Find and clean the junk on your Mac’s disk drive

A brand new Mac works brilliantly and it is a joy to use. It is fast, responsive and works a like a dream. Later on though, it might become more like a nightmare. The fact is that computers slow down over time and the older they are, the slower they become. There are several ways to restore lost performance and one popular one is to use a disk clean-up tool like Stellar SpeedUpMac.

As you work on your Mac, OS X and applications constantly access the disk drive and they read and write hundreds of files. Some are kept permanently, such as the documents, photos and other files you create. Others are temporary and are deleted afterwards. Some are used to speed up disc access. With all this file activity going on, occasionally errors occur, sometimes temporary files are not erased, sometimes files are left behind when apps are uninstalled, caches may grow stale, log files grow in size and system junk builds up.

OS X and the disk drive cope quite well with these problems, but the Mac can slow down slightly because of all the junk and clutter that is around. Launch Stellar SpeedUpMac and it will scan the disk drive for log files, system junk, extensions, cache files, unnecessary universal binary files and languages, trash and leftovers. The junk is displayed in the list and one click on the SpeedUp Now button clears the lot.

Stellar SpeedUpMac

The aim is to automate the clean-up process and make it a one-click no-brainer for Mac users. I am more cautious when using clean-up tools because they can be a bit too enthusiastic in deleting files and on occasions, probably quite rarely though, they can clean up too much and an essential file is deleted.

To protect against this the app stops after scanning the system and there are buttons to proceed or cancel. I recommend clicking Cancel. You then have the opportunity to inspect the list of items it suggests should be deleted.

The files it finds during the disk scan are organised into categories and you can tick/untick whole categories. I recommend using the Unselect All button in the toolbar, then go through each item in the list and tick the ones to remove. I may be paranoid, but I prefer to play safe.

Stellar SpeedUpMac

One of the categories for example, is Large Files. I didn’t have any, mostly because I did a clean install of OS X Yosemite not long ago and have not yet added any. It does make you wonder what it would delete though, and whether it might accidentally select files you want to keep. Check the list of files before proceeding.

After inspecting the list of items to be cleaned and selecting/deselecting the ones you want, clicking the SpeedUp Now button can be used.

I may be paranoid and over cautious, but I think you have to be with clean-up tools. As long as you know what you are doing and have a backup before you start, they can be very useful tools.

Stellar SpeedUpMac disk clean-up utility

One thing I really don’t like is the lack of information about the items selected for deletion. It tells you little or nothing and the app needs comprehensive built-in help. You should be able to select categories and subcategories of files and view help info that tells you what the files are for, why they are selected for deletion and what the implications are.

Take caches for instance. They are selected for deletion, but instead of speeding up the Mac, clearing them can slow it down. Disk space recovered is lost again pretty quickly after the clean-up because caches are refilled by OS X and apps. There is a benefit though and caches can contain errors, so clearing them and starting afresh can solve problems.

I think pop-up tip boxes containing information like this would be a great addition to the app. It still needs more though and in the Trashes and Leftovers category is a Broken Startup Items subcategory. a couple of items were listed and automatically selected for deletion, but there was no information as to why they were classed as broken. Even clicking the files in the list to view them did not reveal why they were broken. For this reason I didn’t delete them.

Stellar SpeedUpMac disk clean-up tool

In addition to the clean-up functions, Stellar SpeedUpMac has an uninstaller. You can drag apps and drop them on the window or you can select one of the tabs - Applications, Widgets and Plugins - to select items. It also pops up when apps are dragged to the Trash. There is also a Trash monitor that keeps an eye on the files in the Trash folder and you can set a maximum size.

I like this utility and it has some useful features. I do recommend caution though and you should have a backup of the Mac’s disk drive before using it and check the items selected for deletion before proceeding.

 

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Comments

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Thanks for letting me know about Stellar Speedup Mac. I have tried all of them earlier but will surely download and try out its free features.

I tried a couple of products like Tweak and Tuneup, Stellar Speed Up Mac, Clean My Mac to remove junk files from my mac. Stellar and clean my mac they were highly complicated to use. I found that the Tweak and tuneup has very good user friendly interface. App does what it says, it cleans junk files in just a few minutes. Love to use this app. You guys can also try it. It's Free and available on App Store.

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