MacCleanse Manual

Our manual is always expanding! While we strongly believe our products as so intuitive you shouldn't need a manual, there are exceptions now and then. If you feel there is something missing from the documentation, please contact us.

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Table of Contents

  1. General
    1. Beefing Up Your Privacy
    2. Creating a Preset
    3. Feature Requests
    4. Introduction
    5. Purge Locations
    6. Running MacCleanse on Shutdown
    7. Uninstalling MacCleanse
    8. Using AppleScript to Cleanse
    9. Which logs and caches are safe to delete?
    10. Will I lose my bookmarks or instant messaging contacts?
    11. Words of Caution
  2. Troubleshooting
    1. Known Issues


Beefing Up Your Privacy

Deleting files normally on a computer is done incredibly quickly - even if you are removing hundreds of GigaBytes. This is due to the fact that the files are not actually erased from the physical hard disk. The digital "link" to where the file is physically stored on the disk is forgotten and the icon disappears when browsing files on your computer. In time, new files will overwrite this location on the hard disk. This leaves deleted files to potentially be recovered by data rescue programs if they have not already been overwritten.

To ensure files are not just deleted, but actually wiped off the disk, enable the "Delete files securely" checkbox in the Options tab. This will delete the digital link to the file on the disk and then overwrite it once with random data ensuring it cannot be recovered with commercially available software. However, enabling this feature will substantially increase the time it takes to erase files.

Data on hard drives is stored magnetically and despite wiping data once, there may be a very faint magnetic presence of the old data left on the disk. Some advanced recovery businesses have tools which can read this trace residue and recover fragments of data or sometimes even entire files. The United States Department of Defense overwrites all of their hard disks seven times prior to disposal to maximize the inability for recovery. You can also enable this feature in MacCleanse in the Preferences window at the expense of dramatically increasing erasure times - by minutes, hours, or even days!

Creating a Preset

Presets are a pre-defined list of areas on the computer MacCleanse has been instructed to erase. This may be any number of configurations from just web site histories, to caches and Skype usernames, to the contents of the Trash and chat logs, and so forth. Presets allow you to easily, and quickly, remove precisely the data desired while leaving everything else intact.

Creating a Favourite Set

  1. Click "Cleanse" at the bottom of the main window
  2. Click "Quick Scan" on the left navigation
  3. Click "Advanced Scan"
  4. Check and uncheck the areas desired for cleaning
  5. Press the "Presets..." button and choose "Save as New Preset"

Checking and unchecking after the preset has been created will not affect the values saved in the preset. Re-selecting the preset from the menu will revert the changes made.

Modifying a Preset

  1. Click "Cleanse" at the bottom of the main window
  2. Click "Quick Scan" on the left navigation
  3. Click "Advanced Scan"
  4. Check and uncheck the areas desired for cleaning
  5. Click the "Presets..." button, hover over the name of the preset you wish to apply these changes to, and select the "Update" menu item.

Feature Requests
  1. Bash history
  2. Yandex browser
  3. Delete /Library/ PrivilegedHelper Tools and com.bombich.ccc.plist in Library/LaunchDaemons and com.bombich.ccc.socket in /private/var/run for all types of apps. Maybe use Spotlight to find them so it's fast?
  4. Exclusions should prevent items from even showing up in result lists.
  5. Unused files to search by file type
  6. Sort By in main scan results window
  7. Choose original/duplicate to delete when scanning. May want to keep one or other.
  8. Remove Dock icon for app uninstaller.
  9. Checking/unchecking folder in the App Slimmer should check/uncheck all items within it.
  10. ~/Library/Application Support/Chromium support.
  11. Verify GlobalAuthorization.*DoStandardAuthWithResult ThreadForget.Event_Run not crashing.
  12. Avoid GlobalAuthorization and use helper tool for a string of commands.
  13. Allow folder exclusions in the Archives, Unused Files, and Duplicate Finder features.
  14. Do not clear out unchecked items from the results lists when cleansing.
  15. More easily use QuickLook to analyze Duplicate Files.
  16. Show file path in results lists.
  17. Thunderbird Mail cleaning.
  18. Additional support coverage of the AOL Browser.
  19. Clear FrontRow movie lists.
  20. Flush DNS Cache.
  21. Ability to clear iMovie Cache.
  22. Reset Font Cache.
  23. Adobe CSX, updates creates a folder in Applications called .AdobePatchFiles
  24. MacCleanse-MacPilot connectivity button.
  25. Never display cleanse log if all logging prefs are off.
  26. Remove Keychain Passwords.
  27. Allow the program to run silently in the background.
  28. Mail - Cleanse option for list of previous recipients.
  29. New cleanse item: Unison list of visited newsgroups. /username/library/application support/unison
  30. Google Toolbar cleanse option (particularly for Firefox).
  31. New cleanse item: Safari metadata > history. User Account>Library>Caches>Metadata>Safari>History
  32. Delete cookies and unwanted caches that come with Limewire, Frostwire and Gnutella Network download servers/programs.
  33. Delete fonts caches: /, /Users/alextim/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Illustrator CS3/IllustratorFnt.lst, /Applications/Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional/Adobe Acrobat, /CMap/AdobeFnt11.lst, /Users/alextim/Library/Acrobat User Data/8.0_ppc/AdobeSysFnt08.lst
  34. Cleanse option for printing history logs.
  35. Flock support.
  36. Hide the default applications listed in the sidebar.
  37. New cleanse options for SeaMonkey browser.
  38. Clear last login names from Second Life.
  39. New cleanse items from Intego's Washing Machine: Shiira, BumperCar, NetNewsWire, Postino, Google Earth.
  40. "One thing that I couldn't find an option to cleanse was the /Library/Updates folder - that was 2GB for me. Supposedly, looking online, it is safe to delete everything in the /Library/Updates folder (as long as you leave the ProductMetadata.plist file) and as long as you leave the /Library/Receipts folder (receipt of what HAS been installed) alone."
  41. For duplicates, ability to export the scan results to pages or numbers (or word or Excel) in order to investigate the duplicates.
  42. Expose "Sort by Size" as a listbox header for Duplicates, etc.
  43. Request Admin auth prior to a cleanse.


MacCleanse is a quick and efficient solution to purge histories, caches, logs, and more. Maintain your privacy and free up hard drive space! When first launching MacCleanse, the Overview window is shown and provides a basic outline of how much hard disk space can be saved by running a Quick Scan.

  1. Click the "Begin" button to get started.
  2. After the scan completes, a results list will be displayed.
  3. Review this if desired, and uncheck anything you do not wish to be removed. We've taken great care in developing our Quick Scan feature and we strongly feel reviewing this list is completely unnecessary. None of your photos, movies, music, documents, or personal data will be erased - just the junk!
  4. Click the "Delete Checked" button to purge the files from the computer.
  5. Quit MacCleanse - you're done!

It is also possible to increase the security when erasing files, so that they can never be recovered. See the "Options" tab at the bottom of the main window to enable a Secure Deletion mode. This will dramatically increase the time required to erase files, but they will never be able to be recovered! Do not be shocked if removing only a couple hundred files or few gigabytes takes upwards of an hour with this feature enabled.

Once MacCleanse earns your trust, enable the "Scan and delete immediately instead of showing results" checkbox in the "Options" tab. This will remove steps 2, 3, and 4 from the above list!

Are you a Power User and want additional flexibility for exactly what MacCleanse removes?

  1. Click the "Cleanse" button at the bottom of the main window
  2. Press "Quick Scan" on the left hand navigation
  3. Click "Advanced Scan" below the big blue "Scan" button
  4. Turn on and off specific cleanse areas using the checkboxes.
  5. Optionally, click the "Presets..." button and save this configuration for future use.
  6. Click "Begin Scan"
  7. Review the results list.
  8. Press "Delete Checked"

Purge Locations

"Purge Locations", located on the sidebar of the main window, allows the creation of a list of files and/or folders to be erased with every cleanse operation. These items can also be erased using administrator privileges if desired by turning on the "As Admin" checkbox (not available in the 'App Store' version).

The "Erase Folder" checkbox will erase not only the contents of a purge location, but also the containing folder itself.

Easily enable or disable purge locations for later use by toggling the checkboxes in the leftmost column of the table.

Running MacCleanse on Shutdown

MacCleanse cannot automatically be run on shutdown; however, Digital Sentry (another one of our products) can perform a web browser history purge on shutdown.

  1. Download and install Digital Sentry.
  2. In the Monitors window, create a new Monitor.
  3. Set the event to monitor being "Digital Sentry is about to close".
  4. Set the action to "Clean internet history".
  5. Configure the action by checking all items you wish to erase.
  6. Finalize the monitor creation.
  7. Ensure Digital Sentry is set to automatically launch on login. This can be done in the Preferences window.

Preferentially, we recommend using the "Schedule" feature at the bottom of the main window to run MacCleanse regularly.

Uninstalling MacCleanse

To uninstall MacCleanse 5, download and run this utility:

MacCleanse 5

Uninstall MacCleanse 4 with this one:

MacCleanse 4
Using AppleScript to Cleanse

MacCleanse can be automated using AppleScript. Simply run the following script to have MacCleanse launch and cleanse. In the Preferences window of MacCleanse, it is possible to specify an action like shutting down the computer, or quitting the program, upon successful cleanse.

tell application "MacCleanse"
end tell

Other commands include:

  • UninstallTrashedApps - scan the Trash for applications and offer to remove them in MacCleanse
  • ShowSettings - open MacCleanse to the Options panel
  • ScanScheduled - force MacCleanse to run as if the scheduler had called upon it
  • SecureEmptyTrash - open MacCleanse and prepare to remove the contents of the Trash securely
  • ScanFromSettings - run the scan based on your current configuration
  • ScanSafe - scan using the default Safe configuraiton

Which logs and caches are safe to delete?

Generally speaking, logs and caches are generated the by the operating system and will automatically be regenerated on the fly as needed and are of little to no use to the user. They can all be erased safely.

Will I lose my bookmarks or instant messaging contacts?

MacCleanse does not have a feature to erase Bookmarks in your web browser or contacts on your instant messenger list. Checking every option under either of these categories will never result in losing these items.

Words of Caution

MacCleanse is a powerful tool that is designed to delete data. While it would be very difficult to unintentionally remove data you wish to keep, when using any other feature besides our safe-guarded "Quick Scan" tool, please take care when reviewing the files listed for removal. Once files have been removed, they are gone forever with very little chance of recovery - if at all. When in doubt: ask. Our customer support team is always happy to answer questions about MacCleanse and provide you the right direction.

An example of a mistake a user could make is under the "Unused Files" tab of the "Space Hogs" tool. Once scanning the computer, a user might think all files listed are great to delete. This is not the case! Just because a file hasn't been used in a while does not necessarily mean it's time to remove it. What about those family photos from your vacation to Disneyland 10 years ago, or the old love letters from your wife?

MacCleanse will NEVER remove files without prompting you and displaying a list of files flagged for removal first. When using anything besides the Quick Scan tool, ALWAYS review this list manually to ensure there is nothing you wish to keep.

Worst case scenario, if you have deleted some personal data by accident, your files may still be recoverable if the secure deletion option was not enabled in the Options tab. Programs like "Data Rescue" from ProSoft Engineering aid in the recovery of deleted files.


Known Issues

Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) Issues

  1. Language cleaner may incorrectly report that languages have been removed when they haven't.
  2. Cookies may not be being removed in Safari 7.
  3. requires the system be restarted after cleaning message history or it may crash. ~/Library/Caches/com.Apple.iChat folder is being removed (also Containers).

Other issues

  1. One user reported that cleaning caches duplicates Automator iCal alarms.
  2. Remove Saved Application State if MacCleanse told to Shutdown Mac afterwards. Otherwise, it opens upon restart.
  3. "I regularly use MacCleanse however I have an issue with MacCleanse purging my Spotify locally saved playlist files. Are you able to a) build enhanced features for Spotify support into the product and/or b) communicate how best to work around this so that I don't have to re-download 10+GB of data on a download volume limited internet account (as all NZ ISP's have - annoying)."
  4. Investigate: IconKSW may be crashing on some files.
  5. Slimming apps that have been signed may break them.
  6. Slimming MS Office breaks it.
  7. Clearing user caches, or a feature similar, while MS Word is open will break MS Word until relaunch.