Is CleanMyMac X essential tool for Mac

I have been using CleanMyMac X but I am reviewing whether I should continue my subscription. It is not cheap (unless I had already subscribed to Setapp) . The main features I used have been cleaning cache and junk , and uninstallation. I guess there are other alternative for similar result with more bang for buck?

On the other hand, I feel bad to raise this amid the Ukraine war.

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Onyx by Titanium software is free and very reliable


It really is quite an individual question that depends on how and to what extent you have been using CleanMyMacX’s features and how much you are willing to pay for the really nice UI and the ease of use. It is a nice app for sure. The standalone subscription price or the standalone one-time purchase price was too expensive for my use cases. Which may or may not be intended in order to push SetApp subscriptions and that is totally fine.

I owned a CleanMyMacX license before I joined SetApp (for 30 € in the good old times and fitting into my expectations for an app like that). CleanMyMacX was one reason to join SetApp and it was one reason why I stuck to SetApp for about 3 years.

Onyx is the good old trusty swiss army knife for your Mac that has been around for years. Can it replace CleanMyMacX? For some of us: sure. For others: maybe not. I am writing this post on my Mac Mini. I just re-installed Onyx after several years and after almost one year without CleanMyMacX. Onyx still works, it still is how I remember it. After “optimizing” my Mac with Onyx, I have to say that I do not notice any improvement. My Mac was fine without CleanMyMacX and without Onyx. The SSD Macs of today and MacOS in 2022 are solid and they are fine without tools like CleanMyMacX or Onyx. At least, that is my opinion: sometimes there is no need to fix something that is not broken.

Disclosure: I am a Hazel user and would not want to live without AppSweep.

P.S. Regarding the Ukraine (without any intention to derail this topic) - @MacSparky has written a nice post that also refers to MacPaw. And it has a link to a blog post by MacPaw with valuable information. I feel with them. And I have decided to help - without SetApp, but still… - In Support of Ukraine - MacSparky

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I used it for years but when it went subscription based I reevaluated what it did for me. I found most of what it did to be superficial, or could be accomplished with other software. I wasn’t concerned about language packs taking up space or having it emptying trash. I would often go in and check it’s status, run it and notice no real difference, other than a few MB of saved space.

My favorite thing about it was the uninstall feature, but that wasn’t worth the subscription and Hazel does it as well. (I will never understand why macOS doesn’t have an uninstall feature at this point.)


Similar story here. I had it for ages, but decided to not put it on my Air when I bought it and I haven’t missed it a bit.

I too use Hazel to clean up installations, I have chosen OmniDiskSweep(?) for space management, I never found the optimisations worthwhile, and I personally believe the concerns about memory pressure is outdated for normal use cases (speaking as someone with 16GB RAM in my M1 computer with a super fast SSD).

Apple does have an uninstaller :slightly_smiling_face:. They clearly are happy if you simply drag an app out of the Applications folder and into the Trash, leaving an absolute mess of files behind in the Application Support folder and elsewhere!

I tried CleanMyMac but went back to using AppDelete and Marcel Bresink’s TinkerTools for the few things for which CleanMyMac had appealed to me.


If I recall correctly, its price both went up for new users and went “subscription only” instead of offering periodic “upgrade pricing” shortly before the rollout of SetApp. It seems that it’s part of a pricing strategy to enhance the value of SetApp - especially at the beginning where SetApp covered two Macs and the corresponding CleanMyMac X license would be $60 of that value. :slight_smile:

If you feel bad and would like to help, I would suggest finding a charity and donating. Supporting Ukraine devs is great, and there’s nothing wrong with it - but there might well be other places that could use a donation more. :slight_smile:

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I love the app, but I’d never pay the price they expect. Instead I have it with Setapp and sure appreciate it although I use to use Hazel on my old laptops. (My Mom had a shopping buddy in Shirley Booth.) I loved that too.

Clean My Mac and Houdah Spot are two practically indispensable apps for me. By contrast, Houdah Spot which I use several times a day is a fixed price of $32. I looked into it because of the Ukraine crises. :face_exhaling: I don’t recall if either one or both are located in the Ukraine. I think CleanMyMacX is.

Looks like AppZapper

Yes, the functionality of AppSweep in Hazel is similar. The difference with Hazel is that you just need to delete the app in the Finder. Then Hazel will show up with a prompt telling you what files could/should be deleted that are related to the app. You confirm the prompt and the stuff is gone - without the need to open an application.

I have used AppZapper before Katie and @MacSparky started talking about Hazel. I switched to Hazel - not because of AppSweep, just because of the many other automated organization features Hazel has to offer.


That functionality sounds nice. But I like the option that AppDelete gives me to archive an app and not just delete it. I have resurrected a number of apps that I later regretted “deleting” and got my settings back, too.

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I have never had the need for CleanMyMac X, I did review it a few times, but most issues I had that it could fix did not take a ‘lot of time’ to do them myself. The biggest issue I have sometimes I that Apple Mail becomes very slow on startup, deleting the Downloads cache fixes this in my case. I think CleanMyMac can also do this.
I also use Hazel which cleans up leftovers from apps I removed.

Personally I find the subscription price too high for what it would gives me in return, but I’m not afraid of digging into how to solve these issues myself.

You should not feel bad about this. There are more ways to support Ukraine, you could also donate money without continuing your subscription. I do think it’s heartwarming that you think about it. (I’m not from Ukraine).

I dislike subscriptions for utility apps, like this. When my subscription lapsed, I did not renew and don’t miss it. I found the app to be “heavy handed” and was always wanting me to clean this, adjust that, scan this other thing. It really served one purpose for me: on my old Mac with a nearly full 1 TB drive, CleanMyMax X was helpful to recover nooks and crannies of space. I use Hazel for uninstalls as others have noted.

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While I agree that it is expensive for what it does, there is a non-subscription option available.

A pay once, use forever option. With “Major upgrades and features come at an additional upgrade cost.”

And as I noted in the SetApp thread, I’m not a fan of subscriptions.

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the latest version of Raycast also has uninstall function


“Forever” assuming you never upgrade your OS, most likely. :slight_smile:

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Does CleanMyMac still run a background process 24/7 if the app is installed, without a way to disable it, even when the main app isn’t open/running? The overhead was light, if I recall, but I remember a small kerfuffle when that issue was noticed by users who are very particular about what runs on their systems.

I’m a former CleanMyMac user. I stopped because my need for its tools gradually diminished over the years, as I realised I didn’t need to clean my Mac as often as I’d done in the past. For cleaning up after app removal, Hazel’s App Sweep seems to handle that well enough most of the time, and between then Gemini and DaisyDisk help me find duplicates and space hogs. I use MacUpdater to check for updates for my apps, though I usually do the update from within the relevant app these days — occasionally I’ve had issues where MacUpdater got confused.

That of course goes without saying! True for most any software.

Some of the basic features in CleanMyMac X are already run regularly by MacOS. Daily, weekly, monthly tasks are performed when your computer is idle.

As some have mentioned, Onyx for the Mac performs most of the same tasks in a minimal interface. In most cases, both apps basically provide an interface to manually run CLI tools that do the work. I have never had the time or inclination to assemble all of those, and Onyx is free.

My motivation in getting CMM X was to help a friend who had little computer or Mac experience. He’d been beset by a malware infection, and his drive was maxing-out, his browser a mess of ads. CMM X did an adequate job. I think it has improved somewhat in the Malware area in recent years.

I was looking for an affordable tool for malware protection and removal. If you have recommendations, please list them.

CMM X is ok. The UI is patronizing, animation and graphics like some drawing program for kids from the 90s. I’m annoyed by the cloying tone of the Notifications, and find the app hype, especially for add-ons, blatant unwanted marketing.

I have an older Mac and use CMM X to reduce cruft like log files, caches, etc. Should probably use Onyx or commands in the terminal to do most of that stuff. I’ll get around to it.