When Apple stepped into the world of computers, it revolutionized technology and what it offers to its users.
A quick Amazon search for laptops in 2022, and you will be inundated with portable computers from various brands in different display sizes, specifications, and of course, their cost.
MacBooks will definitely pop out in the hypothetical search, and after Apple transitioned to its in-house silicon, Intel and AMD are biting their nails.
So, if you own an M1/M1 Pro/M1 Max/M2 MacBook, or even one powered by Intel, you’ll know that the system has its quirks.
One of them is security which is a major reason why people choose Apple products (the second being the much-coveted ecosystem).
No matter how you use your Mac, machines are bound to slow down, run out of RAM, or randomly freeze.
This is a clear indication that your Mac needs to be cleaned. Not the outer surface but the unimportant files occupying your disk space.
To efficiently clean your Mac, you’ll need a cleaner that deletes the digital debris and clutter, freeing up the RAM from otherwise memory-hogging apps.
By doing so, you’ll see a boost in speed and performance, which was slowed down by junk files.
In this listicle, you will find apps that will remove redundant files from your system and give it a space to breathe.
Best Free Mac Cleaner Apps
MacBooks come with low base storage – the M1 MacBook Air comes with 256GB while the M1 Pro 14″ comes with 512GB. It may be enough for you, but we all have different needs from our computers.
Upgrading the newly launched M2 MacBook Air and M2 MacBook Pro from 256GB to 512GB will cost you $200 and $400 if you want 1TB, which can’t be upgraded post-purchase.
So, the best way to reserve storage is to keep your Mac clean by deleting unnecessary files.
I found a wealth of Mac cleaner apps and tried some for my MacBook Air. Following are those apps that I approve of. But before you download these apps, give the next section a read where I clarify where such apps stand.
Are macOS cleaner apps safe?
MacOS is a little snobbish than Windows but has its pros and cons. A well-known con is that it is not open-source, which is expected of Apple.
You get a built-in cleaner that is great at handling large files and will be deleted to free up disk space. You can download trustworthy apps, and all the apps listed in this article are made by well-known developers.
Their sole purpose is to get rid of files that are useless to the system. Such apps are better than randomly deleting anything from your MacBook.
Must Read | How to Delete Apps on the Mac M1
1. Cleaner One Pro – Disk Clean
Cleaner One Pro is the best Mac cleaner app that acts as an all-in-one optimizer.
With this app in your tech arsenal, you can analyze and optimize your disk usage, free up storage space, and delete duplicate files or media.
The app also does a great job at keeping the hard drive clean, managing your Mac apps, and a lot more.
Cleaner One Pro has a ‘Disk Clean Map’ that effortlessly scans all your disk drives, creating a clickable map of the color-coded files on your disk. With this, you can glean additional information about files.
An ‘Intelligent App Manager’ manages all the installed apps with its all-in-one app optimizer feature. This feature also auto-cleans debris of uninstalled apps.
I appreciate the app’s ‘Similar Photo Scanner’ that swiftly finds identical photos which can be previewed in groups after a thorough scanning.
The feature then gives you an option to delete unwanted duplicate photos so that there’s free space on your drive. Remember that this is a paid feature. You can also organize your photo library.
Another helpful feature is getting real-time information about your network and CPU usage along with detailed information about both, which is a paid feature.
- Quick Disk Clean feature from the Menu Bar
- Detect remaining files after deletion of Apps
- A thorough and quick scan
- Minor bugs slow down UI
Pricing: Free to download; $14.99
App rating: 4.8
2. CleanMyMac X
Preferred by the general public, CleanMyMac X has the crown of being the best Mac cleaner app.
Developed by MacPaw, this app is a heavy hitter in every sense. You will find all the tools needed to make your Mac anew. And I don’t mean it in a cliched way as though it will make your laptop the day you got it; close to it.
The tools include optimization and maintenance tools, deleting unwanted cache and junk files, file cleaner, malware remover, application uninstaller, and more.
Kudos to the developers for making an app that is easy to look at. With its straightforward layout, you also get myriad functions that aim to clean your system.
A general system cleaner optimizes storage space by removing temporary file debris and removing lingering elements of applications left behind after they were uninstalled.
When it comes to pricing, some features are free to use, but since we consumers have become the golden goose, expect every app to ask you for subscription charges – CleanMyMac X is no different.
You can choose an annual subscription or buy it through a one-time purchase if you don’t want to be a golden goose.
CleanMyMac X is an exceptionally well-made Mac cleaner.
- Large toolset
- Excellent cleaning tools for Mac storage
- Blocks adware, browser pop-ups, and virus extensions
- Updater feature missed some app updates
- Malware Removal produced mixed results
Pricing: Free to download; $34.99-$89.99
App rating: 4.6
DaisyDisk is an excellent Mac cleaner app that has been a reliable tool for its users for many years now.
You will see a breakdown of your disk space at the start, making it easy to spot apps hogging your storage.
The app is amazing at analyzing and purging unnecessary files. Moreover, there’s a notable feature that scans not just one but multiple disks swiftly and accurately.
I like the QuickLook integration that gives you an easy preview of the file’s content.
Lastly, DaisyDisk is a multi-lingual app that supports languages such as English, French, Japanese, Italian, Simplified Chinese, Russian, German, and more.
- Quickly scans storage and finds large files
- Graphical representation of storage
- File name previews
- Can check cloud storage
- Some user-interface quirks
App rating: 4.6
4. Parallels Toolbox
When you visit Parallels’ website, you’ll notice that they provide services of various tools that help you perform different tasks on your MacBook.
They range from recording audio, resizing images, downloading videos, finding duplicate files, freeing storage space, maintaining a clipboard history, hiding desktop files, setting alarms, turning off all the wireless communications, and more. I know, these are a bunch of services.
Apart from all these tools, one service can also clean your Mac to boost its performance.
This app can uninstall applications, clean your drives, free disk space, and find duplicate files. The ‘Clean Drive’ feature easily scabs your disk space and asks you to choose which files will be deleted.
Parallels Toolbox is an all-in-one software that will manage your Mac as you want to.
- A suite of Mac tools
- Fully-featured free trial
- Clipboard History
- More features than people need
Pricing: Free to download; $19.99
5. MacCleaner Pro
Nektony developed a superb Mac app that goes by MacCleaner Pro. This app is a utility suite of six different tools that work to clean your Mac and give it a performance boost.
The suite consists of Disk Space Analyzer Pro, Duplicate File Finder Pro, Funter tool, App Cleaner & Uninstaller, and Memory Cleaner.
Like other apps on this list, this also offers tools to find and delete duplicate files and folders. If you want, it will also merge similar folders.
I like that apps give you an option to uninstall apps. MacCleaner Pro does, too, and it gets the job done safely.
You’ll have to pay for features such as uninstalling apps, analyzing disk usage, and finding duplicate files, but they are worth it.
- Useful set of tools
- Good tutorial system
- Real-time anti-virus protection
- Pricier than some of its competition
Pricing: Free to download; $44.95-%112.95
6. App Cleaner & Uninstaller
As the name suggests, App Cleaner & Uninstaller is an awesome set of utility apps that is a full-fledged Mac cleaning tool.
The app is extremely user-friendly and truly easy on the eyes (and the system).
The spotlight feature of this app is its ability to find all the temporary files and app debris you may have already deleted. With this option, your system will wipe out all the useless data cluttered.
It so happens that we download a few apps and browser extension in the heat of the moment but seldom use it. Well, you can preview all such apps and extensions and swiftly remove the ones you don’t need.
A quick tip: Turn off launch agents and startup items so your Mac will become more speedy. Moreover, you can take control of all of your Mac’s files and optimize its performance. Trust App Cleaner & Uninstaller to make your Mac run smoothly.
- Simple user interface
- Free (with Pro upgrade)
- Easy-to-use features
- Not as full-featured as alternatives
Pricing: Free to download; $19.99-$44.95
MacKeeper is truly a keeper for your MacBook. This software is worth its price, which is relatively low compared to other cleaners on this list.
Its user interface and navigation feel native to macOS, which can’t be said of many apps.
When it comes to features, a simple click will scan your Mac. Cleaning or fixing issues that are found will take another click. You also get a safe cleaner, duplicate finder, smart uninstaller, memory cleaner, and adware cleaner.
Moreover, the app knows that security is a major issue, and it takes care by giving an in-built anti-virus and an extension that blocks all advertisements.
If you perform any of these tasks and face issues, you get 24/7 customer support, which is quite rare.
The app is free to download, but all the great features are available after a subscription model is chosen. And they are worth every penny!
MacKeeper will take care of your MacBook while you are handling your chores.
- Intuitive interface
- Disk space analyzer
- Built-in VPN service
- No security features
- No large file finder option
Pricing: Free to download; $4.54-$14.95
CCleaner is a popular Mac cleaner that works exceptionally well in maintaining it.
The app effectively reduces various clutter that is responsible for slowing down your Mac. It will get rid of unused and junk files and apps that are hogging your storage.
This wonderful tool lets you choose the files you want to remove or keep. If you’re going to get rid of them, it will eliminate all of them in just a click or two.
CCleaner also clears the browser history, which safeguards your personal information. With this option, you’ll be able to surf the internet safely.
The free version has restrictions, and you’ll have to buy the premium version to use more features detailed in the above paragraphs.
- Impressive customization tools
- Excellent control over storage
- Thorough junk file cleaning
- The user interface looks dated
- Zero security features
Pricing: Free to download; $29.95
Onyx is a Mac cleaning app that deserves its spot in all such lists. It is a well-known software that is reliable and used by millions to keep their Macs clutter-free.
Swiftly take charge of your MacBook by getting rid of all the unwanted files and folders that Onyx efficiently takes care of.
One of the app’s notable features – and there any a few – is how accurately it purges junk and unwanted files. No clutters will survive after a thorough scan from this app.
The best part about Onyx is its availability – users with older macOS can download the old version of the app!
I wasn’t aware that Onyx exists, but it came up a lot during my research, and boy, I’m glad I included it in this listicle. It does live up to the demand!
- Powerful toolset
- Completely free
- Versions for older Mac systems are available
- UI needs some time to learn
- Could potentially break macOS
Pricing: Free to download; donation system
10. Disk Doctor
The last Mac cleaner on this list is Disk Doctor. As the name suggests, the app acts as a doctor to your disk storage and takes care of the anomalies.
Trust the Disk Doctor to delete any unnecessary files from your MacBook. These include temporary files, application caches, application log files, message attachments, application leftovers, and uncompleted/partial downloads.
All of these will be spotted by the app and forever deleted.
Disk Doctor thoroughly scans your storage space and groups them categorically.
If you aren’t sure of these files, you can preview them and choose whether to delete or keep them. This does include partially downloaded and large files, which are redundant and may hog your storage.
Disk Doctor’s asking cost is a mere $2.99. If you choose this app, you’ll get all the required features to clean your Mac.
Keep in mind that privacy and security features are omitted by the developers.
- Low price
- Finds large files
- Good basic cleaning features
- No security or privacy protection
- Limited features
App rating: 3.7
Which is the best free Mac cleaner?
Cleaner One Pro-Disk Clean and CleanMyMac X are two of the best free cleaners for your MacBook.
Does Apple recommend CleanMyMac?
Apple doesn’t recommend installing a third-party cleaner as a built-in cleaner does a great job.
Does clearing cache make Mac faster?
Even though cached files generally speed up your web browsing experience as they save bandwidth, you should occasionally clean your Mac’s browser caches because they use a lot of storage space. Moreover, clearing your browser’s cache will hide your online activity, which is good for your privacy.
These are the 10 best free Mac Cleaner apps in 2022.
These apps will clean your storage, thus removing files superfluous to the system.
Some apps go a step further and give extra features such as deleting duplicate or large files, built-in VPN connection & anti-virus, and even clipboard history, which macOS lacks.
Apart from purging out unwanted files (by the computer), many of these apps have the aforementioned advanced tools that could safeguard your personal information stored on the machine.
Remember to choose a Mac cleaner depending on the factors you are looking for and your budget.
Some apps are free to download, and some are paid, but many offer a premium tier for those advanced features.
I suggest you download a free tool first and see if it is appropriate for your usage.
After that, choose a feature-packed software that has security features.
Whatever you are looking for, you are spoilt for choice.