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

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

Is CleanMyMac worth it? When searching for a reliable, safe Mac Cleaner that is worth it, balancing the cost and value can get complex. Especially, when there’s so many softwares with bloatware and malware out there.

When it comes to CleanMyMac, users find themselves weighing the pros and cons for hours… 

That is, deciding if CleanMyMac really works, how the features differ, and if there are free alternatives that will perform the same optimization.

CleanMyMac is worth it because it allows you to perform maintenance tasks that would take you hours of combining free products, that usually have adware and bloatware. It is a highly polished application that keeps your multi-thousand dollar MacBook running at the speeds it was meant to. 

I run a website and I use this software religiously, it has legitimately helped me speed up my Mac – simple, but effective
Paul Michael, founder of MediaPeanut

Important: What CleanMyMac actually does is combine multiple smaller softwares into a one-click button fix. It’s worth it.

If you tried to perform the tasks that CleanMyMac does by hand it would take 2+ hours per scan, unless you’re extremely knowledgable.

I’ve reviewed & hands on tested the CleanMyMac software by MacPaw in the video below:

Mac users also ask whether CleanMyMac is safe or not…  which I also cover in-depth: Is CleanMyMac Safe? (The truth)

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

Not only is MacPaw the leader in the ‘Mac Cleaning’ space, but it’s app, CleanMyMac X also provides malware protection and antivirus support that competes with kaspersky. We will cover if it is worth it in this cleanmymac review.

Is CleanMyMac worth buying?

Is CleanmyMac worth the price 1

Considering that a Macbook or iMac will cost you a few thousand bucks… the instant optimization benefits that CleanMyMac provides far outweighs its cost of a new laptop for anyone whose MacBook no longer runs the way it once did.

I have tested CleanMyMac vigorously on many different MacBook models and found that CleanMyMac X is worth buying if you’re looking for an instant fix, rather than combining multiple free apps that only do a portion of what CleanMyMac is capable of.

Keep your Mac clean and fast with CleanMyMac 2!

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Is CleanMyMac X Worth it?

Is CleanMyMac X Worth it_ (2)

CleanMyMac is worth the money if you’re looking for the fastest way to safely clean & speed up your Macbook.

The cleanup software costs between $39.95 for one license if you take advantage of the deal of the day they run.

The number of Mac computers to be supported determines the price and a one-time subscription is available ranging from $89.95 to $199.95.

While these prices may seem higher than some lesser known alternatives, the reliability, additional virus protection, malware protection and extra features (and updates) you will receive from CleanMyMac match every dollar paid for it.

Our computers are very important gadgets in our lives, used for business, education, fun, and many other activities.

After spending thousands of dollars in acquiring and setting up a Mac computer, you want this computer to work perfectly. This is what CleanMyMac offers your Mac computers.

The cleanup software scans your computer and clears out all the junks files in the computer system.

This action allows your computer to have free spaces for you to store files and also allows it to run fast.

Apart from clearing junk files off your Mac computer system, the app can also free up your computer’s RAM and help you fight against malware on your Mac computer.

Can CleanMyMac replace an antivirus?

Can CleanMyMac replace an antivirus_

While it is true that CleanMyMac is an excellent software for your Mac computer, it is not advisable to replace a proper antivirus with it. CleanMyMac has new releases that can remove viruses in Mac computers. However, the software doesn’t have the protective layers that a proper antivirus adds to a computer. 

Hence you must use a proper antivirus with CleanMyMac on your computer system. This way, you get all-round protection from the antivirus and the cleanup app. While CleanMyMac clears junk files on your computer and frees the RAM to make your computer run fast, a proper antivirus will protect your computer against viruses. 

Can CleanMyMac replace a malware remover?

Can CleanMyMac replace a malware remover_

As with antiviruses, CleanMyMac cannot replace a malware remover, especially if you visit suspicious and unsafe websites a lot. While it is true that CleanMyMac has a malware removal module that can remove malware from Mac computers, this module is not as advanced and strong as a proper malware remover. A proper and specially built malware remover offers adequate protection for your computer against malware, better than CleanMyMac offers. 

The major purpose of the CleanMyMac software is to optimize the spaces and speed up your computer system. The software does this by doing a smart scan of the computer to know where junk and unneeded files are located. And after locating them, the app deletes all of these files. 

If you’re using Onyx and not Cleanmymac, see our guide on How to Use OnyX for Mac (OnyX Review & Guide)

CleanMyMac also optimizes the speed of your computer system. It does this by freeing up the RAM. The RAM is responsible for running and executing programs on the computer; thus, once it is freed, the computer runs fast and optimally. 

Is CleanMyMac really needed?

Is CleanMyMac really needed_

Clean My Mac X is necessary for Mac Users who are in search of the most complete Mac clean up in the safest, most intuitive way possible for speed optimization. CleanMyMac provides the necessary features needed for all the following features: 

  • Speed Optimization
  • Storage Cleanup & Junk files
  • Freeing up Ram 
  • Malware protection comparable to malwarebytes
  • Antivirus that is comparable to kaspersky

In the end, it’s your Mac computer, and you’re the one that needs to decide: 

“Do I want to combine a bunch of free tools together and try to accomplish what cleanMyMac does in minutes or should I ultimately get cleaning software from a lesser-known competitor who has a murky history, but promises the same thing?”

That being said, you’ll need to consider some factors…

If you are a heavy Mac user, using your computer for business, programming, learning, and other space-consuming stuff, then you may really need the CleanMyMac software, except if you like a slow computer. The heavy use of your computer increases the chances of your computer slowing down through accumulated junk files and occupied RAM space. These problems are what CleanMyMac helps you to solve when you have it on your Mac computer. 

Even if you are a light computer user and don’t use your computer for lots of heavy stuff, you may still need CleanMyMac. If you often visit suspicious and unsafe websites on your Mac computer, there is a need to get CleanMyMac to save your computer from malware. The software offers other benefits outside freeing up space and speeding up the computer. CleanMyMac helps you remove malware from your computer, offers disk storage maintenance features, and also health monitor features. 

The aforementioned features are some of the benefits that you can get when you get a CleanMyMac software. So, the decision whether the app is really needed boils down to the usage of the computer and user’s preferences.  

Clean My Mac vs Alternatives

Clean My Mac vs Alternatives

So, what are good alternatives to CleanMyMac and are they worth the contemplation of challenging CleanMyMac X by MacPaw, a leader in the Mac Cleaning space? In fact, yes a few are, but you’ll likely need to combine them in order to get the same benefits cleanmymac does.

See more in our post: 9 Best CleanMyMac Alternatives (Free and Paid)

This is because MacPaw has added numerous features that other alternatives either don’t have in he application or need to be combined together to get. Examples of CleanMyMac alternatives are OnyX, MacKeeper, CCleaner, TuneUpMyMac, Disk Clean Pro.

Do you need both Malwarebytes and CleanMyMac?

Do you need both Malwarebytes and CleanMyMac_

The simple answer to this is no. However, you can double up on the protection if you’re unsure and use both Malwarebytes and CleanMyMac after you visit an unsafe or suspicious websites.

Malwarebytes is a strong malware removal and a sort of antivirus. Running the software on your computer with CleanMyMac will help your computer run greatly.

For more on this, see our post: CleanMyMac vs MalwareBytes: Which Anti-Malware is better?

Here is why, Malwarebytes offers strong and tested protection against malware. This sort of protection is stronger than that which CleanMyMac offers against malware. Thus, you may need Malwarebytes and CleanMyMac together on your Mac computer if you visit a lot of suspicious websites. 

Do Mac computers really clean themselves, or do I need CleanMyMac?

Do Mac computers really clean themselves, or do I need CleanMyMac_

Firstly, to demystify the myth, you do not “need” to clean your Mac computer if you aren’t in search of easy speed optimization and storage clean up. 

However, many who complain that their computer is getting slow will without a doubt benefit significantly from a clean up software like CleanMyMac X.

Unlike computers using the Windows OS, Mac computers do not have registries. Thus they do not need to technically ‘clean’ anything in this aspect. In fact, with computers like Power Mac, you may not need to clean anything on your computer. 

What exactly does CleanMyMac do?

What exactly does CleanMyMac do_

The CleanMyMac app provides numerous features and functions that aim to benefit Mac users immensely, especially when the goal is a quick fix for speed and clean-up of a Mac that starts to slow down.

The new edition of the cleaning software helps you remove malware and viruses on the computer, which your Mac computer cannot do by itself. Thus, despite Mac computers’ ability to clean themselves, users who want to optimize speed and quickly audit their Macbook Pro, MacBook Air, or iMac will find that CleanMyMac software is sufficient (and one of the best).

You should know that Mac computers do clear caches and log files (some of the junk files eating up space on your computer) themselves. Through their own internal programs, the Mac computer can delete the oldest or earliest cache files in the computer by itself without the help of any cleaning tool or software. (This is often not enough for many Mac & Apple users)

After testing many cleaners, I prefer its advantages over MacKeeper, see MacKeeper vs CleanMyMac: Best for Speed Optimization

However, you may still need cleaning tools like CleanMyMac on your Mac computer. This is because, even though your Mac computer can clean itself, it is usually slow and takes time. Also, cleaning your Mac computer by yourself involves some technical stuff that you may not want to worry about, hence the need for CleanMyMac.

CleanMyMac Free vs Paid: What are the differences?

CleanMyMac Free vs Paid_ What are the differences_

The free version of CleanMyMac is different than the paid version in that it’s simply a trial and will allow you to remove up to 500MB of ‘junk’ files. 

One main thing the free version won’t do that the premium version will, is that when you scan for malware it will identify the issue, but it won’t remove it.

 Even though these are limited it’s worth it to test the free trial because you’ll be able to determine:

  • If you have malware or not (yes, cleanmymac is legit/honest when running this in trial mode, which is a common fear)
  • Remove a decent amount of junk files (550MB). In most cases, you’ll have much more junk. However, it’s worth it to open up the app, test it out and see exactly the type of files it’s identifying.
  • Lets you run any speed optimization task once (this will let you know if you see a benefit so you can gauge if it’s worth purchasing the app)
  • Numerous other features to test

Clean my Mac Paid model will deal with duplicate files, temporary files, software updates, and is known to provide a exceptional service at cleaning up disk space. It even searches mail attachments and obscure places with in your MacBook, which can 

Related: How Long Does a MacBook Air Last (The Truth)

Why CleanMyMac is good?

Why CleanMyMac is good_

I often get asked: “Is CleanMyMac Good?”. The answer is yes, CleanMyMac is a good, polished application for overall Mac optimization. I personally have used many other paid and free alternatives such as OnyX, Gemini, Stellar, MacFly, and more.

I’ve found that CleanMyMac was one of the very few apps that made me say “Wow, this is good”. This is because the intuitive user experience, vast array of features ,and small surprises the app provides truly is more beneficial than the majority of alternatives.

If you do end up having a malicious file or room to improve your storage space allocation, then clean my Mac will do so while also optimizing for CPU usage.

I’ve found that many free options don’t allow you to flush the DNS Cache while also providing the smart-scan and other features in an all-in-one software, however CleanMyMac does, but only for the paid version.

Also, Clean my mac X provides a built-in nav bar tray to quickly glance at and understand if you need to free up ram (and why). It will analyze your Macbook at any moment; making it better than good: fast, efficient, and convenient.

The only true disadvantage I found is that CleanMyMac does not have a monthly subscription offer, but rather yearly and one-time purchase options. As far as the software goes, once in a while I do not want to clear up the RAM, so I simply ignore the notification.

Otherwise, the actual performance of the software had very few flaws and I’ve used it for years now.

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

Cons of CleanMyMac

Cons of CleanMyMac

The main con with clean my Mac is the same with any other Mac cleaner, to get real results out of it, you’ll have to pay for the premium model. In the past they were other con such as the mirror rumor of clean my Mac deleting a necessary file or two.

This is not longer the case and cleanMyMac has made sure this doesn’t happen with their newest model, CleanMyMac X. in fact, there was never really any true evidence to prove this with so other than forum posts by random, anonymous users.

Another disadvantage of clean my Mac is that there is an annual fee, but you can actually opt in for the lifetime deal. The only problem with this is that you’ll have to use the trial to determine whether you like the program or not.

The final disadvantage I found with testing clean my Mac was that there are free alternatives, but you’ll have to combine a series of different applications and manual actions in order to achieve this.

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

Even clean my max competitors didn’t do the best job of introducing a clean modern trendy interface that is easy to use intuitive and has no flaws regarding the updater.

I’ve tested clean my Mac vigorously and found that CleanMyMac is worth it still; despite these cons listed (especially when you compare it to other free & paid alternatives).

Is CleanMyMac a good antivirus?

Is CleanMyMac a good antivirus_

CleanMyMac is has and anti-virus that is comparable to Kaspersky Internet security. Clean my Mac has an antivirus feature that has its pros and cons. For example CleanMyMac X provides users virus removal, adware removal, privacy cleanup as well as real-time antivirus control.

Where does difference compared to other anti-viruses that are considered Internet security, is that clean my Mac doesn’t provide specific ‘payment protection’ features, a VPN, or parental controls.

If you need parental controls, the Macbook has built-in options and there are other very low cost solutions to these.

Related: 7 Best Desktops for Computer Science (Students and Professionals)

For those who are looking to simply not get hacked or download software a visit a site that may compromise the performance of your MacBook clean my Mac does a very good job of providing antivirus and anti-malware security.

Will you get better protection from a full suite, the answer is questionable, however the more advanced, more premium, and expensive anti-virus solutions typically offer very technical and adjustable antivirus measures that will allow you to tweak and change different things up.

A dedicated anti-virus solution rather than CleanMyMac may be contemplated by enterprise companies or those that expose themselves very often to suspicious websites.


How Much Does CleanMyMac Cost?

How Much Does CleanMyMac Cost

With the expansion of new softwares available to help optimize Mac computers, we’ll need to take a look at the different versions of Cleanmymac and how much they differ in price since they have evolved over the years. 

How much is CleanMyMac? CleanMyMac is not free and costs $39.95 for a 1-year subscription, licensed to one Mac device. This is $5 more than the previous years price point. They also offer a lifetime deal for 89.94 for one Mac. Additional Mac devices can be licensed – up to 5 Macs for $199.75 (25 cents less than last year.

The average cost of a Mac Cleaner like CleanMyMac was slightly lower than $40 and we saw a few in the $10-$30 range (annual) that didn’t perform many of the tasks the MacPaw products allow for. For example, CCleaner is 14.97 for the year, but lacks some features CleanMyMac provides.

  • CleanMyMac has two types of offers; an annual and one-time purchase options. Here are three price points that allow you to select the number of devices it covers.
  • The more devices, the more the product costs. One device is $39.95 for the year. 2 Mac licenses cost $79.00 for the year, while the 5 Macs option is $199.75 for the year. 
  • There is also a one time offer for $89.95, which can be tempting for those who value credibility. Reliability, and stability in a software company(macPaw has been around for years).

We’ll also cover additional softwares by the creator of CleanMyMac and show the differences as well as price points in the table below:

SoftwarePriceUnique FeaturesDisadvantages
CleanMyMac X$39.95 annuallyTailored to Mac ownersAnnual Fee
ClearVPN$12.95 monthlyHas a VPN tailored for Mac ownersMonthly fee; many competitors
Gemini 2$19.95 annuallyHas s Smart Scan feature for MacAnnual fee
CleanMyPC$39.95 one-time purchaseWindows version of CleanmymacSome competitors perform the same tasks
CleanmyDrive 2FreeCleans external drivesNone found
Gemini Photos$4.99 monthlyWorks on iPhoneHas a monthly fee
The UnarchiverFreeOpens RAR files on MacCan’t de-select file formats in preferences

These prices have stayed static for quite a while and is quite fair for the most well-known mac clean up tool technology offers us. There is also CleanMyMac 3 (classic) which is an older scanner that MacPaw has created and is not advertised as widely, however it is still available on the site.

Softwares often have monthly, annual, and one-time purchase costs, which differ greatly than other types of products available today. Specifically, the costs of a cleaning software are much different than the costs of other computer products such as such streaming devices (For example, Roku devices do not have a monthly fee associated).

However, there is a free trial of CleanMyMac, but it is limited – the full version of CleanMyMac is worth it because there are no limits on the cleaning features.

Is CleanMyMac Really free?

Yes clean my Mac has a free version which is actually a trial. It provides limited use of clean my Mac such as limited scans up to 500 MB, testing different speed optimization tools, but only once, and other advanced features many trial softwares don’t typically give away for free.

However, if you want most complete cleaning and speed optimization, then you’ll want to test if clean my Mac works for you with this trial which is why it’s offered.

How long Does Clean My Mac take to work?

CleanMyMac takes 2 to 3 minutes to perform a full Smart scan in some cases it may take either longer or shorter depending on how much junk you have stored on your Mac. Clean my Mac was noticeably faster than many of the other Mac cleaners I’ve tested. This is one of the big benefit to clean my Mac X, is that it provides a polished application that is ready to use with minimal errors and flaws.

Also see: How Long Does a MacBook Pro Battery Last?

What is the difference between CleanMyMac X and CleanMyMac 3

CleanMyMac 3 is an older version of CleanMyMac. Since then, there has been the introduction of CleanMyMac X. the difference between clean my Mac X and clean my Mac 3; is that clean my Mac X has an additional smart scan feature that finds junk files and also find vulnerabilities. They have also upgraded and added the following features:

  • Malware removal
  • Optimizing different MacBook app such as logging in.
  • An application update or that looks at the software on your MacBook and will update it if it’s needed which can prevent vulnerabilities.
  • A full guided system that navigates you and guide you through the user interface quickly

Overall, it’s worth getting the newest CleanMyMac X over the CleanMyMac 3 in most cases, even though it costs a slight bit more.


Overall, clean my Mac X is worth it because it provides storage optimization ,speed optimization, malware removal and other antivirus procedures that far outweigh the cost. An additional benefit to clean my Mac is that makes it worth the buy compared to other free alternatives. is that clean my Mac will provide all of the necessary maintenance and adjustments in such a short amount of time.

In this cleanmymac review we also went over how the software has evolved, improved, and any disadvantages that are in the new versions.

Not only does it guide you through the process, but it does so sufficiently with minimal errors. Cleanmymac does not add bloatware, malware, or adware and the application has improved significantly from its previous models (CleanMyMac 3).

Brian Doennebrink

Wednesday 21st of June 2023

I like this product, I've used it since at least version 2. As noted, this is a colorful product. I gave them suggestions to make it more obvious how and what it was working on by color-coding the title of each process on the left pane (Cleanup, Protection, Speed) to match the colors that are used for each in the central pane, with a separator line above "Applications" on the left page, which is separate from the triumvirate of aforementioned processes. This would make it far more user-friendly for novices. Whenever my computer is lagging, specifically Safari getting bogged down from my opening and closing tabs and such, I close that browser and run CleanMyMac X and viola, the sluggishness disappears.

In addition to the program itself, there's an icon at the top of one's screen where one can get a summary of what the status of a variety of things is, e.g. battery, CPU, and Internet speed.

A rarity, I'm impressed that this program is continually being improved, and many times when I open it, I see what types of things they've been improving. MacPaw also periodically sends an email with helpful tips for using one's Mac.

In summary, MacPaw is a different type of company than most software developers of similar products when you're always wondering if their product is actually doing anything, is it really being improved that much. With MacPaw, I don't have to think about it. They seem to be good people with a continuous process improvement mindset. They respond to suggestions, dunno if any of mine such as the above will be incorporated, but one area that could still be improved (that I just thought of) is that, when renewal time comes along, to lay out all of their options, as sometimes we add a computer, sometimes we retire one, so our needs may have changed from "same old, same old."

Paul Michael

Wednesday 21st of June 2023

Interesting that Safari is slow, and Cleanmymac helps immediately... Are you on an M1 or M2 Mac? I haven't experienced this since I swapped to an M1. However Yes, CleanMyMac X has one of the best UI I've seen yet. As you mentioned there's definitely some improvements they could make for novices, but compared to what else is out there, it's definitely far more user friendly.

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