PhoneClean aims to clear junk from your iPhone or iPad

Apple MacBook, iPad and iPhone

PhoneClean is a Mac app that is designed to track down the junk files on your iPhone or iPad and clear them out, leaving more space for important things, like apps, photos and music.

Junk files build up in OS X on the Apple Mac, so why not in iOS too? Your iPhone or iPad might have  hundreds of megabytes of junk files clogging up the system and if they could be cleared, the space could be used for more useful purposes.

You might also want to clear your tracks and personal information from your iOS device too, and PhoneClean can do that as well.

Now if this was Android we were talking about, then you could simply go to the Google Play Store and download a cleanup app. iOS is different though, and Apple limits what apps can do and what they have access to.

An effective cleanup app on iOS probably isn’t possible. The Mac, however, has a greater degree of control and deeper access to the system on an iPhone or iPad when it is connected with a USB cable. This is why PhoneClean is a Mac app and not an iOS app.

You fire up PhoneClean on your Mac and then plug in your iPad or iPhone. Dismiss iTunes or Photos if they pop up, and in PhoneClean you can choose from Quick Clean or Deep Clean.

PhoneClean app for OS X

It was disappointing that three functions were disabled because they are not compatible with iOS 8.4. An update is promised. There are several other functions and clicking the Start Scan button checks the iOS device for junk files.

So how much junk is there on an iOS device?

I found surprisingly little on mine. The Quick Clean function on an iPad 2 that has been running all day every day for over four years (it was bought on launch day, March 2011), found nothing. Not even a single junk file.

A Deep Clean found Safari cookies and history, but not much else. You can view the items found and select the ones to keep and the ones to trash, but I had 5,767 cookies and there is no way I am going to manually check each one and decide whether to keep it. The total junk amounted to less than 1MB.

PhoneClean for OS X

My iPad 4 wasn’t quite as clean, but there was still only just over 4MB of junk. My iPhone 6, my newest iOS device, was in the same ball park and did not have much junk. I could have saved a megabyte or two here and there, but there wasn't that much junk.

PhoneClean seems like a great idea and the software looks good and is easy to use. However, my devices did not have any significant amounts of junk. In fact, most of it was from Safari and you can erase caches, cookies and history in iOS Settings anyway.

The app is free to download from the iMobie website, but it only scans and displays the junk files it finds on the iPhone or iPad. You have to purchase it to actually clean any files. I did not find enough to make it worth the purchase price.

This app is free to try, so I would encourage you do download it and try it. If it does not find much junk on your iOS devices, then fine, it hasn’t cost anything to find out. If it does find a lot, you can then decide whether it is worth paying the license fee - $29.99.

Title: PhoneClean 
Price: Free (scan and display junk only)
Developer: iMobie
Size: 10MB download
Requires: OS X 10.7 or later, any iPhone or iPad






The amount of stuff this app found to be deleted on both our IPhones & Ipad was just amazing the first time. Up to 2 giga of data on the Ipad. Every other 2 weeks, up to 400 to 500 Mg. Since updating to 8.4, the key pieces of the great 'I.machine' cleaner have totally disappeared & made this soft useless, whether the free or paid soft. Useless ! An update is more than welcome, having been promised for a couple of month if not more ...

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