I picked up a few bad habits from my iPhone that have since transferred to my Mac. Browsing the App Store. It’s actually fun to try out new apps on the iTunes App Store. If something looks interesting, and the reviews are good, I’ll give it a try– definitely if it’s free, but I don’t mind spending $99-cents or $1.99 for gimmick app.
The problem is that my bad behavior, the habit of buying apps on a whim, also carried over to the Mac and the Mac App Store. I hate to say I graze for apps on MAS, but I graze for apps.
One app I came across this weekend is listed as the most popular in the Free section. It’s really worthless so how does it get to be so popular for Mac users?
The app in question is CCleaner, which has roots as a Windows PC app. My theory is that many Mac users are switchers from Windows PCs, so they know about CCleaner, and download the app from the Mac App Store. It’s free, the reviews are good, so what’s the harm?
The problem is that CCleaner doesn’t really do anything your Mac doesn’t already do, or do anything that half a dozen other, more useful, and equally free Mac apps already do.
What does CCleaner really do?
It protects your privacy online (not doing anything that Safari doesn’t already do), reclaims your disk space (by deleting logs, cache files, trash, etc; functions your Mac already does), and makes your Mac faster and more secure.
Those last two claims are dubious at best. Killing cookies makes your Mac more secure? Delete them in Safari (or any other browser).
CCleaner makes your Mac run faster? What Benchmark is being used? My Mac seems to run the same.
The Cleaner tab cleans files from your Mac that usually get cleaned regularly anyway. The Tools button lets you uninstall apps, repair permissions, or– get this– erase free space. If it’s free, does it need to be erased? Isn’t free space erased already?
The Options button lets you get specific about cookie management. I usually just delete cookies in Safari every now and then.
CCleaner does not do a good job of deleting or uninstalling apps. Mac apps drop files and folders here and there and CCleaner doesn’t necessarily know where they are, so can’t delete them all, therefore can’t save the space you should gain from having apps completely deleted.
I found some quirks, too. CCleaner deleted Chrome settings when I told it not to. The app crashes from time to time (never a good sign). Sometimes it goes on a cleaning rampage and then takes a break– and never comes back.
If you want to get all geeky on your Mac and clean and customize until the cows come home, try this trio of apps instead– Onyx, Maintenance, Deeper. More functions, better cleaning, more capability, same price.