No matter how powerful your Mac might be, every machine has a finite amount of storage space and memory. At some point, particularly if you’re a heavy user, these things become full, your system gets bloated, and it starts to slow down. It can also pick up malware and other nasty files if you’re not careful. The good news is that reversing all that can be easy.
With so many system optimization tools available for Mac, choosing the right one can be daunting. Here are some of the most important things to look for:
With a wealth of powerful features, MacKeeper is one of the best all-in-one system optimization suites for Mac, packing tools for almost everything you’ll need for routine cleaning, maintaining smooth performance, and keeping your system safe. What’s more, it is packaged in a clean and polished user interface that’s incredibly easy to navigate and use.
MacKeeper can help you safely purge unnecessary files and system junk that you no longer need in just one click, as well as locate larger files that can be removed to quickly free up storage space. It also has an excellent memory (RAM) cleaner that can significantly speed up your system when it gets bogged down after long periods of use.
If your system is slow to boot up, MacKeeper can help you identify and disable unnecessary start-up processes. It can also remove widgets, plugins, and any macOS apps you no longer use. If it’s improving system security you’re interested in, MacKeeper can help with that, too.
In addition to real-time antivirus software that’s built-in as standard — and constantly working to identify and eliminate any malicious threats — MacKeeper has an excellent adblocker. It also monitors for data breaches so that you know about them right away, and it includes a VPN that lets you hide your web browsing activity.
MacCleaner Pro is another lightweight cleaning solution that’s primarily designed to wipe unwanted and unnecessary junk from your system. It can also remove apps you no longer need and weed out duplicate files, and it has a useful disk usage analyzer that can help you identify large files that are hogging drive space.
Some of the advantages MacCleaner Pro has over CCleaner Pro is that it does include a memory cleaner, which is particularly useful if you use your Mac for long periods and find that it gets bogged down after a while. It also sports a much more modern (and more attractive) interface. However, you will have to pay more for a professional license.
If all you’re looking for is system cleaning — and you don’t need additional privacy and security tools — CCleaner Pro is worth considering. It’s a more lightweight optimization suite that focuses on helping you delete system junk, unwanted apps, duplicate files, badly taken photos, and your browsing history.
CCleaner Pro is pleasingly quick on a modern Mac, and it gives you full control over what it can remove with every purge. If you want to exclude certain folders from a clean, for instance, you have the ability to do that very easily.
CCleaner is nowhere near as full-featured as some of its rivals — particularly MacKeeper and CleanMyMac X. One feature it does not have, which we would like to see in all system optimization programs, is a memory cleaner. But it is extremely effective at the things it can do, and it’s an affordable option.
CleanMyMac X from MacPaw is somewhat similar to MacKeeper in that it’s a pretty comprehensive suite of tools that can handle all kinds of system optimization tasks. It can safely and effectively remove system junk, as well as unwanted apps, extensions, and mail attachments. It can also free up memory when your system starts to slow down, and helps you take control of which apps have the ability to run at startup.
CleanMyMac X has an attractive and modern design, and it offers some handy security features — including a malware remover and a tool that wipes your browsing history in a snap. However, unlike MacKeeper, CleanMyMac X doesn’t include real-time antivirus monitoring, an ad blocker, or a VPN — which can be immensely useful.
One thing that’s great about both CleanMyMac X and MacKeeper is their menu bar controls, which let you access many of their features in just a couple of clicks.
Cleaner One Pro is a little like MacCleaner Pro in that it’s a prettier, more powerful upgrade over CCleaner Pro, but it does even more. In addition to the usual array of system cleaning tools, it can identify large files and duplicate photos unnecessarily taking up storage space. It can also control which apps are allowed to start automatically when you boot up your machine.
Cleaner One Pro has a neat Disk Map tool — like MacCleaner Pro’s disk analyzer — that visualizes what kind of data is using up your storage space in a way that’s easy to understand. It can also keep tabs on your system memory usage, however, it sadly cannot clean up your memory when it starts to get bloated. It also misses out on malware removal and other security tools that some users may be looking for.
The best Mac optimization software for you all depends on what exactly your requirements are. If you’re looking for an all-in-one suite of tools that offers everything you’ll need for system cleaning and performance improvement, as well as bolstering privacy and security, full-featured options like MacKeeper are likely to be your best choice. However, if your needs are much simpler, such as frequent junk removal to free up storage space, then lighter, more affordable options like CCleaner and Cleaner One Pro could be more than enough.
*This review is based on a subjective assessment