Clean My Mac is an app that arrived a few years ago from developer Macpaw, and allowed you to go in and clear up any unneeded system files that you happened to have sitting around on your drive. Last week on the show floor of Macworld 2013, Macpaw was in attendance showing off version 2 of the software, which is set to be released for sale in February.
We got a nice tour through the app at Macpaw's booth, and it looks exactly like what the second version of a great app should: It's both simpler and more powerful. The complicated list on the side of the first version has been replaced by a smaller list of cleaner options, though the new app offers just as many opportunities (more, in fact) to wipe any offending files off of your hard drive forever.
At the top of the window, as you can see above, there is an option for Automatic cleanup. If you want, you can just set Clean My Mac to start running and clean your computer with the default settings, but each of the other little windows offer additional options. System Cleanup lets you choose which system files you would like to wipe off of your hard drive, and "Large and Old Files" lets you target exactly that, listing bigger files or files that haven't been touched in some time that you can delete at your leisure.
After that, the tabs offer some new options. iPhoto Cleanup targets Apple's photo application. Some users may not know that when you edit a photo in iPhoto, your Mac actually saves both the new photo and an old copy, so if you've made a lot of edits in that app, you could have a number of duplicates in your library that you don't need (speaking personally, I know my iPhoto library is often one of the most wasteful areas on my hard drive). Clean My Mac can clear those out with just one button push.
Trash Cleanup is pretty self-explanatory, offering the option to wipe out your trash folder, without an issue. The app also has a "paranoia mode," which will not only wipe out the files of your choice, but then overwrite those with random code, meaning that they really are gone forever, without any hope of recovery. Obviously, that's not for casual use, but if you want to make sure those files are gone, that's a nice option to have.
Finally, the Uninstaller and Extensions Manager tabs have been completely rewritten. The Uninstaller is similar to the great AppZapper, and will allow you to kill any apps you have installed, along with any other related files you happen to have on your hard drive. The Eraser tab offers you full control over your hard drive. It's faster than Finder, Macpaw says, and it will allow you to go in and delete any files you want anywhere in your file system, regardless of the consequences (which you'll have to deal with yourself).
Because Clean My Mac offers such control over your computer (and could possibly damage your file system if you happen to delete something that's necessary), Macpaw isn't offering it over the Mac App Store at all -- the company says that Apple wouldn't allow it. But the app will be available through the company's website next month for US$29.99. And current users of the app, Macpaw told us, will get the update for free. Clean My Mac remains a powerful solution for cleaning up your hard drive, and the second version offers a much cleaner and more sensible interface for this great app.