It’s common knowledge that cars require maintenance to stay in good working order. If you never change the oil in your car on time, the lifespan of the engine will be much shorter than it has to be. If you drive your car with old coolant, you can expect it to overheat and generally run poorly. Computers, including Macs, are similar to cars because they too require some maintenance to run like new. That’s where tools like CCleaner for Mac come in.

What is CCleaner for Mac?

CCleaner for Mac is a cleanup utility whose purpose is to simplify Mac maintenance. As you use your computer, the operating system itself as well as various applications you use leave behind residual files that occupy space on your hard drive and often lead to slower boot times and various other issues.

ccleaner for mac

What Does CCleaner Do?

Even websites leave files on your hard drive, called cookies, and there are several reasons why you should get rid of them. Apart from storing stateful information, cookies are also often used to compile long-term records of individuals’ browsing histories, and they may even be used to disrupt or impersonate legitimate user requests to websites.

You could manually go through your Mac’s folder structure and delete each unwanted cookie and leftover file individually, but it would take you hours or even days to do what a cleanup utility like CCleaner for Mac can do in a few seconds.

Prime Features of CCleaner for Mac

The greatest asset of CCleaner for Mac is that it is a collection of great utilities rather than one tool. With CCleaner, you can use other tools like Cleaner, Startup Manager, Uninstaller, Large File Finder, and Duplicate Finder. This makes it a one-stop-shop for all of your computer optimization tools, from Startup organization to Junk File Cleaning.

✔️ Cleaner

The Cleaner eliminates logs, cache, cookies, and other junk that slow down your Mac. Just hit Run Cleaner, and Cleaner will erase the innumerable files that are bogging your computer.
clean feature on Ccleaner

✔️ Uninstaller

The uninstaller is great when you accidentally download an app that you can’t remove. This is common when you install software that slyly gets you to download other software that you don’t want. Simply select the app you want to delete and click Uninstall.
uninstall feature on Ccleaner

✔️ Startup Manager

Many programs you download automatically default to starting when you boot your computer. Having many heavy programs start on bootup can slow your computer down. Use Startup Manager to configure auto-running of apps right when your Mac boots. All you have to do is pick them from the list and click Remove or Disable
startup manager on ccleaner

✔️ Erase Free Space

While many times file deletion is an accident, you can recover these files using data recovery tools. This incredible functionality can become a significant issue when you need to delete files securely. With this application, you can securely erase free storage space on your Mac for privacy and security reasons. All you must do is select a volume and click Wipe. These files will not be retrievable anymore.
erase free space on ccleaner

✔️ Large File Finder

Cleaning disk drives is easier when you can delete a few large files than hundreds of tiny ones. CCleaner has a feature that helps locate large files that consume too much space on your Mac. All you have to do is decide how much is large for you, then set the value in the box and click Search.
large file finder feature on ccleaner

✔️ Duplicate Finder

Duplicate files eat up disk space and slow your computer. CCleaner finds duplicate files such as installers that have been downloaded twice and pictures saved multiple times. All you have to do is set the scan parameters and click Search.
duplicate finder feature on ccleaner

How to Use CCleaner?

  1. Download and install CCleaner for Mac from here.
  2. Upon launching the application, you will encounter two buttons – Analyze and Run Cleaner. Moreover, you will find other clean-up options like internet cache, unneeded languages, cookies, internet history, Safari sessions, system trash, and the kind.
    Ccleaner home page
  3. Select as many relevant options and then click on the Analyze button; this will show the details of the files to be removed. CCleaner for Mac will display the number of removable files and the consequent potential free disk space. 
  4. Upon selecting the files for deletion, click on Run Cleaner to remove these redundant files from your Mac.

We recommend using CCleaner for Mac every week. If you buy the CCleaner Mac Professional version, you can set automatic reminders that tell you when to clean your Mac again.  

CCleaner Versions

CCleaner for Mac is available in two versions: free and professional.

  • The free version can keep your Mac running fast and get rid of all potentially dangerous cookies left over by websites.
  • The professional version does the same thing, but it also includes real-time monitoring, automatic updates, and premium support.

CCleaner for Mac Security Flaws

Unfortunately, CCleaner has become the victim of cybercriminals, who were able to compromise the 32-bit Windows version of CCleaner v5.33 with the Trojan:Win32/Floxif.A trojan, which led to over 2.2 million computers getting infected. According to Microsoft, “Trojan:Win32/Floxif.A is a malicious program that is unable to spread of its own accord. It may perform a number of actions of an attacker’s choice on an affected computer”.

More specifically, the trojan is capable of installing a backdoor on infected computers and allowing the attackers to deliver a second-stage payload. More than 40 technology companies, including Samsung, Intel, and VMWare, have received a second-stage payload after getting infected with the Trojan:Win32/Floxif.A trojan through the compromised version of CCleaner for Windows.

The developers of CCleaner patched the security flaw in CCleaner 5.34 and CCleaner Cloud 1.07.3191, but CCleaners reputation had already been damaged. The good news is that CCleaner for Mac has never been compromised. Still, even Mac users should always use the latest version of CCleaner and never download it from any other source besides the official website.

CCleaner for Mac Reviews

Despite CCleaner’s tainted security history, the application has received overall positive reviews. The majority of reviewers praise its price, easy-to-use user interface, and the ability to recover several gigabytes of disk space with a simple click.

  • Jeffrey L. Wilson from PCMag wrote: “If you’re looking to give your OS X laptop or desktop a shot of new life, CCleaner is a solid choice. It’s free, simple to use, and most importantly, effective.”
  • JP from SoftwareHow compared CCleaner for Mac to a number of alternatives and find it much easier to use than most other Mac cleaners he tested yet just as effective.
  • On CNET, CCleaner boasts an excellent average user rating of 4.5 stars, with over 4200 users giving the application 5 stars.

3 Best Free Alternatives to CCleaner for Mac

Even though CCleaner for Mac is by far the most popular cleaner tool for Apple’s operating system, it’s not the only one. Alternatives to CCleaner for Mac do exist, and some of them are actually quite compelling. We’ve picked three we believe you should definitely know about.

1. BleachBit

ccleaner mac

BleachBit is the perfect CCleaner alternative for supporters of open source software. This free and open source disk cleaner application can free cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, shred temporary files, delete logs, discard junk, and wipe clean thousands of applications including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, and many others.

BleachBit is developed chiefly for Windows and Linux, but the application also runs on macOS in command line mode thanks to code contributed by brahmastra2016 and MattHardcastle. The developers of BleachBit hope to bring the full BleachBit experience to all Mac users soon, but nobody knows exactly when that might be. Until then, running BleachBit in command line mode is the only way how to run the application on macOS.

2. Onyx

download ccleaner for mac

You can use this multifunctional utility for macOS to verify the startup disk and the structure of its system files to keep your Mac running as good as new. Onyx can also run miscellaneous tasks of system maintenance, configure hidden parameters of the Finder, Dock, Dashboard, Exposé, Safari, the Login window, and a number of other applications and system components. Onyx is free, available in multiple languages, and supported by donations.

We recommend this lesser known Mac cleaner as a follow up to either BleachBit or CCleaner for Mac to really dial in your system. Titanium Software, the developers of Onyx, have also released Maintenance, a system maintenance and cleaning utility for macOS which you can use to run miscellaneous tasks of system maintenance, and Deeper, a personalization utility for macOS.

3. Cocktail

ccleaner utility

Cocktail is described as a general-purpose utility for macOS that handles Mac cleanup, repair, and optimization. All Cocktail’s features are arranged into five categories—Disks, System, Files, Network, and Interface—to help you manage various aspects of your computer with ease. Those who don’t have time to dive deep into each of the five categories and familiarize themselves with the plethora of customization and maintenance options available can activate the automatic Pilot mode, which allows you to simply press a button and relax as Cocktail takes care of everything for you automatically.

Cocktail can be downloaded for free, but the application expires after the tenth launch unless it’s registered. One single-user license costs $19, and it covers one computer. Cocktail also offers a family license, which costs $39 and covers up to five computers. Businesses can purchase Cocktail’s business license, which covers up to one hundred computers in a single organization.

Joshua Solomon

Technology, SaaS, and digital marketing are Joshua's go-to niches. He understands the need for simple and easy-to-read articles on the internet. As technologies grow in complexity, guides and how-to pieces must remain com...

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Approved by
Brett Johnson

This article has been approved by Brett Johnson, Data Recovery Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Brett has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Systems and Network, 12 years of experience.