• Editor Rating
  • Rated 4 stars
  • 80%

  • MacPaw CleanMyMac 3
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: June 23, 2017
  • Installation & Setup
    Editor: 80%
  • Design & Interface
    Editor: 100%
  • Features
    Editor: 90%
  • Function
    Editor: 80%
  • Value For The Price
    Editor: 70%

CleanMyMac 3 offers improved maintenance and optimization over previous versions.

It had been more than a year since MacPaw's popular CleanMyMac 2 software was released so it was inevitable that the development team was about due to release an updated version. On April 7th, CleanMyMac 3 was finally released and is ready to make moves in the software world as a one-stop software for all the cleaning, maintenance, and monitoring needs within the Mac operating system.

MacPaw reached out to take the newly revised version for a swing and see if it's as good as advertised. Rest assured, no outside influences or personal bias have affected the outcome of this review. Any and all opinions express in this article are based solely on my hands-on experience using the CleanMyMac 3 software.

License Pricing

MacPaw now offers CleanMyMac 3 as a free download for any prospective buyers as a means to test out the software with limited functionality. According to the software's documentation, the free trial version has the following restrictions:

2015-04-14_16-35-14I think it is a smart move by MacPaw as consumers now have the ability to get some hands-on experience testing out the software's interface and feature-set prior to putting any of their money up.

This opportunity will help to determine whether the software is right for your needs and if you are capable of utilizing the software in regards to your technological experience.

When you are ready to upgrade, a standard single license for Clean My Mac 3 is priced at $39.95 just like its predecessor. For most, this price-point is within budget especially when you take into consideration the software's variety of new features and increased depth of use.

Should you require more than one license, you have the option to purchase a discounted bundle of two licenses for $59.95 or five licenses for $89.95 thus saving $20 and $109.80, respectively.


MacPaw has revamped the CleanMyMac structure and focused on three major areas: cleaning, maintenance, and monitoring.


  • Easily clean up unused files and folders by initiating an in-depth scan of your Mac with a single click.
  • Smart detection is used to determine which files are “safe” to delete and which need further approval as they may contain important files
  • Support for Mail, iTunes, Skype, and Photos apps that can detect and remove cached files, incomplete downloads, unneeded backups, and previous updates to clear up more space on your hard drive.


  • Dedicated application uninstaller will completely remove applications effortlessly without leaving any unnecessary files behind.
  • Speed up your Mac via spotlight reindexing, repairing disk permissions, and Mail search optimization.
  • Remove individual add-ons like widgets, extensions and plugins from one central panel
  • Curb your digital footprint both online and offline by deleting past browsing history, Skype conversations, Messages, downloads, recently open files and more.
  • Remove data permanently using the “Shredder” tool thus making sensitive information unretrievable with a third-party recovery software.

Monitoring & Health

  • Offer real-time health alerts as to your Mac's health including memory use, storage limits, and hardware temperatures
  • View a well-organized report showcasing active storage, memory, battery, and processor performance.
  • Receive head-up notifications and actions in regards to system issues including a full trash bin, force quitting unresponsive apps and freeing up RAM.

By opening up the CleanMyMac software to cover more ground, MacPaw has further expanded the value that their software offers. Due to this, the value per dollar has increased significantly making it a more worthwhile investment.

With the upgrade to CleanMyMac 3, MacPaw also updated the minimum system requirements. CleanMyMac 3 will only be supported on Apple computers running Mac OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion” or later.

Most modern Macs will have shipped with this OS X version or newer, but it is worth noting for anyone with an old iMac or Macbook (purchases prior to October 20th, 2012) as you'll need to upgrade to a more recent OS X version to get support for CleanMyMac 3.

Performance & Function

One of MacPaw's biggest strengths in regards its software development is their user interface. Every piece of software that I have used from them has an attractive, well-designed, and neatly organized UI that is both pleasing to the eye as well as highly effective when it comes down to real-world use.

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CleanMyMac 3's UI  has great use of vibrant colors, an easy-to-use navigation architecture, and lots of visual cues (charts, images, grids, etc.) to better emphasize the purpose of each component within the software.

The timing for a piece of software like this couldn't have come at a much better time since my 2012 15″ Retina MacBook Pro has been neglected as of lately in regards to routine maintenance and cleanup.

One-Click Scanning & Removal

Diving right into the clean-up process, I utilized the ‘Smart Cleanup' tab to perform a full scan of my Macbook Pro that was initiated by just a single click. The process took around 45 minutes to sort through just about 200GB of data. When it was complete, I was shown 24.5GB of potential data savings and up to an additional 99.88 GB of savings should I choose to sort manually through my ‘large and old files'.

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Within the initial 24.5GB of savings, there were data in random locations that took up a significant amount of space that I'd have never ended up cleaning without the use of this software. These included unneeded foreign language files, user/system files, miscellaneous cache files, old Mail attachments, and iTunes/iPhoto junk files. When I am only working with a 256GB SSD to begin with, every GB counts so having the ability to do a thorough scan with a single click is of great convenience.

In the past, I've critiqued the CleanMyMac software as having the potential to automatically remove important files. This time around MacPaw has implemented a structure that will pinpoint large and old files yet it won't automatically remove them unless the user manually approves them for removal.

I like this tactic as you can pick and choose which files are unnecessary to keep on your computer and determine which are critical enough to leave be and continue taking up space on your hard drive.

For users who aren't that computer savvy, this approach will keep the software safer and easier to use by yourself without the unnecessary risks that sometimes occurred while using the last version.

Once you have double checked the files that are scheduled for removal, the actual cleanup process is another single click endeavor. After the cleaning process has been initiated, you'll get a real-time report outlining the process of the cleanup and the amount of data left to be removed.

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I was a bit disappointed that there was no indication of an estimated time left for the removal process although typically the cleanup process will be quicker than that of the initial scanning process.

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Freeing Up Usable RAM

While at the main dashboard, there is a real-time overview of your computer's current hardware utilization. Next to the ‘Memory' tab, it showed I only had 2.15GB free out of the 16GB installed in my computer. There was a ‘free up' button which when pressed will run a script to flush out unused RAM and open it up for use.

CleanMyMac3-Screenshot (12 of 16)CleanMyMac3-Screenshot (13 of 16)Again, with just a single-click, I was able to to triple my amount of free memory and instantly boost the performance benefits during this session. Advanced users can clear their RAM in a similar fashion without the use of any third-party software yet this is ideal for someone who isn't very tech savvy or doesn't have the patience to do it manually.

Uninstaller & Extensions Removal

Unlike Windows, the Mac doesn't have any built-in uninstaller process so getting rid of old or unneeded programs isn't such a simple and smooth process. What I like about the uninstaller module within CleanMyMac 3 is the ability to quickly view all your installed applications and see exactly how much space they take up along with a detailed list of the binaries, logs, user data, and supporting files that are tied to this program.

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From there I can decide whether or not the application is worth keeping on my machine based on the amount I use it and how much disk space that it takes up. If I do decide to remove the application, I can do so quickly and effectively as the software will remove the application and all of its supporting files with just a few clicks.

The same process goes for extensions which are often more hard to manually locate on your machine and this module simplifies the process greatly.

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Privacy & Shredder

The Privacy module is more geared towards removing potentially sensitive data from your Mac should it become compromised or fall into the wrong hands. Within this section, it will scan things like your browsers, Messages app, and Skype (if installed) to locate unnecessary data files that are stored locally on your machine. In some cases, this may be able to save you some significant storage as in the event that you have an excessive backlog of conversations via Messages or Skype.

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Do take note that running the “removal” process within this section will permanently delete any data that is “checked”. This leaves a chance to lose potentially important website cookies (automatic login info), browser history, or conversations. The easiest way to avoid this is to manually overlook which files are to be cleaned and make sure they will not become a burden in the future should you remove them.

The “Shredder” is a useful tool if you're looking to get rid of highly-sensitive files, folders, or media as it will ensure the data isn't recoverable even by way of a recovery software like Recurva. It couldn't be much simpler to use, just locate the file, confirm you'd like to permanently delete it, and the software will do the rest. From my testing, this tool functioned quickly and efficiently without any hiccups.

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Final Verdict

MacPaw's latest iteration in the line of CleanMyMac software is a home run. They have managed to improve nearly all aspects of the software while still maintaining the ease of use and sleek interface. In regards to the average user, CleanMyMac 3 will offer great convenience and piece of mind as it helps safely keep your Mac running smoothly without much effort on your end.

If you are a tech-savvy, advanced user, you may not find the price-tag worthwhile as nearly all maintenance and cleaning aspects can be carried out for little to no cost manually yet this is much more time-intensive and requires more advanced technical knowledge. In my opinion, time is money, and the pure convenience of a software like this is well-worth the $40 investment.