Clean the disk and find duplicates with AVG Cleaner

Clean up your Mac's diskThe disks in Apple Macs don't need cleaning, they never get cluttered up with junk, and they just work, don't they? Well, no. The Mac is good, but it is not imune to the build of clutter and file debris that goes with everyday usage of a modern computer. Unwanted files can clutter up the disk drive and duplicates steal space, leaving the drive underperforming. AVG Cleaner for Mac can solve these problems, restoring lost space and perhaps some performance too.

AVG Cleaner for Mac is a free utility that is compatible with OS X Lion, Mountain Lion and Mavericks. When it starts it simply asks where your home folder is and then offers to scan the disk. It then runs two tasks side by side. One examines the disk for junk files and the other looks for duplicate files:

Scanning the disk with AVG Cleaner for Mac

It can take several minutes to complete and it depends on how many files there are on the disk drive, so just sit back and wait. When it has finished you get a summary of the disk debris and the duplicates - 20.9GB and 1.2GB in my case. There are View & Clean buttons and clicking the one under Disk Cleaner shows the junk files:

Viewing disk junk with AVG Cleaner for Mac

Most of the clutter is actually files in the Trash. I knew I hadn't emptied it for some time, but you are not always aware just how much is in there, so it was a surprise that it had grown so big. The other items in the list are less obvious and there are caches for various applications, Chrome and Safari temporary files, iBooks data and many more. Not everything is ticked for deletion and it doesn't automatically delete the contents of Downloads, which is a sensible choice.

After cleaning the disk, you can then go to the Duplicate Finder and view the files that have been found:

Finding duplicate files with AVG Cleaner for Mac

Duplicates are organised into categories like Movies, Images, Documents and Audio. Expand each item and you can see the duplicates. Click one and it shows a thumbnail image, and a magnifying glass at the right side opens a Finder window showing the file location. Duplicate images, movies and audio can occur when a file is stored in iPhoto or iTunes and elsewhere on the disk.

Only the file outside of iPhoto or iTunes can be deleted, presumably so those libraries aren't accidentally messed up. You could have used the file in a project with another application, so you still need to think before deleting files. You are only deleting a copy though, so if you do find that the duplicate was used elsewhere, you could always copy the original out of iTunes or iPhoto again.

AVG Cleaner for Mac is a nice utility and it is free from the Mac App Store. It worked well and found lots of junk, making the disk cleaner in the process.

There is one complaint though and this is the near invisible vertical scroll bar. It seems to be the fashion to make things hard to see these days and I'm not a fan this aspect of modern design trends. Give me a big and chunky scroll bar I can see and use please.

You should also be aware that cleaning caches can slow down the Mac. Applications that use them can take much longer to start up as they recreate the deleted caches. It is actually a good thing to clean caches occasionally because they  can become corrupted and cause problems or grow too big. The performance benefit is not immediate, so expect the Mac to be slightly slower as it rebuilds its caches. Once this has been done, it should be better.

Rating: 4/5 - recommended.

Intro image: Public Domain from


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