Given the nature of the many skeptics on the Internet, one of the most common questions that come up is CleanMyMac safe to use? In short, our expert opinion and answer is yes, this Mac cleaner app is entirely safe to use. In the remainder of this article, we will touch on why we have come up with this conclusion and further educate you on the industry of Mac cleaners and more specifically MacPaw's CleanMyMac X.
What Company Is Behind CleanMyMac X?
The developer of CleanMyMac X is MacPaw which was originally founded 12 years ago by a student from Ukraine named Oleksandr Kosovan. Beyond CleanMyMac X, MacPaw has developed a variety of popular apps for Apple and Windows computers including Gemini 2, CleanMyPC, CleanMyDrive 2, the Unarchiver, and ClearVPN.
CleanMyMac X is undoubtedly their most popular app and it can be purchased directly through their website as well as through the official Mac App Store. This means that CleanMyMac X and the remaining MacPaw software offered through the Mac App Store are officially notarized by Apple to be free from malicious intent and cleared for the safety of their userbase.
MacPaw is a legitimate company that has had millions of dollars in sales throughout its 12-year existence and thousands of positive user reviews for its various apps especially those designed for the Apple community benefit.
Why Do Some People Talk Negatively About Mac Cleaning Apps?
If you do some searches around the Internet, you'll see some Internet users on the various forums and message boards asking questions about Mac cleaners on places like Reddit saying that Mac cleaners are “scams”, “viruses” or “completely unnecessary.”
To some advanced users, I can see the argument of them being unnecessary as most of the actions can be carried out manually with enough tech-savvy knowledge. However, most well-known Mac cleaning tools are not fraudulent, viruses, malware nor do they have any negative effects on your machine.
I've even seen people stating that Apple Store employees told them that CleanMyMac was malware and that they need to remove it immediately. There are some major red flags with this type of comment for a few reasons.
The first being that Apple Store employees don't make a commission, however, they do share their individual sales information internally with the staff. Pushing more money out of their customers is an easy way to get a promotion or maintain job security.
An easy way to do this is to get customers to pay to remove proclaimed malware or viruses or better yet get them to stop using tools to help boost their system efficiency and instead pay the Apple Specialists at the Genius Bar to speed up their machine through manual system maintenance.
Another major point that these people need to realize is that in order to have a program like CleanMyMac X included in the native App Store on macOS, the application must be notarized by Apple. This notarization process reviews the code within the app and scans for malicious content and code signing issues so no fraudulent apps can make their way into the App Store.
CleanMyMac Solves Many Routine Maintenance Tasks That Can Be Done Manually
A power user of Apple and MacOS will likely already know how to troubleshoot a sluggish performing computer using built-in maintenance tools or manual commands via the terminal. However, this advanced user isn't the ideal target market for a software application like CleanMyMac.
For the average Mac owner, the knowledge of manual maintenance tasks is very limited. Over time your Apple computer can get bogged down with junk like system files, broken data files, log files, mail attachments, and unnecessary downloads.
Proper Mac cleaners will be able to scan your Apple machine, locate which files are unnecessary and taking up valuable resources, and remove them with only a few clicks. While these things can be done in some cases for free the manual way, the time and effort of using something like CleanMyMac X make the price justified in many cases.
Some Mac Cleaners Have Experienced Malicious Copycat Attacks
If you are researching Mac cleaners, you'll likely find advertisements or mentions of MacKeeper, which is a competitor to CleanMyMac that has resulted in heavy criticism. Much of the negative comments are unwarranted by anonymous users on claims that aren't justified.
For example, there are many reviews and people out there claiming the MacKeeper app is malware or a virus with malicious intent and not safe. While it isn't our recommended optimization software for Mac and their advertising or commission practices aren't always the most ideal, the company intentions of developing their app are indeed genuine.
Why they have a bad reputation has to do with a few smaller factors such as aggressive advertising. However, the primary reason has to do with a copycat malicious adware application that disguised itself as MacKeeper resulted in many users confusing the two. This unsafe app was dubbed MacDefender but is the same as MacProtector, MacSecurity, MacGuard & MacShield.
How Does CleanMyMac X Ensure My Files Are Safe?
Since CleanMyMac scans and removes files it deems unnecessary, there is always a small risk that data it finds unnecessary yet could be useful to you. Unlike many other Mac cleaners, especially with free software like CCleaner, MacPaw has designed CleanMyMac X to be thorough yet careful with what it chooses to suggest for removal.
The way it does this is by using a safety database that harnesses a long list of operational rules and exceptions to ensure that the software only removes unnecessary data. This safety database has been refined over the last seven years and is continually updated as Apple changes MacOS over time.
CleanMyMac X will not delete any of your personal data and only flag large files for manual removal. This is where you need to be extra careful with a cheaper Mac cleaning program as most of these safety precautions will not be present.
Beyond the safety database, MacPaw has designed CleanMyMac to utilize a smart notification system to identify what data is critical to the operating system or those important to the user. This means the only way you'll end up deleting critical files or necessary data information with CleanMyMac X is through operator error by actually bypassing the warning notifications.
With a free Mac cleaning solution like CCleaner, it is no secret that you will save a few dollars. However, you are more susceptible to accidentally deleting important data, whether from MacOS or your documents. Paying a couple of bucks spread out over the year gives you peace of mind, safety, more storage space, and a boost in performance that will ultimately save you time and money.
So Should I Use CleanMyMac?
This question is entirely up to you and not something we can answer for you. Everyone's needs and budget are different so depending on whether those fall in line with what MacPaw's optimization software offers, you'll have to decide for yourself.
What we can tell you is that CleanMyMac X is NOT a scam, risky, malicious, or a virus. The cleaner application is a legitimate and credible piece of software that is designed to aid Mac computer owners to help them reclaim resources and disk space that are bogging down their machine over extended use.
One of the best elements of CleanMyMac X is that it offers a free trial that allows you to test their Apple software before buying (500MB trial limit). You also have the option to sign-up for 7-days of full access to CleanMyMac X (with no cleaning limitations) via their affordable Setapp subscription ($9.99/month).
Despite having high-level Mac knowledge and the capabilities to carry out my own routine maintenance for my iMac and MacBook Pro, I still regularly opt to utilize CleanMyMac X on both machines. The design interface is clean, well-organized, and easy to carry out thus saving me time and convenience when compared to attempting to do it all manually just because I'm capable.
Still, finding yourself wondering is CleanMyMac X safe? We can assure you, it is although it may not be necessary if you are skilled enough to carry out your own cleaning commands. The whole idea of these cleaning apps is to keep Macs with outdated system components from becoming sluggish and inefficient with age so in this case, CleanMyMac X achieves this process very well without any risks.