Do you still remember how snappy your Mac felt when you booted it up for the first time? If you’ve been using it for a while, it probably doesn’t feel nearly as responsive anymore. That’s because Macs—just like all other computers—accumulate all kinds of junk over time that slows them down, including large hidden files, old settings, and duplicate apps.
If you believe that starting from scratch by reinstalling your Mac is the only way to restore its original performance, you’re wrong. All you need to make your Mac feel new again is one of the top 10 best free Mac cleaners described in this article.
Best Mac Cleaners of 2021
- 🚀 CleanMyMac X – Best Cleaner to Speed Up Your Mac
- 🆓 Disk Drill Clean Up Tool – Best Free Mac Cleaner
- 💽 DaisyDisk – Best for Disk Space Analyzing
Comparison of the Best Mac Cleaner Tools
|Limitations in a Free Version||Full version||Compatibility||Developed by||Latest Version|
|CleanMyMac X||Remove up to 500 MB of junk for free||$34.95||macOS 10.10 and higher||MacPaw||September, 2021, 4.8.9|
|Disk Drill||None||Freeware||Mac OS X 10.8.5+||CleverFiles||August, 2021, 4.4.356|
|DaisyDisk||Some functionality is locked||$9.99||macOS 10.10 and higher||Software Ambience Corp.||November, 2020, 4.12.1|
|CCleaner||No real-time monitoring||$19.95||Mac OS X 10.8 to macOS 10.14 Mojave||Piriform||March, 2021, 5.78|
|MacKeeper Cleaner App||Allows you to only scan your Mac||$10.95/month||macOS 10.11 or later||Clario Tech DMCC||October, 2021, 5.7|
|Cleaner One Lite||Some features are missing||$9.99||macOS 10.12.0 and higher||Trend Micro||April, 2021, 6.2.2|
|Clean Me||None||Freeware||macOS 10.12 and higher||Kevin De Koninck||July, 2020, 1.4.2|
|MacClean||Allows you to only scan your Mac||$19.99||Mac OS X 10.9 and higher||iMobie||September, 2019, 3.6.0|
|Omni Remover 3||Allows you to only scan your Mac||$19.99||macOS 10.12.0 and higher||MiniCreo||April 2021, 3.3.0|
|App Cleaner & Uninstaller||Free for only 7 days||$19.90||macOS 10.10 and higher||Nektony||March 2021, 7.4|
1. CleanMyMac X
When it comes to Mac cleaners, you would be hard-pressed to find a more popular solution than CleanMyMac X by MacPaw. This feature-packed app boasts a polished user interface and a whole host of useful cleaning features, making it possible to get rid of junk in all corners of your macOS with a single click.
“CleanMyMac X offers a variety of easy-to-use tools that can quickly free up space on your device and get rid of suspicious files.”
CleanMyMac X is able to tell useful files from those that can be safely deleted thanks to the constantly updated Safety Database. Because the cleaner has been in development for over 10 years, you can be sure that the database contains all junk commonly found on modern Macs, including large and old files, Trash Bins, iTunes junk, mail attachments, and so on.
In addition to performing deep system cleaning, CleanMyMac X can neutralize malware threats, tweak various system settings, uninstall or reset apps, and securely delete sensitive files. Users can try all features for free and unlock unlimited junk removal for $39.95 per year.
- Polished user interface that makes it easy for anyone to clean their Mac
- Simple one-click Mac cleanup to streamline the cleaning process
- Reliable and safe cleaning tool that will not damage your computer
- Plenty of extra features such as the ability to uninstall or reset apps and securely delete important data
- The free version can clean only 500 MB
Disk Drill is actually a data recovery software first and a Mac file cleaner second, but that doesn’t stop it from ranking high on our list of the top 10 best free Mac cleaners. That’s because it comes with a truly unlimited free cleanup module that makes it possible to easily identify and visualize all files that are taking up a lot of space and get rid of them in an instant.
If you’re worried that an important file could find its away among junk files, then you can filter the scan results by file type, keywords, file size, and several other criteria and manually verify that the files you’re deleting are really unnecessary. That said, Disk Drill is a trusted Mac cleaner, so you can leave everything up to it and save yourself valuable time.
As we’ve already mentioned, Disk Drill excels at recovering lost files after an accidental deletion, hardware failure, or some other data loss incident. The app can recover over 400 different file formats, and the data recovery process is so straightforward that even less experienced users can figure it out on their own.
- Comes with free and unlimited Mac clean up tools in the software’s trial version
- Intuitive user interface that guides your through the process of cleaning your Mac
- Frequently updated to stay abreast of the most current macOS changes
- Powerful data recovery functionality to restore lost and deleted files from any disk-based storage device
- Doesn’t come with an app uninstaller so users will need to address this issue with another tool
DaisyDisk is certainly one of the most beautiful apps to clean Mac. Its goal is to solve a common issue that most Mac users encounter at one point or another: insufficient disk space. When you launch the app, it gives you an overview of all storage devices attached to your Mac, including network storage. You can simply click the Scan button next to each storage device to analyze its usage.
All files and folders are displayed as a visual interactive map that makes it crystal-clear where the largest files are located. The visual nature of DaisyDisk makes it incredibly easy to free up storage space and avoid an expensive purchase of a new storage device.
Just be ready that the manual cleanup process can be quite time-consuming, so don’t expect instant results. If you’re looking for a tool that can automatically clean Mac storage, pick another best app to clean Mac featured in this article.
- Beautifully designed with an attractive and unique user interface
- The tool have been vetted by Apple and is available in the Mac App Store
- Scanning modern disks takes only a few seconds and produces a visual map detailing storage usage
- The full version is reasonably priced
- Manual cleanup only with no automated method of removing duplicate or junk files
Ccleaner for Mac is an easy-to-use Mac disk cleaning tool that shares most features with its incredibly popular Windows counterpart. Originally released in 2004 by Piriform, Ccleaner has helped countless users fix annoying slowdowns, reduce clutter, and delete potentially sensitive cookies and other leftover files.
“Through this app’s intuitive interface, you can select where to scan, and then view the type and number of items the scan detected before they are deleted.”
Ccleaner for Mac is fully customizable, giving you the flexibility you need to improve the performance of your Mac. You can specify exactly what you want to clean, such as Safari data, Trash, recent documents, and so on. Of course, you can also choose to clean all junk files in one go, which is the recommended approach when cleaning applications and system files for the first time.
Unfortunately, Ccleaner for Mac hasn’t been updated in a while, and doesn’t officially support the latest version of macOS. That said, we’ve been able to install and use the latest version of Ccleaner for Mac on macOS Catalina just fine.
- Completely unlimited cleanup capabilities
- Selective cleaning enables you to select the types of junk files the tool will remove
- The tool can securely erase your browsing history to ensure privacy
- Not officially compatible with the latest version of macOS
- Lack of updates may cause problems with newer versions of macOS
MacKeeper is a versatile software tool designed to clean your Mac of unwanted items like junk files and keep it performing at top speed. In addition to its primary function of optimizing your Mac’s performance, this app offers many other features that help protect your data and get the most out of your computer.
MacKeeper provides users with antivirus protection and the ability to run malware scans to keep malicious code off your Mac. The tool identifies and cleans memory-draining resources and can block adware and popups. The app includes a VPN for browsing the web privately and can monitor email addresses for potential password leaks.
The app is easy to use and targets the average Mac owner who wants to optimize their computer’s performance and keep it free of viruses and malware. The extra tools allow users to perform multiple tasks from a unified interface for increased productivity.
- Offers good antivirus protection and extra tools.
- A duplicate finder is included to help save valuable storage space.
- Premium subscriptions offer unlimited 24/7 tech support that can address any issue with your Mac.
- The many popup and dialog boxes that appear can be annoying when using the tool.
- Premium features require an expensive monthly subscription.
Formally known as Dr. Cleaner, this well-rated Mac cleaner is developed by Trend Micro, an American-Japanese multinational cybersecurity software company known primarily for its cybersecurity solutions. As its name suggests, Cleaner One Lite is the free version of Cleaner One Pro, which means that it lacks certain features that some users may find important.
To be more specific, Cleaner One Lite doesn’t include a duplicate file scanner, system status monitoring, similar photo finder, start-up manager, app manager, file shredder, and security center. If these features are important to you, we recommend you pick another free Mac cleaning software solution from our list.
But if you’re looking for a basic Mac disk cleaner that can clean an unlimited amount of data from your Mac, Cleaner One Lite is a solid choice, and its Mac App Store reviews speak for themselves.
- Well-rated Mac storage cleaner from a reputable software developer
- Easy-to-use interface that simplifies the process of cleaning your Mac
- Creates a visual and interactive map of junk files that enables you to analyze the files that the tool can remove before proceeding with their removal
- Some features are available only in the Pro version.
7. Clean Me
Clean Me is an open source cleaner for Mac that started as a personal project and gradually evolved into a compelling alternative to the best disk cleaners for Mac. It can clean everything from the Trash folder to downloaded mail attachments, document revisions, app, user, and system caches, spotlight indexing data, system logs, and more.
The app has only one window, and it contains all options you need to get rid of all junk that’s slowing down your Mac and preventing it from performing to its full potential. By default, Clean Me doesn’t analyze cache files, and its creator advises against deleting them because cache files make apps run faster. But if you would like to delete them anyway, all you need to do is check the corresponding option.
The only thing we don’t like about Clean Me is the complicated installation process, which requires you to either use Homebrew or install the app manually via the releases on its GitHub repository.
- Open source program enables users to view and modify source code
- This is a completely free solution. All features are available without a trial period
- Simple to use interface makes it easy to keep your Mac clean of junk files
- Installation is complicated and may be beyond the skill level of some users
MacClean is a good Mac cleaner that you can trust with restoring your computer to its former glory. Instead of cleaning all junk files in one go, MacClean offers five distinct cleanup options: System Junk, Internet Junk, Malicious Cookies, Privacy Issues, Security Issues. The first option is the one you’ll probably use the most because it removes user and system junk, unnecessary development files, and app leftovers.
If you want to get rid of duplicate files, you need to rather confusingly select Cleanup Tools under utilities. That’s where you can also find the option to remove outdated language files or the option to securely delete sensitive files. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to run all cleanup features MacClean has to offer with a single click.
Compared with other free cleaning apps featured in this article, scanning with MacClean definitely takes more time, but at least the results are worth the wait. The bad news is that scanning is the only thing the free version lets you do, and you need to purchase a license to delete found junk files.
- Comes with a duplicate finder that enables you to analyze your storage and find unnecessary files
- Offers multiple ways to remove junk files from Mac including deleting malicious cookies and Internet junk
- The full version is affordable
- No comprehensive one-click scan making it more difficult to use that some alternatives
- The free version lets you only scan your Mac and does not let you try any of the tool’s other features
- Scanning is slower than with other solutions and can take a considerable amount of time
Omni Remover 3 is a feature-packed Mac cleanup software app designed to erase more than 20 different kinds of macOS system junk files, including app leftovers, iTunes files, unused cache files, redundant language files, and broken preferences.
This free MacBook cleaner is optimized for macOS Catalina, but it runs great even on older versions of macOS. You can download it for free from its official website and install it just like any non-App Store app. The free version can scan your system, but it won’t actually delete any junk data unless you purchase a license.
Included with Omni Remover 3 as a bonus is a smart app uninstaller that can deal even with stubborn apps with files scattered in many different system directories.
- Cleans up more than 20 kinds of junk files to reclaim as much storage space as possible
- Runs great on all recent versions of macOS
- Comes with a handy app uninstaller that helps remove the lingering traces of apps even when spread across multiple folders
- The free version only allows you to scan your computer with no access to the tools other features
App Cleaner & Uninstaller is a no-frills tool designed to completely remove apps and delete all leftover files. Deleting an app and all files associated with it using this tool takes only three steps: launch the tool, select the app you want to delete, and click Remove. App Cleaner & Uninstaller will automatically trace all files associated with the app and get rid of them.
“It’s a useful tool to clean a mess on your device. My favourite one.”
You can also use App Cleaner & Uninstaller to disable and uninstall Mac system extensions, remove macOS install files, clean up Mac widgets, and more. All this functionality can be tested completely for free for up to 7 days, but you need to purchase a license to continue using the tool once the free trial period is over.
- Reliable and effective tool that removes all traces of unwanted apps
- Works great as a free cache cleaner for Mac
- Mac optimization features such as cleaning up widgets and system extensions
- Can delete service files to reset apps to their state when originally installed
- Free for only 7 days after which a license out be obtained
Choosing the Best Mac Cleaner for Your Needs
As the list we have compiled demonstrates, many tools are available to clean your Mac of unnecessary and unwanted clutter. With so many choices, it can be difficult to find the right solution for your needs. You can just pick a product at random and hope for the best, but that may not be the best way to go. You might end up in worse shape than when you started.
Considering specific criteria will enable you to make an informed choice when selecting a software solution. The following characteristics should go into your decision when choosing a Mac cleaner.
- Operating system support – The first thing you need to do is make sure that the solution you select runs on your Mac. Downloading a great Windows tool won’t do you any good when you are interested in cleaning your Mac.
- Functionality – Investigate the tool to ensure it has the features you want. Some programs may just scan your disk and notify you of duplicate files. Others can delete the duplicates and perform other actions such as fully removing applications from your Mac. Get a tool that performs the tasks you need.
- Ease of use – Look for a Mac cleaner that provides a user-friendly interface and makes it easy for individuals to use successfully. A tool with a very complicated interface may be difficult to use and result in unexpected problems.
- A trusted developer – Using a Mac cleaner means giving the software permission to delete files and perhaps make other changes to your machine. You need to trust that the developers behind the software will not overstep their bounds and damage your computer. You also want to download a clean piece of software without any malware or other surprises attached. A trusted and reliable developer will make sure that your downloads are free from viruses or malware.
- User reviews – User reviews can be a good source of information regarding a software product if treated properly. Products that have many negative reviews that detail problems with the software should probably be avoided. A few bad reviews among many good ones may just be the result of inexperienced users and should not totally turn you off on a particular solution. Of course, finding a product that receives many great reviews and no negative ones is optimal.
- Price – Software prices range from freeware with no cost to the user to expensive commercial products. You should consider the price of reputable solutions, but it should not be the most important factor in making your decision. While the least expensive solution may do the job, this is not always the case. Sometimes you need to pay for the features you desire.
Mac Cleaners Review Summary
|🔢 Number of tested tools||19|
|⌛ How long we tested||3 weeks|
|💻 Our macOS version||12.1 Monterey|
|💰 Average cost||$20|
|💸 Minimum cost||Free|
Are Mac Cleaners Safe to Use?
Generally speaking, Mac cleaners are perfectly safe to use because they’re designed to get rid of unnecessary junk files and nothing else. The trick is that you need to select a reliable Mac cleanup software that does what it’s supposed to do and avoid Mac cleaners that haven’t been updated in a long time or exist only to scam Mac users.
Here are some signs that your Mac cleaner is not safe to use:
- The cleaner is warning you about a malware infection and wants you to pay money for its removal.
- The cleaner wants you to install additional software programs to clean Mac of junk files.
- The cleaner aggressively pushes a subscription or premium license.
If you stick to the top 10 best free Mac cleaners described in this article, then you shouldn’t run into any of these issues.
- Duplicate finder to identify unnecessary files;
- Clean up which creates a data map so you can analyze your disk usage;
- Erase free space and data shredder to securely delete extra data.