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CleanMyMac vs OnyX: Which is Better (the truth)

CleanMyMac vs OnyX: Which is Better (the truth)

Choosing between CleanMyMac vs OnyX is not easy, is it? In this blog post, we will explore two Mac softwares and decide which is better: CleanMyMac or Onyx?

We’ll also explore all the differences between these two Mac softwares. You will discover, learn, and explore which cleaner is the best for your needs and why based on our tests and research.

The difference is that CleanMyMac is a paid, premium software with many functions that Mac users desire. OnyX on the other hand is a completely free optimization tool that misses a few key features that CleanMyMac provides.

We’ll explain these key features, their pros and cons, and why so many Mac users on reddit and throughout the internet are considering CleanMyMac vs OnyX.

Related: How to Use OnyX for Mac (OnyX Review & Guide)

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

Whats the difference between cleanMyMac and Onyx?

Onyx vs Cleanmymac comparison list infographic
Click the photo above to see more in depth information on this

Both CleanMyMac and OnyX are specifically designed to help you with certain tasks: cleaning your Apple desktop or laptop and managing its speed. That said, we are now going to compare two of the most useful Mac applications on the market.

Related: Is CleanMyMac Safe? (The Truth)

Even though both apps have a large following and are confused by some, there are some key differences between them. Let us start with the price: CleanMyMac is a paid software. If you want to use CleanMyMac, you need to buy one of the annual subscriptions found here.

OnyX, on the other hand, is a completely free app aimed at tweaking and adjusting your Mac. So when it comes to price, OnyX is an easy pick… however it is also a far tougher, more difficult to use solution compared to cleanmymac.

…but why is CleanMyMac a pay-to-use software and desired by so many Mac users?

Well, CleanMyMac is a premium software that provides significantly more advanced features than OnyX (and for the price point it poses some serious speed optimization & time saving benefits)

To be precise, CleanMyMac helps you remove malware files and deep optimize your Mac (speed up) in addition to cleaning up your disk space. This app can help you find and delete old, unused files or even update your apps. Besides, CleanMyMac has a more responsive, modern interface

Below is a feature list we found during our tests that measured the differences between CleanMyMac vs OnyX:

Guided Speed OptimizationYesNo
Easy & Fast guidanceYesNot at all
Cleaning up SpaceYesYes
Maintenance ScriptsYesYes
Overall OptimizationYesNo
Automated search for large & outdated filesYesNo
Visualize space on MacOsYesNo
Hung ApplicationsYesNo
Auto App UpdaterYesNo
Folder managementNoYes
Tailored MacOS optionNoYes
Document VersionsYesNo

So when it comes to protecting and speeding up your Mac, CleanMyMac is by far the best choice for you. On the other hand, OnyX is a free app that offers everything you need when it comes to cleaning up storage space.

You can also use OnyX to customize your macOS by changing fonts and manipulating folders and system services. Finally, OnyX also lets you manage the visibility of any folder on your Mac.

Related: Best CleanMyMac Alternatives (Free and Paid)

It becomes clear that the only thing Onyx and CleanMyMac have in common is their basic function, disk space cleanup. Apart from that, they offer various advanced features. Therefore, it all depends on what you need from your next Mac cleaner app.

Onyx Mac Review: What is Onyx?

Onyx Mac Review What is Onyx

OnyX is one of the most popular utilities for macOS. It is a free-to-use app developed by Joel Barriere, a well-known French developer.

Starting from the basic function, OnyX is a top-notch cleaning and maintenance software. When you download OnyX, you can be sure that the app will help you:

  • Clean your PC’s cache
  • Remove any unneeded apps, folders, and files
  • Rebuild indexes and databases

And that’s not all. OnyX also helps you configure the structure of your system files. For example, you can easily manipulate the parameters of your Safari browser, Dock, Finder and other Apple applications.

Besides, OnyX lets you access and modify some system settings, such as fonts.

Related: MacKeeper vs CleanMyMac: Best for Speed Optimization

Since OnyX also comes with an ultimately beginner-friendly interface, what’s more to ask from a utility freeware?

Is CleanMyMac better than Onyx?

Is CleanMyMac better than Onyx

Now that we have found out what OnyX can do, it’s time to analyze whether CleanMyMac is simply better. Considering that CleanMyMac is not free to use, it’s important to find out if it offers advanced features that OnyX does not.

First, let us say that while OnyX is also a digital storage cleaner, it cannot be compared to CleanMyMac. As a premium software, CleanMyMac helps you get rid of large amounts of storage. From large and old files to malware and hanging apps, there’s nothing CleanMyMac will not find for you.

  • CleanMyMac is overall better than OnyX when it comes to cleaning your Mac and freeing up disk space.
  • Also, CleanMyMac has an advanced protection feature. When you click the scan button, the app identifies any malware and removes your browsing history (traces of online and offline activity).

The final category where CleanMyMac easily outperforms OnyX is speedup tools. In fact, CleanMyMac can free RAM, run maintenance scripts, launch agents, and more. All by simply pressing the Accelerate button.

Related: CleanMyMac vs MalwareBytes: Which Anti-Malware is better?

So when it comes to optimizing your Mac and getting maximum performance, CleanMyMac is simply unbeatable.

Cons of using Onyx rather than CleanMyMac

Cons of using Onyx rather than CleanMyMac

Suppose you do not want to spend a lot of money on CleanMyMac and need a reliable alternative like OnyX. What are the disadvantages of OnyX as a freeware programme?

Well, even though OnyX cleans up your memory, it is not the best application for large-scale memory cleanup. Unfortunately, as a free application, OnyX simply can not detect everything you want to delete.

Aside from that, OnyX does not include any tools to speed up your Mac. So if you need a software that will free up RAM to make your Mac or Macbook run faster, OnyX is not the app for you.

See: How Long Does a MacBook Pro Battery Last?

And finally, OnyX is not an antivirus software. Of course, that’s appropriate for a cleanup software. But if you need a cleaning software that also detects viruses or malware, you should go for another software like CleanMyMac or BitDefender.  

Is cleanmymac an antivirus?

Is cleanmymac an antivirus

Although CleanMyMac has some advanced protection features for your Apple device, it is not antivirus software in the strictest sense. Rather, CleanMyMac is simply the best app when it comes to memory cleanup and acceleration features.

So if you need a top-notch antivirus for your Mac, there are better options than CleanMyMac. BitDefender, for example, can comprehensively protect your Mac from any kind of virus.

On the other hand, CleanMyMac can also protect your Mac device. For example, when you scan your Mac or MacBook with CleanMyMac, the app will automatically detect: viruses, Trojans, browser hijackers, malware, and data miners.

See: Is a MacBook Air Good for Video Editing (The Truth)

All in all, this app can clean up your digital storage, speed up your computer and protect it at the same time. This makes CleanMyMac a perfect all-rounder.

Is Onyx the same type of software as CleanMyMac?

Is Onyx the same type of software as CleanMyMac

Yes, CleanMyMac and OnyX were both designed with the same purpose in mind: to clean your Mac desktop or laptop and make it run faster.

If that’s the case, should Mac users be spoilt for choice between the two apps? Absolutely. There are many distinct differences between CleanMyMac and OnyX.

In fact, each app has its pros and cons in terms of pricing, cleaning, speedup, and protection features.

Both CleanMyMac and OnyX clean your computer’s cache, remove files and folders you no longer need, and free up RAM to speed up your overall experience.

Let us explore which software is ideal for each of these tasks. This way we will answer the question: CleanMyMac vs. Onyx, which is better for you?

Is OnyX for Mac a good Mac Cleaner?

Is OnyX for Mac a good Mac Cleaner

With numerous cleanup tools and an easy-to-learn interface, OnyX is by far the best free Mac cleaner on the market.

In fact, OnyX even helps you clean your computer’s cache, remove problematic folders and files, and restore databases and indexes. And all this is done in just a few minutes.

In our test, OnyX proved to be the most reliable free cleaner for macOS systems. CleanMyMac on the other hand has a trial version and a paid option to provide an automated, easy way to clean out files, cache files, temporary files, an optimize the speed of your MacOS.

Last but not least, OnyX is also a top-notch app when it comes to customizing your macOS (system services, fonts, folders and more). That’s why we strongly believe that OnyX is more than just a good Mac cleaner.

What are my alternatives to Onyx if I want a free Mac cleaner?

What are my alternatives to Onyx if I want a free Mac cleaner

Even though Onyx is the most popular cleaner app for macOS, it’s not the only one on the market. That’s why here we present you the best free alternatives to OnyX:

  1. Disk Drill: Although Disk Drill is widely known as a top-notch data recovery software, it also offers a memory analyzer. Hence, Disk Drill is a great alternative to OnyX that lets you track down and delete all the unwanted files.
  2. App Cleaner: This is a great choice if you want to uninstall apps or quickly delete all the files associated with the software that you have already uninstalled. Therefore, App Cleaner can be easily combined with OnyX to clean up your Mac even more thoroughly.

CCleaner: CCleaner was developed in 2004 and needs no introduction. There is a free version and is an excellent alternative to OnyX. CCleaner can help you clear your internet cache and history, uninstall apps, remove system junk, and more.

Comparison: CleanMyMac vs Onyx

Comparison of cleanmymac vs onyx

Advantages of using Onyx

OnyX has a few advantages over CleanMyMac. First of all, OnyX is the only application that helps you manipulate your macOS system. Namely, with OnyX you can easily change your system fonts, change system application settings (like Dock, Finder, Safari) and much more.

Apart from that, the OnyX Cleaner software is completely free to use. You can simply download it, test it and use it forever. Finally, CleanMyMac does not include a tool to manage your folders.

With OnyX, you can easily manage the visibility of your folders with the click of a button to locate manually the necessary files (If you can identify them). CleanMyMac appears to do this automatically during my trial test.

Disadvantages of using Onyx

Disadvantages of using Onyx

Since OnyX is a free-to-use utility software, CleanMyMac offers some advanced features. For example, CleanMyMac is better at identifying all unneeded applications, files, and folders. This makes OnyX a worse option for storage cleanup.

Also, OnyX does not include any tools for speedup. On the other hand, CleanMyMac can easily free up RAM to speed up your Mac. Finally, CleanMyMac is better than OnyX when it comes to protecting your device and ridding junk files with ease. It can easily detect macOS related viruses, malware, trojans, etc.

Best for storage clean up: CleanMyMac or Onyx?

Best for storage clean up CleanMyMac or Onyx

Although both apps claim to offer top-notch storage cleanup, CleanMyMac is simply the best. During our testing, CleanMyMac effortlessly identified a larger amount of unwanted files, folders, and applications. This helped us reclaim large amounts of disc space.

While OnyX also helped us save a lot of disc space quickly, the scan was not as detailed. For this reason, CleanMyMac is the winner when it comes to cleaning up disc space.

Which is Best for viruses, malware and adware cleanup: Onyx or CleanMyMac?

Which is Best for viruses malware and adware cleanup Onyx or CleanMyMac

Although OnyX is great for cleaning up tasks and manipulating macOS system settings, it is not an antivirus programme. Of course, CleanMyMac is not an antivirus either. Nevertheless, CleanMyMac is a premium app that also offers some advanced protection features and maintenance tools that is hard to beat for the price.

For example, when you scan your Mac with CleanMyMac, you’ll notice that the app identifies a number of threads. From viruses and malware to data miners and Trojans, nothing is left out.

So, although CleanMyMac is not as powerful as the best antivirus software on the market (Bitdefender, for example), it offers numerous protection tools that OnyX does not.

Is Onyx Safe?

Is Onyx Safe

Yes, OnyX is a very reliable, safe, secure freeware. Even though it allows you to manipulate some system settings, it does not harm your Mac in any way. So if you need a safe and free Mac cleaner for your Apple devices, OnyX truly a great choice for the tech savvy Mac users. 

It’s developed by Titanium Software and our tests have indicated it is a Mac maintenance free of viruses and trojans, though its always wise to do your own research before downloading anything online.

Can you use Both Onyx and Cleanmymac together?

Can you use Both Onyx and Cleanmymac together

Although OnyX and CleanMyMac are similar software, there are some fundamental differences. For example, CleanMyMac can easily protect and speed up your computer. At the same time, OnyX can help you customize macOS and manage system services, fonts, and folder visibility.

So there are many reasons why someone should use the two programs to

gether. Fortunately, you can absolutely use both apps on the same computer. In fact, during our testing, we didn’t encounter any problem doing so.

Should you use both Onyx & CleanMyMac together? If you’re using CleanMyMac, then theres likely little reason you would need OnyX. However, the same can’t be said if you’re not already using OnyX, since CleanMyMac provides many more features.

Do I Need Cleaner Software for my Mac?

Apple devices are known to take care of themselves. So, since that’s the case, do you need top-tier cleaner software for your Mac or MacBook? Well, that depends. For example, let us say you have been using your Mac device for a few years.

In that time, your computer has certainly accumulated quite a bit of junk or duplicate files, as well as a large amount of outdated or unneeded data. That’s exactly what Mac Cleaners are for. Most apps like CleanMyMac and OnyX help you get rid of all those files by simply pressing the scan button.

Also, premium software like CleanMyMac can help you protect your PC from viruses and malware and speed it up by freeing up RAM. All in all, using a cleaner app is a great choice for both beginners and experienced Mac users.

What is better than CleanMyMac?

So, what is better than clean my Mac? Well there are various optimization tools you can use to clean your Mac and optimize in the same manner that application CleanMyMac X provides. 

That being said, which is better depends on which tool suits your needs most. If you’re looking for a free app with a few less features, then OnyX can give you only the partial advantages CleanMyMac provides. 

If you don’t take the proper route when using OnyX, you can certainly cause some self inflicted issues that you may or may not know how to fix depending on your level of expertise of the MacOS system.

CleanMyMac allows you to preview which files are being deleted, while previous versions of Onyx do not allow this to occur (it’s a free tool). CleanMyMac X also provides a malware scan.

Now coming to CleanMyMac 3 and X, these is another powerful Mac optimization tool developed by MacPaw. It has been around since 2009 and is considered among the top Mac cleaners available today. Like OnyX, CleanMyMac also helps to increase Mac performance.

Other Alternatives include,

  • MacCleaner
  • MacBooster 8
  • CCleaner,
  • DiskDoctor
  • Disk Clean Pro
  • MacKeeper
  • AVG Tuneup

For more, visit our full list of top picks of the 9 Best CleanMyMac Alternatives (Free and Paid).

Bottom Line

So, which is the better CleanMyMac vs Onyx? CleanMyMac is the clear winner for those who are not on a particular budget. If you need a free option, OnyX is sufficient, but you’ll need to have some technical knowledge or you can cause undesired issues when not careful using it.

OnyX and CleanMyMac are designed to help Mac users clean their PC’s digital storage. However, OnyX and CleanMyMac also have many differences.

For example, OnyX is by far the best app when it comes to manipulating system apps like the Dock and Safari. It’s also the only app that lets you customize your macOS fonts and folders.

On the flip side, CleanMyMac is a premium software that acts as a top-notch Mac optimizer. More precisely, CleanMyMac has many advanced tools that will help you protect and speed up your Apple device.

So, although OnyX and CleanMyMac are similar applications, there are numerous differences that make them unique that we’ve explained thoroughly in this post.

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