Previous 1 2 3 Next 41 Replies Latest reply: Mar 15, 2012 10:06 PM by Cyclopsed Branched to a new discussion.
Pier Rodelon Level 1 (25 points)
I see this MacKeeper whenever I Google cleaning up my Mac. Is it some kind of scam? Some kind of a program that doesn't work? Or is it a decent program that does what it advertises?

And are there other, better programs that help you to clean up your mac? Windows has several very good programs that do this, I was just wondering if Mac has the same. Something to clean out all unused or temp files, icons and images from various Web pages, long unused files, scrape away all data in erased files and in partial clusters etc., and to offer the user opportunities to get rid of very big files the user might not even know exist?

All advice about this very welcome, thanks.

24" iMac Alum 2.66 GHz, 11.6" Macbook Air, Mac OS X (10.6.5), Fusion, Win 7
  • babowa Level 7 (29,930 points)
    You generally do not have to do the same type of cleaning; I do clear browser caches/history regularly, but other than that, the Mac OS takes care of itself. Some of the "cleaning" utilities do more harm than good.

    It's generally recommended that you repair permissions after any software update or install and, if there is some unexplained behavior, there is an excellent utility called "Disk Warrior" - I run that occasionally; you can take a look here:
  • fruhulda Level 6 (15,120 points)
    I use Onyx from I don't have any knowledge of MacKeeper.
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,900 points)
    Here are some comments on MacKeeper

    There is no need to do this kind of work on your Mac unless there is an actual problem. There is no need to empty caches or histories on Browsers or anything else (and therefore slow them down) unless you have a problem with the Browser, no need to repair permissions unless you have a permissions issue etc etc etc.


  • The hatter Level 9 (60,930 points)
    Browsers, especially Safari, DO need to limit and manage history, cache, etc. And no, on broadband disk I/O with thousands of small files to find and load does get in the way and isn't necessary or going to speed things up, quite the opposite.
  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,717 points)
    IMHO, apps like MacKeeper practically are scams, since they encourage people to pay money to have things done regularly that are not necessary. As others have said, you don't need to clean your machine much, and over-cleaning can be a cause of slowdowns. I don't even ever empty Safari's cache and history... the history goes back only 1 week and can't really be a cause of problems (unless you've been looking at things you don't want someone to know about) and the cache only needs emptying if you have a cache-related problem.

    See [Five Mac Maintenance Myths|] for more on this sort of thing.
  • babowa Level 7 (29,930 points)
    I don't use Safari, but Firefox tends to get "bogged down" if I do a lot of surfing; I have it set to empty history and caches when I quit. But, occasionally, I need to do it while it's open and no, it absolutely does not slow anything down the way it did on older, less powerful Macs. Pages load just as fast.
  • Pondini Level 8 (38,740 points)
    There is some maintenance that needs to be done, but your Mac will usually do it automatically.

    Do you power your Mac down every night? If so, the built-in "Maintenance Scripts" aren't running. That's not as big a problem on Snow Leopard as it was on earlier versions, but they should be run now and then. The simplest way to fix that is to just let your Mac sleep, instead of powering it off, as recommended by Apple. See [Sleeping your Mac vs. Powering it Down|].

    With regard to old log files, see the green box in [OSX Log Files|].
  • babowa Level 7 (29,930 points)

    I usually shut mine down; I don't obsess and check all the time, but when I've checked the logs, the scripts have been run - I am assuming whenever it's back on? Which is a great thing not having to do them manually!
  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,855 points)
    Which logs do you check? Since I shut down at night, I'm certain my scripts never get run unless I run them manually.

    You can use this command to see when they last ran.

    ls -al /var/log/*.out
  • Pondini Level 8 (38,740 points)
    On Snow Leopard, they'll run shortly after waking-up if the Mac was sleeping at the normal time (between 3:15 am and 5:00 am local time). So if you occasionally let it sleep, that's how they're getting run.

    And yes, they don't need to run every day; more and more of the tasks have been moved elsewhere on recent versions of OSX. For most of us, once every couple of weeks is probably fine.

    (On Leopard, they only run if the Mac is awake at the scheduled time).

    But Apple does recommend sleep instead of powering-down for a desktop Mac, unless it won't be used for "several days."
  • babowa Level 7 (29,930 points)
    Here is the info from Apple:

    And I may be wrong, but according to the dates and times on mine, I think it's the entries I see in System Profiler / Logs / fsck_hfs.log. If that's not it, I'm sure Pondini will (hopefully!!) correct me.

    I also use this widget (shows when they were last run instantaneously):
  • babowa Level 7 (29,930 points)
    +But Apple does recommend sleep instead of powering-down for a desktop Mac, unless it won't be used for "several days."+

    I know, the problem is that I was brought up not to waste natural resources - "conserve, conserve, conserve"...
  • Pondini Level 8 (38,740 points)
    Barbara Daniels1 wrote:
    +But Apple does recommend sleep instead of powering-down for a desktop Mac, unless it won't be used for "several days."+

    I know, the problem is that I was brought up not to waste natural resources - "conserve, conserve, conserve"...

    As odd as it seems, powering-down and back up may actually use more energy than sleeping; and may reduce the life of some components. See [Sleeping your Mac vs. Powering it Down|].
  • babowa Level 7 (29,930 points)
    Thanks, I saw that one before (linked to in another discussion).... I've been "americanized" enough to try to find a happy medium: let it sleep about 40 - 50% of the time and shut it down the rest of the time.
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