You may have heard about or have come across articles advocating the use of Mac cleaning apps. The usual question that crops up is, what are the benefits of using a cleaning app and most of all, is it safe?

With the burgeoning news of computer threats, malware, and security breaches, apprehension over installing Mac cleaners are absolutely warranted. It does not help that downloading software from Mac’s own App Store, which is by and large deemed safe, does not guarantee that an application is secure. In an article by Malwarebytes, a handful of applications from the App Store, among them were cleaning apps, have been identified to be stealing data from its users.

What CleanMyMac X Users Have to Say About it

Some generally cast doubt on Mac cleaners. They assert that everything that a Mac cleaner can do can be done manually. But let’s face it, manual optimization requires a specific set of knowledge and is tedious.

Long-time users of CleanMyMac X attest to how safe the app is and here are some of them:

“CleanMyMac is a legitimate app by a reputable company, MacPaw. I have used it for years without issue, other than the fact it does a fantastic job of removing unwanted detritus from my system, keeping it lean and functional.”

And Brett Terpstra from LifeHacker.com has nothing but praise for CleanMyMac X’s proprietary Safety Database:

“One of the reasons I’ve come to prefer CleanMyMac as a cleanup utility is its Safety Database, which whitelists important files so you don’t accidentally wipe them from your system—and prevent an app from working correctly—in the interest of cleaning”

How does CleanMyMac X fare from the perspective of top Mac anti-malware/antivirus authorities?

We reviewed malware, security, and industry reports and insights of top Mac anti-malware and anti-virus companies such as Bitdefender, Norton, and Malwarebytes and found no literature whatsoever where CleanMyMac X has surfaced as a rogue or malicious software.

If it interests you, you can peruse Malwarebytes’ 2019 and 2020 State of Malware Reports to know more about the threats they have identified. You’d be surprised to know that some Mac cleaners, apps that are supposed to work in the best interests of optimization, are exploiting the users’ trust for their own benefit.

Source: Malwarebytes

But that is not the case with CleanMyMac X. SoftwareFavorite’s own B.C. Lee scanned CleanMyMac X with Bitdefender as part of his review of the app, and it did not turn up with any virus or malicious content.

If it’s safe, why isn’t it available in the App Store?

Apps that can be downloaded from the App Store are placed in a sandbox, a restricted area where they cannot pose problems to the system. However, for CleanMyMac X to maintain your Mac, it has to have access to the core system. This is the same case for established software such as Norton and Bitdefender.

But just because it is not bound to the sandbox, it does not mean that CleanMyMac X can run around unregulated and able to wreak havoc on the system. Apple keeps it in check by ensuring that it is notarized. More on that in the next section.

How does CleanMyMac X safely help your Mac?

The above-mentioned comments from CleanMyMac X’s users hold water. It is made by MacPaw, the same software company that created the award-winning duplicate finder app, Gemini 2, and the award-winning subscription service for apps, Setapp.

Aside from being developed by a trusted company, it offers the following features which address virtually every safety concern that we may have:

It is notarized by Apple

You can find comfort in the fact that is free of malicious content. Your Mac includes a technology named Gatekeeper that ascertains that you only run trusted software on your Mac. When you run a software for the very first time, Gatekeeper checks for a ticket on that software indicating that it is an Apple-notarized software. If it finds one, it’ll launch a dialog box to help you make an informed decision whether to open the app or not.

We don’t think MacPaw would do anything to taint its award-winning standing. One of the unfounded fears that we’ve seen is that CleanMyMac is a tool spawned by Russian intelligence to spy on people. But given MacPaw’s founder’s history of helping protestors against Russia during a turbulent time in Kyiv, Ukraine, we highly doubt that.

It comes with a Safety Database

Caring for something requires conscious effort. But sometimes we may not know where to start in tending to our Mac’s needs, ergo mistakes can happen. This is where CleanMyMac X’s Safety Database steps in.

The Safety Database contains a list of exceptions and operational rules that CleanMyMac X has to strictly abide by to avert the deletion of data and files that are critical to your Mac’s operation. You wouldn’t have to scrutinize every single file yourself to determine if it can be safely deleted or not.

CleanMyMac X will scan the data on your Mac for you,  present you with the data that can be removed without harm, and gain your explicit permission before deleting anything. It protects application and system files that cannot be deleted no matter what and other files that your Mac may still need.

It will also help you shoot down the possibility of certain apps misbehaving if their associated logs or files are mistakenly cleared. This is made possible by adding the app to CleanMyMac’s Ignore List.

MacPaw breaks down the details of the Safety Database if you want to go beyond the nitty-gritty.

Has an ever-expanding antivirus database

While it may not be in the same league as a dedicated antivirus or anti-malware software, CleanMyMac X’s antivirus database definitely adds safety and security points by proactively fending off threats.

The Final Verdict

CleanMyMac X is not in any security software’s bad list and it has Apple’s stamp of safety approval. With its Safety Database in place, you can be sure that you avoid unlucky and possibly irreversible accidents involving deleting critical files. Throw in protection against malware and you have a utility that guarantees safety in practically all angles.