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best osx cleaning software

2999 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Nov 13, 2012 8:40 PM by John Galt RSS
bretkennedy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Nov 4, 2012 2:44 PM

I am starting to notice a few slow issues with my macbook pro It is an older pro but has upgraded hardware, I am using mountain lion, and wanted to know what the best cleaning software to help speed things up for osx is.




MacBook Pro
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,190 points)
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    Nov 4, 2012 2:47 PM (in response to bretkennedy)

    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 you are using a pre-Leopard version of OS X, 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, Lion, or Mountain 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 TinkerTool System, OnyX 2.4.3, or Cocktail 5.1.1 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 or later.)


    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):


      1. Carbon Copy Cloner.

      2. Data Backup

      3. Deja Vu

      4. SuperDuper!

      5. SyncTwoFolders

      6. Synk Pro

      7. Synk Standard

      8. Tri-Backup


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


    Always have a current backup before performing any system updates or upgrades.


    Additional suggestions will be found in:    


          1. Mac Maintenance Quick Assist,

          2. Mac OS X speed FAQ,
    3. Speeding up Macs,
    4. Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance,
    5. Essential Mac Maintenance: Get set up,
    6. Essential Mac Maintenance: Rev up your routines,
    7. Maintaining OS X
    8. Five Mac maintenance myths,
    9. How to Speed up Macs, and
    10. Myths of required versus not required maintenance for Mac OS X.


    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 or 20 GBs, whichever is greater, as free space.

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,220 points)
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    Nov 4, 2012 2:51 PM (in response to bretkennedy)

    What is an "older pro but has upgraded hardware"? If you have installed more memory, that is pretty much all you can do.


    Macs do not need "cleaning" unless it involves a soft cloth. Do not succumb to slick marketing tactics that promise magical results by downloading anything claiming to "clean" or "optimize" or "speed up" your Mac. They can do no good and are very likely to cause problems that will prove difficult to fix.

  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,445 points)
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    Nov 4, 2012 3:39 PM (in response to bretkennedy)

    bretkennedy wrote:


    best osx cleaning software


    Get rid of poorly written third party cleaning software.


    Try starting in Safe Mode and see if the problem still occurs?

    Restart holding the "shift" key.

    (Expect it to take longer to start this way because it runs a directory check first.)


    If this works look in System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login items and delete any third party login items (-), you can always add them back with the (+). Also look in /Library/Startup Items. Nothing is put in that folder by default, so anything in there is yours.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 4, 2012 3:46 PM (in response to bretkennedy)

    Visit The XLab FAQs and read the FAQ on resolving problems with the beachball.

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,220 points)
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    Nov 4, 2012 4:26 PM (in response to bretkennedy)

    I wouldn't call a mid-2010 MBP "old" yet.


    From what you describe I would start your MacBook by booting OS X Recovery and running Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. Select your startup disk on the left and then Repair Disk. Report any errors it finds. A failing hard disk could explain your long startup times, and the only permanent fix is to replace the disk (permanent, that is until the replacement HD fails).


    If Disk Utility reports no problems, find out what is causing your slowdowns. "Lost files" themselves may occupy hard disk space but are otherwise inert. On the other hand remnants of third party system modifications that you installed can certainly cause problems. Generally speaking such things cannot be completely removed by simply dragging their apps to the Trash. You must use their uninstallers, if one was included with those utilities.


    Apple Support Communities contributor etresoft wrote this very useful app to quickly gather certain system information that may help point to a cause of your slowdowns. Go to his website, download and run EtreCheck:



    Copy and paste its output in a reply. That may prove useful.

    MacBooks  iMacs  iPods  AirPorts, OS X Mountain Lion,  27 years Apple!
  • macjack Level 9 Level 9 (50,445 points)
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    Nov 13, 2012 5:48 PM (in response to bretkennedy)

    Starting in Safe Mode will take out those Login Items which are probably causing the problem. Or you could go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items and delete them by choosing them and minus, you can always add them back later.

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,220 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 13, 2012 8:40 PM (in response to bretkennedy)





              Google Drive









    Thanks. Any one of your user Login items could be a problem but Magic Menu in particular is a leftover from Stuffit that I gave up on a long time ago because it caused problems.


    You could either disable them individually or create a new, "temporary" user account to determine if your system runs normally without all that stuff.


    Creating a temporary account to isolate user-specific problems: Isolating an issue by using another user account


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