A closer look at CleanMyMac

CleanMyMac (v1.9.5) is a cleaning tool for Macs that combines Universal Binaries slimming, removal of unneeded Languages, cleaning Logs and Caches, Quick and Secure erasing, Extensions Management, Application Uninstallation, removal of trash left from previously uninstalled applications and more.

The welcome screen:

Before starting to work with any tool, I always like to take a look at the Preferences and pick and choose offered options. Here are some of the handy ones:

Before starting to scan your computer, choose which things CleanMyMac should be looking for by checking the offered items.

Some of the results:

Once the scan is done, I would strongly recommend using the little round “i” button on the lover right part of the window, which opens up information sidebars for each item and explains what are the things that you will be deleting and warns about possible difficulties you might encounter and what to do about it.

For example, universal binaries were compiled both for Intel and PowerPC architectures, but Mac uses only one architecture code. That means that there is code that never gets executed and is wasting disk space. CleanMyMac can remove this surplus code from FAT binaries. But, there are applications that stop such modifications to prevent privacy, so an error message will be shown if CleanMyMac attempts to do it. In this case, it is best to drag and drop the application in question into the Ignore List.

Once you’ve unchecked the things you think it would be better to keep, you can proceed by pressing the “Clean” button. In order to clean some things – for example System Logs – you have to have administrator privileges. To authenticate yourself as an administrator, just click the “padlock” button in the lower right cornet of the window and enter your name and password into the dialog box that appears.

The Manage Extensions utility allows you to uninstall widgets, preferences and plugins which it detects flawlessly:

As before, check the things you want uninstalled and press the “Uninstall” button.

To uninstall applications and quick erase files, simply drag and drop them into the appropriate utility and start the process. But, the software warns you to be extra careful with deleting applications as to not delete system files. It also advises you to keep files you’re unsure about and to use the application’s uninstaller if it has one before trying to uninstall it this way.

I was curious what would happen if I decided to skip that last advice. In short, the software couldn’t quit the application because when picked up and dropped in the trash, this particular application obligated me to specify a reason for uninstalling, and only when I gave one I could proceed to uninstall it. Once I did this, I simply deleted all the files that remained behind it with CleanMyMac.

CleanMyMac is extremely easy to use, but requires – as all cleaning software does – the user to have some knowledge about what can be safely deleted and what not. Luckily, the software offers good advice and springs pop-up boxes when you want to delete something that’s probably better left untouched.

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