Clean-up of Mac, best practices

After having a bit of a fight with installing a trial version, the support helped me pin down some weirdness in my fonts. There were duplicates that messed with the font enumeration on start-up. Once deleted (they were already inactive) the software started up correctly.

In order to troubleshoot, they had me run the “EtreCheck” utility. As I started to scroll down its findings, I got a bit worried. SO MUCH OLD CRUFT, left over from apps I was certain I had uninstalled - many of which I indeed HAD uninstalled, but the uninstaller did not remove it all.

So, the Fonts were easy enough, I just deleted the duplicate and old versions of the font files off the computer.

Then there’s other stuff:

  • launchd scripts
  • login items
  • plugins
  • preference panes
  • unsigned apps
  • kernel extensions
  • system launch agents and daemons
  • internet plugins

From the file paths, it is usually clear what application it belongs to, so I recognise a lot that I’d like to permanently remove (like the Flash Player and Java).

Question: How do I go about getting rid of these things? Instinctively, I’d like to just “Show in Finder” and delete a lot of this, but realise this perhaps isn’t the recommended procedure. Any best practices you gang follow for housekeeping of old software items like this?


CleanMyMac is a good one stop shop for maintenance, otherwise Onyx.

(Oh, another whale :grin:)


Daisy Disk to find all those huge files you’d forgotten about.

Gemini to find dupes


I have had a habit for many many years of running Onyx on the first of every month. In many months it is the only time that my MBP gets rebooted :grinning:


I’m always surprised that no one talks about how bloated CleanMyMac is. Also, for a program that bills itself as removing malware it certainly has a lot of adware/analytics packages installed and does NOT uninstall cleanly. I haven’t done too much looking, but I don’t generally recommend CleanMyMac.


Thanks all!

I was attempting to get my copy of Cocktail to run, but the developer seems to be out of commission due to health issues or something. No reply, as has been the case for a while it seems from all the comments I found.

Installed and ran OnyX instead, which did a fine job. Also, DaisyDisk helped me find some HUGE libraries for software I don’t run that I zapped too.

Last step is still ongoing, moving my RAW photos to the Synology.

Yes, it’s hard to really delete an application because it has lots of leftovers. So this is why Mac cleaners are created, and you can simply use these tools to help you do the complicated cleanup.
Here are some popular Mac cleaners you can consider:

Free: App Cleaner, Disk Inventory X, Onyx
Paid but has free trial version: iMyMac Mac Cleaner, CleanMyMac, CCleaner

Welcome to the forum @Claraciney :upside_down_face:

FYI there’s a comprehensive topic about uninstaller apps here.


Recently I have read a useful guide for you to choose the best free Mac cleaners, get details whatever you want.

there’s a dot at the end of the link, thus it doesn’t work :smiley:

Sorry, here is the right link:
Thank you for your kind reminder!

you’re welcome :wink: (with some more characters to make the post work)

Good post on available apps.