Lastly, you’ll find access to Extensions which shows you all of the add-ons to your browser, applications and OS X in general. There are usually quite a few extensions and plugins present, some that you may not have been aware of and you can enable/disable them from here or remove them completely. There is also a Shredder utility that can safely and securely remove any files making them unrecoverable.
Differences between CleanMyMac 2 and CleanMyMac 3
If you already own CleanMyMac 2 and are considering upgrading you’ll want to know what’s new and if it’s worth the upgrade. I found CleanMyMac 2 to be a superb tool, but CleanMyMac 3 adds on so many more useful features and has helped me to clean out lots of extra data that wasn’t previously identifiable.
The Dashboard is a new feature in CleanMyMac 3 giving you an overview of your Mac. It shows your hard disk and displays what data is taking up the space, similar to the About This Mac section in OS X. You’re also provided with an overview of the memory in your Mac and how it’s being used with the option to free up memory if you’re struggling or finding your Mac running a little sluggish. It also gives you the current status of the battery if you’re using a MacBook and shows the current CPU usage.
There is a menu bar icon that can be activated in the Preferences and this will display all of the details from the Dashboard and give you some basic options as and when any issues might occur.
Two new additions to the cleanup scan are Mail Attachments and iTunes Junk giving you a comprehensive overview of any files contained within those apps that can be deleted. Some iTunes items are available in CleanMyMac 2 such as iOS updates, but there are now more items detectable and should help you to free up a bit more space.
In Utilities there is now Maintenance and Privacy which have both helped me to sort out a few problems with my Mac and make it run better. I’ve been able to clean out several GB’s of attachments from Messages that I had no idea were there and no longer had any need for them.
Aside from new features being added CleanMyMac 3 has been given a face lift to make it fit in with the design of OS X Yosemite. CleanMyMac 2 had a nice pleasing design and that’s what attracted me to it in the first place, but with the latest update you have a much cleaner, simpler look to the app that complements Yosemite well.
One of my recommended apps
All in all I have found CleanMyMac 3 to be a solid upgrade with a fresh design, improved speed and several useful new features. If you’re looking for an app that can help clean out the junk and unwanted files from your Mac then I can highly recommend CleanMyMac 3. I would easily put this in my top 10 apps to have on your Mac as it’s something that I use on a regular basis and it provides real results.
CleanMyMac 3 is available from the MacPaw website for £34.95/$39.95 for a single user licence, other licence options are available. If you’re upgrading from a previous version of CleanMyMac then there is 50% off, you can upgrade via the MacPaw website or from with the CleanMyMac app. There is also a free trial available if you fancy taking it for a spin before you purchase.
by MacPaw | £34.95/$39.95
Summary: CleanMyMac 3 boasts a new design and several new features that will allow you to free up more disk space and keep your Mac performing well. The new dashboard provides an overview of your Mac and is also accessible via the menu bar. Solid upgrade from the previous version, a must have app.