Best Mac Cleaner Software in 2024 (Tried & Tested)

Utilities   •  Updated on Jan. 16, 2024

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FYI: New year, new productivity. We’ve updated the list for accuracy and product availability in 2024.

Mac devices are normally great, you know. It has a smooth user interface, a smoother integration and most importantly the smoothest workflow that can tackle a lot of workload.

So, Macs don’t ever slow down, don’t ever crash, and sure as rain don’t ever run out of space. Right? Wrong.

Macs might be the sports cars of the IT business, but just like any car, they need proper cleanup and maintenance to keep running better.

In this article we’ll walk you through the essentials — and even some great third party digital Mac cleaner apps — to clean up invisible clutter and tune up your MacBook, iMac, or Mac Pro beyond its limits.

RELATED: Top System Monitor Apps to Check Your Mac’s Performance

What is Mac cleaner

Before you can dive into choosing the best cleaning apps for Apple users, you’ll first need a basic understanding of what this software can do. Mac cleaners are simply software applications which allow users to delete the system clutter, create more free storage space and speed up the performance on Mac.

Though you may rummage through the system folders and try to delete the files manually, but that is unsafe and inefficient. Instead, you need a quick and easy way to deal with everything.

The right Mac cleaners rectify that can reclaim storage and get it working properly again.

Mac cleaners:

  • Save your time than performing a hand-operated Mac cleanup.
  • Increase process effectiveness and detect a few more time more problematic aspects of your computer than the most observant person.
  • Do regular surveillance to check the Mac performance and detect the possible troubles in advance.
  • Better data safety to identify safe-to-delete files than the unlucky users who remove the valuable system data.
  • Better than paying and getting a portable SSD/HDD or iCloud upgrades.

Let’s explore the built-in option

You may already know that macOS does not have a built-in cleaning utility. However, every Mac ships with a utility to help you manage storage.

SystemStorage

If you have a Mac running macOS Sierra or later, you can find a utility named Optimize Storage. You can open it by going to System Preferences > General > Storage. This utility makes it easy to understand what takes up your Mac’s storage space and helps you remove bulky elements. It can also help you optimize your iCloud storage space.

But the fun ends there. The Optimize Storage setting does not do anything about removing junk/residual files from your Mac. So, if you were to rely on macOS alone, you would have to remove system junk manually.

As you can guess, it is hectic and unsafe for most people. And we never recommend messing with the macOS system files. This is where dedicated Mac cleaner apps enter the stage. These apps are designed not to cause system-level issues while removing junk files, unwanted apps, residual files, etc.

Now that you know why a dedicated Mac cleaner makes a difference, let’s explore the best options you have out there.

Best Mac cleaner software – our top list

In the past two weeks, we looked over 20 Mac cleaning for personal use and evaluated 10 professional-grade options. After lots of research and testing from me and the team at TheSweetBits, here are top options that will keep your MacOS clean and fast. Additionally, we’ve outlined the specific purposes for which each app shines. Read the full rundown of how we select tools to feature on TheSweetBits blog.

DaisyDisk: Best for quick cleanup

DaisyDisk is our first recommendation if you need an app to clean your Mac quickly. It works great when you want to free up space on your Mac. But it works better when you want to know why you have insufficient storage on your Mac. Compared to the Storage Settings utility, DaisyDisk presents things more clearly.

DaisyDisk

Things we love

DaisyDisk is a beautiful yet powerful disk space analyzer that scans the drives on your Mac and gives you a visual overview of what’s eating up space on your Mac. It displays files in a pinwheel-shaped disk map, letting you quickly locate and clean up large files.

You can also use the built-in QuickLook preview to see what you might want to get rid of (you can also reveal the files/folders in Finder to take a closer look). But the good part is that DaisyDisk will warn you if you are about to delete something important to the system.

DaisyDisk also understands that you may have to remove files/folders from different parts of the file system. So, there is a collection drawer to which you can add contents. Then, once you review everything, you can delete everything in a single click.

Compared to the other space analyzer tools we have tested, DaisyDisk is pretty intelligent. For example, on top of showing storage space consumption, the cleaning app also points out free and purgeable space. It means DaisyDisk can help you revive space that other cleaning apps do not even bother about.

In the long run, using DaisyDisk to clean up storage space on your Mac is a better option than most forms of storage space upgrade.

What could be better

Even though DaisyDisk does an incredible job telling us how to clean up storage space on Mac, it doesn’t go beyond that point. For instance, you do not get actionable information about issues like junk files or residual stuff from the system or third-party applications.

It would also be great if DaisyDisk were proactive about interactions with system folders. At this point, there is a higher chance of interfering with system files. But, again, it is not desired when relying on a dedicated Mac cleaner app.

Pricing

On the bright side, DaisyDisk does not cost much. You can purchase a single license of the app for just $9.99, which is nothing compared to what other storage upgrade solutions cost. It also offers a 7-day free trial.

Read our full DaisyDisk review.

CleanMyMac X: Best for comprehensive cleaning

CleanMyMac X has been our go-to Mac cleaning app for years, and we love recommending this app to our readers. But it does not stop us from objectively reviewing what this Mac cleaner can do. And after testing the latest version of CleanMyMac X on macOS Sonoma, we believe it deserves this top position.

CleanMyMac

Things we love

To keep things as simple as possible, CleanMyMac X contains everything you need to revive your Mac and keep it that way. We are talking about a combination of system junk cleaning, anti-malware protection, and speed optimization. So, it checks all the boxes you expect from this cleaner app.

On the Cleanup side, you get dedicated cleaners for System Junk, Mail Attachments, and Trash Bins. These utilities ensure that residual/junk files do not take up your Mac’s storage space. Finally, when we come to the Protection aspect, you get malware removal and privacy enhancement utilities.

CleanMyMac X also packs dedicated utilities to deal with speed optimization and maintenance. They do a lot of tasks that can take you hours if done manually. You can restore your Mac to the best state possible with a single click. We also loved the dedicated tools for uninstalling and updating your installed apps.

The cleaning app also takes care of large files on your system. For instance, you can use the Space Lens option to see how your Mac’s storage space is used. Similarly, the Large & Old Files utility will help you eliminate unused/huge files from the Mac. Finally, the Shredder utility comes in handy while deleting confidential data.

The best part is that all these utilities work hand in hand. For instance, you can use the app’s smart assistant to carry out all these tasks. Moreover, if you do not want to keep the fully-fledged app open, a simple menu-bar app of CleanMyMac X will give you timely updates.

What could be better

While we love how comprehensive CleanMyMac X is, we cannot say it is perfect. For instance, the malware removal utility cannot replace a fully-fledged anti-malware program. So, it is an area where we would like to see some improvement.

It is also true that CleanMyMac X can be a little expensive for some people. It would be nice if the developers could decrease the price to an extent. On the bright side, you can get the CleanMyMac X app as a part of the Setapp subscription, which means you spend only a fraction of the amount.

Pricing

CleanMyMac X uses a freemium model, where you can try the app before unlocking all features. So, when you go premium, you can find plans starting at $34.95 per Mac. CleanMyMac X also offers 10% discount exclusively for TheSweetBits readers.

Read our full review on CleanMyMac X.

Sensei: Best for system monitoring and cleaning

If you think CleanMyMac X does not offer much information about your Mac while reviving it, you may like to consider Sensei. The app combines a powerful system monitoring tool and an all-in-one cleaning and optimization solution.

Sensei 1

Things we love

When you get started with Sensei, it provides a comprehensive overview of your Mac. Depending on your machine, you can track the overall status of the SSD, RAM, CPU, GPU, and battery. Thanks to the intuitive UI throughout the app, you can understand if something is acting unusual.

But Sensei takes things further with the additional tool it packs. For instance, if you go to the Utilities section, you can find dedicated options to optimize your Mac, uninstall apps, clean junk files, or even trim your SSD. That’s right. If you have an old Mac with an SSD that could use the trimming feature, Sensei can help you.

You can also get an insane amount of monitoring data from your hardware components. For instance, there are dedicated sections for Storage, Graphics, Cooling, and Battery. So, if you want to know how much stress you are putting on your CPU or GPU, you can do it with Sensei.

More importantly, Sensei presents every critical piece of data simply. So, for instance, when you want to check the temperature of different system parts, you can see it in simple graphs. And if you want to keep an eye on what is happening with your Mac, you can keep the Sensei Monitor on your menu bar.

Overall, if you need a system monitor that also fixes many issues with your Mac, you cannot go wrong with Sensei. It is also great that Cindori, the developer, does a great job updating the app for the latest Mac desktops and notebooks.

What could be better

Even though Sensei works excellently with the latest macOS versions, we cannot say the same about backward compatibility. For instance, you cannot run this app on a Mac running a version older than macOS Catalina. So, if you plan to revive a considerably old Mac, you need something like CleanMyMac X.

Similarly, although the cleaning options with Sensei are pretty comprehensive, you do not get many options for scheduling or notifications. It means you must keep an eye on where the RAM and disk usage are, for instance.

Pricing

You can download Sensei for free from the official website and use it for 14 days as a part of the free trial. After that, it costs you $29 per year or $59 (regular) per license, which you can use on up to three Macs.

Read our full Sensei review for more.

App Cleaner & Uninstaller: Best for app uninstalling

Sometimes, you do not need a comprehensive tool like CleanMyMac X or Sensei. Instead, you need a more specific choice. In those instances, you can consider App Cleaner & Uninstaller by Nektony. This Mac cleaner app is designed to help you remove apps, system extensions, and leftover files.

AppCleaner

Things we love

App Cleaner & Uninstaller by Nektony offers a few advantages of being a dedicated Mac cleaner for removing apps and extensions. Therefore, you get multiple sorting/filtering options in each section. For instance, in the Applications section, you can sort your apps based on size and usage.

On the other hand, when you move to Startup Programs, you can see a simple-to-edit list of apps you have set up for startup login. Editing these login agents using App Cleaner & Uninstaller by Nektony is faster and more efficient than going to System Preferences.

In the same way, you can deal with extensions and remaining files. These two features are great if you install too many apps on your Mac for work or personal use. In addition, the ability to remove extensions will help you keep your browsers clean and optimized.

With the correct permissions, App Cleaner & Uninstaller by Nektony can make things even easier by changing the default apps for different file formats. This task is usually tedious because you have to locate other file formats individually. But with this app cleaner, you can do it from a single screen.

What could be better

Honestly, we do not find anything problematic with App Cleaner & Uninstaller by Nektony. Judging it as one of the dedicated apps for removing apps, it does more than what it is supposed to. And the developers are great when it comes to keeping the UI and features up-to-date.

However, you may be disappointed if you expect App Cleaner & Uninstaller by Nektony to clean your entire Mac system. There are some areas where you need external help. For instance, the app does help you get rid of system junk.

Pricing

You can either subscribe to the app for $11.95 or pay $49.95 as a one-time purchase fee. Before you do either of these, you can use the app in the free trial mode for 14 days.

MacKeeper: Best for automatic cleaning

If you want cleaning features along with automation, you might want to check out MacKeeper. In many ways, MacKeeper is similar to CleanMyMac X, but some of its features make it suitable for this position on this list.

MacKeeper

Things we love

MacKeeper checks almost all boxes when considering the features you need for cleaning and speeding up your Mac. For instance, you can easily quit memory-conscious apps and remove system junk files. It also has a malware-scanning utility that works just fine.

This app does a great job of helping you stay away from annoying things like adware and pop-ups. And it goes a step further by monitoring potential data leaks. But, again, it is a feature we do not see on Mac cleaners. You also get a built-in VPN, which does an incredible job.

The app does not hold back in terms of cleaning utilities. For instance, you get a duplicate finder and a smart uninstaller. Similarly, utilities in the Performance section come in handy when freeing up RAM or updating all your apps.

In addition, you can use the MacKeeper cleaner app to stay on top of your digital life. There are a bunch of premium services that you may want to check out. And the tech support from developers is incredible on most days.

What could be better

While we appreciate the richness of features on MacKeeper, we did notice the lack of intuitive design. So, if you want to sit back and relax, the results from the app can be a little overwhelming. So, we would keep that in mind when buying this app.

Rest assured, MacKeeper does everything it can to ensure the best condition for your Mac. And it can be a good solution if you want to make the extra effort to keep your Mac that way.

Pricing

You can get the 12-month plan of MacKeeper for $7.49 per month. There is also a free version, but it does not offer many features that make MacKeeper different in the first place.

Read our full MacKeeper review for more.

Disk Doctor Pro: Best for disk cleaning

If you need a different approach to disk cleaning on Mac, we recommend Disk Doctor Pro from Fiplab. This cleaning app does many things that DaisyDisk does not, but you need to make some compromises. So, if you need more than quick cleaning, you should consider this app.

DiskDoctor

Things we love

The first thing we love about Disk Doctor Pro is that it offers a comprehensive disk cleaning solution. On top of helping you clean up storage space, this app can also deal with other elements like residual files, backups, caches, logs, system junk, etc.

Because it is the Pro version of Disk Doctor, a popular app from Fiplab, you can expect advanced control over your Mac. You also get to decide what you remove from the Mac. It is better than clicking a single button and worrying about what the app may delete.

We also loved the modern UI of Disk Doctor Pro. While it does not provide a graphical overview of how the system storage space is taken up, the UI is easy to navigate and control. You can also make use of filters such as unused applications and installer packages.

What could be better

As we said, even though we love the User Interface of Disk Doctor Pro, it does not quite cut it for advanced users. For instance, you need to use an app like Finder to understand where your most enormous files are located. Then, it simply lists the files matching the criteria.

It is also annoying that Disk Doctor Pro does not have a free trial. So, to even see how the app performs on your PC, you need to purchase the premium version. We would love to see a free trial option with the app. Even the non-Pro version of the app is premium.

Pricing

You can purchase Disk Doctor Pro for just $9.99 from the official website or Mac App Store. It does not have a free trial or free version, though.

OnyX for Mac: Best free cleaning tool

OnyX is a small and free utility that can verify your Mac’s startup disk, run a variety of system scripts for cleaning tasks manually and rebuilding your Mac. The developer offers specific OnyX versions for every major version of macOS. When a new version of macOS comes out, you have to revisit the OnyX site and grab the latest release. Every version is free and very small. So, you don’t waste space.

It’s handy for deleting caches, removing redundant and excessive files and folders, rebuilding databases and indexes, and making your machine run more smoothly and with added disk space. Just be careful playing with these settings. They’re helpful and can improve your Mac’s performance, but if you don’t know what a given setting is supposed to do, you’re probably best off not changing it.

We think it’s excellent for tech-savvy and experienced Mac users to take significantly more time to get around and find what you need, then learn how to use it, but the result pays.

Honorable mentions

Here are the other Mac cleaner apps we tested for this review. Not every app we tested is listed here, but these are the ones worth mentioning.

CCleaner Professional

For years, the standard in PC cleaner software has been CCleaner. Now, Mac users can benefit from the experience that the Piriform developers bring to the table. CCleaner Professional is quick and easy to use the program, which speeds up your Mac and secures it. Although CCleaner has a free version, there are only some basic features aimed at a faster Mac and privacy protection.

ccleaner

At the premium level with a price of $24.95, you have Automatic Clutter/Browser Cleaning, Duplicate/Large file Cleaning, App Uninstalling, and what they call “Bad Photos Remove Support”. These five cleaning options inside CCleaner can help you remove junk files, trash files, unused data, unwanted files, and software

Though CCleaner Professional has many helpful features, it lacks some options. For instance, it always stays as a simple tool for cleaning temporary files and internet cache.

MacBooster

MacBooster from IObit is a powerful Mac maintenance tool for cleaning up Mac computers and offers proper functionality for its class. MacBooster and Mackeeper have quite similar functionality, offering users several cleaning options and tools: system cleanup, finding duplicates, deleting large files, uninstalling applications, protecting your Mac from virus and malware, etc.

macbooster

Start by clicking Clean and Boost, for example, and four sections – Internet Security, System Cleanup, System Optimization, and Disk Clean – are scanned for errors, threats, and redundant files. After a quick review, you can simply click the Fix button and proceed. We also liked MacBooster’s performance boost tool, which shuts down low-level services to speed up your Mac further.

MacBooster gives the 14-day trial a whirl, but the trial version of this app can only complete the preliminary steps of each function.  After that, it requires a $2.49/month subscription.

Cleaner One Pro

Cleaner One Pro (formerly known as Dr. Cleaner) does many things that DaisyDisk does not, but you need to make some compromises. So, if you need more than quick cleaning, you may consider this app.

DrClean

Because it is the Pro version of Dr. Cleaner, a popular app from Trend Micro, you can expect advanced control over your Mac. It deals with other elements like big files, duplicates, app manager, etc. You also get to decide what you remove from the Mac. It is better than clicking a single button and worrying about what the app may delete.

Even though we love the quick cleanup, it does not quite cut it for advanced users. For instance, you need to use an app like Finder to understand where your most enormous files are located. Then, it simply lists the files matching the criteria.

You can purchase Cleaner One Pro for $19.99 from the official website or download it from Mac App Store for free.

Disk Diet

Disk Diet is a tool that automatically scans your Mac’s storage drive and cleans it by deleting all trash files. You don’t have to do a thing. The app will automatically look through the cache and the drive to keep it clean and optimized.

diskdiet

The UI is minimal, and you don’t even have a clear breakdown of the storage space. It features a one-click optimization tool, and you can clean all the trash by just clicking the “Diet” button. Of course, we have included Disk Diet as a limited alternative only. It cannot be compared to DaisyDisk or CleanMyMac X on any day. But, if you prefer a tiny tool, Disk Diet helps you with the baby steps.

Disk Diet is a paid Mac app with a price tag of $5. It also offers a limited free trial version that helps you clear 500 MB of trash files.

FAQs

Are Mac cleaner apps safe to use?

While we cannot talk about all Mac cleaner apps out there, the Mac cleaning software we have recommended on this list are 100% safe to use. We have personally tested these apps and have been using them for months, if not years. So, you do not have to worry about security while choosing any of these apps.

Do I really need a Mac cleaner?

Just like Windows, macOS also generates temporary/junk files over time. If you use your Mac for simple tasks like web browsing or checking email, this won’t be a problem. If you use your Mac for intensive tasks like development, software testing, video editing, or research, you need one of the best Mac cleaner apps.

Does Mac have a system cleanup?

Mac’s got your back on that system cleanup!  First, tackle storage with “Optimize Storage” (Apple logo > About This Mac > Storage > Manage) – it frees up space by offloading dusty files and rarely used apps. Feeling brave? Dive into “Delete System Data” and safely remove temporary caches and leftovers. Spotlight’s your cleanup buddy too – use it to hunt down forgotten apps, bulky files, and pesky duplicates. For resource hogs, Activity Monitor (Applications > Utilities) lets you identify and shut them down with a click. Need to go deeper? Advanced users can access the Library folder (Finder > Go > Go to Folder) to manually remove app leftovers. Remember, backup before any major cleaning adventure!

What is the best free Mac cleaner?

You have a number of options when you need a free Mac cleaning software, including Onyx, CCleaner Free for Mac, App Cleaner, and Disk Doctor. You can also use the Storage Optimization feature on macOS. But we think Onyx remains the best free Mac cleaner if you do not want to pay.

How to choose the best cleaner for Mac?

As you can see, these Mac cleaners above can help your Mac in different ways. And all of them allow you to keep your Mac running the best way possible. However, depending on your needs and technical expertise, you may need only one.

For instance, CleanMyMac X remains the best choice for most people. The comprehensive cleaning app has what it takes to keep your Mac clean and optimized. In addition, you do not have to worry about mechanic tasks thanks to scheduling options.

On the other hand, if you want more system info, you may want to go for Sensei. Other options like Nektony App Cleaner & Uninstaller and MacKeeper are great options if you are specific about the features you need in a cleaning app.

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