Have you ever wondered why your Mac slows down after a couple months of use with no maintenance? Well, one of the reasons is because sometimes temporary files, which are supposed to be deleted, are kept without receiving any real use anymore. That, and of course, all the stuff that you have probably installed lately.
Luckily, we have a few apps that can help you keep a clean computer and a garbage-free hard drive. One of the newest options is an affordable alternative called CleanGenius. Is it any good? Let’s see!
CleanGenius has two versions in the App Store. One of them is the free one and the other one is the paid one, although there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the two. Right now, the paid one costs $0.99 cents and it claims to have a few more features, but they seem to be smaller customization features that you probably won’t miss in the free version.
What the app does is clean your system from files (with your permission, of course) that you don’t need anymore and are only taking up space from your hard drive. Here’s a list of all the things it can clean up for you:
- System and User Caches: Caches are temporary files that are meant to speed up things (like your apps), but sometimes they get clogged up.
- System and User Logs: Logs record the activity of things like the apps that you run for various purposes.
- Trash files: The files on your trash bin that haven’t been cleaned up.
- Downloads: Files on your Downloads folder.
- Uninstall Apps: Instead of deleting your apps, you can use this feature to not only trash the app file, but also remove extra files that might be around where you can’t see them.
- Space Monitor: It gives you useful information about the drives you have connected, like your HDD.
- Menu Bar component: Displays information about the connected drives.
Let’s get down to see how some of these work, shall we?
In order to select the files that you want cleaned up, you first need to scan your computer for them. You can do that by selecting the stuff that you want to be found (logs, caches, etc.). After you’ve selected these, you need to press the “Scan” button on the bottom left corner, which will start the scan. This might take a few minutes depending on how much clutter you have accumulated.
Once the scan is finished, the potential junk items that have been found will be shown under each category with some extra information like the name and the size of each file. You can then select which items you’d like to have deleted and which ones you’d like to keep. The “Clean” button found next to the “Scan” one will delete everything selected once you are ready.
Menu Bar and Extras
Along with the main cleaning features of the app, it also comes with its own menu bar component that personally I find a little too big and ugly, but I’m sure some people will find it useful. The icon is basically a huge green or orange status bar that represents the used and free space in your HDD. Inside the menu bar component, you can find more detailed information about not only your hard drive, but also every other drive connected to your computer, and you can even eject them right from the menu bar.
I should also further explain the app uninstaller. In the “Uninstall” section of the app, you can see a list of all the apps in your “Applications” folder and some information about them such as the date they were created and their Bundle ID. Here you can select any number of them and click the “Uninstall” button. A confirmation window will appear and once you select the “Proceed” option, the application will be erased. Unlike other apps of this type, CleanGenius does not give you a list of associated app files that you might want to erase too, which makes me think that maybe it doesn’t delete them like the competition does. Which brings me to the next topic, and perhaps the most important.
CleanMyMac is the first app that comes to mind when you think of a “System Cleaner”. Admittedly, it looks like the UI designers for CleanGenius had it in mind as well, I would definitely like to see them come up with a more unique look for their app. CleanMyMac is a paid app ($30) that has been around for quite a few years now, and that does pretty much anything that you could expect from an app in this category. CleanGenius lacks a few features by comparison (Language files and universal binaries, for example).
For what it does though, I don’t think you can go wrong with CleanGenius. They are both very similar, in features and interface, and they both achieve more or less the same results (from what I have researched). CleanMyMac, being the older and more popular competitor feels more secure, especially since these types of apps sometimes handle delicate files, but in the end the price is an important factor as well.
CleanGenius is a cheap and very capable system cleaning app. In fact, for the price I was expecting to find something buggy and useless, but fortunately that was not the case. It might not be better than other alternatives like CleanMyMac, but is also isn’t as expensive. Especially for what it does and for what you are going to notice, I don’t think you can go wrong with it.
Have you tried this or other similar apps? Have you survived without a “cleaning” app on your Mac? Let us know in the comments!