There are some utilities that trigger heated debate in the Mac community. These “clean your computer” programs elicit groans from techies because they really are not needed on a Mac. Simon Pride, a 20-year IT veteran and Boston Mac User Group member says, these programs are aimed at “PC switchers, who are used to needing such things, and people with OCD.” Another BMAC member, Jeff Berg of Purple Shark Consulting comments, “Suffice it to say that the need for maintenance is rare and when required it can usually be performed with included system utilities.”
While I agree with my colleagues, I often see questions from users online that ask how to remove programs or free up space on their hard disks. Trashing files, deleting programs, and cleaning a disk is not simple for an average user. (Ask any Mac consultant how many times s/he’s found a full Trash folder at a client’s site.) People want to check email and surf, not do system maintenance. That’s what motivates me to look closely at this new free offer, CleanGenius Pro from EaseUS Software.
Product: CleanGenius Pro 2.0.1
Company: EaseUS Software
Price: Free for limited time
Link: App Store Download
Recommended: Yes with cautions
Easy to understand interface.
Easy to deselect individual or a whole section of files.
Monitors disk space.
No alert to signal you when a scan is finished.
Sort by size does not work correctly.
The view icon takes you to the folder in which a log or cache is located, but does not highlight the file.
English translation needs some work in Help file.
CleanGenius Pro monitors your Mac for free disk space, scans your drive for space eating cache files and logs, plus uninstalls programs. CleanGenius Pro has a clean easy to understand interface and seems to work fine, except for a few minor issues.
After you download the app, you drag it into your Applications folder and double-click to launch. I ran a few tests to check its functionality on my mid-2007 iMac running Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6).
I pressed Scan and the report showed me all the different file types that most users never see, as mentioned above. I didn’t know when the program finished the scan, because there was no alert, beep, or any other indication it was done.
If you press Clean, the software deletes the checked files. I do not recommend you press Clean without checking each section of the checked files. You can uncheck any files you want to keep. I never delete log files, because they track application problems, so I unchecked that whole option.
I chose to clean only my Roxio Toast 11 and QuickTime cache files. It deleted the programs’ cache folders, not just the files. That isn’t a problem, because upon using the programs again, the system recreates the folder.
I process a lot of photo files and some of my cache folders store gigabytes of data I do not need to keep. Cache files I delete weekly include those in the Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Bridge folders. (I use Bridge to renumber my photos, but do not need to keep the preview files it creates.) I also delete my Safari cache file, because it tends to crash when it reaches about 180MB. CleanGenius Pro makes this process simpler for me, because I don’t have to open multiple folders.
There is no app on my iMac I want to uninstall, so I did not test this feature. I did click the Uninstall Applications to see what it displayed. I found a number of items that I assume are some kind of support files for other apps, so I left them alone. Rule of thumb: Never delete a file just because you don’t know what it does.
I am surprised it did not tell me how many apps I have installed and that there was no click through to go to the program. Now, here’s some humor, in order to uninstall CleanGenius, you have to physically put the app in the Trash and manually remove the support files from your user Preferences in the Library folder! It does not come with an uninstaller.
Watch Your Free Space
You also can set CleanGenius Pro to monitor free disk space. The interface is easy to use and understand, so if you have a Mac that is short on space, this app may help. When your space goes too low, the monitor bar turns orange, then red, to alert you to clean off your hard drive.
CleanGenius puts a disk monitor in your Menu bar too, so you can run it in the background to view available space. This menu item disappears when you quit the program, so it is an odd add-on.
Rule of thumb: You should leave at least 10% of your hard drive space free, which allows for temporary files and others to run without problems.
CleanGenius comes in two versions. CleanGenius Free does not include the ability to eject an external drive, set the custom space alarm, and the search icon to reveal a program in the Finder. CleanGenius Pro includes everything mentioned, plus a higher priority email support. Normally the Pro version is $12.99, but it is also free currently.
The App Store version does not let you remove files that require root privileges, which is determined by Apple, not the software. EaseUS Software provides a download from their site that does allow removal of files that require root access. This version is also free for a limited time. If you do not understand root access, you should not use the version available from the site.
There are a couple of issues in how the software works. For examples, if you use their Find button to see a particular file, it only takes you to the Caches or Logs folder, but does not highlight the file.
I tried to sort the System and User Caches items by size, but it did not sort everything correctly.
There are also language issues in the help file. The company could do with some assistance in translating their Japanese into proper English.
Should You Download It?
The program is free, seems to work fine, except for a couple of minor sorting issues. The interface is simple enough for anyone to use. If you think you need this kind of help to keep your Mac slimmed down, by all means grab it!
Do you need this program? Probably not. Could you use it? Sure, it does provide some useful help and it is free! If you give this program a try, please post a comment below with your impressions.
Well stated – thorough without too many boring details. Like many other Mac processes, this points again to a perspective of, probably not necessary, but can’t hurt.
Good article; thorough without being overly technical and losing newbies. As a support person, it is hard for me to believe someone would need an app that searches the computer (!), and some of the other functions that are built in to the Mac, but I like the attitude that, hey, possibly some readers might like it (you might also briefly add how those functions are free & simple parts of the OS). As a reader, I wanted to know the “different file types most users never see” that the program listed. I would have added “such as caches and log files” and perhaps a brief explanation of what they are.