For all my Windows PCs I use CCleaner to perform cleanup duties. Is there a similar tool that I can use for OS X to clean up any accumulated crap?

  • Thanks Alex! You're likely to get more fruitful responses this way.
    – mummey
    Jan 25, 2011 at 0:31
  • Yeah, got ahead of myself with the other question... Trying to add another question for the other pieces, but the darn reputation throttling is blocking me.
    – Gup3rSuR4c
    Jan 25, 2011 at 0:39
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    You'll find that Mac OS, like other *nix-based systems, can run and run with a minimum of fuss. Apple's "It just works" comment really is based on customer feedback, it's not just advertising blather.
    – Greg
    Jan 25, 2011 at 2:36

4 Answers 4


Also, OnyX seems to be the popular choice for those looking for a Mac equivalent to CCleaner. http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/11582/onyx

  • Looks good, I installed it and I'll poke around it later. It has a lot of features which I'll have to learn one by one (So I don't do more damage on my own, lol). Thanks!
    – Gup3rSuR4c
    Jan 25, 2011 at 0:46
  • @Alex don't worry about damage, there's little damage you can do with Onyx, just read before you click ;) Jan 25, 2011 at 18:34
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    A lot of the scripts that Onyx fires up are run by Mac OS X itself if you reboot occasionally. Jan 25, 2011 at 22:02

Alex.. please be careful. OS X generally doesn't need maintenance like most Windows installations do. If you just leave it, it will be fine. The only thing I sometimes tell clients who I'm tutoring, is that the maintenance scripts run themselves by default at 3AM. They're not doing anything too serious, log rotations and the like. So if they don't run, I don't think it's the end of the world. But once in a while you may want to leave the computer on all night so they get done.

  • 3
    Clarification to my "be careful" remark: maintenance software for OS X tends to allow you to do things that can damage the system. For a newbie the system takes great care of itself and shouldn't need extra software. All you're doing, then, is opening yourself up to the risk of doing something you might wish you hadn't.
    – Harv
    Jan 25, 2011 at 1:14
  • thanks for the tip. I'll be taking it slow as I get used to working with OS X, but as I've done with all of other PCs, I'll eventually start poking around with things I shouldn't be (and win, muwahahaha!).
    – Gup3rSuR4c
    Jan 25, 2011 at 1:23
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    @Alex In that case, have fun! Also, make sure you're keeping Time Machine backups. :-)
    – Harv
    Jan 25, 2011 at 6:07

There was a not immediately relevant question posted a while ago that actually has answers I think you would be interested in. I answered with my regular maintenance routine (Why is my Macbook Pro getting so slow?). The relevant portion of my answer:

Apple Certified Technicians are your friends: Third-party system maintenance software is not. I've been working with Macs for years and the one immutable fact that I have learned is that applications designed to help maintain the system are more trouble than they are worth. When all else fails, take it in because there may be a hardware problem at this point.

I put my Macs through the wringer every day and I very rarely have problems since I implemented my maintenance routine. Third-party software is not necessary, if not a waste of money.


Every once in a while (every 6 - 12 months, or if things start acting weird), check your disk with /Applications/Utilities/DiskUtility.app

Select your hard disk in the left sidebar, then the "Verify Disk" button at the bottom right. If everything is OK, good. If not:

  1. Reboot
  2. Hold CMD+S at the Chime to boot into Single User Mode
  3. Run /sbin/fsck -fy # this should fix everything
  4. Type "reboot".
  • I'm assuming this is equivalent to Windows' "Check Disk"?
    – Gup3rSuR4c
    Jan 25, 2011 at 2:17
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    Run the Disk Utility after any software installation, including Apple's software updates. It will reset file permissions in case they somehow changed from Apple's expected settings. Also, be aware that Apple pre-installs Ruby, Perl and Python. Don't replace those as Apple actually uses them.
    – Greg
    Jan 25, 2011 at 2:28
  • @Greg, thanks for the tips, I'll put them to good use. :)
    – Gup3rSuR4c
    Jan 25, 2011 at 6:59
  • @Alex, yes it is similar to 'CHKDSK /F' but also does the equivalent of a Windows 'Repair' operation on system folders. Jan 25, 2011 at 22:04

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