A Clean Mac Is A Happy Mac: CleanMyMac X Review

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Mac on desk: CleanMyMac Review

Is your MacBook (or PC) low on space? Or perhaps it’s running a bit slower than usual. In my case I was frequently receiving “Storage Full” errors despite my best efforts to clear my hard drive and trash can.

As it turns out files were hiding in various places and eating up all my disk space (mail attachments from Mac Mail, cache from browsers, etc.). And even if I had known where to go to find the junk, it would have taken me hours to clean it up manually.

I thought, “there has to be a better way!” and there is. With a few clicks of a button, CleanMyMac from MacPaw can save you gigabytes of space on your computer and help keep your system running efficiently.

No matter how old your computer is, it’s always a good idea to be proactive and invest in a Mac cleaner that will save you headaches down the road. Keep reading to learn how to have a clean Mac in no time.

CleanMyMac logo

Visit CleanMyMac’s Website


Ease of Use 9.0
Free Up Space 10.0
Customer Support 6.5
Pricing 8.0


  • Used by industry leaders and 5+ million users
  • Average user finds around 50 GB of space to clean out
  • Video tutorials (although program is so intuitive they’re not needed)
  • Developed by MacPaw, reputable company with large team
  • Program has won multiple awards including the Mac Observer
  • Works with 12 languages
  • Also available for PC
  • Free trial and refund if not satisfied


  • No phone or chat support
  • Single licenses on the expensive side compared to other Mac applications
  • Cross-promotes other products

CleanMyMac X Review

There are three previous versions of CleanMyMac’s Mac cleaner, but we’ll be reviewing the latest version, CleanMyMac X. We should also note that MacPaw gave us a free license to test out all the features; however, that didn’t skew our opinion or thoughts on the product.

CleanMyMac X, the latest and greatest version, is much faster than its previous version, CleanMyMac 3. The graphics are a lot sleeker and the interface feels more updated. In addition, the menu bar at the top is much more detailed with graphics (instead of just the color progress bar). Other than that, it’s still the same old app we love that will make your machine run lean and mean, keeping your computer from freezing up by freeing up space.

In June 2019 CleanMyMac X made some product release updates and can now clean up downloads from Safari and Slack (Chrome is the next on the list) and remove cache of Electron-based apps such as Slack, GitHub, Atom, etc. They’ve also updated its Malware database with more types of threats, so now it’s even easier to minimize the risk of a malware attack.

14 Key Features

  1. Reported to be 3 times faster than the previous version, CleanMyMac 3
  2. Notifies you when a program isn’t responding and asks you if you want to force quit (see below)
  3. Quickly and easily see hard drive space, memory usage, battery life and processor CPU% in dashboard (or menu bar, see below)
  4. Scans iTunes, MacMail, photo library, web browsers and more
  5. Removes outdated backups, software updates and other data in iTunes
  6. Reduces size of photo library by replacing RAW with JPEG and cleaning out extraneous data
  7. Locates larger than usual files or files you haven’t used in awhile
  8. Empties trash bins from all programs including photo library trash
  9. Keeps a running total of space cleaned to date since the first scan
  10. See list of applications, sort by size and uninstall from within app
  11. Maintenance task runs a set of scripts to optimize performance and detect vulnerabilities
  12. Instantly remove browsing history on all browsers and sweep your chat history from various chat programs
  13. Remove or disable unused widgets, and application plugins that take up space
  14. Shredder feature safely erases folders and files permanently
CleanMyMac Menu Bar screenshot
CleanMyMac Scanner screenshot


Free Trial of CleanMyMac X (cleans up to 500 MB).

CleanMyMac X (for OS X 10.8+):

  • $89.95 for one-time purchase (You only pay once but only minor software updates are included — any major updates you desire would require payment)
  • $39.95/year for an annual subscription*
  • $9.99/month (or $108 per year) Setapp subscription* (these users also gain access to 100+ other helpful Mac apps)

*Both subscription options (annual and Setapp) will receive all updates.

If you have multiple devices in your home, you have the option to add more licenses for a fraction of the cost of 1 license. So, a small business or family of Mac users would save a lot buy getting the 5 licenses bundle.

Coupon Code

30% discount if you have an .edu email address.

What Do CleanMyMac Users Have To Say?

Don’t just take our word for it. Here are a few customer reviews so you can have a better idea of others’ experiences as well.

Positive CleanMyMac Reviews

I like the new features for cleaning iTunes, maintenance and privacy settings. All work perfectly. The new flat user interface looks great. – Colin Morris, Melbourne, Australia (MacPaw’s website)

I’ve had my Mac for 3 years. I wondered if it needed some kind of “cleaning”. This product came bundled with Parallels so I paid nothing for it. I hesitated to install it, but I did. I let it do its thing with default settings. It cleaned up around 8 GB over 2.5 TB worth of stuff. It found old/large files that I did not want cleaned up. Really, it only cleaned up installation remnants and language files that I’ll never use. For that, it worked great. Otherwise, it really didn’t do as much as some Windows equivalents that are out there. I’m sure I could have changed settings to make it more aggressive, but it doesn’t seem necessary. -Booch_211, February 2014 (Cnet.com)

Negative CleanMyMac Reviews

I just had a fight with CleanMyMac 2 – the “helper” part of the application. The application decided to run on my MAC with no warning and take over 3 gigs of memory causing the MAC to slow to a crawl – forcing me to slowly shut down all my apps and reboot. I just had enough time to screen dump the “helper” destroying my MAC before I was forced to reboot….My hope was the next version would be created by slightly smarter developers but unfortunately that was not the case. I hope I deleted CleanMyMac from my MAC for the last time. It reminds me of Norton software in the old days when it did more damage to your computer than the viruses. -Marc, March 2013 (BusinessBlogHubs.com)

CleanMyMac Video Overview

Visit CleanMyMac’s Website

If you’re still not convinced, here’s a minute and a half video that shows you just how easy it is to use Clean My Mac.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s questions we’ve received from our readers regarding Clean My Mac as well as files and oddities that come up during cleaning. Don’t see yours? Ask us in the comments!

What Is The ALPS Pointing Device Driver?

Question: Can anyone fill me in on what the ALPS Pointing Device Driver is and whether it’s important to the stable operation of my PC? I’m trying to clean up my programs and improve my PC speed, and the ALPS Pointing Device Driver is one of the items appearing in my Add/Remove programs list. Thanks in advance for any advice on what this is and whether or not I need to keep it!

Answer: The ALPS Pointing Device Driver (which may also be listed as Alps Touchpad or ALPS Touch Pad Driver) is the driver that controls the touch pad on your laptop PC. The touch pad is used in lieu of a mouse to help you navigate the pointer you see on your screen. Typically, you’ll run your finger along the pad to move the mouse, and tap it, or click buttons below the pad, to act as mouse clicks.

If you want to keep using your touch pad, we recommend not removing this driver.

What Should I Focus On The Optimizing Most And How Important Are Drivers?

This answer was submitted by one of our readers, Ted.

Microsoft prides itself in the “Plug n Play” concept: With very few exceptions, they have added a generic driver for everything we might want, that allows almost everything a default or backup driver. With a laptop, it means your mouse, your screen, your [almost anything] is going to work for you, with or without drivers installed.

What is a driver? What is it for? Microsoft sees them as sets of instruction that link a device to the Operating System so they are able to play nicely. But device makers see them as a way to fine tune their hardware, bypassing issues and adding special features. Not every OEM bothers to create their own driver for every device. But when they do, it’s for a reason. It eliminates a problem, or provides a benefit.

Drivers are designed to optimize and improve your computer’s operation. They are miniature “programs” that add a very small burden on your machine. If you want better performance, don’t waste your time tweaking drivers, unless you are having a SPECIFIC issue with a device and you can actually link the device driver (not just the device) to your problem. The driver or drivers for a device are only one of several categories that may be at fault. Overall speed, etc., of your computer are seldom linked to drivers.

Focus on your computer’s speed; RAM; free space on your hard drives; presence of malware or trojans or viruses; and on possibly unwanted programs, especially those running silently in the background. Improving these conditions will provide noticeable results in little time.

What If I Mistakingly Delete A Driver, Such As The One Powering My Mouse?

Our reader Ted comes in hot with this response as well.

Buttons on a mouse can be reassigned. Go to Control Panel / Mouse, and reassign the “secondary button”, which will effectively switch them back. If that doesn’t work for you, try going into Device Manager (part of the System feature in Control Panel) and find the device. Note whether the folder for it is already open; It will have a Yellow Question Mark, or a Red Exclamation Mark. Note whatever you see, including error messages.

The next step is to select the device, and Remove it from your System. When you reboot, if the device is still physically installed, your computer will either attempt to “Plug n Play” it aboard; or it will ask you if you want it to be. Or, if you have physically removed the hardware, it should be okay, with the previous errors no longer showing in Device Manager.

Incidentally, this procedure applies to almost all hardware.

Best Online Backup Providers

If you’re looking for a proactive tool to speed up your computer and to save yourself from multiple trips to the Apple Genius Bar, then CleanMyMac is well worth the investment. Once your Mac is speedy and clean and your information is all organized, make sure it’s backed up so you don’t have to start all over again!

And now that the “brains” of your Mac are clean, find out how to clean the guts (ie. the cleaning the insides of your PC so you can maximize its lifespan (doesn’t apply if you have a laptop/Macbook). And, check out our online backup reviews to find easy ways to backup your data in the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about losing it in the first place.

Think you’ll give CleanMyMac a try? Let us know in the comments!

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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