CleanMyMac 3 Review

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CleanMyMac 3 Review

Should I Clean My Mac With CleanMyMac 3?

As an IT person for AOL (yes, I’ve been around a long time) and other companies over the years, one of the most common questions I get from friends and customers that own a Mac is, “Hey Kim (or Kimmy if you really love me), my Mac has gotten so slow, how do I clean my Mac and get it running fast again?” Over the years my answer has changed from sending them a list of DIY Mac clean up tips to, this: ” Just use a Mac cleaner.”

There’s so many out there though, so that’s often the next question, “which Mac cleaner should I use to clean my Mac?” There are several to choose from, so we’re reviewing as many for you as we can to help you decide which is right for you and your Mac’s needs. This review is covering the latest Mac cleaning software by MacPaw. This is their third version, and is aptly called, CleanMyMac 3.

MacPaw is a trusted name in the software industry so that gives it a little more clout than some of the other Mac cleaning programs, but since it’s not a free Mac cleaner, you still will want to investigate it thoroughly before spending your money on it. As you read through our Clean My Mac review consider which of the features would be helpful to you and which ones you could do without and keep those in mind as you look consider other Mac cleaning software that we reviewed.

CleanMyMac 3 Review

Interface & Layout

CleanMyMac 3 has changed quite a bit from its past versions, and it’s changed in many very good ways. To start with the program is quick and there’s been no glitches or bugginess to it. As for the layout, past layouts were not very appealing nor were some of the features offered, but the MacPaw team has certainly been working hard at fixing that it seems, as CleanMyMac 3 definitely now has a very user friendly design to it and some nice new features as well.


clean my mac cleanmymac 3

Upon first installing and starting the program, there was nothing that needed to be explained, it’s all completely self explanatory. To get started simply click, ‘Scan’ which is the Smart Cleanup scan, and then let it do its thing.  A few minutes or sometimes just seconds later and the Clean My Mac scan is complete. You then have the option to clean or get rid of the junk files it found or keep them so that you can review them first.

clean my mac cleanmymac 3

As for me, when doing the Smart Cleanup to clean my Mac, I am comfortable with completely “cleaning” it once the scan is done. It’s doing you a favor by emptying a bunch of unnecessary junk from your Mac, megabytes or even gigabytes of junk that once gone will allow your Mac to run a lot better. Running individual cleaning options though, such as the one for Larger Files, I do recommend taking the time to go through those and check or uncheck what you want to keep or delete.

clean my mac cleanmymac 3


Should you need help or more explanation as to what each cleaning tool or utility does, we found that unlike past versions, there were many help screens that explain exactly what a particular scan or test will do should you click on it which were all very informative.

clean my mac cleanmymac 3

The design of the program’s main screen shows all tasks and options along the left and on the right is the working window pane. Each testing or scanning option includes an explanation of what it will do and what it repairs, and in some cases there are a few other options you can check as well. Should you need more information, there’s more in-depth help screens available when clicking on the small question mark in the lower right hand corner. We found these tutorials to be quite extensive in letting you know more about whatever function you’re considering using, but not overwhelmingly so.

clean my mac cleanmymac 3

The help topics as well as the explanations on each feature are well written and easy to understand by anyone of any technical level, not like some other Mac cleaner in which the English seems to be written by a non-native English speaker and at times be a bit confusing.

Features & Options on CleanMyMac 3

clean my mac cleanmymac 3


CleanMyMac 3 has a nice array of tests and tools available. In the top section you’ll find a list of cleaning applications that you can use. You can choose a Smart Cleanup, which cleans up everything at once and at the end allows you to choose what you do and do not completely get rid of, or you can choose each cleaning function individually. In the bottom section there’s a list of utilities that CleanMyMac can perform, such as running maintenance scripts or flushing your DNS cache. Not sure what those are or the other utilities either? Each one tells you exactly what it is and why you would use it.

clean my mac cleanmymac 3

Here’s a list of the Cleaning Functions it can perform:

System Junk

Photo Junk

Mail Attachments

iTunes Junk

Trash Bins

Large & Old Files

Here’s a list of the Utilities / Tools it includes:







Each option shows you what it does before it does it and after a scan will show you what it found should you wish to take a peak before it is destroyed. We like this and found that it is helpful to allowing the user to feel a lot more in control of the cleaning process and allows them to worry a bit less if they are concerned about cleaning out their images or other large files in an in-depth cleaning, They have the ultimate say so in the end as to what happens to those files, they’re not just automatically deleted after a scan.

Dashboard: A handy screen on the Clean My Mac program is Dashboard. Here, you’ll see some details about your Mac, and also it will show you how much the CleanMyMac program has cleaned off of your computer since you installed it. For us this was over 47 GB and we’ve been using it for about six months. The computer itself is about six months old and mainly in its first run the Mac cleaner cleaned off all the extra languages that we didn’t need. Other details include the status of your hard drive, memory / RAM and CPU, all in real time. You can click on them for more details such as what’s using up the memory at the time or what’s taking up the most space.

clean my mac cleanmymac 3



There’s a nice feature called “Free up” memory located above the memory status bar in dashboard. There’s no explanation given, you can find something in the help section probably, but there’s no easy way such as a question mark icon or little popup that tells you what it does. It’s rather self explanatory though, we guessed and were right in that clicking on Free Up would free up some memory should you need it. We clicked it and within less than a minute we had four extra gigs of ram now available to us and it created no errors or problems when clicking it, so whatever processes it ended in order to free up some memory was absolutely fine.clean my mac cleanmymac 3




clean my mac cleanmymac 3



In preferences, which is selected from the drop down box at the top of your Mac screen (click on CleanMyMac 3 and select preferences), you can select which languages to keep and which to delete each time you install some new program. You can also tell it to clean an external hard drive instead of just your main drive should you have one.

clean my mac cleanmymac 3

Also, you can select to not have the program pop up and interfere with you when you don’t want it to. It’s not doing it in a sales pitch way but in a way to get your attention that it’s time to run it and get a clean Mac, but if you’re not wanting to be interrupted it can be annoying so going into preferences and scheduler and setting it to never alert you would be your option to stopping this. You’ll then just need to remind yourself to run it every few weeks, or whatever interval you choose.


Other things you can set in preferences include what you want to be scanned in the Smart Cleanup scan, and any warnings you want to be alerted to such as when your free space drops under a certain number.


What We Love

There’s a lot to love with the latest version of CleanMyMac. The cleaning features and utilities that are included are all what you want to have in a Mac cleaner, and it’s not stuffed and bloated with a bunch of stuff you don’t need. What you do want, they include, such as an Uninstaller and Smart Cleanup, and a way to clean iTunes, photos and mail. Also, being able to clean your Mac and run maintenance scripts or fix some bugginess that’s going on with it, all from one program, is quite helpful.

clean my mac cleanmymac 3


What about price? We’ll include price in the part we love since the price falls into the lower to normal range for a Mac cleaner, and into the very low range for one with this many options. Currently you can get it for $40 or you get a discount if you’re upgrading from version 2.  There’s a free trial as well, we put the link below:

CleanMyMac 3, Free Trial

What We Don’t Love

Hmm, with CleanMyMac 2 there wasn’t a lot we were happy with, so it’s nice to be able to say the reverse this time, which is that there wasn’t a lot we didn’t love about CleanMyMac 3. There was one thing though, and that was that it can be annoying to have it popup to remind you to clean your Mac while you’re on a Skype call with a potentially important new client. That’s just a random example, as you can tell. But, there’s an easy fix to this, and that’s what we mentioned earlier in going to the preferences box and shutting off the reminders. Anything else we don’t love? Nope!

Should I Clean My Mac with CleanMyMac 3? 

Comparing it to the other Mac cleaners out there, CleanMyMac 3 comes out in the definite top two to three that we’d recommend. For me specifically though, it’s now become my new favorite and is my first choice as my number one Mac tool. Why? This is mostly because I really like and use the additional things that don’t come with most Mac cleaners like the custom cleaning options for photos and other large files, and the maintenance options.

For some you may not want or need those options, but since you’re not being charged extra for them and since they’re not overly technical or in the way of running it as a simple Mac cleaner, I think you’ll still be happy with it over a simple one button Mac cleaner.
Bottom line: We pretty much love everything about this program, so if you were one of those asking “how can I clean my Mac?,” we have to say that using CleanMyMac 3 gets our definite thumbs up as an answer to that question. If you’re still on the lookout for a Mac cleaner though, check out our other reviews to help you find the right one. 

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About The Author
Kimberly Shalda Carver
Kimberly Carver is the owner and creator of She loves all aspects of technology and created this website in an effort to help others, which you can read more about HERE.

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