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Best Cleaning Apps for Mac
Raise your hand if you’ve noticed your Mac slowing down, freezing, or low on disk space. Okay, you probably didn’t physically raise your hand, but if any of the symptoms above plague your computer, it’s time for a thorough cleaning.
Cleaning your Mac is a surprisingly easy endeavor, as long as you find reliable cleaning software. Note that you’ll need a cleaning app that’s specifically built for Mac, so don’t install any random program you find on the internet. We’ve narrowed down the best cleaning apps for Mac, so you don’t have to go looking.
I have about 80 GB of open storage on my hard drive out of a possible 500 GB. To figure out the best cleaning apps for Mac computers, I’m going to run each of our recommended programs and see which yields the best results.
CleanMyMac focuses on doing five things for your computer—deleting junk files, optimizing and maintaining your machine, uninstalling applications, and removing malware. The Mac cleaning software will cost you $39.95 for a one-year subscription for a single computer, or you can pay $149.95 to get the software forever.
If you plan on using Mac computers for the rest of your life, the lifetime subscription can easily give you the most bang for your buck. Yes, that one-time payment will hurt, but you get a robust cleaning app that will keep your current Mac and future Macs running smoothly.
In the meantime, you can use the CleanMyMac free trial to take it for a spin.
As far as first impressions go, CleanMyMac really couldn’t do a better job. The program starts with some pleasant music and an extremely user-friendly interface. All you need to do is click the Scan button on the bottom of your screen and the process begins.
The cleaning app then starts combing through your computer, looking for junk files, malware, and other optimizations. After about two minutes, I got these results:
CleanMyMac found a little over 5 GB of junk data for me to delete, no potential threats, and three tasks to optimize my system performance. (Don’t you love Macs?) You can click the Run button and the app takes care of the rest.
You can also click the Uninstaller option from the menu on the left to get an organized list of apps installed on your computer. You can easily select an app, and then click the Uninstall button on the bottom of the screen. Mac computers have always been missing an easy uninstall menu, and you can finally get one with CleanMyMac.
Overall, it’s the best user experience out there for Mac cleaners. You’ll know exactly what I mean when you try out the software for yourself.
If you like the idea of CleanMyMac, but don’t want to shell out $40 to use it for a year, BuhoCleaner gives you a lifetime plan for $14.99. You likely won’t find a better price point for any Mac system cleaners, not to mention one that you can use for the rest of your life.
The main differentiator between BuhoCleaner and a more robust cleaning app like CleanMyMac is the lack of virus protection. BuhoCleaner won’t protect your computer from any malware hidden on your computer, but it does an excellent job targeting junk files and creating storage space.
Simplicity is clearly the focus with BuhoCleaner with the Scan button presenting itself front and center when you open the app.
It takes maybe 20 seconds after clicking the Scan button before you get a list of junk files to delete. In my case, I got a little over 6 GB of junk to delete according to BuhoCleaner. If you’re keeping score, that’s more than a gigabyte of space than CleanMyMac was able to find for me.
What’s more, even with the free version, you can delete all those junk files using the program. The minute CleanMyMac noticed me trying to use its services for free, it kicked me out and made me pay for the app.
Compared to CleanMyMac, BuhoCleaner doesn’t have nearly as many functions and features, as you can see from the menu on the left in the screenshot above. For some people (like me) the simplicity makes the app less intimidating to use.
It’s easy to see functions like App Uninstall, which gives you an organized list of programs installed on your computer. Again, this is the same feature you’ll find on CleanMyMac, but at a fraction of the cost.
CCleaner works on both PC and Mac computers, and it strikes a great balance between price, cleaning features, and virus protection. It costs $29.95 for a year of service, which falls right in between the price point of CleanMyMac and BuhoCleaner.
As you’d expect, CCleaner will sift through your Mac storage and find any junk files to get rid of, but it also helps keep your online browsing secure. You can set CCleaner to automatically remove browsing history, cookies, and even autofill passwords and email addresses. I don’t know about you, but wiping all my saved passwords from my browser would be kind of a relief. It’s only a matter of time before the hackers realize my password is just “password.”
CCleaner offers a free trial version that will sort through your files and find junk to delete.
Using CCleaner Professional
Rather than offering you a one-button-fixes-everything approach, CCleaner lets you decide more specifically what you want to delete.
You can go with a general cleaning scan, or you can sort through duplicate files on your computer, or you can get rid of photos where you look bad. If you decide to go with the general cleaning scan, expect for CCleaner to find lots of stuff to delete.
This cleaning software found over 20 GB of junk on my computer, which is way more than anything CleanMyMac and BuhoCleaner found on my system. Granted, at closer inspection, some of those files weren’t things that I consider junk, so make sure to vet your files on the chopping block before deleting everything.
If you want to be extra sure you don’t delete anything essential, scanning for duplicates is a great way to start. After performing the test, CCleaner found a bunch of duplicate files on my system.
Using software like CCleaner makes life so much easier than having to manually go through your files to see if you have any duplicates to delete.
Recap: Best cleaning apps for Mac
After running several different cleaning apps for Mac, CCleaner, CleanMyMac, and BuhoCleaner got rid of the most junk files and offered the best bang for buck.
- CleanMyMac: CleanMyMac offers an awesome user experience that makes cleaning and maintaining your Mac incredibly easy. It’s not the cheapest option at $39.95 for a year of service, but it offers features (like Malware removal) that justify the price.
- BuhoCleaner: BuhoCleaner only costs $14.99 for a lifetime subscription. You likely won’t find a better priced Mac cleaning program, but you can find other apps that offer more features. BuhoClaner cleans your Mac for an incredibly affordable price, but you don’t get any virus protection with it.
- CCleaner Professional: CCleaner is the middle option between CleanMyMac and BuhoCleaner. It only costs $29.95/month and does just about everything CleanMyMac does, but just doesn’t look as pretty. You can use CCleaner to clean your Mac and get rid of any Malware files. Just be aware that what CCleaner considers trash might not actually be trash, so make sure to double-check before you mass delete files.
Keep your Mac as clean as possible, and you should be able to keep your device for many years to come. The only thing you need to worry about is Apple rolling out on some iOS update that tanks your computer performance. Assuming Apple doesn’t want to do that anytime soon, you can rest assured you get the best performance out of your Mac computer.
To find the best cleaner software for Mac, we downloaded several apps and took advantage of free trial periods to compare and contrast. We ran the cleaning tool with every program and observed how much storage space was created, and if any other extra features, like extra security, were included in the package.
We came to the conclusion that CleanMyMac offered an excellent user experience and can both clean your computer and scrub out any problematic files. BuhoCleaner only costs $14.99 for a lifetime subscription, and does just as good a job cleaning up junk files as more expensive Mac cleaning programs. The downside with BuhoCleaner is that it doesn’t specialize in removing Malware or other viruses. Last of all, CCleaner found the most junk files out of any cleaning app, but it doesn’t offer as good of a user experience as CleanMyMac.