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Is there a good software to clean Mac

70378 Views 24 Replies Latest reply: Nov 30, 2013 10:07 AM by SubSpace RSS
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egnaim Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Aug 8, 2012 4:19 PM

Is there a good App to clean Mac?

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,095 points)
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    Aug 8, 2012 4:20 PM (in response to egnaim)

    Kappy's Personal Suggestions for OS X Maintenance

     

    For disk repairs use Disk Utility.  For situations DU cannot handle the best third-party utilities are: Disk Warrior;  DW only fixes problems with the disk directory, but most disk problems are caused by directory corruption; Disk Warrior 4.x is now Intel Mac compatible. Drive Genius provides additional tools not found in Disk Warrior.  Versions 1.5.1 and later are Intel Mac compatible.

     

    OS X performs certain maintenance functions that are scheduled to occur on a daily, weekly, or monthly period. The maintenance scripts run in the early AM only if the computer is turned on 24/7 (no sleep.) If this isn't the case, then an excellent solution is to download and install a shareware utility such as Macaroni, JAW PseudoAnacron, or Anacron that will automate the maintenance activity regardless of whether the computer is turned off or asleep.  Dependence upon third-party utilities to run the periodic maintenance scripts was significantly reduced since Tiger.  These utilities have limited or no functionality with Snow Leopard or Lion and should not be installed.

     

    OS X automatically defragments files less than 20 MBs in size, so unless you have a disk full of very large files there's little need for defragmenting the hard drive. As for virus protection there are few if any such animals affecting OS X. You can protect the computer easily using the freeware Open Source virus protection software ClamXAV. Personally I would avoid most commercial anti-virus software because of their potential for causing problems. For more about malware see Macintosh Virus Guide.

     

    I would also recommend downloading a utility such as Lion Cache Cleaner, TinkerTool System, OnyX, or Cocktail that you can use for periodic maintenance such as removing old log files and archives, clearing caches, etc.

     

    For emergency repairs install the freeware utility Applejack.  If you cannot start up in OS X, you may be able to start in single-user mode from which you can run Applejack to do a whole set of repair and maintenance routines from the command line.  Note that AppleJack 1.5 is required for Leopard. AppleJack 1.6 is compatible with Snow Leopard. There is no confirmation that this version also works with Lion.

     

    When you install any new system software or updates be sure to repair the hard drive and permissions beforehand. I also recommend booting into safe mode before doing system software updates.

     

    Get an external Firewire drive at least equal in size to the internal hard drive and make (and maintain) a bootable clone/backup. You can make a bootable clone using the Restore option of Disk Utility. You can also make and maintain clones with good backup software. My personal recommendations are (order is not significant):

     

    Carbon Copy Cloner

    Data Backup

    Deja Vu

    SuperDuper!

    SyncTwoFolders

    Synk Pro

    Synk Standard

    Tri-Backup

     

    Visit The XLab FAQs and read the FAQs on maintenance, optimization, virus protection, and backup and restore.

     

    Additional suggestions will be found in Mac Maintenance Quick Assist.

     

    Referenced software can be found at CNet Downloads or MacUpdate.

     

    Be sure you have an adequate amount of RAM installed for the number of applications you run concurrently. Be sure you leave a minimum of 10% of the hard drive's capacity as free space.

  • Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 Level 6 (11,505 points)
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    Aug 8, 2012 4:21 PM (in response to egnaim)

    What makes you think it needs cleaning?

     

    What sort of Mac?

     

    What OS version?

  • CMCSK Level 6 Level 6 (10,235 points)
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    Aug 8, 2012 4:23 PM (in response to egnaim)

    deleted

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,985 points)
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    Aug 8, 2012 4:58 PM (in response to egnaim)

    How to maintain a Mac

     

    1. Make redundant backups, keeping at least one off site at all times. One backup is not enough. Don’t back up your backups; make them independent of each other. Don’t rely completely on any single backup method, such as Time Machine.

     

    2. Keep your software up to date. Software Update can be set to notify you automatically of updates to OS X. Some third-party applications have a similar feature, if you don’t mind letting them phone home. Otherwise you have to check yourself on a regular basis.

     

    3. Don't install crapware, such as “themes,” "haxies," “add-ons,” “toolbars,” “enhancers," “optimizers,” “accelerators,” “extenders,” “cleaners,” “defragmenters,” “firewalls,” "barriers," “guardians,” “defenders,” “protectors,” most “plugins,” commercial "virus scanners,” or "utilities." With very few exceptions, this kind of material is useless, or worse than useless.

     

    The more actively promoted the product, the more likely it is to be garbage. The most extreme example is the “MacKeeper” scam.

     

    The only software you should install is that which directly enables you to do the things you use a computer for — such as creating, communicating, and playing — and does not modify the way other software works. Never install any third-party software unless you know how to uninstall it.

     

    The free anti-malware application ClamXav is not crap, and although it’s not routinely needed, it may be useful in some environments, such as a mixed Mac-Windows enterprise network.

     

    4. Beware of trojans. A trojan is malicious software (“malware”) that the user is duped into installing voluntarily. Such attacks were rare on the Mac platform until recently, but are now increasingly common, and increasingly dangerous.

     

    There is some built-in protection against downloading malware, but you can’t rely on it — the attackers are always at least one day ahead of the defense. You can’t rely on third-party protection either. What you can rely on is common-sense awareness — not paranoia, which only makes you more vulnerable.

     

    Never install software from an untrustworthy or unknown source. If in doubt, do some research. Any website that prompts you to install a “codec” or “plugin” that comes from the same site, or an unknown site, is untrustworthy. Software with a known corporate brand, such as Adobe Flash, must be acquired directly from the developer. No intermediary is acceptable, and don’t trust links unless you know how to parse them. Any file that is automatically downloaded from a web page without your having requested it should go straight into the Trash. A website that claims you have a “virus,” or that anything else is wrong with your computer, is rogue.

     

    Because of recurring security issues in Java, it’s best to disable it in your web browsers, if it’s installed. Few websites have Java content nowadays, so you won’t be missing much. This action is mandatory if you’re running any version of OS X older than 10.6.8 with the latest Java update. Note: Java has nothing to do with JavaScript, despite the similar names.

     

    5. Relax, don’t do it. Besides the above, no routine maintenance is necessary or beneficial for the vast majority of users; specifically not “cleaning caches,” “zapping the PRAM,” “rebuilding the directory,” “running periodic scripts,” “deleting log files,” “scanning for viruses,” or “repairing permissions.” Such measures are for solving problems as they arise, not for maintenance.

     

    The very height of futility is running an expensive third-party application called “Disk Warrior” when nothing is wrong, or even when something is wrong and you have backups, which you must have. Don’t waste money on Disk Warrior or anything like it.

  • MadMacs0 Level 4 Level 4 (3,330 points)
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    Aug 8, 2012 9:56 PM (in response to egnaim)

    egnaim wrote:

     

    Is there a good App to clean Mac?

    As others have said, the OS does a really good job of cleaning itself. If you having specific issues, let us know what they are so we can be more specific on what needs to be done.

  • canucksgirl01 Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
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    Oct 30, 2012 7:56 PM (in response to Kappy)

    I have a MacBook running Snow Leopard.

     

    I'm looking for some advice on cleaning up log files, cache files and checking for anything not copacetic…

     

    For the most part, things have been fine, but its getting a little sluggish and I see the "rainbow ball of death" a bit more now (but that's probably my fault as I use it a lot and run several programs simultaneously).

     

    So today, Safari had a hissy fit and froze, and I had to "quit" and then decided to restart the OS. When it loaded, I got a warning right away that my system date was now "older than 2008"… I fixed that pretty quickly, but I've been reluctant to mess around with the log files (as I don't want to just mindlessly delete things). My firewall is on and configured properly and I keep my OS up to date. I also checked for malware (i.e the Flashback Trojan) using terminal and thankfully everything was okay… I think I just have too many unneeded log files or cache files (but like I said, I don't want to just ignorantly delete stuff).

     

    Does anyone have some suggestions or links to some literature? I did some research but found a lot of bad advice, such as "just delete all the old log files" or "get MacKeeper"… *yikes*, so I'm hoping someone can help me out.

  • MadMacs0 Level 4 Level 4 (3,330 points)
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    Oct 30, 2012 8:29 PM (in response to canucksgirl01)

    canucksgirl01 wrote:

     

    For the most part, things have been fine, but its getting a little sluggish and I see the "rainbow ball of death" a bit more now (but that's probably my fault as I use it a lot and run several programs simultaneously).

    There are several tip sheets on this subject and I suspect one or two authors will drop by to offer you some advise on this.

    So today, Safari had a hissy fit and froze, and I had to "quit" and then decided to restart the OS. When it loaded, I got a warning right away that my system date was now "older than 2008"… I fixed that pretty quickly,

    That's normally the sign that you need to replace the PRAM battery, if your MacBook has one of those.

    but I've been reluctant to mess around with the log files (as I don't want to just mindlessly delete things).

    Good idea. The system takes care of rotating and deleting the ones they are responsible for as long as you don't shut down your MacBook at night. Just put it to sleep and it will run the log maintenance routines when you wake it up. If you insist on deleting old logs, stick to ~/Library/Logs/ where "~" is your home folder (/Users/<yourusername>)

    My firewall is on and configured properly

    And unnecessary if you are behind a router which has it's own Firewall on. In fact it will slow you down slightly. Use your firewall when you're at Starbucks, but keep it off at home unless you plug directly into the Cable/DSL modem

    and I keep my OS up to date. I also checked for malware (i.e the Flashback Trojan) using terminal and thankfully everything was okay… I think I just have too many unneeded log files or cache files (but like I said, I don't want to just ignorantly delete stuff).

    The Flasback Trojan has been extinct for several months now according to most of the A-V labs. The Terminal Commands are not a sufficient means of checking for it anyway (both OS X 10.6.7 and above and the F-Secure Flasback Tool are much more effective).

     

    Cache files are designed to speed things up, so if you must delete them your computer will probably slow down until the system rebuilds them. Of course if they have become correupt, then you will have to delete them. Just don't do all of them at once.

     

    Most browsers have there own way to clean themselves (e.g. "Reset Safari" from the Safari menu).

    Does anyone have some suggestions or links to some literature? I did some research but found a lot of bad advice, such as "just delete all the old log files" or "get MacKeeper"… *yikes*, so I'm hoping someone can help me out.

    Check those Tip Sheets. Go to Thomas Reed's site and search for his articles on:

    • Firewalls
    • Mac Performance
    • Beware MacKeeper article has some suggestions for other "tools"

     

    OnyX is probably the tool most often recommended here. It's reliable, easy to use and Free! Just don't use it to do anything you don't fully understand. Stay away from all multipurpose "cleaner" apps.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)
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    Oct 30, 2012 8:33 PM (in response to canucksgirl01)

    canucksgirl01 wrote:

     

    I have a MacBook running Snow Leopard.

     

    I'm looking for some advice on cleaning up log files, cache files and checking for anything not copacetic…

     

    This list of Steps will assist greatly.

     

    ..Step by Step to fix your Mac

     

     

    but its getting a little sluggish and I see the "rainbow ball of death" a bit more now (but that's probably my fault as I use it a lot and run several programs simultaneously).

     

    I should add this to my "Why is my computer slow" User Tip,

     

    Open Activity Monitor and check your RAM usage and make sure it's not all used up (that you have plenty of either Free and/or Inactive memory avaiable and learn your limit.

     

    Why is my computer slow?

     

    Safari had a hissy fit and froze, and I had to "quit" and then decided to restart the OS. When it loaded, I got a warning right away that my system date was now "older than 2008"…

     

    You have another problem so run through the Steps after backing up doing #9 first

     

    ..Step by Step to fix your Mac

  • Scyrinx Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 30, 2012 8:57 PM (in response to egnaim)

    I recommend CCleaner on the app store. It's a great app, and it's free!

  • canucksgirl01 Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
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    Oct 31, 2012 12:17 PM (in response to MadMacs0)

    Thank you everyone for the suggestions and for the links. I'm sure I may have some follow up questions, but for now, I have some reading to do...

     

    MadMacs0; I tried to find out about the PRAM battery, but all I managed to find was a lot of people asking the same thing. Not one reply had a definitive answer for the A1342. I also checked my manual, but there was only directions for resetting it, so I'm hoping this was a one-off issue. The Time/Date has never changed like that before, so I'm not in a panic about it. I'm sure there are a few other reasons as to why it spontaneously changed.

     

    ds store; In reply to my comments about Safari, you said "You have another problem so run through the Steps after backing up doing #9 first"... Were you referring to the PRAM also? or can you clarify what you think the issue was/is?

     

    Again, Thanks everyone.

  • knasher Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 13, 2013 6:01 PM (in response to egnaim)

    Surely there must be an app or a recommended maintence routine available that can safely clear your mac of detriutis scattered across the drive by apps you've installed... ?

  • MadMacs0 Level 4 Level 4 (3,330 points)
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    Jun 13, 2013 6:28 PM (in response to knasher)

    knasher wrote:

     

    Surely there must be an app or a recommended maintence routine available that can safely clear your mac of detriutis scattered across the drive by apps you've installed... ?

    I assume you are talking about apps that you no longer use?  The most effective utilities are those that will search your hard drive for names similar to the app when you move it to the trash.  AppCleaner, AppDelete, AppZapper come to mind. There is at least one that monitors the installation process, so it's more effective at tracking down files that may not be otherwise recognized. For the most part you can do the same job with an effective search utility such as EasyFind, Find Any File or HoudaSpot.

     

    Most of these files are quite small and don't use a large amount of hard drive space, but there are a few, such as LaunchDaemons / LaunchAgents with associated processes stored in places like /Library/Applications Support/ that can cause unnecessary processes to be running or just fill up the log with unsuccessful attempts to run missing processes. These are worth tracking down, but the others, such as preference files, are insignificant.

     

    As more and more apps are distributed through the AppStore, there won't be a need to do all this as they must be self-contained and deleting them is supposed to clean everything out with them.

  • MadMacs0 Level 4 Level 4 (3,330 points)
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    Jun 13, 2013 7:21 PM (in response to knasher)

    I checked the free version of CCleaner and it also has a tool for uninstalling applications that are still on your hard drive.

     

    I recall having seen some utilities that attempt to find "orphaned" files, but have not tried any in several years.

  • MacKeeper28 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 13, 2013 7:12 AM (in response to knasher)

    CleanMyMac 2 does a pretty good job of that.  It calls the application debris "Leftovers". The elements of app debris that I have witnessed it clean are preference panes (non-active) and Application Support.  It does not clean leftover caches, however, you can clean out caches yourself or automatically.

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