EDIT: This article is now out of date. Clean My Mac X is now released – check our review here.
Updated for 2018: We last looked at Clean My Mac 3 back in 2015 – 3 years and a number of OSX releases have passed since that time so we figured it was time to revisit this review.
Installation follows the standard OSX installation, as shown to the left. It’s very easy – drag and drop the icon into the Applications folder and that’s it – Clean My Mac 3 is now installed. Simply open up Finder, choose Applications and double click on the Clean My Mac 3 icon to start the cleaning process.
The app starts up with a fancy new video which is a little superfluous but does add to the overall polish of the application. Then, you’re presented with the familiar looking screen from which everything is managed. Click the round Scan button at the bottom and wait a little while for CleanMyMac3 to scan your system and see what it can find. This might take a little while, depending on how fast your Mac is and how much disk space you have used. The new CleanMyMac scans for what it calls ‘System Junk’ which includes extraneous localizations, unused language files, old logs, old cache files and broken application data amongst other things. My MacBook Pro with an SSD drive took about a minute for CMM3 to decide it had found a lot of things it could clean up.
I generally think that I run a fairly tidy ship on my Mac. CleanMyMac would dispute that notion quite strenuously it would appear. The System Junk scan alone found 1.9 Gigabytes of cruft, and on closer inspection I’m pretty certain that almost all of it can quite happily be discarded. Do go through the list though, there may be stuff that CMM thinks is junk that perhaps isn’t. That, in itself, would be enough – indeed that pretty much was enough with Clean My Mac 2. But this new version goes even further – scanning and finding superfluous files in your iPhoto library (which sadly doesn’t appear to include duplicate files – or at least doesn’t appear to scan the iCloud shared photos, since I know that ALL my photos are duplicated, which is highly annoying). CleanMyMac 3 then scans for extra iTunes data and unused files, old and out of date Mail Attachments and perhaps best of all, Large and Old Files. In my case it found 17 Gigabytes of large and old files – most of which I had little idea were there. 17 Gigabytes of junk on a 250GB SSD drive is a little over 6% of the drive! Add in the 12 or so Gigabytes of other junk floating around the Mac and I discover that in fact, rather than the tidy ship I thought I had, I’m wasting somewhere close to 10% of my disk in rubbish that can be removed.
But the new version of CleanMyMac goes a few steps further than just cleaning up files. It also allows cleaning up of installed applications, so that essentially you can reset an application to factory defaults – or, how it was when you first installed it – by using the Uninstaller functionality. The uninstaller properly uninstalls applications whereas often the standard Mac uninstallation routine of dragging to the trash can leave lots of properties files laying around, CleanMyMac will get rid of those too.
The Maintenance screen looks quite interesting too, since it re-indexes Mail databases – and I’ve found Apple Mail to be quite slow of late, I’m not sure whether this will fix it, but it looks like a good start. The Maintenance screens have a whole slew of other useful maintenance tasks – all of which can be done through the command line of course, but who wants to use the command line when there’s an app for it! If you don’t leave your Mac on 24/7 you’re not benefitting from a number of system cleanup routines that would run automatically. CleanMyMac3 offers the ability to run these maintenance scripts with a single click. There’s a bunch of other system maintenance items that can be done from here such as rebuilding the Spotlight index if it’s gone a bit wacky, verifying and repairing the disk(s) in your system and ‘Rebuilding Launch Services’.
The uninstaller section is perhaps one of the more useful sections of the applications. Apple has made the Mac very self contained when it comes to installing and uninstalling applications, generally you simply drag an app to the Applications folder and it installs (unless it plays around with system files at least) and to uninstall you usually just drag the application to the Trash Can. But this leaves configuration files and other data laying around on your drive – this might be what you want if you think you might re-install the app later, or you might need to completely reset the app. This usually involves opening up a terminal, finding the config files and removing them. A fairly easy procedure if you know what you’re doing and where to look. But the Uninstaller section of CleanMyMac3 lets you select an app and then hit the Application Reset filter button and instead of uninstalling the app you’re simply resetting it to the state it was when it was first installed. And looking at the screenshot, there’s a lot of files you’d need to find to properly reset the app too.
Finally, for this review – although there is a LOT more to CleanMyMac3 than we have room for in this review so we strongly suggest you check out the full list of features at http://macpaw.com/cleanmymac – we’ll look at the Extensions tab. Many applications in OSX can have extensions added to them, and if you’ve installed another application that provides an extension to a core OSX application, you may not even be aware that extensions have been installed. Some of these 3rd party extensions can cause slowdowns and instability and you may not even be aware of what’s causing it. Even just checking the Login Items can reveal startup processes that you might not even be using any more, or some that you just never use (like the iTunes Helper in my case).
Almost finally…. I just discovered another rather neat little feature of this version of CleanMyMac – the picture to the left tells the story 🙂 Clicking on the icon in the taskbar at the top brings up a nifty menu such as this, which gives you some useful system information at a glance.
In summary, my Mac is a fairly recent (well, by Mac standards – it’s probably a couple of years now) fresh install which I thought I looked after well. As it turns out, I have an extraordinary amount of extraneous rubbish laying around on my computer and some of it is taking up space, while other stuff could well be affecting the stability and even the speed of my mac.
Although you can do all of the things manually through the command line that CMM3 does, the beauty of CleanMyMac is that it speeds up the whole process for you. A few clicks and you’re done versus potentially hours of hunting around manually to find all the different files, making sure you don’t issue a command incorrectly and end up messing something up (though you still need some care when selecting what to delete with CMM) – the question you have to ask yourself is how much is my time worth? – because CMM3 will reduce the time required to do all those tasks.
I highly recommend CleanMyMac3, it’s a step ahead of the previous version and worth the upgrade.
Design - 9/10
Features - 10/10
Cost - 9/10
Ease Of Use - 10/10
Customer Support - 9/10
Overall Value - 9/10
Positives: Easy to use, reclaim all that space, fast
Negatives: Hard to find any!
Trial Available: Yes, but quite limited
Price: $39.99 USD for 1 mac, discounts apply for multiple mac licenses