CleanMyMac Review

Clean My Mac Shotkit Review
featured on banner V2

It seems a little weird writing a CleanMyMac review on a site for photographers. The truth is though, CleanMyMac is so generically useful to anyone who owns a Mac computer, that it would be a shame not to introduce it to everyone who reads this site!

Shooting digitally, we are tied to our computers whether we like it or not. Our digital files seem to be getting bigger and bigger, eating up our hard drive space.

Many of us have switched to solid state (flash) drives due to the huge increase in performance, but prices remain high, especially when pre-installed in Mac desktops and laptops.

Needless to say, our hard drive space is precious. Whilst a Macbook Pro will still be running well after 5 years, it’s probable that the storage space will have dwindled. If you can recover this space, there’s much less need to keep upgrading hardware.

Whilst this is a review of CleanMyMac, it’s really just a long winded recommendation. I was about to splurge $4,000 on a new laptop as my old Macbook was crawling, but decided to give CleanMyMac a trial run before I made the jump.


It's a 100% Free Download

After running CleanMyMac for a few minutes on the auto clean setting, I discovered I’d be able to recover around 30gb of hard drive space!

This didn’t even involve deleting large files and programs – the space was recovered solely from ‘bloat’ – i.e. useless files that were sitting dormant, taking up my valuable disk space.

I coughed up the money for CleanMyMac, recovered 32gb of hard drive space, and found that my Macbook actually started running faster!

Apps like Mail and iPhoto which create huge amounts of temporary files in the background now opened quicker and felt much snappier.

CleanMyMac Review | How to Recover Space

example screen from MacPaw software CleanMyMac

An example of running CleanMyMac after 7 days on my own computer.

Even though this is a review of CleanMyMac, it really is just one long-winded recommendation.

Just download it for free here, run it on your Mac and see how much space you can recover.

You’ll be able to see just how much crap is lurking behind the scenes on your Mac, doing absolutely nothing except take up space.

CleanMyMac running on Macbook Pro

There’s something really satisfying when you hit the big round Clean button! If you’re a clean freak who likes to have your Mac desktop organised, there’s a great sense of satisfaction knowing that the things you can’t see on your Mac are also neatly arranged, with nothing superfluous clogging up the arteries.

I’m sure Steve Jobs would have approved of this piece of software! ;-)

There’s a lot that goes on when you click the Scan button in CleanMyMac, and to be completely honest, I don’t have a clue what that is! I don’t really care either – all I know is that the software is safely removing things I don’t need, helping my Mac run faster and more efficiently.

I’ve owned CleanMyMac for about 2 months now and run it every week. I haven’t had a single issue with it, and have saved over 100gb of flash drive space!

Total saved so far by MacPaw

My Macbook Pro has 1 Terabyte of flash storage. Judging by the Apple hard drive upgrade pricing, an extra 500gb of flash storage costs roughly $800. That’s about $1.60 per gigabyte.

This means that CleanMyMac has already saved me approximately $160 worth of space so far – not bad considering the software costs around a quarter that!

What does CleanMyMac Remove?

CleanMyMac finds large and old files

These are the Large & Old Files on my Macbook Pro. I can choose whether I want them removed or not by CleanMyMac.

In short, nothing you don’t want it to. You confirm the things you’d like to stay, and what you want to get ride of. The software recommends the things that you really should delete, and allows you to review anything that it deems you should look at – things like Large & Old Files.

The things that CleanMyMac will remove that won’t affect the functionality of your system include:

  • System Junk – Outdated cache files, old logs, extra application binaries, unused language files, broken app data.
  • Photo Junk – this is an eye opener for anyone who uses iPhoto. Did you know that iPhoto keeps a temporary version of every single edit you make to a photo?! This quickly adds up to a bunch of hard drive clogging files.
  • Mail Attachments – this is another one that will amaze you – your Mac stores local versions of all attachments and mail downloads that you’ll probably never need again. CleanMyMac will zap them all, and make your Mail app run much smoother.
  • Trash Bins – yes, you can empty your desktop trash bin yourself, but did you know the Mail app and iPhoto also have trash bins? CleanMyMac will empty them all.

What won’t CleanMyMac remove automatically?

itunes junk found by CleanMyMac

If you’re a heavy user of iTunes, your iTunes Junk is likely to be huge. I have zero music in my iTunes, but still CleanMyMac found all this crap to remove.

The things that CleanMyMac will analyse but require permission to touch are the Large & Old Files, and iTunes Junk.

I find the Large & Old Files scan pretty interesting as it shows me the things I haven’t used for over 6 months that are taking up a lot of space on my hard drive. I can select anything I’d like zapped, or I usually just leave it alone.

I rarely use iTunes, but it still seems to accumulate a tonne of crap. Things like outdated iPhone and iPad backups, remnants of iOS software updates and old Apps I’ve long-since deleted. I usually quickly review these and zap them all.

What else can CleanMyMac do?

Utilities of CleanMyMac

CleanMyMac also includes some useful utilities that you can choose to run occasionally. These include:

  • Uninstaller – Here you can choose to safely uninstall any app from your Mac. It sorts them by file size, so you can easily see what’s taking up valuable hard drive space. When you do uninstall an app, it’s often interesting to see the associated files that are removed with it – things that would have remained had you simply dragged the app to the trash, like you may have done in the past.
  • Maintenance – this includes a number of system optimisations, including running maintenance scripts, flushing DNS caches, rebuilding of stuff, speeding up stuff… Basically keeping your Mac running like a boss.
  • Privacy – instantly remove your porn browsing history, along with traces of your online and offline activity.
  • Extensions – this is a cool one. It removes all those plugins and extensions you installed long ago but have forgotten about.
  • Shredder – I’ve never used this, but it erases any sensitive data completely. Maybe a good one for any financial docs you want to get rid of.

Another really cool feature of CleanMyMac that I use almost every day is the ability to free up RAM at the click of a button.

When using Lightroom or Photoshop and it starts to crawl, one way I try and free up some RAM is to close other applications, such as my browser if I have a lot of tabs open.

If this isn’t convenient, I just click on the Free Up RAM button in CleanMyMac‘s task bar, which seems to do a great job of reallocating RAM to the app I’m currently using.

Free up RAM in task bar on Mac

One final thing I like about CleanMyMac is being able to view all of my system’s most important statistics, all in one well designed dashboard.

Sure, this info is available elsewhere on a Mac, but it’s nice to have it only a mouse click away, all in one spot.

You can also run the RAM freeing utility from here too.

how to free up memory on your computer

CleanMyMac Review | Final Words

Sorry this wasn’t much of a balance review of CleanMyMac, but the truth is, I don’t really have anything bad to say about this excellent piece of software!

It sets out to remove unnecessary files from your Mac and make it run better, and achieves that with a beautifully designed interface that’s incredibly satisfying to use.

We all buy expensive hardware, then moan about having to pay for software. With so much pirated or free software available, it’s easy to forget that there’s real people out there working very hard to build useful software that’ll make our digital lives easier, and ultimately save us money. There are 70+ people working at MacPaw doing just this!

I’ll just finish this review of CleanMyMac off by saying that this piece of software was the only piece of software I bought all the waaaay back in 2015 for my Mac, and I’m extremely happy with it. I’d also go as far as to say that it should be on every Mac owner’s computer.

If you own a Mac, click here to download a free trial copy of CleanMyMac right now. Then leave us a comment below to let us know how much CleanMyMac saved you ;-)

Disclaimer: I paid full price for my own copy of CleanMyMac in October 2015 and whole-heartedly recommend it. This review contains affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission if you choose to purchase CleanMyMac, but doesn’t affect your purchasing price in any way. Any commission earned helps pay for the running of Shotkit and my time invested into creating posts such as this. Thank you for your support!


You might also like ...


  1. Bob Barton on November 26, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Sorry but I like you thought it was great for a few months and then… bam it deleted a key system file and I then, after spending a few days and a few hundred pounds, I ended up with a clean install. Buyer beware; this program is classed as malware by many experts….

    • Mark Condon on November 28, 2018 at 1:57 pm

      Hey Bob, I’ve passed your comment on to the guys at MacPaw who make CMM – they’ll reply here so please check back.

    • Galyna Atilgan on November 29, 2018 at 12:37 am

      Hi Bob, thanks for sharing your feedback. We are testing and improving CleanMyMac X on a daily basis. Its reliability and stability are confirmed by 5 million CleanMyMac users who run the app on their Macs every day. In order to investigate your specific case, we’ll need to receive more details. If possible, please send all additional information to our Support team, at [email protected], so that we can examine the issue on our side. Thanks in advance!

    • John on December 24, 2018 at 11:43 pm

      Hey bob, I didn’t lose files like you, but indeed be wary of this. My local Mac store advised me that this is malware and not to use it as it was creating all sorts of issues. Since they helped me out cleaning up malware etc I’ve stopped using and all good.

      They did advise to use one called malware update or something- forget the name but has a big M there on it and scans for nasties

      • Galyna Atilgan on December 26, 2018 at 10:07 pm

        Hi John,

        As you might have heard, this year Apple worked hard to improve user’s Privacy and Security, so they implemented a “Notary” service which is in charge of verifying malicious and potentially unwanted software running on Mac. And I’m proud to announce that CleanMyMac X passed the notarization process and is now validated and approved by Apple:

  2. yagnajee on November 24, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Everything is very open and very clear explanation for clean my mac, keep moving.

  3. Solomen on December 14, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks for your review. I’ve been a Mac user for 5 years and I found CleanMyMac very useful. :)

    • Mark on December 15, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      That’s great Solomen. Yeah I use CMM at least once a week :-)

  4. Simon Dewey on May 1, 2016 at 6:34 am

    Its a bit cheeky to state that Steve Jobs would love it.

    From what I’ve heard – the official Apple line has been “get that off your computer, it does more harm than good”.

    Still, going to give it a try tonight….

  5. Catalin Biedron on February 1, 2016 at 10:02 pm


  6. Humac on January 1, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Had already bought it before I read your review. I agree with every word. Simple to use and very, very effective. Worth every penny.

  7. Greg on December 30, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Wholeheartedly agree. I downloaded this software on my old 2009 MacBook pro which was clogged with all sorts of old stuff / files / 145gb of iPhoto. The HD was maxed out and this software found nearly 20gb of junk. And that was just the recommended stuff. I haven’t even gone through the stuff it flagged for me to check.
    The MBP runs much better. I now run this on both my Imac and my MBP. Well worth the price if you ask me.

  8. Gary on December 30, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks for this review. I was able to clear up approx. 60gb in just over an hour. I also got the Gemini app., great add on! It allowed me to clear out duplicate files very easily.

    • Mark on December 31, 2015 at 6:37 am

      Ah yes I need to try out Gemini! Glad to hear the review helped you Gary.

Leave a Comment

mark circle copy

👋 Hi, I'm Mark! Improve your photography, get inspired & grow your business with the weekly Shotkit email from me :-)

🔎 Discover New Gear