The 6 Best Mac Cleaning and Optimization Apps

While Macs are great machines, they aren’t perfect. From time to time, your Mac might need some maintenance to run at its best.

One of these maintenance tasks is to clean your system of junk files. If you’ve had a Mac for a long time, you probably have lots of files and folders to sort through. It can be stressful and time-consuming to go through them manually, which is where a cleanup tool comes in handy.

Let’s look at some of the best cleaning and optimization tools for Mac computers.

1. CleanMyMac X

Though it’s important to know Mac cleaning apps aren’t necessary in many cases, if you do need one, you want to use the best Mac cleaner you can find.

CleanMyMac X is one of the best and most popular Mac cleaners around. This application has both cleanup software and antimalware software. Both of these combine to keep your Mac computer free of unneeded files and other clutter.

CleanMyMac X has a Smart Scan feature that thoroughly sweeps your Mac computer, detecting the number of junk files (such as system logs and user cache files) and their locations. In addition to checking for malware on your computer, it also optimizes RAM usage.

Plus, the software has an Apple notarization badge. This means that Apple checked the software and discovered that it had no malicious content. Thus, you need not fear for the safety of your computer while using CleanMyMac X.

Despite these features and benefits, this app isn’t perfect. The first drawback is that the software is not free; you’ll need to pay for an annual subscription or lifetime license to take full advantage. The free version only allows you to clean about 500MB of junk files from your Mac.

Download: CleanMyMac X (From $39.95/year)

2. Disk Clean Pro

Disk Clean Pro

Previously known as Smart Mac Care, Disk Clean Pro is another effective cleaning and optimization software. It’s a product of Systweak Software and cleans cache files, unwanted system log files, and unfinished downloads with a single click via its One Click Care feature.

You can also clean out only specific file types with the app. The Duplicates Finder can help you find and remove unnecessary copies taking up disk space, and the Internet Privacy feature can help you find out if you’re being exposed to malware or excessive advertising.

Disk Clean Pro has a beautiful user interface that makes using the software a breeze. It lets you control the cleanup and optimization process with just a few clicks. And it works on Mac computers running macOS 10.7 or later, so it’s one of the best cleaners on Macs, new and old.

Download: Disk Clean Pro ($26.99)

3. Drive Genius

drive genius interface

More than a cleanup tool, Drive Genius is also a monitoring/optimization tool. Drive Genius has features allowing you to run diagnostics on your Mac’s storage drive. Apart from that, the software can scan for malicious content and securely erase files. Most importantly, the software will detect corrupted files on your Mac’s drive.

Drive Genius has a DrivePulse feature. With this, you can run an extensive scan on your internal drive, receiving information on its status. For instance, you’ll be notified if your drive is about to fail.

Though there are free tools to detect problems on your Mac, and DrivePulse takes a long time to complete, the results are usually worth the wait. They could save you from a dead drive and lost files.

Of course, this cleaner software is not without its drawback. Its free version only allows you to use a small portion of the features available, including DrivePulse. And while the latest version (Drive Genius version 6) works with macOS 10.12 Sierra and above, Drive Genius version 5 isn’t supported on macOS 10.15 Catalina.

Download: Drive Genius (From $79/year)

4. Cleaner One Pro

Cleaner One Pro running on a MacBook Air

If you want Mac cleaner software that not only finds and removes duplicate files, but also duplicate photos, you should check out Cleaner One Pro (formerly called Dr. Cleaner Pro) by Trend Micro.

Cleaner One Pro’s Similar Photo Scanner locates photos on your Mac that look similar to each other and shows them to you before offering a quick and easy removal process to free up space on your Mac.

The Duplicate File Scanner works much the same way, and the app also has a Quick Disk Clean feature that lets you clear out temporary files and caches with a single click.

Reviews of the app suggest that occasionally, the Similar Photo Scanner isn’t always great at identifying photo files, and the free download is a bit limited in its functions for many users. But when you get a subscription (the plans start at $14.99 per year), Cleaner One Pro has features that make it a macOS cleaner app worth getting.

Download: Cleaner One Pro (Free, subscription available)

5. Gemini 2

Gemini running on Mac

Gemini 2 is another powerful Mac cleaner tool. Its major strength is detecting duplicate files and helping to organize them. This software can detect, list, and delete duplicate files on your Mac computer within minutes, helping you free up gigabytes of storage space.

The duplicate checker scans through all folders and files, regardless of the data type. This means that whether you have duplicate photos, music, or documents, it will find them during the scan.

Once you see the scan results, you can select the duplicates you want to delete and what you need to keep. If you delete a copy by mistake, you can always recover it with a click. Moreover, you can select files and folders you want to exclude during the duplicate scan.

That said, Gemini has a few cons. First, it’s not free, like many tools of this type. Also, it has an “achievement” feature that seems out of place. It seeks to gamify the process of ridding your Mac computer of duplicate files but is not really needed and comes off as cheesy.

Download: Gemini 2 (From $19.95/year)

6. CCleaner

CCleaner running on Mac

CCleaner is a well-known multi-purpose cleaning tool that works on macOS, Windows, and Android devices. It identifies unwanted and junk files on your Mac computer, deleting them to help you free up space.

It also optimizes your Mac’s performance by reducing the workload on the RAM. It does this by removing startup and background apps that run on your system. It also helps you uninstall applications you no longer use.

Despite these benefits, there are some downsides to using this Mac cleaner software. It was hacked and given a Trojan virus back in 2017, and while CCleaner app is much more trustworthy nowadays, the software is far from as necessary as it once was.

On the plus side, CCleaner offers most of its features for free. The Pro version is really only necessary if you want automatic updates and background monitoring. It’s one of the robust, and therefore best, free Mac cleaners on our list.

Download: CCleaner (Free, premium version available)

Keep Your Mac Running Smoothly With Cleaners

If you choose to use Mac cleaning apps, now you know which ones are the best. And while most of them aren’t free, you may find the convenience of automatic file cleaning worth the cost.

Meanwhile, don’t forget that you can manually free up space on your Mac in many ways. Doing so is important to keep your Mac at peak performance, so however you do it, make sure you clean up your Mac periodically.

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