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Is Clean My Mac X safe? Before you buy

This article is likely to indicate that your Mac is slowing down.

CleanMyMac ( my review is here) has been mentioned to you. It can speed up your Mac’s performance.

Finally, CleanMyMac has been criticized by multiple users who claim it is a fraud or malware.

I set out to verify the rumors. Because I don’t like spreading rumors, I prefer hard facts. If I say something isn’t working, it means that I tried it and it failed. If I claim something works, it means I have tested it and it worked.

Let’s start to research and find out what else we can find.

It is generally safe to download CleanMyMac from Apple’s App Store. Apple won’t host any harmful programs. Inexperienced users may find some CleanMyMac functions difficult to use. CleanMyMac can cause your Mac to become unstable if it deletes files.

Is MacPaw a legitimate company?

CleanMyMac X was developed by MacPaw. The company has offices in Santa Barbara, CA and Kyiv, Ukraine. Oleksandr Kosovan (a Ukrainian developer) founded it in 2008.

MacPaw has added many other applications since then, including a subscription-based services Setapp. Setapp was also named the World’s most innovative company for Europe 2019 by FastCompany.

The company was also featured Forbes and 9to5mac.

MacPaw is therefore a legitimate company that has been recognized by many respected organizations.

The claim that MacPaw works in Russian intelligence is, by the way.

While I’m not going to get too deeply into politics, let me remind that Ukraine is currently in conflict with Russia and that it’s difficult to imagine how Russians could influence a company based in Kiev.

Furthermore, the founder of the company reportedly risked his life to support civic protests against the corrupt government in 2014. No, MacPaw is not associated with any government.

Is CleanMyMac Malware?

Although it is common to believe that Apple computers are immune from viruses, more experienced users know this is false.

Macs can get viruses or other forms of malware. You’ve probably experienced annoying pop-ups when you installed a Chrome extension or a new app in Chrome.

To ensure that I don’t get malware when I download software from the internet, I follow these steps:

  • Upload an installer package, usually DMG, to VirusTotal. VirusTotal, an online tool that scans for malware using over 70 antivirus scanners, is free.
  • Run Norton 360 Deluxe or Standard. It is the best antimalware software for Macs.

Norton and VirusTotal both confirmed that CleanMyMac was not malware, adware or spyware.

Why Is CleanMyMac not available in App Store

Smart users know it’s best to download apps directly from the Mac App Store.

Apple validates and tests every app submitted to the Mac App store by developers to ensure that it is free of malicious code.

Apple will approve the developer’s app by accepting it to the App store. Every user is aware that the App Store app is safe, secure and not spyware. It is allowed to be downloaded and used.

How does Apple ensure that all apps purchased from their store are safe? They restrict their access to certain parts of macOS. This is known as a “sandbox”. The app is restricted to ensure that they do not cause any harm to the system or other programs on the computer.

CleanMyMac is one example of such an application.

CleanMyMac X cannot be run in a sandbox because it needs to access the core. Try any antivirus program from the Mac App Store if you’re still skeptical.

You must download antimalware software from McAfee or Bitdefender to install them. This is because any program that requires access to system files can’t run in a Sandbox.

Developers should encourage downloads from their sites for two reasons:

  1. Apple takes 30% off any purchase made in its Store. Developers either have to raise their prices by 30%, or pay the hosting costs.
  2. Developers can bypass the App store and have innovative licensing solutions. They can provide a trial version, which you can then unlock after you have obtained the license.

CleanMyMac is not available from the App Store. This is common for programs that operate at the system level.

MacPaw does not completely bypass Apple checks on its products. CleanMyMacX is notarized . What does this mean?

Notarization is an automated service, and it’s not like submitting the program directly to the App Store. There it goes through a thorough review.

Developers can submit the Apple notary services when building and assembling final versions of their product. If there is no malicious code found, the service will issue a ticket. When the app is installed on Mac, this ticket will be verified.

A warning message will appear when a user tries to download an app notarized Apple. The message is the same for any app downloaded from Google Play: “Blah Blah App” refers to an app that was downloaded from the Internet. Is it safe to open it ?’

The fine print is below the main message.

Why are there so many negative reviews on forums

However, what about the large number of negative comments on the internet?

Why is it that every time someone questions whether CleanMyMac should be installed, there’s always an expert who has worked with Macs for over twenty years and claims that your Mac will crash as soon as the program is installed.

You can also contact Apple tech to have your Time machine backup restored from before installing the app.

There are many possible explanations, I believe.

1. CleanMyMac is often confused with MacDefender or MacKeeper.

I haven’t reviewed MacKeeper so I don’t know if it is a good program. After I have installed and used it, I’ll provide a link to my review.

All I know is that MacKeeper was sold by a company that sued for deceitful practices.

A type of malware is another well-known app MacDefender. Apple provided instructions to help you remove the malware. Other names for the malware include MacGuard, MacDefender and MacProtector.

Users became extremely uneasy after experiencing issues with these apps. CleanMyMac was one of the most popular cleaning tools.

2. CleanMyMac could delete the wrong files in some cases

User reviews revealed many cases where users provided screenshots showing damage to their computers from older versions of CleanMyMac.

Software bugs are a fact of life for me as a software engineer.

Windows XP is my favorite Windows version. It was an absolute disaster when it first launched. People couldn’t run many of the applications for several months after the upgrade. This is Microsoft’s main product, worth 100 billion dollars.

MacPaw seems to have learned from their mistakes and has the Safety Database, a list of files that shouldn’t be deleted. After 12 years, software is stable.

You may be wondering if CleanMyMac can delete a file that isn’t right for you. My answer is . There is always the possibility that any cleaning software could do that

But, this is a very unlikely scenario for software with a 12-year history as compared to if the program was brand new and had no such experience.

3. Experts agree that CleanMyMac can do everything manually.

This is a valid point. Actually, I wrote a post on how to clean the Mac’s hard drive without using any software.

There are two caveats, as always.

First I’m a very technical person.

Because I have been creating commercial software for over twenty years, I know how it works. I can tell which files are safe to delete, and which ones are not. I am familiar with various system tools and know a lot more about Macs. If I didn’t know better, this site wouldn’t exist.

It may be difficult for someone less tech-savvy than me to do everything I do. It’s worth spending money on an app that does the exact same thing, but doesn’t require in-depth knowledge.

Second The manual cleaning process can be quite laborious.

Let me show you how difficult it can be. There are two types of grills I use: gas and charcoal. In 90% of my cases, the gas grill has been my go-to for the past two years.

Although the charcoal grill produces a better result in the end, it is more difficult to light the coals and takes longer to clean. The charcoal grill is great for certain occasions but I prefer the convenience of the gas grill. I hope that you get what I am referring to.

After I have compiled all of the facts that I found during my research, I am now ready to draw a conclusion.

Is CleanMyMac X safe?

CleanMyMac is easy to install, use, and download. CleanMyMac is a product by MacPaw, a well-known Ukranian company that also makes other products.

CleanMyMac X does not contain spyware or viruses. Apple has notarized it, meaning that Apple has scanned the code and found no malicious elements.

CleanMyMac can be downloaded in the Apple App store. Apple will not distribute malicious software.

CleanMyMac also maintains the Safety Database, which is a list of files that can’t be deleted. This reduces the chance of data being removed for macOS or other programs.

Avoid downloading malware by directly downloading any app from the company websites. Avoid downloading any app from sites like,, and others.

Check the DMG files with VirusTotal, Bitdefender, McAfee, or Norton.

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