What is MacPaw CleanMyPC?
MacPaw’s CleanMyPC is a PC tuner application designed to bring your sluggish and nearly lifeless computer back into tip-top condition. This beautifully designed application is powerful, and it is especially good at cleaning up and fixing registry mess.
The application is designed to scan computer files and find out those that you really don’t need and safely remove. However, despite all its charms, there are a few drawbacks that might make people look into alternatives.
CleanMyPC is a more suitable option for those who have some technical knowledge as most of the times, it will not give enough information about the files that it suggests for removal. This might lead to confusion for those who are not so technically inclined.
MacPaw CleanMyPC is available for users who are using Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7. It has three different license plans to select from that include a single PC license, a two PC license, and Family Pack license that covers five PC.
CleanMyPC is slightly on the higher end of the price spectrum. The single PC license will cost you $39.95, while the double PC license will cost $59.95. In case you are looking for the Family Pack, it will set you back by $99.95.
While the license choices are great, they don’t really come close to Iolo that allows you install System Mechanic on as many PCs as you wish to for a meager $ 49.95. That’s a steal if you are looking forward to use a PC tune-up utility on multiple PCs in your household. However, if you are looking for installing such software on a single PC, CleanMyPC is definitely a cheaper option.
The application is very lightweight and installs quickly. The overall interface is clean with a pleasant color theme that plays with blue and white. Navigation is simple with a left menu arranged vertically from where you can access everything including from registry maintenance to hibernation, to autorun, privacy, extension, etc.
Whatever you see on the left menu are essentially different tools that can find various errors with your system and remove those issues. It can even find and delete junk files to clean up space on your system hard disk.
Before I dig deep into the review, let me walk you through the pros and cons of CleanMyPC. A quick look at the strengths and weaknesses of the application will help you to decide whether you want to use this application on not.
The Pros and Cons of CleanMyPC
Just like every software application you can find, CleanMyPC has its own set of pros and cons. You need to understand that nothing can be without flaws. So, here are the strengths and weaknesses of CleanMyPC:
- Very simple and neatly-designed user interface.
- Capable of recovering a large amount of disk space.
- Additional tools like Autorun and Uninstallers are pretty handy.
- Application is fast and lightweight, with a very small footprint.
- Fixes invalid registry entries and improves processing time.
- Free version available.
- Adds secure-delete to the options menu. You just cannot remove it.
- Notifications are quite intrusive at times.
- Customization options are very limited.
- Free version can clean only 500 MB of junk.
- Pretty expensive.
Okay, now that you are aware of the pros and cons of the application, it is about time I walk you through the detailed review of the application.
CleanMyPC – UI and Features
As I told at the beginning of the review, the interface of CleanMyPC is beautifully designed. When you start the application for the first time, you will notice a left menu and a big blue ‘Scan’ button on the right.
This is how it looks like:
There are eight tools on the left and the major option is always the first one – Computer Cleanup. That’s the main selling point of the application, because that is what it has been designed for.
When you click on the scan button, the application will start scanning your computer and find out all that can be deleted without affecting the system or causing a loss of private data. Once the scan is complete, this is what you will notice:
You can see the details by clicking on the ‘Show Details’ link. The details you get from the ensuing page is not really satisfactory. This is what you will see when you click on the show details link:
You can, of course, choose to clean everything in one sweep by clicking the Clean button or you can remove everything manually by clicking on the Remove manually link at the bottom right corner.
Now, as I said earlier, you can remove only 500 MB of junk with the free version. To ensure that everything is removed, you have to get a license. This is what you will see when you are using the free version and the amount of junk identified by the application is more than 500 MB:
Another nice touch that you will find in CleanMyPC is that you can set the size of the recycle bin. If the files in the recycle bin exceeds that limit, the bin will be emptied automatically. To access this setting, you need to click on the options link you see on the top. There is a small cog icon beside it.
The default size of the recycle bin is set at 2 GB. However, you can use the slider to set a limit manually. This is what you will see:
Finding redundant files and cleaning them requires simple clicks. There are no complex operations involved, making the overall user experience a pleasant one.
The next option in the menu is the Registry Maintenance. Clicking on that option will show this screen:
Hitting the Scan Registry button will immediately find issues and give you the option of fixing them. As before, you can check or uncheck certain boxes and decide what to fix and what not to fix.
Clicking the Fix Registry button at the bottom will start resolving the issue. However, if you are using the free option, you can fix only 50 issues. To fix the remaining, you need to buy a license.
Here is what you will see when you use the free version:
The next tab is the Multi Uninstaller tab that will allow you to uninstall unused programs on your computer. Clicking on the tab will scan for all installed applications. Once the scan is complete, it will list all of them. You can select or unselect from the list.
Once you select all the applications that you want to the CleanMyPC will uninstall the apps. There are two phases in which this particular tool works.
First, CleanMyPC will use the built-in uninstallers of the selected apps (that is, the uninstallers built inside those applications by their respective developers) to uninstall them.
Once the uninstallation is complete, the tidy-up service of CleanMyPC kicks in and removes leftover elements, which are usually empty folders and registry associations. Removing registry associations is important, because in the future, those leftover associations can cause system issues.
The overall process is quite simple and everything happens quickly. You don’t have to worry about anything else. Just select the ones that you want to uninstall and click on the Uninstall button at the bottom.
The next tool is the Hibernation tool. Before I tell you what it does, it is important to understand what hibernation is in the first place. There are certain files on your computer that are known as hibernation files. Windows uses these files as a part of state called hibernation, which is an ultra-low power state.
This is mostly used in laptops. Hibernation is a method in which your computer will consume practically no power at all and yet, it will remember the state of your PC and the files in use right before you turn it off.
Hibernation is quite similar to the sleep mode with the main difference being that in the sleep mode, the files are stored in the RAM (until you wake up the computer again), while in the hibernation mode, they are stored on your computer’s hard disk. The sleep mode consumes a lot more power compared to what is consumed in the hibernation mode.
Hibernation is a useful tool for laptop users. It is not really useful for desktop users who keep their PCs hooked to a power outlet. Despite the fact that desktop users rarely use hibernation mode, Windows creates and stores those hibernation files anyway! This eats up a large amount of disk space.
With CleanMyPC, you can not only delete the hibernation files that your computer is generating and save some valuable disk space, but also turn off the hibernation function completely.
In my case, hibernation was turned off anyway. So, I had to do nothing. If your PC has hibernation enabled, make sure that you are using this tool to turn off hibernation completely.
The next tool in queue is the Extensions tool that allows you to manage browser extensions and Windows gadgets. This tool will find and list all the browser extensions from all browsers that are installed on your PC.
I don’t think this particular tool will be of great help to most of the users, but if your browsers are cluttered with many extensions, you will find this one to be an interesting tool. Also, if some of the extensions are infected by malware and prevent opening the browser or prevent uninstallation of the extensions, CleanMyPC will be a great way to get around them and get rid of them.
Again, the uninstallation process is simple. All you need to do is select the extensions that you want to uninstall and then click on the Clean button that you see at the bottom. That’s all!
The next tool is the Autorun tool that will allow you to manage the applications that run on startup. If there are too many applications that start running on startup, the boot time increases. So, it is always wise to prevent applications from autorunning on startup.
There are ways to control the startup applications. Windows has built-in features that will allow you to select the applications that you want to run on startup. There are antivirus programs that will allow you to perform the same thing.
CleanMyPC does the same thing! This application will give you a simple list of applications that are set to autorun during startup. All it takes is a flip of a switch to control their behavior. You can even entirely remove the applications by selecting the ones that you want to remove.
Next in line is the Privacy tool that will help you to remove your browser history and traces of your online and offline activities.
When you click on this option, the application will allow you to clean cache, cookies, sessions, history, storage, downloads history, etc. with a single click. Not just that, the application will also allow you to clean the history of Windows explorer or File explorer.
The final tool is the Shredder tool that will allow you to securely delete any file or folder from your computer. Once deleted using the shredder tool, those files cannot be recovered.
The method that the shredder uses is that it overwrites those files or folder three times so that the recovery becomes impossible.
One of the bad things that I have seen is that CleanMyPC will add the shredder in the options menu or the context menu that you get on right-click. That’s helpful for some, but it can also be annoying. Accidentally clicking on that option will delete the file. That’s not very helpful!
Also, I think that the shredder you get with CleanMyPC is not really that powerful. Kaspersky antivirus that I use has a much more powerful file shredder and you can use military-grade algorithms to delete sensitive files and folders.
CleanMyPC is a decently good tool but there are certain things that could be improved. Here are my observations:
- The application should allow taking the registry backup before running a cleanup.
- It should offer more detailed explanation of the files that it suggests for removal.
- It removes autorun programs, but the ability to add autorun programs could have been a nice touch.
Not to forget the price, CleanMyPC can be expensive if you are planning to use it on multiple devices. I believe that they could have reduced the price a bit. The free version is pretty much useless, because you will hit the limits quickly.
If you think that CleanMyPC doesn’t offer a good value for your money, you should definitely check out at least three alternatives. They are:
- CCleaner: You must have heard its name. It works pretty much the same way as CleanMyPC does. CCleaner has been developed by Piriform. There is a free version available, but you should go for the premium version that throws in additional features and a complete suite of software including Recuva that can recover deleted files.
- System Mechanic: This application from Iolo will give you a 229-point diagnostic check. It comes with various tools to not only clean up your PC and fix errors, but also boost its performance. It can even boost internet speed by optimizing hidden Windows internet settings.
- Glary Utilities: Offered by Glarysoft, Glary Utilities is a complete set of tools that can help to optimize your PC. It even adds driver backups, disk defragmentation, and malware protection.
CleanMyPC is a powerful PC optimizer. It is an all-in-one solution. The intuitive interface makes it easy to use, and it can help to give your computer a quick boost whenever you need it. However, there are other applications that offer more optimization and extra features. If you don’t want the extra features, MacPaw CleanMyPC is a great choice for its simplicity, power, and ease-of-use.