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The Best Free Cleanup Software for Mac OS X

There aren’t loads of programs out there that warrant users to fork out money for to enjoy their features. A good chunk are premium, but the point is you can get around pretty well with free apps.

When it comes to Mac OS X cleanup, two programs particularly stand out: CleanMyMac and Dr. Cleaner. While one comes at a fee, the other is free. But do you really need to spend that money while in actual sense you can get the features that you can really deem useful for free?

Here’s what we think!

  1. All Disk Scan

As the name suggests, this app performs a full scan of the whole disk. Looking at this from a software technician’s perspective, utility software shouldn’t have any issues scanning all disk parts. However, doing so goes contrary to Apple’s security concept for system-level files, where chances of garbage buildup are slim. File cleanup at this level may even lead to a system crash if casually removed.

Dr. Cleaner is an app that comes for free in the Mac App Store, and this makes it a perfect tool that falls in line with the Apple concept: it scans all areas users or third-party programs may reach, but it won’t compromise your system’s stability.

  1. Large File Scanning

Typically, users tend to ignore things they have downloaded – movies or large software installation packages, for example. These large files usually take up almost, or more than half of the disk disposable space.

Scanning for these files will mostly come at a cost – as is the case with CleanMyMac. In exchange for its users support, however, Dr. Cleaner offers this appreciated function for free.

  1. System Cleaning

According to CleanMyMac, system log files, user cache files and application language packs all fall under ‘System’. Looking at the latest version of Dr. Cleaner, cleanup of system and user cache files is supported. Not so for application language packs because of safety concerns.

Dr. Cleaner reckons that should the language pack be removed, program errors may occur for certain software. Not only that, there is no point in removing a single language pack which but translates to a very small fraction of disk space,

  1. Garbage Cleanup

This performs the function of cleaning up trash files. It’s still a bone of contention whether or not this is one of the features CleanMyMac charges you for, but it comes for free with Dr. Cleaner.

  1. iPhoto Cleanup

Residual cache files that boost the photo-browsing experience for the user is a benefit iPhoto users can gain when they synch their phone camera with the computer terminal. On the flipside, it also burden the disk by consuming more space.

You can view this space issue as a double-edged sword, because on the other hand, browsing is speeded up. This is true for frequent iPhoto users but can be superfluous for the occasional user.

CleanMyMac offers this feature as a value-added service, but Dr. Cleaner merges it with iTunes cache-cleaning due to its simplicity which doesn’t warrant separating out independently.

  1. Eraser

The whole point of an eraser is to make a file vanish completely without any possibility of recovery. For the ordinary user, this is unnecessary and there is no going back once you hit that button. As such, you can say it only comes in handy when putting up your Mac for sale where you don’t want your deleted files to be recoverable.

  1. Cleaner’s Smart Detective

This is a handy feature from Dr. Cleaner that automatically detects and totally cleans junk files that remain after uninstalling. All you have to do is drag them to Trash.

Let’s conclude by saying that with regard to disk cleanup, you should have an insight into the more frequently used functions. So, before you spend about $39 on a cleanup product, first try out a free one that fulfills about 80% of the functions.

About John Martinus

John Martinus has been in and around the tech industry for 15 years. He has a lot of experience since the early days of the internet. He lives in Southern California and when he's not writing tech articles he is hiking or surfing.

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