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Table of Contents

  1. General
    1. Beefing Up Your Privacy
    2. Blacklist and Whitelist
    3. Customizing Cleanup Settings
    4. Feature Requests
    5. Introduction
    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 Settings tab under Cleanup/Recovery. This will delete the digital link to the file on the disk and then overwrite it 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.

Blacklist and Whitelist

"Blacklist" locations, located under the Settings tab, allows the creation of a list of files and/or folders to be erased with every cleanse operation. After clicking the + icon at the bottom of the list and choosing a location, press the pencil icon to edit additional erasure settings. These items can even be erased using super-user privileges if desired (not available in the 'App Store' version)!

Customizing Cleanup Settings

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.

Customizing Cleanup Settings

  1. Click "Cleanup" on the toolbar of the main window
  2. Click "Configure" at the bottom
  3. Click "Custom Scan Settings"
  4. Press on the drop down menu and choose "Create New..."
  5. Enter a name, check the items desired for cleaning, and press the Done button.

After a scan has been completed, checking and unchecking items in the results list WILL NOT affect the settings from the scan settings.

Modifying a Preset

  1. Click "Cleanup" on the toolbar of the main window
  2. Click "Configure" at the bottom
  3. Press on the "Custom Scan Settings" drop down menu and choose the desired set.
  4. Click a second time on the Custom Scan Settings drop down menu and choose "Edit."

Feature Requests
  1. Vacuum all SQL on hard disk
  2. Option to create a installer file that will reinstall all files removed.
  3. Yandex browser
  4. Exclusions should prevent items from even showing up in result lists.
  5. Choose original/duplicate to delete when scanning. May want to keep one or other.
  6. ~/Library/Application Support/Chromium support.
  7. Allow folder exclusions in the Archives, Unused Files, and Duplicate Finder features.
  8. Thunderbird Mail cleaning.
  9. Additional support coverage of the AOL Browser.
  10. Clear FrontRow movie lists.
  11. Ability to clear iMovie Cache.
  12. Adobe CSX, updates creates a folder in Applications called .AdobePatchFiles
  13. Never display cleanse log if all logging prefs are off.
  14. Remove Keychain Passwords.
  15. Allow the program to run silently in the background.
  16. Mail - Cleanse option for list of previous recipients.
  17. New cleanse item: Unison list of visited newsgroups. /username/library/application support/unison
  18. Google Toolbar cleanse option (particularly for Firefox).
  19. Delete cookies and unwanted caches that come with Limewire, Frostwire and Gnutella Network download servers/programs.
  20. Cleanse option for printing history logs.
  21. Flock support.
  22. Hide the default applications listed in the sidebar.
  23. New cleanse options for SeaMonkey browser.
  24. Clear last login names from Second Life.
  25. New cleanse items from Intego's Washing Machine: Shiira, BumperCar, NetNewsWire, Postino, Google Earth.
  26. "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."
  27. For duplicates, ability to export the scan results to pages or numbers (or word or Excel) in order to investigate the duplicates.
  28. Request Admin auth prior to a cleanse.
  29. Delete purgeable disk space


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 "Scan" button in the main window under the Cleanup tab.
  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 default normal safe-mode scan 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 "Erase" 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 "Settings" tab in the navigation area of the main window. Press cleanup on the sidebar, and then choose the Recovery Mode. Turning on secure erasure 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 "Skip right to erasing..." checkbox in the "Settings" tab under "Cleanup". This will remove steps 2, 3, and 4 from the above list!

Are you a Power User and do you want additional flexibility for exactly what MacCleanse removes? Learn more about Custom Scan Settings in other parts of this manual.

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, download and run this utility:

MacCleanse Uninstaller

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 normal-scan (safe-mode), 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 "Large and Old" tool of the "Files" tab. 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.

In the 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

macOS 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.

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. Clearing user caches, or a feature similar, while MS Word is open will break MS Word until relaunch.