In the spirit of an abundance of caution, I’m wondering about the collective wisdom about installing Setapp & CleanMyMac. I’ve had them on my laptop for a few years without problem. But when I did a screen share with someone at Apple related to something else, the rep asked about the icon and said, “oh yeah, that’s malware. You should get rid of it.” When a different rep said the same, I began to get nervous. Then when I inquired about my inability to install one of the apps on Setapp and they responded with:
“Please use the attached utility to collect a detailed problem report that would allow us to investigate the issue and advise further. Simply run the app, save the report to Desktop and email the resulting .zip file back to us.” The next sentence was only mildly reassuring: “Note that you can unpack the report to check what’s being collected.”
I hope I’m just being uselessly paranoid, but I’m curious to know if from users if 1) they know anything from Apple reps and 2) if it’s common practice to send a .zip file to diagnose a problem. I haven’t touched it, fyi.
CleanMyMac is not malware. There are some similarly-named apps (like MacKeeper) that are malware, however. That said, CleanMyMac is not without occasional issues, which you can learn about by searching the forum. I don’t use it myself.
SetApp is not malware. A lot of people on this forum use it although, again, I do not.
As to using a random app to generate a random zip file to send to an unknown party, I would be wary, too. Probably other members, who use SetApp, can provide better guidance here.
I have SetApp installed on all my Macs. It’s very respected among all Mac users and developers. Big applications like Ulysses and PDFPen are part of SetApp.
I do not fully understand the whole request about collecting information. Was that MacPaw team?
I think a lot of technicians view any sort of utility like CleanMyMac as unneeded. There are apps like MacKeeper and others that are (or are at least borderline) malware, and sometimes people mix things up or paint with a broad brush.
Apple pulls system diagnosis info for a lot of AppleCare cases these days. Sending them a .zip of whatever it’s collecting isn’t super uncommon.
If your issue was just not beating able to install from Setapp, have you reached out to them, or am I misunderstanding the original reason for the support request?
MacKeeper, that’s the one I was trying to remember - definitely malware.
Yes, the request came from them when I contacted customer service about not being able to install one of their apps.
Many apps generate log or diagnostic information that the developer can use to diagnose problems. Parallels, TheBrain, DEVONthink, etc., come to mind, and there are more. The common request of many apps when a support ticket is filed to “describe what you were doing when this happened” is often not useful to them, or to you. If there is a crash, then the crash log can be helpful. I always send crash logs to Eastgate, for example, when Tinderbox crashes and these have often resulted in bug fixes in future releases.
So, you’re doing yourself a favor, and the developer is doing you and others a favor by learning what happened “under the covers” to cause the issue you reported. The support team at SetApp was doing the OP a kindness by suggesting that the contents of the zip file containing diagnostic info could be scanned before the data were sent to SetApp support. I usually do this, and in the very rare case that something I don’t want disclosed is present (e.g., the name of a client that I added put in a file name), then I merely replace the file-name string with a random string).
I think you did the right thing to contact Apple, and in this case the two Apple reps were probably a bit overzealous in pointing out CleanMyMac as malware.
Even if I don’t run it myself I know MacPaw to be a reputable company, with years and years of excellent software development. Most of the forum members will probably agree.
But: I also think you’re not being overly paranoid about this at all, any time you don’t feel comfortable handing over data or running software on your machine you shouldn’t, no matter what someone says.
Sorry about the confusion. Yes, I reached out to SetApp when I couldn’t download an app that I wanted through them, and that’s what generated the back-and-forth about the .zip file. I was reaching out to Apple when the rep saw the CleanMyMac icon, and asked what it was when he was trouble-shooting something else. It’s also possible the pop up said it was time to clean my mac when we were screen sharing.
I’m reassured. So thanks everyone.
I suspect MacKeeper’s deservedly-terrible reputation has done more to damage CleanMyMac than one could easily estimate.
OK, so a few days after I suggested SetApp is trustworthy, I did a screenshot using macOS’s screenshot shortcut, and SetApp popped open this notice:
So, I didn’t realize SetApp was watching what I do … in apps that have nothing to do with SetApp … and making suggestions based on what SetApp is monitoring.
Apple doesn’t popup a notification: “We notice you take a lot of notes. Try Apple Notes now!”
Now that’s extremely creepy. What the heck?
I started receiving similar notifications from Setapp yesterday. I’ve now had 6 different apps suggested to me which I assume is based on what Setapp is monitoring.
I’ve just found a setting in Preferences which might be responsible although I’ve yet to try disabling the feature:
Exactly where in System Preferences do you go to get to “Application behavior”? Are you on Big Sur?
Looks like it’s in Setapp’s preferences, not System Preferences:
Sorry for the confusion. I was rushing as dinner was on the table!
Tony is correct. It’s in Setapp’s preferences rather than System Preferences (I have updated my original reply accordingly).
@Pavlis @tonycraine I was wondering why I didn’t see this in my SetApp preferences then I read the SetApp Support article referenced above. As Yogi Berra once said “You can see a lot just by looking.”
Thanks for pointing out the “smart” suggestions preferences.
I assume this is new behavior – I’ve had SetApp for several years and it never “monitored how I use apps” and made “tailored recommendations” before. It’s the kind of privacy thing that should only be opt-in, but seems to be on by default.
Not surprising that Setapp knows which of its apps you’re using, given that it needs to know whether a launched app is one of its installed ones