CleanMyMac 2 for OS X review

Sections: Mac Software, Reviews, System Utilities

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Provides: OS X system cleanup
Developer: MacPaw
Minimum Requirements: OS X 10.7.5 or above
Price: $39.95
Availability: Now

CleanMyMac 2 was officially released last week, bringing with it a major interface overhaul and a total of eight modules designed to help you tweak your Mac for maximum performance, space, and efficiency. Whether you want to clean up old, unused files, remove unnecessary software, or just give your Mac a good spring cleaning, CMM makes it simple and fast.

CleanMyMac 2

Neat and Tidy

Apple’s recent design direction for laptops has been small and speedy. Flash memory makes the Mac experience virtually iPad-esque with instant boots, but its price also means the nearly terabyte-sized laptop drives we had grown used to are often unaffordable. CleanMyMac 2 can help you intelligently manage the space on your new flash-based Mac, or even prepare for the transition to an Air by slimming down bloated storage on your older machine before you run Migration Assistant. The app does this by identifying large files, older items you may not use anymore, or even unnecessary system-related files like backup copies of iOS updates (~1GB on my MacBook Pro) or language localization files (~3GB for me, including 362MB for Chinese, which I can’t speak, read, or write!).

CleanMyMac 2

CleanMyMac 2’s interface has been vastly overhauled from the old, engineer-ish CleanMyMac 1, so if you ever worked with the older version and were turned off, I highly suggest you give v2 a whirl. The new UI is heavily iOS inspired, featuring audio and animation feedback, clearly labeled functions, and far fewer options presented in the main screen. Most modules consist of a single button that says Scan, which switches to Clean after you’ve completed the scan. This new UI better suits CleanMyMac’a target market, which is composed largely of the folks Apple aimed to protect by making the User Library folder hidden (if you know what that is and how to get to it, chances are you don’t need a tool to make these changes anyway). More advanced users do have the option to drill into details and see exactly what CleanMyMac 2 has identified for removal, so it’s possible to spare items you need to keep.

CleanMyMac 2

CleanMyMac 2’s scans can run in the background, and with Notification Center support you get helpful notices that your scan is finished. Scheduled scans and suggestions for scans also appear as notifications, so if you’re using CleanMyMac to keep the size of your system in check you can easily get a reminder that it’s time to clean up. Although your initial scan will identify some huge system-related files that can be removed, CleanMyMac can also clean up log and cache files that grow continuously, so you can still free up some space and keep your Mac running smoothly.

Building Blocks

The CleanMyMac 2 interface consists of a drawer to the left with eight modules; seven of them are unique modules, while the first—Automatic Cleanup—combines System Cleanup and Trash Cleanup to remove unneeded system, app, and trashed files to save space and improve performance. The CleanMyMac team has built the tool to respect vital system files and resources, so you can safely run it and clear space without destabilizing your Mac.

CleanMyMac 2

The other modules include:

  • System Cleanup: This tool looks for system- and app-related files that aren’t needed, and can either remove them for you automatically or let you choose which to keep. Items it can identify include system language files, system log files/caches, extraneous developer files inside apps, and unneeded PowerPC code in universal applications.
  • Large & Old Files: This module does two things: it lets you look for large and old files, and then delete the ones you don’t want to keep. You can filter the results of your scan to show only files of a certain size and to identify files you haven’t opened in the last week/month/year.
  • iPhoto Cleanup: iPhoto was designed in the era of the hard drive, so it can be something of a space hog on a MacBook Air. Run CleanMyMac to remove extra copies of images iPhoto creates temporarily but then never deletes.
  • Trash Cleanup: Self explanatory, this module scans the trashes of all connected drives. Best of all, you can set it to automatically notify you when your trash reaches a certain size, reminding you that it’s time to empty.
  • Uninstaller: Although there’s no need to formally uninstall Mac apps, there can still be space-hogging remnants after you drag the app into the Trash. Uninstaller can clean up these remnants for previously deleted or unsupported apps; it can also be set to monitor the Trash and run whenever you drag an app to the Trash to ensure it is fully uninstalled.
  • Extensions Manager: If this makes you shudder and want to dust off your copy of Conflict Catcher, don’t panic. The term “extension” here means everything from different dictionary files (I had Japanese installed), to Internet plug-ins like Flash or Silverlight and Preference Panes. Although many of these are small, they each require time to load during boot ups and can slow your Mac down.
  • Eraser: A secure erase utility. Permanently remove files, simple and easy.

Other Options

CleanMyMac 2 doesn’t just stop at the eight listed modules; you also have the ability to identify items to ignore during scanning/cleaning, which is useful especially if you use multiple language resources on your computer (CleanMyMac won’t ask to delete ignored files). You can even schedule your scans to run at a specified time, with either a notification that it’s time for a scan or an automatic launch of CleanMyMac 2. There’s even an option to rebuild the Launch Services Database in the Action menu, which will remove duplicates from the Open With contextual menu.

The goal of all CleanMyMac 2’s functionality is to speed up and slim down your Mac, which can be useful whether you’re running the latest and greatest or just need to give your older Mac a little pick-me-up. If you’re considering making the move from a larger Mac to one of Apple’s new flash-based models, CleanMyMac can also be a great way to help you remove cruft and arcane junk that you don’t even remember you have installed.

CleanMyMac 2 is a free upgrade for existing users, while a new license will set you back $40. Head on over to MacPaw’s site for full details.

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CleanMyMac 2 Review

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