I am a huge fan of MacPaw products. The company’s care for consistent UI design combined with huge functionality is well-known all over the Macintosh community, and I use their apps pretty frequently. In fact, Gemini was the topic of my first MacStories post.
MacPaw remained makers of desktop software only, even after the iPhone came out; this is a move I personally like a lot, as you find less well-designed Mac apps than iOS utilities nowadays, and it feels good to see some guys focusing on the desktop business. MacPaw’s newest product, CleanMyDrive, is a stripped-down, menubar version of their first and most popular app CleanMyMac, and it fulfills the task of silently freeing your external HDD and flash drives from unwanted junk data or duplicates.
After installing the app, CleanMyDrives sits behind a nicely crafted hard disk icon in the menu bar. Click on it, and a dropdown window appears; from there, you can control the app’s features. The biggest advantage of making CleanMyDrive a menubar utility is that it’s invisible until you really need it. Now, every time you connect an external drive to your Mac CleanMyDrive will check its capacity and data — when it recognizes new ones, you’ll be asked whether it should check them as well in the future or not. The amount of used and free space is shown in a horizontal bar using blue and white parts.
If CleanMyDrive finds junk files on one drive (things like DS_Store, Thumbs.db, Spotlight, hidden trashes and so on), it displays their portion in red (plus the exact size in MB on hover), and you can delete them instantly. If you’re lazy and don’t want to manually delete the found junk on your drives all the time, CleanMyDrive can automatically delete junk every time you eject a drive, too.
After testing the app with my USB drives, I can say that it did not delete any of my files and folders, but still freed some space — likely related to “junk” accumulated over time.
Because the app is focused on smaller drives, CleanMyDrive firstly only scans external drives with 64 GB of storage or less. However, you can change that in the preferences to any size limitation you like and even disable it completely to also include large external HDDs. However, CleanMyDrive can’t check your internal drive for junk. One could already have guessed so from the app’s name, but as the internal drive’s storage is nevertheless shown in the app’s window, I tried to scan it as well. At this point, the developers allowed themselves some advertising for their other product: the app brazenly recommended me to scan my internal drive with CleanMyMac.
For cleaning my external drives, I’ll definitely stick with CleanMyDrive; this almost instant decision was mainly made due to the app’s fantastic and — yes, that’s the way I felt about it — cute design. The UI is clutter-free, simple, and it makes intelligent use of sliding effects and hover controls; it’s fun to use. The app’s small preference window plus the rotating cog wheel to open it up — little details, something I like very much — rounded up my impression of it as a cute little companion to ease up your workflow.
CleanMyDrive can be a very useful utility, especially when you’re using (maybe even several) external drives. Plus, its unobtrusiveness and pleasant user experience make for a very useful package which comes for free for a limited time. So don’t hesitate and grab CleanMyDrive on the Mac App Store while it’s hot.
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