CleanMyDrive, a free utility for Apple’s Mac OS X, is designed to make working with external drives (such as USB thumb drives and secondary hard drives) easy by automatically removing “junk” files. It also allows for one-click eject functionality, and it includes a slick visual indicator of available storage capacity.
While CleanMyDrive isn’t a “kitchen sink” sort of utility that does everything you can think of (and a lot of things that you don’t want either), it does what it promises to do very smoothly.
Some might be confused by the name, though. From its name, you might think that this is a fully featured hard drive cleaner/maintenance utility. For those requiring that kind of functionality, CCleaner is free and highly recommended, or you can purchase CleanMyMac from MacPaw, the same developer that created CleanMyDrive.
It really doesn’t get much simpler than this. The options and settings in CleanMyDrive are clearly spelled out, and even a “PC” like me doesn’t have any trouble figuring them out.
It’s all quite intuitive, and I appreciate the little usability touches added to the design, such as how clicking on a particular drive or device opens up a new Finder window, letting me get to where I need to be with great efficiency.
Installing CleanMyDrive is as easy as starting up Apple’s App Store on your Mac, searching for the utility, and then clicking on the Free button to download and install the software on your Mac.
After installation, you’ll find the CleanMyDrive icon at the top of the screen in the menu bar; it looks like a small external hard drive.
If you click on this CleanMyDrive icon, you’ll see a listing of the hard drive on your Mac as well as any USB thumb drives, external hard drives, or mass storage devices (such as eReaders) that are currently connected to your computer.
You can view at a glance how much space is available, and whether or not there is any “junk” on that drive (the unnecessary files added by the OS for indexing and such).
You can also click on the small Eject icon to the right of the device listing. Do you want to quickly eject all external devices? You can do that with a single click.
Settings accessible in the bottom left corner of the window allow you to select whether you want CleanMyDrive to launch immediately when you start up your Mac or to ignore external drives over a particular storage capacity.
Operationally, I found CleanMyDrive to be very fast. While it isn’t doing any real heavy lifting, it speeds up how I use my Mac, which is important to me since I’m always trying to do at least five things at once.
Even after 18 months of using a Mac, I still consider Finder to be a bit clunky and hard to navigate. So the fact that CleanMyDrive has partially replaced Finder for tasks like quickly opening a window for a particular drive, or ejecting a drive, it has quickly become a must-have utility for me, beyond its main use of removing the “junk” files that keep cluttering up the two thumb drives I use as rotating backups.
CleanMyDrive is handy, and it’s free. Old Mac pros might find it superfluous, but speaking as a “PC” who has been using a Mac for just a year-and-a-half, I found it to be very worthwhile.
I’m not very good at remembering to eject my USB drive or my Kindle after I’m finished transferring files, and this utility turns tasks like these into a breeze. It’s also helpful just to get a one-click view of the available space on my computer and every device I use with it.
Not every Mac user really needs CleanMyDrive, but it can be a fantastic tool for others, particularly for those, like me, who jump between the Mac and PC often.
- Easy to use
- Works as advertised
- Also makes it simple to eject removable devices
- Name is somewhat misleading
- Not a “kitchen sink” sort of utility