CCleaner has had a large following spanning over a decade now. It’s popular with Windows, Mac, and Android users, with an average of 5 million new users each month as a testament to that.
It might be at the upper rungs of the cleaner app industry ladder, but there are other cleaning utilities that are just as noteworthy. Since what we look for in an ideal cleaning app can vary just as one may like their tea with lemon and another would like it with milk or honey, we’ll look into these alternatives that may just fit what you’re looking for.
1. CleanMyMac X + Gemini
First up is the one-two punch combo of two apps from MacPaw. You can get them separately but we’ve found that by having these two hand-in-hand, you will not need anything else in your Mac maintenance kit.
CleanMyMac X is packed with several cleaning and optimization utilities and Gemini doubles up on freeing up space on your Mac by helping you find duplicate files. MacPaw offers a free trial version for both apps so that you can enjoy what they have to offer before you decide on unlocking the full potential of these apps.
Among the key features of CleanMyMac X that users will find particularly useful are:
- Smart Scan
And by “smart”, they actually mean it. It simplifies optimizing your Mac for you. It’ll crawl and haul out these junk data from different nooks in your Mac: system junk, photo junk, iTunes junk, unneeded mail attachments, and Trash contents.
It will also remove malware if it comes across one. To top that off, it’ll free up RAM, run maintenance scripts, and flush the DNS for you. All of these tasks, prompted by just one button.
If you find manually doing all of these tasks overwhelming or you simply don’t have the time, you will find the Smart Scan very handy.
- Large and Old Files
When trying to reclaim disk space, we usually go after the outrageously large files. But what about those old files that you’ve forgotten even existed? You’ll probably discover them eventually, or maybe never unless you take the time to look into every single folder in your Mac.
CleanMyMac X solves this problem with the Large & Old Files utility. It will look for these files, present them to you in one screen so that you can pick and delete the ones you no longer need.
Now, you may have unknowingly downloaded the same set of files from an email or from the web or from your backup. What you don’t know can hurt your disk space. Gemini supplements CleanMyMac X’s work by bringing these duplicate files to light and from there you should be able to get rid of multiple instances of the same file.
2. MacBooster 8 by IObit
Arguably on an equal footing with CleanMyMac X is MacBooster 8. What makes MacBooster a convenient choice is that it already has a duplicate finder feature, just like what Gemini offers, integrated into it.
It’s like CleanMyMac X but more. The same can be said about its System Status scan in that it can go over the top in identifying threats. Files that don’t relatively cause harm, such as your browsing history, are branded dangerous which can cause undue panic if you don’t inspect the files yourself and discover that they aren’t as sinister as you are made to believe. We want a Mac cleaner that will take dreary optimization tasks off our hands, not cut out more work for us.
The System Status combines these three modules into one: 1) System Junk, 2) Virus and Malware Scan, and 3) Turbo Boost. It is closely similar to CleanMyMac X’s Smart Scan (although it does not seem to flush DNS) so you already have an idea how that works. It also features an identical Large & Old Files utility as CleanMyMac X.
A plus for MacBooster 8 is that it showcases utilities absent in CleanMyMac X. It’s got Defragment which takes optimization up a notch. And for those who have tons of media especially photos, they will find the Photo Sweeper utility helpful in finding duplicate images on their Mac.
3. Parallels Toolbox
The Parallels Toolbox is somewhat a different animal compared to CleanMyMac X and MacBooster. It’s not strictly an optimization or cleaning app. As its name suggests, it is a toolbox. It is a collection of 30 tools, ranging from creating and manipulating media to, you guessed it, freeing up space and boosting your Mac’s performance.
The Clean Drive feature will allow you to get rid of cache data and other dispensable files shown in the screenshot below.
It also offers the ability for you to free up RAM using its Free Memory utility.
Another way that you can free up space with the Parallels Toolbox is with its Uninstaller Apps utility (which is also present in CleanMyMac X and MacBooster). Not only can you uninstall applications with it but you can also clear remnant files from uninstalled apps.
As it was not designed to be solely a cleaning or optimization app, it lacks other optimization features that can be found in the first two ones that we looked into. Another drawback is that its trial version is only good for 7 days.
In a capsule
CleanMyMac X + Gemini’s combined power will work for most people looking to optimize and clean up their Mac. By loading safe cleaning, optimization, and maintenance tasks into one, it’ll improve your Mac’s performance without you thinking about it.
If you want to be extra cautious and are not reluctant to get your hands dirty with inspecting the threats presented to you, MacBooster would be a good option.
Parallels Toolbox will give you your money’s worth if you enjoy having several nice-to-have macOS features plus optimization in one place, within easy reach.