Even though I’ve used Macs since well into the last century, it is quite possible that I’m missing something and just don’t understand the so-called ‘cleaning’ trend of the 21st century. Honestly, other than massaging an OCD gene, I don’t know the reason that Mac memory optimizing apps, and garbage file cleaning apps are so popular on the Mac App Store.
Most of them are free with a few priced at a dollar or two, and almost all of them do much the same thing (maybe competition is driving the price down)– remove cache files, clean out logs, delete or prune other useless files, all while purging the Mac’s memory of unused applications.
Maybe they’re free to almost free because your Mac does many of those functions automatically. I’ve looked at and tried a dozen. Here’s one I would recommend if you absolutely positively must have such a tool. It’s called Dr. Cleaner and it’s free. What does it do? Clean. The app removes a number of temporary files (many of which OS X will get around to deleting on its own every month) such as cache files, log files, and the like. Plus, it has settings for emptying the Trash can.
Wait! There’s more!
Dr. Cleaner also purges the Mac’s memory, freeing up RAM for apps you’re actually using at the moment, rather than allowing other apps that are not being used to hot the RAM.
The claim to fame for Dr. Clean is the user interface, which is among the best of the genre. Click the icon in the Menubar and treat yourself to a visual paradise of faux accomplishment. View the Mac’s disk usage with a click to the Scan button. Click to optimize RAM and view which apps are using the most RAM.
Or, click to remove Junk Files, view and get rid of Big Files, or move on to the Advanced settings which brings up options to use other tools, including Duplicate Finder, Dr. Safety, and Dr. Unarchiver (a lightweight but very fast archive decompressor).
Scanning files in the Big Files settings takes a few moments but then lists all the files in Archives, Documents, Movies, Audio, and Video which can be removed. There’s even a filter to select only files of a certain size. Caveat emptor! Don’t delete what you don’t want to delete. Junk files also gets a scan but then lists App Caches, App Logs, iTunes Temp File, Mail Cache, plus the Trash Can and various Browser caches. One click cleans them all.
It’s quite possible that a manual purge of memory on Mac’s with lower amounts of RAM can speed up performance of some apps, but, honestly, OS X Yosemite and El Capitan both do a decent job of that all by its lonesome. But, hey, Dr. Clean is free, so why not?