MacPaw CleanMyMac X Review 2020: Does It Really Work?

Our Verdict: A product from MacPaw, CleanMyMac X, brings together the best we expect from Mac optimization tools. It creates an impressive combination of features, an intuitive UI, and native performance. On any day, you can use CleanMyMac X to clean up junk, remove malware, free up storage space, and perform actions like data shredding and uninstalling applications. It even has a menu-bar widget that keeps your Mac on a look-out. Altogether, we’d recommend CleanMyMac X to anyone who needs a cleaner, better and faster Mac.

What I Like (Pros):

  • Elegant and Simple User Interface
  • Several System-level Utilities
  • Enhanced Protection from Malware and Web Threats
  • Easy-to-use Modules
  • Best Performance Results

What I Don’t Like (Cons):

  • Does not offer Live Chat support

Detailed Expert Review

Minimal maintenance is one of the reasons why people choose macOS over Windows and Linux. This doesn’t mean that you can take the OS for granted. Just like Windows and Linux, macOS also requires cleaning and optimization at frequent intervals.

macOS built-in cleaner utility

Here is the problem: manually cleaning your macOS system can be a tiresome affair. Unless you want to take a few hours for this task every month, you can’t see the differences.

This is why macOS optimization suites have become popular. These multipurpose tools help you automate the macOS cleaning process. You can do this in minutes, which is terrific.

And, CleanMyMac X is one of the most popular macOS cleanup tools out there.

It has been the popular choice of both professionals and everyday users. Personally speaking, I’ve been using CleanMyMac X for more than two years now. While the experience has been quite rewarding, we wanted to do a review from scratch.

And that’s what we’re going to do here.

We will share with you an extensive review of CleanMyMac X and whether it really works. In this review, we will consider the top features and functionalities of the Mac optimization suite. The idea is to understand if the tool can give you a faster, more reliable, and convenient Mac experience.

What is CleanMyMac X?

CleanMyMac X is a Mac cleaner software that is developed by MacPaw. However, instead of merely cleaning junk files on your Mac, this app becomes a complete agent for optimizing your macOS experience. It aims to provide comprehensive coverage of speed, performance, security, and utility.

CleanMyMac X Introduction UI

This tool makes a rather bold claim of making your Mac feel like new. It claims to do so by removing all types of junk, safely uninstalling apps, protecting your Mac from malware, and improving the standard speed. Of course, the question is whether CleanMyMac X can do it all.

CleanMyMac X is available for macOS only. However, unlike many other tools in the market, it has complete support for macOS Catalina. Yet, MacPaw, the developer, has another product CleanMyPC that serves almost the same purpose on Windows.

Shall we move to the central part of the CleanMyMac X review then? We tried all the features offered by CleanMyMac X on our own Mac. Because it’s a device that I use for software testing and writing, it’s always full of clutter and issues. So, we thought we could provide a real-life performance of the Mac cleaner.

CleanMyMac X Features (4.5/5)

As we said, CleanMyMac X is a feature-rich macOS optimization software. And, the tool does more than just optimizing your Mac. So, to better understand all these features, we will split them into five sections. In this way, you can also understand whether CleanMyMac X has everything that you need.


The Cleanup section of CleanMyMac X contains several utilities that can clean the macOS system. Using these cleaning utilities is an excellent way to keep your Mac clean and to save storage space. There are three utilities under this section.

System Junk Remover

This section removes system junk files that your Mac creates over time. It can also fix some of the common errors with application behavior and system management. As you can see, the cleaner removes system cache, user cache, language files, broken login items, etc.

CleanMyMac X System Junk Cleaning

It is quite useful in that you can easily save several GBs of space. As you can see, the system cache itself is taking up more than 2GB of space, which will make your Mac slow down even further. More importantly, if you have a MacBook with 128GB of internal storage, this is a great way to keep your Mac on toes.

Considering that the manual process of removing junk is tiresome, this section is just brilliant.

Mail Attachments Remover

Mail Attachment part of CleanMyMac X will remove the attachments you have received via the Mail app. This happens in bulk and helps you save a lot of storage space.

CleanMyMac X Mail Attachment Cleaning

This feature may not benefit everyone, though. For instance, in my case, mail attachments were not taking up much space. However, if you use the Mail app as the primary email client, you should try this.

Trash Bin Cleaner

This tool does more than cleaning your Trash. There may be folders and problematic stuff in your Trash. Using this app, you can clean them without any problem. Once the cleaning is over, it tells you how much space you have saved.

CleanMyMac X System Trash Cleaning

We had tested this feature by putting some problematic files inside the Trash. macOS had problems in doing this by itself. However, CleanMyMac X comes with full-disk access permissions and some useful algorithms. So, it can make these removals easier than ever.

To Sum Up: All these cleaning features work exceptionally well. In seconds, you can save several GBs of space from your Mac. We also noticed that our Mac became exceptionally faster after clean up.


People have finally debunked the myth that Macs don’t need protection. They do, and CleanMyMac X offers one of the smoothest ways to go about it. Arranged in two sub-sections, the Protection part of the app allows you to take care of malware and other privacy-related threats.

Malware Removal

This section uses a powerful engine and regularly updated database to find potential malware on your Mac. The scanning process is pretty fast, and it doesn’t miss a single directory. The app does a commendable job in finding adware, which is common in macOS.

CleanMyMac X Malware removal

To be frank, we couldn’t test this section in its entirety. I keep my primary Mac device safe all the time, and it’s tough to find malware inside. However, we talked to some experts in the industry and did go through a lot of user-reviews to finalize that CleanMyMac X Malware Remover does a commendable job.


This part of the section covers a broader ground. You can use this tool to remove potential web-based traces on your computer. It may include cookies, autofill forms, chat history, browser data history, etc. You may want to quit your browser before you explore this area.

CleanMyMac X privacy scanner interface

This area surprised us. For instance, I didn’t know that my Mac had thousands of web traces inside. The section also provided me an effective way to analyze system permissions. The best part is that I could make the necessary changes from the same interface.

To Sum Up: Altogether, the Protection section provides an easy way to find how secure your Mac is. The Privacy scanner does a brilliant job of analyzing apps and permissions. The app offers a sufficient amount of control on how to optimize web-based privacy.


You may want to check this section if you think your Mac is slowing down. CleanMyMac X scans your Mac to find the potential reasons for the slowdown. You can also access some maintenance-focused features from this section.


This part of the section will show you the login items, launch agents, and heavy power consumers on your Mac. You can enable and disable these options quickly, thereby improving the time your Mac takes to boot up and get set.

Because I use so many applications, my Mac used to take more than a minute to set itself up. However, after optimizing the login items, I was able to see a difference of several seconds.

CleanMyMac X Optimizer and Login Items remover

I believe this is one of the best modules in CleanMyMac X. You can practically improve the startup time of your Mac by optimizing the login items. Launch agents help you to control background-running apps as well. Once again, this interface is easier than the tedious task of going to System Preferences and further.


This part contains several tools you can use for keeping your Mac on its toes. You get options like RAM cleaner, space purging, DNS cache flushing, Spotlight re-indexing, and disk repair, etc. These modules can improve the overall speed, even when you have an old Mac.

CleanMyMac X Maintenance tools list

We really loved how CleanMyMac X brings a number of features that provide better speed. For instance, the app allows you to free purgeable space, RAM, and DNS cache. We observed that these actions resulted in a better internet speed, among other things.

To Sum Up: These utilities can speed up your Mac in real-time. For instance, if you are running too many programs in the background, freeing up the RAM will give you a better performance. Similarly, getting rid of login items drastically improved the startup time as well.


System and user apps are responsible for taking up a lot of storage space/resources in your Mac. In light of this fact, CleanMyMac X offers multiple utilities to manage the applications you have installed. These tools can improve not only the speed but also the overall performance.


This is a professional-grade app uninstaller and repair suite for macOS applications. You can see a list of installed apps and sort them based on usage patterns, size, vendor, store, etc. There is also an option to find Leftover files on the system. The best part is that you can select multiple apps from multiple sections and uninstall them at once.

CleanMyMac X App Uninstaller

It gives a simple interface to understand which apps are taking up most of the space from your computer. However, we would have loved to see an option to sort apps based on the date installed.


As the name says, this utility helps you to keep your macOS apps up-to-date. This works for apps that you have installed from sources other than the App Store. You can select multiple apps, press the Update button, and forget about the rest.

CleanMyMac X App Updater

This quickly becomes a central place where you manage both App Store and non-App Store updates. If you’re like me, you don’t know about out-of-date third-party apps until you open them. CleanMyMac X fixes this issue by letting you update all the apps at once.


This interface will list out the multiple extensions you may have installed on your Mac. We are talking about Spotlight plugins, Safari extensions, internet plugins, and Preference panes. It’s a great way to keep your Mac clean. So, if an adware/bundleware has installed unwanted plugins on your Mac, this section will help you clean things up.

CleanMyMac X Extensions manager

Once again, I didn’t have much luck with this section. Sure, it was able to find a lot of extensions that were in Safari. It also helped me remove one of the Preferences Panes that I was no longer using. So, in the end, I did improve something.

To Sum Up: With the help of these tools, you can easily manage the different apps you may have installed on your Mac. All of them help you in saving a lot of storage space as well.


The Files section contains some of the most useful tools in the CleanMyMac X package. As you can guess, all of these tools allow you to analyze your file system and manage them efficiently and securely. You can find dedicated apps for these purposes, but whatever CleanMyMac X has included does an excellent job too.

Space Lens

This is a great way to understand what consumes the storage space on your Mac. It gives a quick overview of space consumption, and you can do quicker decision-making as well. The app has an interface that shows the list of directories and a graphical representation. You can select multiple files/folders and delete them. This tool is as impressive as the other dedicated tools like DaisyDisk.

CleanMyMac X Space Lens

If you often wonder why your Mac is always showing low storage space, you should consider using this tool from CleanMyMac X. It provides a graphical picture that you can zoom in and analyze. We could also select multiple folders and delete them at once.

Large & Old Files

This section helps you find large-sized and old files on your Mac. Finding these files and removing them is an effective way to free up storage space. Just as we did with the list of apps, you can sort the files based on size and age. For instance, you can find files that you have not opened for a year.

CleanMyMac X Large and Old Files Finder

As a potential hoarder of documents, this feature was a life-saver. I didn’t know that my Mac had thousands of files that I was no longer using. When compared to the process of going on Finder and analyzing the dates, this utility can save a couple of hours, at least.


This utility is a dedicated file shredder, tucked inside the CleanMyMac X package. You can use this section to remove your files and folders most effectively. You can simply select a folder/file, and the powerful shredder does the rest of the job.

CleanMyMac X File Shredder

The file shredder is probably one of the strongest ones I have seen so far. The app is easy to use and allows some advanced options. For instance, if you are planning to sell your Mac and want to wipe some important files, the shredder is an excellent choice.

To Sum Up: These are some powerful utilities, indeed. You can use these options to get a clearer picture of how the Mac is handling resources, among other things.

The Impact on System

This is probably the best part about CleanMyMac X. And, when compared to the other macOS optimization suites in the market, CleanMyMac X does a fantastic job.

Throughout the scanning process, I was able to use my Mac in a normal manner. I didn’t notice any kind of slow-down or multitasking issues. Even when CleanMyMac X was scanning my hard drive for Space Lens, the overall Mac experience was smooth.

This is something I cannot say about other Mac performance tools in the market. Personally speaking, a tool that cleans your Mac without making other apps stuck is a blessing.

CleanMyMac X Pricing (4/5)

CleanMyMac X offers an affordable line of pricing.

First and foremost, there is a free trial that you can try. This trial version brings you some limited features to clean your Mac. For instance, you can clean up to 200MB of junk, recognize malware, remove one app, and clean 1GB of data via Space Lens. If you want to go beyond this, a subscription/license is necessary.

So, CleanMyMac X offers both subscriptions and one-time purchases.


A one-year subscription of CleanMyMac X costs you $34.95.

If you want to buy two or five licenses instead of one, you can pay $54.95 and $79.95, respectively.
MacPaw brings several promotions during the various times of the year. So, you may be able to get the yearly subscription at a considerably lower cost.

One-Time Purchase

If you don’t want to pay a yearly subscription, you can get the one-time purchase version at $89.95.
If you want to get two or five licenses instead of one, you can pay $134.95 and $199.95, respectively.
You must keep in mind that a one-time purchase gives you only the current version. You will have to get an individual license when MacPaw launches the next big option.

Additional Discounts

Also, CleanMyMac X offers several discounts if you are upgrading from a previous version or a competitor product. You can check the pricing page of the product for more details.

CleanMyMac X says that you can avail up to a 50% discount if you are using a previous version. On the other hand, if you come from a competitor suite/antivirus, you can get up to a 40% discount.

Besides, there are options for bulk discounts and other coupons.

To Sum Up: we believe the pricing sector of CleanMyMac X is just impressive. There are multiple ways to get a license, and the Competitor Upgrade option is just dope.

CleanMyMac X Ease of Use (5/5)

Ease of use is an area where CleanMyMac X really excels. As opposed to the many other macOS optimization suites we have seen, MacPaw has used an intuitive UI. So, even if you are entirely new to Mac and macOS, you won’t have trouble in using this app to clean your Mac.

Getting Started and Smart Scan

Let’s have a look at how to get started with CleanMyMac X.

The first thing you see when you open CleanMyMac X is a window called Smart Scan. If you’ve got the full version of the app, this smart scan will cover your entire Mac experience. From system junk files to malware and from optimization to uninstaller, a lot of sections will be explored.

CleanMyMac X Smart Scanning Begin

Once the scan is over, CleanMyMac X will show you suggestions on how to improve the speed, storage space, and security. For instance, you can see that the tool shows how much junk is in the system.

CleanMyMac X Smart Scan review

There is also an option to preview what’s inside so that you don’t end up deleting anything you need.
Once you press the Run button, CleanMyMac X will start cleaning up your Mac, from top to bottom.

CleanMyMac X smart scan results

You can also see a result page, where you can get a summary of the scanning process.

The User Interface

As we said earlier, the User Interface is incredibly intuitive. CleanMyMac X comes with five different sections:

  • Cleanup
  • Protection
  • Speed
  • Application
  • Files

These options are available on the sidebar of the app. You can explore these sections as well as the sub-parts from the easy-to-navigate sidebar. This arrangement is nice, because you don’t get lost between so many options. And, when you want, you can access individual features as well.

CleanMyMac X Assistant

CleanMyMac X comes with an intelligent digital assistant as well. You can find this assistant on the top-right part of the main window. This assistant helps you in understanding the next best step for your Mac’s health and speed.

You also get a fully-fledged Preferences Pane with this software. Via this page, you can control many aspects like scanning items, real-time malware monitoring, privacy preferences, and a list of apps/files that you want to avoid.

CleanMyMac X Menu

CleanMyMac X Menu is a small widget that you can access from the menu bar of your Mac.

It provides a clear picture of resource consumption in your Mac. For instance, you can know more about the battery backup, RAM usage, CPU performance, Trash size, and storage space left.

CleanMyMac X Menu

The best part is that you can control what appears on the CleanMyMac X Menu via the Preferences pane. It also offers an option to turn off the menu, though we won’t recommend this.

This menu can also help you with relevant notifications regarding RAM and CPU consumption. For instance, if your system is taking up a lot of resources, CleanMyMac X will notify you. Similarly, it can notify you when an app is not responding.

In short, the CleanMyMac X menu becomes your Mac’s own watchdog. And, trust me, it’s good to have one.

CleanMyMac X Customer Support (4/5)

It’s very unlikely that you need customer support while using CleanMyMac X. However, in case you do, you can choose from a variety of options.

  • Knowledge Base: CleanMyMac X has a detailed Knowledge Base that contains how-to guides as well as other tutorials. You can explore the various features and sections of the program, using intuitive GIFs and videos.
  • Contact Us: If the guides on Knowledge Base do not answer your doubts, you can go with this option. MacPaw offers you an option to attach a screenshot or a photograph that explains your issue. You can expect a quick reply from the support team.

There is also a Frequently Asked Questions section that answers some of the common queries.

Despite all these, CleanMyMac X does not offer live chat support. We’d have loved to see this one.
On the bright side, the email support is incredibly fast and professional. You can expect on-time replies from the team, even during some challenging times.

Is CleanMyMac X the Best Mac Cleaner Out There?

In light of our experience, we think CleanMyMac X is the best Mac cleaner out there.

There are a few reasons why we think so.

First of all, compared to competitors in the market, CleanMyMac X provides a wholesome Mac cleaning and maintenance experience. You can manage almost every aspect of your system from a single platform. As you may have noticed throughout this CleanMyMac X review, there are some powerful utilities as well.

Second, it comes with such an impressive User Interface. It is equally modern yet simple. This way, you don’t have to worry about multiple windows or settings. There is even a digital assistant to automate the process of Mac cleaning.

Third and last, CleanMyMac X is entirely safe. It does not come with any kind of bundleware. It does not mess with browser settings, either. In short, from start to finish, we had the smoothest experience of keeping your Mac fresh and ready to roll.

So, in light of all these, we firmly believe CleanMyMac X is the best Mac cleaner out there.

CleanMyMac X — Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is CleanMyMac X free?

No, CleanMyMac X is not free to use. It’s a paid Mac cleaning tool that you can purchase at $39.95. However, you can enjoy a free trial of the tool, which gives you access to all the features in limited quantity. So, you can try before you buy.

Q. Is CleanMyMac X safe?

Yes, CleanMyMac X is 100% safe to use. The developers of MacPaw CleanMyMac X have managed to create intelligent Mac cleaning algorithms. So, the app does not mess with the system folders or other sensitive directories.

Q. Is CleanMyMac X privacy-friendly?

CleanMyMac X is a Mac cleaning app that respects user privacy like any other in the market. It even offers a preference option to decide whether you want to share usage statistics with the developer. So, compared to any separate app for the same purpose in the market, CleanMyMac X is better.

Q. Who should get CleanMyMac X?

People who think their Mac is slowing down should get CleanMyMac X. As we have said in the review, you can automate a lot of tasks using this tool. You also get access to some powerful utilities like file shredder, app uninstaller, RAM cleaner, etc.

Q. How does CleanMyMac X work?

CleanMyMac X is a package of multiple tools, including utilities. As to the cleaning part, the CleanMyMac X engine uses powerful algorithms to detect various types of slowdown elements on your Mac. Then, using a safe method, the app will remove these contents.

Q. Can CleanMyMac X remove malware?

Yes, CleanMyMac X, being the latest version, comes with malware detection and removal engine. You have to update the virus database frequently, though. If you have done that, CleanMyMac X will clean your Mac real-time for malware and remove it if the engine finds any malicious apps.

Q. Can CleanMyMac X replace my antivirus software?

While CleanMyMac X is not a dedicated antivirus program, it can help you detect and remove malware from your Mac. Nevertheless, if you follow some safe practices while browsing the web, you can use CleanMyMac X to replace your anti-malware suite.

Q. How often should I use CleanMyMac X?

It depends on the type of purpose you use the Mac for. For instance, if you use software that creates a vast amount of temporary files, you will have to use CleanMyMac X pretty frequently. By the way, the app has a feature that reminds you when certain areas like Trash and Storage Space are full.

Alternatives to CleanMyMac X

Here’s a look at some of the CleanMyMac X alternatives you can find the market. We have also tried to show how CleanMyMac X compares to these apps.

1. CCleaner for Mac

CCleaner for Mac is the macOS version of CCleaner, a popular cleaning tool for Windows. This cleaning app provides a quick and easy way to keep your Mac device fresh by removing junk like cache, cookies, and other temporary files. There are also a few additional modules, such as the large-file finder and app uninstaller. It’s also consuming a lesser amount of resources from your Mac.

The problem is that CCleaner for Mac does not offer you comprehensive coverage. No matter what, there are a few features that you miss. For instance, we couldn’t find the file management features that we loved in CleanMyMac X. Similarly, you also miss on anti-malware protection and privacy-management features. A limited, free version of CCleaner for Mac is available, but the full version costs $19.95.

2. MacClean

MacClean from iMobile is another practical alternative to CleanMyMac X. However, this app offers more of a comprehensive maintenance coverage for your Mac. The tool is split into two sections — namely Cleanup and Utilities. The Cleanup section provides you several ways to remove junk files and cookies. There is also a dedicated sub-section for privacy management.

Even though MacClean offers more options than what we saw with MacClean, it cannot beat CleanMyMac X. In CleanMyMac, we had seen a variety of utilities like Space Lens and File Shredder. If you are someone who values those utilities, it’s better not to go here. On the bright side, MacClean is affordable, as it comes for $19.99 per year.

3. MacBooster

MacBooster is another popular alternative to CleanMyMac. Although it’s a complete maintenance suite for Mac, the primary focus is on performance optimization. As it happens, it avoids focus from some critical areas as well. Nevertheless, you can access features like junk cleaning, malware removal, RAM boosting, and startup optimization.

We firmly believe that MacBooster can have a better user interface, though. While the UI gets the job done, it does not strike as intuitive as the one in CleanMyMac X. Once again, you will be missing some features like a file shredder and space analyzer. Instead, the app has included some features like duplicate finder and RAM cleaner. The subscription for MacBooster starts at $3.33 per month and lifetime plans at $89.95.


After rigorous testing, exploring user reviews, and expert opinion, we think CleanMyMac X is the best Mac cleaner software you can get in 2020. MacPaw has done a fantastic job of bringing together so many useful modules into an easy-to-use package. This package thus becomes a central destination for keeping your Mac quick, secure, and convenient.