Mulling cancelling SetApp. Is CleanMyMac worth it?

what would you recommend as an alternative to CleanMyMac?

I do not have SetApp but do have a one-time purchase of CleanMyMac, and think it’s worth the cost. I have used it for years and never had any issues.

I tried SetApp when it first came out and found that I didn’t use it enough to warrant the subscription. It was a good way to trial new apps, but most of the apps were useless to me, and the ones I did like were cheap to buy outright.

I’m with you on this; I can’t imagine how this would work. Flushing RAM allocated to caches would make it look as if memory is freed up, but the OS will do that on an as-needed basis by itself. Apps that leak memory can’t have it reclaimed, as the “leaked” memory belongs to the process that’s leaking it. The only way to get that back is kill the process At best you could force it to page out. I supposed you might be able to force garbage collection to occur in apps that are written in languages that use it (Objective-C does, I believe).

I’m curious to know what these programs actually do.

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Saving to disk slows down the system, virtual memory slows down the system, period. Writing to disk during pagein/pageout activity slows down the Mac when RAM gets full. Even when you have inactive memory macOS will need to do I/O first to save the data to disk before it can reuse the RAM. MacOS operations in theory meets macOS in reality, and reality wins. The Mac will slow when after it uses up RAM and has to to pageouts/pageins.

Doing a purge forces macOS to clean its RAM cache, doing I/O writes if necessary, then put the pages on the free list. Freeing up RAM is great for starting a new app that needs lots of memory and the app or data it needs has not been accessed recently. And you just consolidated a lot of deferred writes in one disk wake up. The downside is that you of course need to re-load old webpages, which is no biggie for me when the alternative is a slower system.

Right, but no OS I have ever worked with would page out RAM being used for buffers, so force clearing them couldn’t possibly have a tangible benefit.

I suppose, though, that forcing inactive app memory to be paged out would at least make that process happen all at once and predictably. That could benefit a subsequently launched app that has time sensitive operation, so I can see some value there. It’s interesting to think about, for sure.

I experienced repeated slowdowns when using 16Gb RAM, and even with my current 40Gb setup, running multiple apps and dozens of open browser tabs. It’s real, it happens, and purging cache does speed up the system, otherwise I wouldn’t do it.

Hm. That’s surprising, I’ve never had a problem with it.

Clean my Mac is a great app. Its costing me clients who used to call me regularly to help me tube up their Macs.

I use it on all my Apple computers


It seems people might be trading one chunk of their time for another. That is, I click free ram, wait 21 seconds (just tried it), then load my huge program. Whereas if they had just loaded their huge program, it would have taken ten seconds longer, which would have been an eternity. Perhaps the satisfaction of bending the machine to their will, and having the delay on their terms helps them feel better about it.

I think that would certainly have a positive effect on me!

The way you put it makes me think of the times I see people frustrated with a choppy computer continuing to bash at the keyboard and mouse, not realising they are making things worse.
As is often the case, leaving things be for a short time could be all that’s needed.

I will try that next time I feel RAM constrained and see how it works out!

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I think it would be worth doing several comparisons. There’s nothing like having data.

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Yeah, I think it’s probably a perception thing in some cases, especially if paging interferes with UI operations; I imagine it would feel a lot better to use your computer.

But, as I mentioned above, I can also see that predictably forcing inactive app memory to be paged out prior to a time sensitive app launching (or before starting its time sensitive processing) really could make the difference between a usable result and an unworkable system.

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On many occasions I had Lightroom or Ableton Live stutter and slow noticeably prior to purging RAM, and be perfectly fine afterwards. This was not a subtle difference.

I can confirm that I also have this problem.

If I don’t free up RAM before using a really heavy program, it can really affect the performance of the application. My desktop system has 64GB and even this can become full if there have been lots of applications running. Just closing the apps doesn’t free up RAM always and on several occasions I’ve forgotten to free up RAM before doing 4K editing, and it has become slow and unable to run smoothly while loading up files and doing the editing.

If I free up RAM with a tool like CleanMyMac before starting FCP, this never occurs and the editing is always smooth.

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I use Hazel’s “App Sweep” feature that will offer to trash related files when you trash an app (and will offer to put them back if you reinstall the app.

Beyond that, I tend not to worry too much about stuff that is left over on my Mac after I remove an app. If I see a large folder in ~/Library/ for an app that I no longer use, I can usually find out in a quick Google if it is safe to remove.