How to Clean Up Mac OS X With Free Software (for Windows and Mac Users)


As you install programs, browse the Internet and tinker with applications, a Mac will eventually get cluttered with junk files that eat up space. Using one of the free Mac cleaning utilities such as Maintenance or Magican can help free up space and remove clutter, and these applications know how to target the files that are safe to delete. If you're a Windows user, there's also a Mac version of CCleaner that sports a similar interface to the Windows version.

Using CCleaner

  • Go to the CCleaner for Mac website (link in Resources) and click the "Start Download" button. Open the "Downloads" folder from the dock and click on the CCleaner DMG file once the download completes.

  • Drag the "CCleaner" icon to the "Applications" folder just next to the icon. Double-click the "Applications" folder and launch CCleaner.

  • Check the items you wish to clean up on the CCleaner sidebar. Click the "Run Cleaner" button and click the "Yes" button on the dialog that pops up to clear the items that you selected.

Using Maintenance

  • Launch Maintenance and read the license agreement and then click the "Agree" button. When you get the "Verifying Startup Volume" prompt, click "Continue" to make sure your startup volume is healthy. Click the "OK" button after the scan is completed.

  • Enter your OS X administrator account name and password and click the "OK" button to see the main window.

  • Tick the check boxes of the items you wish to clean, maintain or rebuild. Click the "Execute" button and click the "Continue" button on the warning dialog to clean your Mac system based on the checked items.

Using Magican

  • Open Magican and close the welcome dialog that appears to see the main window.

  • Click "Cleaner" on the Magican sidebar and toggle any of the categories you wish to clean by clicking on the corresponding switches. Click the "Start Scan" to scan any of the areas with switches in the blue state.

  • Click the "Removal All" button after the scanning completes to see the confirmation dialog. Choose whether you want the items to be sent to the trash or deleted permanently by clicking on the corresponding option. Click "OK" to proceed with the cleaning.

Tips & Warnings

  • After you checked the items you want to clean in CCleaner, click the "Analyze" button to preview how much space will be cleared up if CCleaner proceeds with the cleaning. Double-click any of the categories in the results to see exactly what files CCleaner will remove if you click the "Run Cleaner" button.
  • Information in this article applies to CCleaner for Mac 1.05, Maintenance 1.6.0 and Magican 1.3.0 running in Mac OS X 10.8. The experience may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.
  • Maintenance will close any running applications after you execute a cleanup operation. Save any important work in any running applications before you clean up your system with Maintenance.


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