Clean­my­mac X re­view

Macworld (USA) - - Contents - BY CHRIS BARYLICK

Clean­my­mac X is Mac­paw’s catch-all soft­ware crud and gunk re­mover for the Mac. This ver­sion swings for the fences, with new fea­tures such as a mal­ware scan­ner, ex­ten­sions man­ager, and a uni­ver­sal up­dater for all of your ap­pli­ca­tion pro­grams. This is in ad­di­tion to Clean­my­Mac X’s core func­tions, which in­clude tools for smart cleanup, sys­tem junk, mail at­tach­ments, itunes junk, trash bins, a large and old files scan­ner, pri­vacy scan­ner, and

ap­pli­ca­tion unin­staller.

Clean­my­mac X is also com­pli­mented by an im­proved menu bar menu that can be clicked to take note of handy in­for­ma­tion such as avail­able hard drive space, avail­able RAM, net­work con­nec­tiv­ity speed, CPU usage, and a quick means of open­ing your Drop­box ac­count. An im­proved No­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem lets you know which pro­grams are lag­ging or sus­pended, but isn’t as ob­tru­sive as seen in pre­vi­ous ver­sions of Clean­my­mac.

As with pre­vi­ous ver­sions, the mod­ules work well, and users can ei­ther per­formed gen­er­al­ized, over­ar­ch­ing sys­tem scans or em­brace a fair de­gree of cus­tomiza­tion and spec­ify what they want looked into and to what ex­tent. Clean­my­mac X has built on its core strengths of find­ing gi­ga­bytes of as­sorted crud—cache files, un­used lan­guage files, and du­pli­cate files—to clear up room at a speed­ier pace than pre­vi­ous ver­sions.


New mod­ules such as Ex­ten­sions and Up­dater come in handy. With the Ex­ten­sions mo­d­ule (which al­most harkens back to Mac OS 9’s Ex­ten­sions Man­ager), you can quickly man­age ex­ten­sions with­out hav­ing to dive too deeply into the macos. The ap­pli­ca­tions up­dater, in turn, pro­vides a quick means of find­ing ev­ery ap­pli­ca­tion you have and up­dat­ing them on the fly, which be­comes al­most ad­dic­tive in its ease of use and func­tion­al­ity.

As with Clean­my­mac 3, the Large &

Old Files mo­d­ule helps you quickly see what files are de­vour­ing the most space on your hard drive and quickly erase them at will. This pairs well with the Unin­staller mo­d­ule, which helps you quickly lo­cate your ap­pli­ca­tion pro­grams and erase them as well as their sup­port files to rid them from your Mac for­ever.

All this com­bines with a de­cent new Main­te­nance mo­d­ule, which of­fers an as­sort­ment of sys­tem-level clean up scripts (Free Up RAM, Run Main­te­nance Scripts,

Flush DNS Cache, Speed Up Mail, Re­build Launch Ser­vices, Rein­dex Spot­light, Re­pair Disk Per­mis­sions) to help free up re­sources. The ef­fort is ap­pre­ci­ated, but free util­i­ties such as Ti­ta­nium Soft­ware’s Onyx ( go.mac­world. com/0nyx) have his­tor­i­cally done this bet­ter with more mod­ules and cus­tomiza­tion.


Un­for­tu­nately, the Mal­ware mo­d­ule is where things fall apart. Over the course of days of test­ing, I in­stalled sev­eral pieces of known Mac mal­ware and ad­ware on a Macbook Pro run­ning macos 10.14.1 Mo­jave. These sam­ples in­cluded Mac­k­eeper, as­sorted free-and-ques­tion­able video play­ers, and en­tirely ques­tion­able util­i­ties that pur­port to speed up your Mac yet his­tor­i­cally find “in­fec­tions,” change your web browser and search en­gine pref­er­ences, ac­ti­vate the speaker to tell you that your Mac has been cor­rupted, and ad­vise you to call an 800 num­ber where a tech­ni­cian can help res­ur­rect your com­puter for a fee.

Upon run­ning Clean­my­mac X’s Mal­ware mo­d­ule, which claims to be able to find and clean out mal­ware with con­fi­dence, the mo­d­ule missed ev­ery beat, lo­cat­ing none of the mal­ware or ad­ware and hap­pily re­port­ing back that my Mac was clean, de­void of mal­ware and ready to go. I used a free ver­sion of Mal­ware­bytes ( go.

mac­ to lo­cate the mal­ware, quar­an­tine it, delete it, re­boot my Macbook Pro, and en­sure that the mal­ware was gone.

This presents an enor­mous prob­lem and un­less Mac­paw im­proves upon the mal­ware mo­d­ule, this feels like you’ve opened the gates to mal­ware and ad­ware on your Mac if you’re only us­ing Clean­my­mac X for pro­tec­tion. Mac­paw says that they are work­ing on an up­date to ad­dress this is­sue.

Clean­my­mac X re­tails for $39.95 for a one-year sub­scrip­tion for a sin­gle user and $89.95 for a one-time pay­ment for a sin­gle user with the Mac­paw store of­fer­ing dif­fer­ent pur­chase tiers depend­ing on li­cens­ing needs ( go.mac­world. com/mymc). The soft­ware is avail­able in a trial ver­sion, which lets you run as many scans as you want, clean up to 500MB of sys­tem junk, and run as­sorted tools a lim­ited num­ber of times.


Clean­my­mac X has a fair amount go­ing for it, es­pe­cially in terms of its speed, new mod­ules, and im­proved user in­ter­face, and it could rep­re­sent a sig­nif­i­cant step for­ward for the pro­gram. Sadly, the Mal­ware mo­d­ule seems to be where Mac­paw has shot it­self in the foot and will need to spend a num­ber of caf­feine­fu­eled evenings fix­ing this in a forth­com­ing up­date. Still, this doesn’t have to be an ab­so­lute deal breaker, and, if cou­pled with a fo­cused mal­ware util­ity such as Mal­ware­bytes, Clean­my­mac X does of­fer its own ad­van­tages with its core ad­van­tage of re­mov­ing gi­ga­bytes upon gi­ga­bytes of sys­tem junk in tact and worth con­sid­er­a­tion. ■

Clean­my­mac X’s new menu-bar menu.

The Large & Old Files mo­d­ule.

The Mal­ware mo­d­ule re­ported a clean sheet dur­ing test­ing, de­spite the fact that we pur­posely in­stalled known mal­ware on the test plat­form.

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