6 Replies Latest reply: Jun 26, 2011 6:04 PM by rodneyfromfolsom
rodneyfromfolsom Level 1 (0 points)

I am looking at clean my mac software but note several comments on using onyx instead. Looking for some advice.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • Kappy Level 10 (266,046 points)

    What are you looking to accomplish?


    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. TechTool Pro provides additional repair options including file repair and recovery, system diagnostics, and disk defragmentation.  TechTool Pro 4.5.1 or higher are Intel Mac compatible;  Drive Genius is similar to TechTool Pro in terms of the various repair services provided.  Versions 1.5.1 or 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 had been significantly reduced in Tiger and Leopard.  These utilities have limited or no functionality with Snow Leopard 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.


    I would also recommend downloading the shareware utility TinkerTool System that you can use for periodic maintenance such as removing old logfiles and archives, clearing caches, etc.  Other utilities are also available such as Onyx, Leopard Cache Cleaner, CockTail, and Xupport, for example.


    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 commandline.  Note that AppleJack 1.5 is required for Leopard. AppleJack 1.6 is compatible with Snow Leopard.


    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



    Silver Keeper



    Super Flexible File Synchronizer


    Synchronize Pro! X


    Synk Pro

    Synk Standard



    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.

  • K T Level 7 (23,705 points)

    What's your goal? What's the issue? Speed? Space? Security? Bored?


    If it's Safari, use the 'Empty Caches' menu and be happy.... Onyx is good for basic housekeeping, etc. Just remember that the more you clean away, the more you may have to deal with in terms cached data (the good kind) that helps maintain a speedy user experience.


    As always, for best safety, have a reliable and tested backup in place at all times.


    Good luck in any case.

  • rodneyfromfolsom Level 1 (0 points)

    I have had this mac for four years and it seems to get a bit sluggish at times. The comments you attached are very helpful. I guess I was trying to figure out if purchasing Clean MY Mac was worth buying. Thanks

  • rodneyfromfolsom Level 1 (0 points)

    Actually, most of time it is speed with Safari. I could use some extra HD space also.

  • Kappy Level 10 (266,046 points)

    It's really unnecessary to purchase such software. There is shareware or freeware that can do most all cleanup chores.


    My favorite for the job is AppleJack - CNet Downloads or MacUpdate. Read the documentation then use the software according to its instructions.


    Disk Utility can repair your drive and permissions most of the time, although AppleJack does both as well as some cache clearing.


    Depending on how much RAM you have, you may need to add more. With Snow Leopard 4 GBs is good for most uses.

  • rodneyfromfolsom Level 1 (0 points)

    I only have 2 GB so my money may be best spent on some memory. You have been most helpful. Thanks Kappy.