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Individual apps are rarely so valuable as to be virtually mandatory for computer users, but Apple’s lack of macOS system cleanup tools has been an issue for many years, leaving users hungry for speed-boosting tools. With macOS Mojave’s release just around the corner, MacPaw’s CleanMyMac X launches today as the best whole-system cleaner around — a Swiss Army knife of simple tools that radically slim a Mac’s software footprint, improve performance, and augment Apple’s existing malware protection.

Used most simply, CleanMyMac X offers a Smart Scan feature that tackles three tasks: removing system junk, checking for malware, and emptying out RAM from unneeded system processes. If you try nothing more than this feature, the app can in two clicks — scan and delete — get rid of multi-gigabyte logs and system files that are taking up space for no reason. The feature works properly even on macOS Mojave, as well as older macOS versions.

Other elements of the app are even more impressive. iTunes, mail attachments, large files, and unused apps can all be cleaned up with individual scanners. An integrated shredder lets you securely erase specific files, and an app updater lets you quickly bring many non-Mac App Store apps up to date in a single place. The presence of a malware removal tool provides reassurance for users who have dealt with the rare Mac phishing or browser exploit attack, and individual maintenance tools cover some of the same tweaks as the popular macOS cleaning app Onyx.

Users will appreciate CleanMyMac X’s streamlined, attractive interface, which includes clear icons and gentle animations to make the scrubbing process pleasant. The app’s speed is also impressive: MacPaw says it’s 3 times faster than the pre-X version of CleanMyMac, and it actually feels quick. Moreover, the app hasn’t shown any system-level problems during testing with beta versions of macOS Mojave.


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Only a couple of features need some work. The Photo Junk feature, designed to slim down a Mac’s photo library, doesn’t yet support the latest macOS Mojave photo library. And MacPaw’s centralized updater generally worked across multiple apps but had occasional hiccups, such as with an older version of QuickBooks that required separate installation — not a huge deal.

CleanMyMac X has a free trial, but a single-Mac license officially retails for $89.95 outright or $39.95 for a one-year subscription. Users of prior CleanMyMac versions can upgrade for 50 percent off, and the app is debuting for everyone else at 30 percent off during its first week. Apart from the steep pricing and current state of its photo functionality, MacPaw has a virtually perfect all-in-one Mac cleaning tool on its hands — tweaks to both would make this a must-have app for most Mac users.

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