CleanMyMac X. How I maintain good macOS Catalina performance

tecyguy profile image TECHY360 Originally published at Medium on ・9 min read

macOS Catalina is not particularly resource-demanding and works reasonably well on all supported devices. Especially if installed on an SSD. But, like other macOS versions, it always starts to slow down over time. I tell you how I deal with such brakes.

Typically, a Mac slows down for three reasons:

  1. When in the background some programs are constantly working that take all the resources onto themselves. Therefore, you need to constantly monitor which applications get into a startup, what they do and whether you need them);
  2. When you run out of disk space. As soon as you fill the SSD by about 80%, its performance will begin to fall: there is a noticeable delay between any of your actions and the system’s response;
  3. If the MacBook is overheating. In this case, the processor begins to lower its frequency and the whole system begins to slow down.

In the first two cases, system garbage that remains from poorly optimized or incorrectly deleted applications is often to blame. And to remove such garbage, I use CleanMyMac.

CleanMyMac X : try for free

How to check processor load

Applications▸ Utilities▸ System Monitoring

If the system starts to slow down, open System Monitoring, and look at which applications or processes take up the most resources.

My 2017 MacBook was greatly slowed by Dropbox and the iCloud backup software. To somehow revive the system, I had to abandon the hourly backups in Dropbox and only do them in the morning and evening.

Perhaps some of your favorite applications also require a lot of resources. Or, in the background, several gluttonous programs work that you do not even need. CleanMyMac will also help find such programs, and I will show how to do it later on.

If you want more information about the consumption of resources of your computer, then install iStat Menus and display the necessary metrics in the Menubar.

How to check disk fullness

▸ About This Mac▸ Vault

From this window, you can immediately understand what type of information the disk is filled with. Most often, the main memory goes to the Photo and Video sections, as well as Other.

Almost 140 gigabytes of disk space is occupied by files from the mysterious category. Other

How to Clean Photos and Videos on Mac

Photos app ▸ Settings ▸ iCloud

No matter how strange it may sound, but the easiest way to clean this section using the iPhone and the Gemini program. It finds duplicates and blurry photos and then you can manually delete each of them. After such cleaning, photos are synced with iCloud and disappear from your computer. Profit

Now Photo only stores thumbnails of snapshots and videos on the computer, and their full-size originals — in iCloud

Of course, I assume that you have an extended version of iCloud in which all the snapshots are quietly placed.

How to clean the Other section on Mac

This section includes all temporary files, application documents, backups, old movies, etc. Some of these files are available to you, but some are hidden in the depths of the system and so simply can not be found. Here again, CleanMyMac comes into play.

Who is CleanMyMac X for?

For beginners who are afraid to remove the excess

Work with CleanMyMac always starts from the Smart Scan tab. This module searches for and removes system trash and checks macOS for malware. The whole process comes down to pressing a button Start.

To clean the Mac from debris, just click one button — Start

I have often heard fears from my friends that CleanMyMac may delete something personal. Therefore, it is worth saying that by default CleanMyMac only works with files that the system reserves during operation, and also empty the basket.

Removing system trash only has a positive effect on the speed of your computer. At the same time, CleanMyMac does not touch any user data.

👨🏻‍💻 Advanced users

If you are a confident macOS user, then there are additional settings for you. With the same automatic cleaning, you can see what exactly will delete CleanMyMac and add everything that the program decided to save there: Xcode cache, iPhone backups, “old” files, etc. You can delete applications and much more.

In addition, CleanMyMac can do various system optimizations: manage disk permissions, delete browser history, reindex Spotlight, manage startup programs, reset software to initial settings, etc.

CleanMyMac has a lot of possibilities, and now I’ll talk about each of the program modules in more detail.

1. Smart Scan

This is the main cleaning module, which is launched by pressing a button Start on the main screen. In fact, it starts all the other modules from the list below but offers to get rid of only those files whose removal is absolutely safe.

Smart Scan is a safe cleanup that does not touch your personal files and data folders. Programs will only clean system trash, and will not harm

Your personal information, documents, and any files associated with the applications are always kept intact. CleanMyMac works exclusively with system trash, for which it uses its own rule base of what can be deleted and whatnot.

But if you want to conduct a finer “cleaning”, then you should go through the results of each module separately. You will find a list of these modules in the left panel.

2. Office garbage: cache, language packs, dmg files

This includes various caches, logs, localization of applications to exotic languages, software garbage, remnants from previously deleted programs, etc. All information found is clearly structured, which is very convenient.

In the Service Trash section, look at the Details tab. Surely there is garbage that CleanMyMac does not decide to remove on its own …

… In my case, Spotify caches turned out to be such garbage

By default, CleanMyMac does not delete some of the categories, for example, the Spotify cache and application dmg files once downloaded. Therefore, always browse through the Service Trash section and check all that you no longer need.

3. Mail: removing attachments from popular mailers

The task of the module is to find and remove all attachments from the letters in your local archive. It can be music, photos, documents, films, archives, etc.

Personally, I use the Spark email program and CleanMyMac does its job perfectly with its attachments. This is also the case with the standard macOS mailer.

It’s not worth worrying about the safety of this information. All these files are still available on the mail server and upon request (when you reopen the letter) will be downloaded to your computer again.

4. Baskets: empty the baskets of all drives

This CleanMyMac module empties the Recycle Bins on all internal and external Mac drives, including the Photos application recycle bin (all the photos and clips you deleted are in the internal recycle bin and the size of the library is not reduced).

5. Vulnerability Removal: Search Keyloggers and Viruses for Mac

A new module that appeared in CleanMyMac X. I use licensed software because I have never found any viruses in CleanMyMac. But if you download all sorts of pirates from torrents, then there is a risk of catching some kind of infection.

CleanMyMac X now knows how to check Mac for viruses

But I’m still skeptical of virus threats on macOS, but it’s nice to have such a function in reserve. Moreover, the virus database in the program is constantly updated, and vulnerability monitoring takes place in the background.

CleanMyMac scans files for viruses in real-time

6. Privacy: delete internet activity history

A place for centrally deleting search history and views in the file manager and browsers: Finder, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.

This module allows you to delete web browsing history, cookies, the history of open files in the Finder and saved WiFi networks. It will come in handy when you need to cover up your tracks and let someone else work at your personal computer.

Privacy module cleans your computer tracks

7. Optimization: startup management and background applications

In the Entrance Objects tab, you can see which applications automatically start with the system and allows you to disable them. Remove from here all the programs that you do not need or whose value you do not understand. It is impossible to harm the system with this, so you can not worry if you delete something superfluous.

A list of all applications that can be downloaded with the system. Green dot always indicates active applications

In the Launch Agents tab_, there_ are “daemons” of applications — small microprograms that work even while the main parent application is not running. Remove the daemons of all those applications that you are not using.

Small programs that always work in the background. Some may cause Mac brakes.

8. Maintenance: optimizing macOS features

This module contains various system functions such as reindexing the Spotlight database, fixing permissions, etc.

In my opinion, the most interesting: reducing copies of Time Machine and freeing up the cleaned space. The first clean up temporary copies of TM (if you use these backups), the second cleans up temporary data that macOS cleans only in case of disk full.

If after cleaning macOS still shows that the disk is full, run the modules to free up cleaned space and clean up temporary copies of Time Machine

9. Uninstall: complete removal of applications

Perhaps this is the most frequently used module by me. Since I constantly install and try new applications, it is important for me that after their removal there are no extra files and garbage left in the startup.

The CleanMyMac uninstaller completely removes applications, including all supporting files

CleanMyMac will remove the program completely: not only the executable file but also the rest of the “tails”. Also, using this module, you can reset any program to the initial settings without deleting it.

If this is your first time in this section, then immediately look at the “Unused” tab. Here are the programs that you have not run for a long time, most likely they can be deleted.

10. Update manager: centralized software update

The system updates the programs from the Apple Store automatically in the background, but this does not happen with third-party applications. Such programs report the release of new versions at the time of launch, it distracts me and even annoys me.

CleanMyMac simplifies updates: it immediately shows which of the installed programs require updating and even shows what exactly appeared in new versions for each program. But the most convenient thing is that all updates can be installed in two clicks.

With a couple of clicks, you can update all applications without even opening them.

11. Extensions: removing extensions and plugins from the system

This module removes installed plugins for Safari, Spotlight, and System Preferences. Most often you will find here ad blocker modules and all sorts of system utilities.

12. Fileoscope: visualization of drive data

The module shows the structure of the drive in the form of a bubble diagram, where each bubble represents a folder or file. The larger the bubble, the more disk space this folder or file occupies.

File scope helps to find blockages of user data on the disk and manually parse them. A good analog to the DaisyDisk utility, although I still like the latter more

13. Large files

Here you can find a list of the largest files on your Mac. It can be some kind of movies, TV shows, installation files, and even applications.

All files are sorted by type and time of the last opening, so you can immediately see what is important and what is not.

14. Shredder

The last cleaning module, the shredder, is the safe deletion of files without the possibility of recovery. This is achieved by repeatedly overwriting the area of ​​the disk where the surprising data was located.

Safe removal is especially important for external drives when you need to completely remove something from a USB drive or a USB flash drive.


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