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CleanMyMac vs MalwareBytes: Which Anti-Malware is better?

CleanMyMac vs MalwareBytes: Which Anti-Malware is better?

When comparing CleanMyMac vs MalwareBytes to determine which is better for malware protection, you’ll need to know that there are a few key performance benchmarks to review.

The difference between CleanMyMac and MalwareBytes is that MalwareBytes is a dedicated anti-malware software, CleanMyMac on the other hand has anti-malware as a side feature of it’s core app which is meant to optimize your mac of junk files. 

Because of this, many Mac users (especially those who are somewhat tech savvy), may be inclined to believe that MalwareBytes is better than CleanMyMac because that’s what the application is focused on.

…but, is that the truth? 

Related: Is CleanMyMac Safe? (The Truth)

In this post, I’m going to cover how CleanMyMac and MalwareBytes differ, which anti-malware and anti-virus is better, ans well as highlighting the pros and cons of each

How are CleanMyMac and MalwareBytes different?

How are CleanMyMac and MalwareBytes different_

CleanMyMac is a cleaning tool that is used for clearing junk files and speeding up the computer system. CleanMyMac X, the latest version of this app, can also detect and remove malware on your computer through its malware removal module. 

On the other hand, Malwarebytes is considered a proper malware remover, which means its major function and purpose is to detect and remove malware from computer systems.

Malwarebytes does not perform the additional speed optimization features that CleanMyMac does. This includes the ‘free up ram’ and storage clean up options that made my Macbook feel as speedy as when I first opened it out of the box.

Related: Is CleanMyMac X Worth it? (The Truth) Full Review

What does CleanMyMac have that Malwarebytes doesn’t?

What does CleanMyMac have that Malwarebytes doesn’t_

While Malware detection and removal are not CleanMyMac’s strongest suit, it has beneficial features that make it comparable to many malware removers. 

Some of these features that are present in CleanMyMac cannot be found in Malwarebytes. These bonus features include:

  • An App Uninstaller
  • Malware DMG detection
  • Stop certain programs from launching at startup
  • Speed optimization
  • Storage optimization

Related: 9 Best CleanMyMac Alternatives (Free and Paid)

“MalwareBytes has scheduled scans and quarantine to lock the malware up when its first detected. CleanMyMac has its own ‘real time protection’ and Malware DMG detection instead”

Based on our tests and research over a 13 month period using a MacBook Pro, we’ve found that:

…the one true benefit of MalwareBytes has over CleanMyMac is that it has one of the largest malware databases available. Otherwise, CleanMyMac provides cleanup and speed optimization in addition to malware protection.

Michael, MediaPeanut

However, CleanMyMac X still remains the more useful tool overall, especially when you compare the costs.

This is because it provides additional speed optimizations, making it an ‘all in one’ software and competes closely with Malwarebytes in the anti-malware department.

Related: Is the MacBook Air Good for Programming? (The Truth)

Is CleanMyMac X better than Malwarebytes?

Is CleanMyMac X better than Malwarebytes_

Between CleanMyMac and MalwareBytes, Malwarebytes remains the better software for removing malware as this is its primary purpose as a software.

However, CleanMyMac X’s Malware remover works just fine and only misses out on ‘scheduled scans’ for the most part (plus you get the massive benefit of a faster MacBook with its speed optimization and junk remover tools.

As an overall value for money, the speed optimization and cleaning features of CleanMyMac is ideal, but Malwarebytes boasts outstanding malware removal features compared to CleanMyMac.

Benefits Malware Bytes has over CleanMyMac:

  • Scheduled scans for automation and peace of mind.
  • Quarantining risky files without you prompting a scan.

Benefits CleanMyMac has over MalwareBytes:

  • App Uninstaller
  • Malware DMG detection
  • Launch agents removal
  • An complete speed optimization tool with junk file cleaning
  • Anti-virus on top of malware protection.

It is important to understand that while CleanMyMac has a notable malware removal module, it is not as strong as efficient malware remover like Malwarebytes as it simply lacks scheduled scans.

However, in the most recent version of CleanMyMac, it actually reminds you to run a “smart scan” so you don’t forget – so the scheduled scans are not that massive of a benefit as it once was.

Both MalwareBytes and CleanMyMac do boast their own versions of ‘real-time protection’, meaning its on the lookout for when new malware tries to infect as a background app on your computer. I actually run both, and neither has slowed down my Macbook at all or interfered.

The protection offered by Malwarebytes against malware on a computer system is tough to match. However, malware focused software like malware bytes is ideal for those who visit or download suspicious websites or files.

See our post: CleanMyMac vs MalwareBytes: Which Anti-Malware is better?

This is due to Malwarebytes features such as large malware database, quarantining of malware, and scheduled computer system scans. These features make it possible for Malwarebytes to be able to provide efficient and on-going protection against malware on your computer without your attention.

How good is CleanMyMacs malware protection?

How good is CleanMyMacs malware protection_

It’s important to note that CleanMyMac has real-time protections as well, it’s just not the software’s main focus of use, whereas malware is MalwareBytes primary focus.

Whether or not CleanMyMac is ideal for your malware removal needs primarily depends on the frequency of your visit to unsafe and suspicious websites. 

If you rarely visit suspicious websites, your computer has a reduced risk of being attacked by malware. Therefore, you may not need a dedicated malware remova tool like MalwareBytes and CleanMyMac will be enough to detect and remove the few malware presents.

Related: Is CleanMyMac Safe? (The Truth)

Do I need MalwareBytes if I use CleanMyMac?

Do I need MalwareBytes if I use CleanMyMac_

Whether or not you need a proper malware remover like Malwarebytes depends on the frequency of unsafe website visits, email attachments, risky torrent downloads or cracked files, and whether you’ve been prone to malware in the past. 

The malware removal module in CleanMyMac is enough to handle most malware recognized wide-spread online. However, if you engage a lot with unsafe websites and spend lots of time on them, there is a larger chance that the malware removal in CleanMyMac will not be able to handle the malware in it compared to MalwareBytes.

Related: CleanMyMac vs OnyX: Which is Better (the truth)

Which should I get: MalwareBytes or CleanMyMac?

Which should I get_ MalwareBytes or CleanMyMac_

Moreover, your requirements and preferences also play an important role in selecting one if there is a need to. This is because each of the software has different features and these features affect the benefits you get from each of them. For instance, you’ll receive:

  • scheduled scans 
  • And the quarantine feature on Malwarebytes. 

These are really strong features, as the scheduled scan does periodic scans on your computer to detect and remove malware, and the Quarantine Feature means that the software can separate malware detected from affecting your computer. These and many others are some of the benefits you enjoy when choosing Malwarebytes instead of CleanMyMac as your preferred malware remover.

CleanMyMac on the other hand, also has interesting, beneficial features that you cannot find on Malwarebytes. These features include: 

  • The ability to remove launch agents
  • App uninstaller to remove files the trash bin secretly leaves behind
  • Malware DMG detection. (Mac specific malware detection on files)

How to decide: CleanMyMac vs MalwareBytes

How to decide_ CleanMyMac vs MalwareBytes

Your preferences and requirements determine which of the two malware removers works perfectly for you. CleanMyMac will work great for casual users who has more of a focus on cleaning and optimizing their Mac for speed… while MalwareBytes is ideal for anyone who feels more vulnerable overall.

Related: CleanMyMac vs OnyX: Which is Better (the truth)

Can I use both CleanMyMac and Malwarebytes together?

Can I use both CleanMyMac and Malwarebytes together_

You can use the two software on your Mac computer. In fact, you should use the two apps, especially if you engage a lot with suspicious websites. The two apps can complement each other in making your computer work very well. 

While CleanMyMac cleans and speeds up your computer and can be prompted to scan for malware, you don’t always remember to run the scan. Malwarebytes has scheduled scans that removes and protects your computer against malware and is it’s main benefit over CleanMyMac

I personally run MalwareBytes alongside CleanMyMac in addition to an antivirus. The truth is, I don’t really need MalwareBytes since CleanMyMac has updated malware database detection for my Apple Macbook.

Related: How to Cancel AppleCare+ (Get a Refund) Life Hack

Both are great for “protection” of personal documents and photos

Both are great for _protection_ of personal documents and photos

It’s never worth risking your personal documents, notes, photos, and to avoid phishing, scams, and blackmail, as these happen far more often than you’d think. 

Everyone has heard of the all-too-common nightmare story where a video, document or photo was leaked to Facebook or social media.

For this reason, the cost of a few anti-viruses, malware & clean up software being used together may feel like overkill, but in reality it’s enough for most to have peace of mind every night.

If you really want to protect yourself from phishing scams and the like then, you may want to consider more advanced internet security (which will cost you a bit more).

Best for speeding up your Mac

Best for speeding up your Mac

CleanMyMac is the better among the two software when it comes to speeding up your Macbook Pro, Macbook Air or iMac. CleanMyMac was built originally as a clean up, speed & storage optimization software; detecting and deleting junk files that delay processes on your Mac computer. 

CleanMyMac software can also free up the RAM of a computer, allowing programs and processes on the computer to run rapidly and efficiently. This is a major benefit. I ran CleanMyMac X and found my Macbook Pro to run significantly faster with less loading. I was amazed.

See our post: MacKeeper vs CleanMyMac: Best for Speed Optimization

It is worthy of note that none of those mentioned above features are present in MalwareBytes. Malwarebytes is a malware remover and doesn’t have cleanup features

Let’s not forget that malware can also slow down a computer and CleanMyMac has a regularly updated database for malware detection purposes.If you do not frequent a suspicious website, you may not require the super advanced features Malwarebytes offers.

Related: How Often Should I Shut Down my MacBook?

Cost comparison. Free vs. Paid

Cost comparison. Free vs. Paid

CleanMyMac doesn’t have a free version, except a trial version. Under the trial version, you will have access to features such as a smart scan that allows you to scan your computer as many times as you wish and also allows you to remove up to 500MB of useless files.

You also enjoy protection modules and speed up modules that allow you to detect and remove malware and optimize the Ram on the system.

However, the paid version comes with more features such as an unlimited amount of junk files that can be cleared, malware removal modules, and many more. You can also manage your apps installed on your Mac computer with the paid version of CleanMyMac. 

On the other hand, Malwarebytes has both free and paid versions, and as expected, there is a disparity in the available features for both versions. However, only three features separate the free version of Malwarebytes and its paid version. These features in Real-time protection, Scheduled scan, and Anti-exploits/anti-ransomware. (which is main reason many want MalwareByes in the first place). So it’s a bit of a tease.

While you can enjoy some form of protection and on-demand scans from the free version of Malwarebytes, the paid version provides real-time protection and on-going scheduled scans without any effort.

The real-time protection means that your computer is always protected from malware. The scheduled scan is a periodic scan that the software does on the computer.

Related: 5 Best Macbook for Kids [Buyers Guide]

This is different from the on-demand scans that you get with the free version. The scheduled scan occurs at already set periods and detects malware present on the computer during these scans. This feature helps the software detect and remove malware easily and frequently. (source)

Can MacBooks get Malware?

Yes, MacBooks can get malware in the same fashion a windows based PC can. Users report that malware attacks are less frequent on Mac than on computers operating windows, but still exist and bring the same level of harm.

Malware is known as a general term for a malicious computer program. Malware is software intended to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. The term can also be used to describe software that has been incorporated by malicious actors to gain control of a computer or network. The benefit of using programs like this is that they’re highly effective and hard to detect and remove.

Best overall?

Best overall_

If and when it comes down to picking one of the two as the best, I would go for CleanMyMac because it is an all-round computer protection software. It rids the computer of junk files, speeds up the computer, and also offers real-time protection against malware and viruses that could attack your computer. While it lacks scheduled scans and advanced features malwarebytes has, it’s database is still up kept up to date by its creator, MacPaw.

Malwarebytes is only a malware remover and cannot perform any other function outside this. Thus, the versatility of CleanMyMac and the numerous benefits associated with its use allows it to rank as the better of the two apps as far as overall value.

Can I use both CleanMyMac and MalwareBytes together?

Can I use both CleanMyMac and MalwareBytes together_ 2

Yes, you can use both applications together: CleanMyMac & MalwareBytes without any issues. Over a 13 months test period I found that neither have caused any negative memory, storage, or app conflicting errors and run just fine side-by-side.

There are numerous ways you can utilize multiple apps for decluttering your Mac – from wiping temporary files after certain tasks are completed to cleaning up the clutter of old apps that are no longer in use. CleanMyMac has been designed with easy setup in mind – including using it with Malwarebytes and other cleaner type apps. (Though, you’ll likely only need one if you choose CleanMyMac)

Related: Top 3 MacBooks for Music Production [Buyers guide]


When comparing Clean my Mac vs Malwarebytes, both remain sufficient antivirus and anti-malware solutions. Difference between the two it’s clear MalwareBytes is a dedicated malware protection program with scheduled scans whereas clean my Mac is more of an overall all-in-one tool that provides speed adjustments to help your MacBook run faster (in addition to protecting against virus and malware)

In this era, where optimal performance and productivity are vital in gadgets and computer systems, we have seen the introduction of many software, apps, and tools. These tools are touted to help users manage and maintain the performance of their computer systems. CleanMyMac and Malwarebytes are examples of these types of apps and which is best for cyber security overall is different than which is best for malware protection. 

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ