19 January 2023
There are a lot of programs available when it comes to cleaning and optimizing your Mac. MacCleaner Pro is a solid choice. It's packed with features and is easy to use even for a beginner. Unusually for these types of programs, it's not a subscription-based piece of software. You can buy the full program for a one-off payment of $44.95.
However, there are some downsides. There's no money-back guarantee unless there's a diagnosed fault. The features are also split up over a few apps, which means you end up switching between them to do everything you need to. This can be annoying as there seems no good reason not to have them all in one place. However, for the price and functionality, if you want a user-friendly system, this is probably your best bet.
|Simple interface||Doesn't detect malware|
|Lots of features||No option to securely delete files|
|One time purchase||No money-back guarantee|
|Free version to try before you buy||Multiple apps requiring switching|
Many users choose Macs because they are easier to use and require less maintenance than Windows computers. Some users make the mistake of believing optimization and cleaning out old files isn't necessary. However, as a Mac user for over fifteen years, I can promise that doing these things will have your apps and programs running more quickly.
MacCleaner Pro is a long-standing member of the cleaning and optimization market, and over the years has constructed a suite of programs to carry out almost any cleaning task you wish. The only notable absence is the ability to check for malware.
MacCleaner Pro isn't a single piece of software; it's split into six different programs. The main program is called MacCleaner Pro, and this is where you'll spend the majority of your time. The other programs are:
When you open the main program, it will scan your Mac searching for any problems. The test system was a 2016 MacBook with 8GB of RAM running macOS 12 Monterey. It took just under two minutes to complete.
Once the checker has run, you can use the tabs down the side to fine-tune what you remove. However, you can only do this if you've bought the program. The benefit is seeing how it works, what it finds, and if you like the interface before you buy.
The Speed Up Mac option allows you to clear inactive RAM, which will give you greater processing power. The process took around 10 seconds in tests and took RAM usage from 64% to 37%.
Disable startup programs lets you see all enabled and disabled startup programs and enable or disable them as you wish. This utility saves you from needing to close unneeded programs and open others on startup.
If Spotlight has been a little sluggish, or you feel it is not finding everything, you can reindex it and your mail app, too, if you grant access. It warns you it may take time to reindex Spotlight, but the test machine only took 20 seconds.
Removing internet plugins comes next. Not one you'd often need, probably only if your plugin became corrupt. However, if you have some installed you no longer need, it might also be worth it.
The same is true of the disable browser extension option. The final tab is quit heavy consumers, and this is excellent. If a program is using a lot of RAM you could see this in the activity monitor, but having it in an easy to use interface with other utilities makes it a simpler task.
The next major tab is Clean up Mac.
This allows you to fully customize and drill down into which junk files you do and don't want to delete. So if you have a large number of installation files you want to remove but want to keep your downloads and email attachments, it's very easy to do.
Once you've selected what you want to remove, click continue, and you will be taken to a confirmation screen. It shows you the options you have selected, how many files are included and the total size. You can still remove anything added in error before clicking remove.
Removing lots of files can be a lengthy process, so it's not advisable to begin this if you have other things to do. Unfortunately, it did ask for the administrator password twice during the clean up so you can't just set it running and do something else.
This part of the program shows you what files and applications are taking up the most space on your Mac and gives you the option to remove them. It’s quick and easy to select what you need but to ensure all parts of any apps are removed you’d be better using the dedicated app installer and uninstaller program.
The next five tabs do not run in this program. They are simply quick ways to access the other five programs included in the purchase price.
The duplicate file program searches your Mac for duplicated files and photos. You can either drag specific files and folders into the program or choose to search the home directory.
Scanning the home directory took less than a minute on the test Mac, but you do need to agree to it accessing each part of the directory in turn. Once done, you get a nice graphic showing what types of files it has found. By clicking on the headings it also shows you how to use the app.
You can then choose the duplicate files and similar media buttons to select what you want to remove.
This program removes any unwanted apps or programs without leaving stray fragments or files behind.
There are other tabs, including startup programs and extensions, but these contain the same functionality as the options in the main program, so if you used it first these are unnecessary.
This is a nice looking tool that tells you what is taking up the space in use on your hard drive. Unless space is a problem and you can’t figure out what needs to go, it’s not one of the more useful programs.
Funter is a program worth paying attention to. It allows you to make files visible and invisible which is very handy for hiding and displaying files you want to keep secure. It also offers a search function similar to spotlight but as Funter can search inside bundles it may find more files for you.
Lastly, the memory cleaner frees up RAM in the same way as the main program and analyses the hard disk like the analyzer program. As you can do both of these things elsewhere, you won’t use this one much.
Unlike most apps in the Mac optimization and clean up market, all the features and apps in MacCleaner Pro are available when you pay a single fee of $44.95. There is a free version available, but like many cleaners, it only allows you to scan and not fix.
As a long-standing member of the cleanup and optimization market, MacCleaner Pro is definitely one of the frontrunners. The main features that set it apart from its competitors are that the interface is intuitive and easy to use, it's a one-off purchase rather than a subscription model, and it offers a huge range of functionality.
The only small niggles are its lack of malware detection and the fact that there's no money-back guarantee. However, if you've tested it thoroughly in free mode, you should have a good idea of what you're getting before you buy it. The final complaint is the lack of an abort button, so if you do start a lengthy process by accident, there's no easy way to stop it.
If you are new to cleaners and optimisers you’ll find this program straightforward to use. If you’re very familiar with MacOS then there are other products where all the functions are in one app removing the need to switch between them.
If you're an experienced Mac user, and know exactly what you want to do, OnyX is a free option you can consider. If you're a beginner, unsure what you want to achieve, or simply like to see progress bars and reports on how much space has been recovered, you might find MacCleaner Pro, MacKeeper, or CCleaner for Mac worth the investment.
The only other feature to consider when selecting a program is if you believe your Mac might have been infected with malware. As there is no option to check for it in MacCleaner Pro, MacKeeper is an option.
Content Manager for the MacUpdate blog
Ruslana is a passionate Mac admirer and tech writer with 5+ years of experience in Mac support.