Assume for a moment that you have traversed the Macosphere for more that about 43 minutes then you’ve seen plenty of advertisements for various apps that will clean, maintain, and optimize your Mac. All of that maintenance goodness comes with a price tag; sometimes an ongoing subscription price tag.
For my Mac using friends, family members, and co-workers (all those are people who know where I live) who ask me about such add-on utilities, I tell them the same thing. Do. Not. Need. At least, you don’t really need to pay money to fix what OS X on the Mac usually fixes for free, but if you must use a utility to clean this or that, use one of these three.
Maintain With Maintenance
Joel Barriere is a Mac developer who lives in France (don’t worry; his apps speak English, too). He publishes a trio of Mac utilities; all donationware, all highly respected, all useful to Mac geeks, switchers, and neophytes, and though each is a bit different, there is overlap. Oh, and all three are free. Think about that the next time you see a Mac app that asks for money to keep your Mac clean.
First on my list is Maintenance is a good utility to start using to, well, maintain the Mac’s system, clean caches and logs, reset Spotlight’s index, rebuild the all-important LaunchServices database, and even check the Mac’s disk.
Some of what OS X does automatically can be done manually in Maintenance. That’s useful because many of the Mac’s housecleaning functions are handled overnight which is when many of us are sleeping and our Macs are turned off.
Maintenance handles cache cleaning of system, user, fonts, browser, logs, and can rebuild important systems including LaunchServices.
If you’d like to get your Mac geek on for a test run, then even Joel himself recommends another app in the trio, the one called OnyX, which has more features, and many of those found in Maintenance.
Unlike Maintenance, Onyx also lets you unlock a number of the hidden parameters in OS X, including Finder, Spotlight, Dock, Safari, iTunes, and others.
As most experienced Mac users will point out, the Mac just doesn’t need much to keep it running well. There’s not much Mac malware out there, relative to Windows, and all those expensive utilities are like expensive vitamins. They’re nice, but most of what you get in the end is expensive urine.
If you’re new to the Mac maintenance routines, start with Onyx, then move to Maintenance as needed.