12 free Mac cleaners: Get a clean and fast Mac in minutes

Our digital behavior has changed massively within the last two years.

We started downloading more content to our Macs filling up our SSDs (or hard drives) with apps, music, other things. Netflix saw a 55% increase in app downloads, which proves we love our shows. But when those downloads accumulate, making your Mac more and more cluttered, Mac cleaners come in handy to remove unneeded junk and save valuable space.

There are definitely some effective free Mac cleaners, but the internet is full of cleaning apps you should avoid. We’ll talk about both types of cleaners here.

To start off, we've made a quick comparison chart about the best Mac cleaners for Mac.

1CleanMyMac X
The best cleaning and antimalware functionality in one toolLink
2Avast Cleanup PremiumDetects and removes junk, helps uninstall unneeded appsLink
3Gemini 2Finds duplicate and similar files everywhere on your Mac, including Photos, iTunes, and external drives.Link

A handy cleaner may prove that your Mac is still alive and can actually perform at its best. In this article we’ve brought together some of the best Mac cleaning solutions around to clean, optimize, and maintain Macs that are available in 2022.

Top 12 best cleaners for Mac: Free and premium versions

 1. CleanMyMac X

CleanMyMac X takes the first place with good reason — this MacBook cleaner combines features of both cleaning software and antimalware tool. Its System Junk module runs a thorough scan of your Mac's storage, detecting junk like user cache files, system logs, unused disk images, old updates, and other stuff. It also shows your downloads and lets you delete unnecessary files — no need to do this tiresome chore manually.

Frankly speaking, CleanMyMac X is Tesla Roadster among other Mac cleaners. And it does a great job revealing your junk and other clutter, uninstalling unneeded apps and their leftovers, and keeping your Mac’s system clean and optimized. Another pro is that CleanMyMac X is Apple-notarized, which means it’s safe for your Mac. You can download its free version right here

Price: $39.95
Free version: Available here

2. Avast Cleanup Premium

You probably heard about Avast antivirus, or maybe you even have it on your Mac. This cyber security software company has created many other products, and a Mac cleaner is one of them. Avast Cleanup Premium is a junk cleaner and uninstaller: it lets you run various scans and delete unneeded system files, duplicates, browser data, as well as remove applications.

Avast Cleanup doesn't come with built-in antivirus, so if you're looking for an anti-malware tool, you'll need to install the company's separate antivirus app.

Price: $59.99
Free version
: 30-day trial is available

3. Gemini 2

Gemini 2 is the duplicate finder that allows you to free up gigabytes of storage and organize your files. In just a few minutes.

It quickly scans every corner of your Mac and weeds out useless copies. No matter what type of file it is: a photo, music track, or a doc… Gemini will definitely find it. And once the scan is done, you can remove the duplicates in a click. Or review results to make sure nothing important gets deleted.

If you remove something by accident, it takes just a click to put it back. And to make sure things like that never happen again, you can exclude specific files and folders from scan. Try out the free version right here.

The app has seen a major update in 2022 which included a real-time duplicate monitor. This new tool notifies you of duplicates the moment they are created on your Mac.

Price: $19.96
Free version
: Available here

4. Disk Doctor

Disk Doctor is developed in the UK and was awarded the 'Mac Gem’ award by MacWorld in 2013. CNET and other tech journalists also praise functionality. As of 2022, it still looks like a useful tool for Mac disk cleaning that removes junk slowing down and reducing the computing power of your Mac.

Price: $2.99
Free version
: N/A

5. DaisyDisk

DaisyDisk gives you a visual representation of your Mac folders, making it easy to see what is taking up space and delete the folders you don't need. All you need to do is select a drive, DaisyDisk will scan it, then you can delete everything that is wasting valuable space. It comes with a free and premium version.

Free version
: Trial version available

6. AppCleaner & Uninstaller

If you only need to uninstall apps on Mac, AppCleaner & Uninstaller is good pick. It lets you remove applications, plugins, widgets, and app-related files. The app's interface is also clean and easy to understand for a newbie.

After deleting apps with AppCleaner, you should visit the Remaining Files section of the app to erase leftovers. It also has a helpful Drag and Drop feature: simply drag any of your apps into the AppCleaner & Uninstaller window, and you'll see a complete list of files the app stores on your Mac.

Price: $19.90 
Free version
: 3-day trial version is available.

7. Parallels Toolbox

Parallels Toolbox is essentially a set of tools for your Mac. It contains more than 30 utilities that allow you to quickly perform routine tasks on your Mac, such as capture screenshots, record audio, set timer, and clean up your drive, among other things. 

But, its Clean Drive feature probably won’t give your Mac a thorough cleanup: it does remove some junk files, but it doesn’t display 100% accurate information about trashed files. It also lets you review your large files and shows the heaviest apps on your Mac, which is helpful if you're running out of free disk space.

Price: $19.99
Free version:
7-day trial is available

8. Mac Cleaner Pro

Mac Cleaner Pro is another tool developed by Nektony (also the creator of AppCleaner & Uninstaller). Mac Cleaner Pro is basically a cleanup and speedup tool for your Mac. Once you install and launch the app, you’ll see a detailed chart with colored storage categories, similar to the one you’ll see in the About This Mac section on your Mac.

The interface of Mac Cleaner Pro is clear and straightforward: click Clean up Mac to see the junk files detected by the app and delete them right away.

Price: $44.95
Free version
: 7-day trial is available

9. CCleaner

Created in 2004 by Piriform, CCleaner comes with a free and professional version, focusing on businesses and business customers. CCleaner is a cross-platform tool for PCs, Macs, Android, and it has a Cloud, Network, and Technician tool, depending on what you need and the platform/software you use.

The free version comes with cleaner, uninstall tool, duplicate, and clutter finder. The app cleans both system and browser junk files, removes downloads, and disables startup programs.

The professional version comes with a lot more features, including real-time alerts, automatic browser cleaning, and dedicated support. Although created for PCs in the early days, CCleaner does well to identify unwanted files on a Mac so that users can select and delete the files and folders they don't need to free up space. As a cleaner for Mac, customers are pretty happy with the results of CCleaner.

Price: $24.95
Free version
: Available

Free Mac cleaners review

The following Mac cleaning apps are either completely free or donation-based. You won’t find any trial limitations here. If you’re looking for a no thrill basic cleanup, these Mac storage cleaners might help you.

10. Onyx

OnyX is a french Mac cleaning software developed by Titanium software. It weighs only 11 MB, but that doesn't mean its capabilities are limited. OnyX is a tool that programmers will have a lot of fun with. With it, you can peek under the hood of your macOS and automate a whole list of jobs, like disk cleanup and cache removal. You can even tweak the color of folders on your Mac and even make them invisible. Deservedly, it's among the best free Mac cleaners.

OnyX is one of the best Mac cleaners because it cleans many specific under-the-surface files, like internal databases and logs. But for us, ordinary Mac users who came here for the design and glossy buttons, OnyX will require some learning time.

Those who use OnyX say it is stable and reliable. There is no dedicated customer service (because OnyX is free software), but you shouldn’t be worried. The only likely damage is you accidentally deleting files by yourself.

: Free cleaner

11. Clean me

This open-source app that only exists in the form of GitHub download is good enough for cleaning caches and logs. It’s so small its ZIP file weighs only 1.3 MB.

Clean me shows the size of each category of cache files. It analyzes such junk as Application Cache, User Cache, and more temporary files

The developer recommends that you start your cleanup with auto-selected options. Otherwise, you may delete something valuable by accident. So treat it as an analyzer and you’ll be safe.

Price: Free cleaner

12. AVG Cleaner

AVG Cleaner is a free Mac app that has two essential features: Disk Cleaner and Duplicate Finder. The app detects application cache, downloads, junk files, logs, and duplicate files, but it doesn’t remove app leftovers like other cleaners. 

Considering it’s free and you can start cleaning without logging in, AVG is not a bad option. It has everything you need for system junk cleanup and will cost you nothing.

Price: Free cleaner

Native macOS cleaner (Optimize Storage)

Your macOS has its own cleaner of sorts. You’ve probably come across it when checking your occupied disk space.

Go to Apple menu.
Now, click About this Mac > Storage > Manage.

In the sidebar, you’ll see the main categories of files on your Mac. Going through Documents is likely to be the most fruitful option. Check the Size and click on Last Accessed. Now you’ve found all those movies gathering dust in your Downloads.

In the same way, you can delete some old apps. This feature could be an alternative to a free Mac cleaner; the only problem is it works mainly on the surface. You won’t be able to remove System Junk or analyze the grey areas occupied by “Other.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Can’t my Mac clean itself?

Your macOS also has a built-in Mac cleaner, which Apple called Optimized Storage. Though its capabilities are limited, it gives you basic directions on where to start the cleanup. But for a thorough system cleanup and removing malware, you’ll need a dedicated Mac cleaner app.

Can Mac cleaner apps delete my important files?

Typically, best Mac cleaner apps have a protection built-in. They will usually select only those files that are safe for deletion.

Will Mac cleaners slow down my Mac?

Some cleaners try to get into your Login items, thus creating an extra burden on the processor. On a flip side, the reliable Mac cleaner apps might even speed up your Mac. They remove all the outdated junk files giving your Mac an extra boost.

Mac cleaning apps you should avoid

Above we've touched the trusted Mac cleanup solutions, but there are many that work on the dark side. Some of them end up on your Mac by being bundled with other programs you download. Others show their malicious behavior later by bombarding you with scam alerts and intrusive pop-ups. Anyway, these types of programs live up to their name — they're potentially unwanted. 

Here are some signs that should warn you against PUPs:

  • "Your Mac is infected" intrusive message

A scam notification appears several times a day saying your Mac's infected by some virus, and you're asked to purchase additional software to fix it.

  • An app is installed as part of a different app

If you install an app and see another program appearing in your Applications folder, this probably is not legitimate software.

  • Mac cleaner redirects your search engine page

This is a common sign of adware on your Mac: it infects your browser and redirects you to websites filled with ads and pop-ups.

To avoid accidentally installing potentially unwanted or malicious apps, try to be vigilant and do some research on the app you're about to install. Many free Mac cleaners can end up costing you serious money, so sometimes, it's better to invest in some trusted software. We don't say that all free apps are dangerous, but some of them are, so stay cautious.

Be safe and happy cleaning.

Laptop with CleanMyMac
CleanMyMac X

Your Mac. As good as new.