The No-fluff Mackeeper Review: Is It Worth It?
(Updated on February 5, 2015)
This is a long review. Here’s a summary:
- Mackeeper is not malware. Its a cleaning tool. Some people do have complaints about their Mac slowing down but most of the time, Mackeeper is not the cause. If you still feel insecure installing mackeeper on your mac, CleanMyMac is a great alternative with a smaller price tag. Read my review here.
- You probably don’t need the Internet Security module.
- Anti-theft feature is pretty useful.
- You can try Mackeeper for free for 15 days.
- You can get the free trial of Mackeeper here.
Mackeeper – Is it malware? Probably Not.
Mackeeper is one of the most controversial software in the Mac world. You’ll see people claiming that it slows down your mac, can’t be uninstalled, deletes your photos and a bunch of other accusations that give it a bad rep.
But what’s interesting is that people with extensive knowledge about macs and professional reviewers give it a thumbs up. Here are a few of them talking about Mackeeper.
Leander Kahney from Cult of Mac says:
None of the professional reviewers complain of slowed-down machines or deleted data.
Macworld magazine calls it a gem.
MacKeeper offers a compelling set of tools at a very reasonable price
So all in all, it probably is not malware per se but if you want a cleaning tool that is not as controversial as mackeeper, you can check out my review of clean my mac.
Installing mackeeper is pretty simple and straight forward. Download the .pkg file from their website, open it and it will guide you through the installation process.
To activate the software, you need to enter your activation code and sign into your Kromtech account. The process takes less than a minute to complete.
Let’s now dive into reviewing various facets of the tool. I’ll be reviewing the features in the order I tried them.
The first module I tried was the ‘fast cleanup’ module. It consists of 4 utilities namely
- Binaries cutter.
- Cache cleaner
- Language cutter
- Logs cleaner
And you can choose which ones you want to run. I selected all 4 of them and and hit the ‘scan’ button. The result? It found 1.3GB of junk on my Macbook Air 2013.
The ‘Duplicate finder’ module scans your Mac for duplicate files and frees up the hard disk space occupied by them. Pretty handy feature if you download a lot of stuff to you mac and move it around a lot. It helped me save 73 mb of space. Not bad at all.
Files finder, disk usage, smart uninstaller
These three utilities are categorized under the “cleaning” section of Mackeeper.
Files finder simply lets you search for your files based on the filters you choose. Here’s a screenshot:
The disk usage utility presents a list of everything you have on your mac hard drive in the famous ‘column layout’. Again, I’ll let the screenshot do the talking.
Notice how it displays the size of each file and folder next to its name. Pretty useful if you’re cleaning your mac and deleting files/folders manually.
The smart uninstaller utility lets you completely remove apps from your Mac. To do this, go to smart uninstaller, select an app by clicking the little checkmark before its name and click remove. All the components that app is using will automatically be selected for removal, resulting in a clean and complete uninstall process.
“Do macs need antivirus?” is one of the most asked questions in the mac world. In one word, yes. But the likelihood of a mac getting infected to a windows based computer is little to none. Mainly because macs are built on the unix kernel which is one of the most secure platform and also the fact that crooks and hackers target windows because there are more windows based computers than there are macs.
Personally, I’ve never used any antivirus software on my macbook which is connected to the internet 24/7 and I do pretty much all my work on it – and I’ve never felt the need to install an AV app on it. Chances are you don’t either, but if you do want to give your mac an extra level of protection, feel free to install the Internet Security module in mackeeper.
It comes with a couple of handy features like real time protection while browsing the internet (called “safe browsing) and antivirus utility to scan your mac for any trojans or viruses.
Lets face it, macs are premium machines and they come at a premium price. The data on your mac is extremely valuable too. What if your mac gets stolen? Certainly you’re not going to just sit there and say “oh its alright, i’ll just buy a new one”. Fortunately, mackeeper’s anti theft module helps you recover a stolen mac… well somewhat.
Well, fortunately I’ve never got my mac stolen so I don’t have first hand experience of using this module.
First thing you need is the anti theft module enabled. Then if your mac gets stolen, follow these steps:
- Login to your kromtech account
- Click on anti-theft tab
- Click on the ‘report stolen computer’.
As soon as your Mac goes online, mackeeper will immediately generate a report of its location and take an iSight snapshot of whoever is sitting in front of it (most likely the thief). That data will be sent to Kromtech and they’ll call you right away and hand this data over to you. You then give this data to the cops to help them find the thief.
Obviously, this is not guaranteed to bring back your Mac but it does help you and the police to recover it.
You would want to use the shredder function if you want to delete some file(s) permanently. For instance, you’re selling your mac to someone else. Obviously, you won’t want them having access to your personal files so the shredder feature comes in handy here. I deleted a couple of files for a test and I was not able to recover them using mackeeper’s file recovery and a couple of other data recovery apps.
Bear in mind that you won’t be able to recover any files you delete using shredder. Proceed with caution.
If you’re reluctant about spending your money on Mackeeper yet, they have a fully functional trial version that you can download here. The trial expires in 15 days which is ample time to evaluate the software and make your mind.
There are three types of licenses namely Lite, Standard and Premium priced at $39.95, $59.95 and $89.95 respectively. The price difference is because of the additional features you get in Standard and Premium versions.
So… should you buy it?
If you’re an active mac user who downloads a lot of stuff to his/her mac and uses a bunch of application on it, you need a good cleaning app like mackeeper or cleanmymac.
My personal choice is Clean My Mac 2 because its a lot easier to use and doesn’t have a bad reputation. Mackeeper has a lot of bad review on Apple Forums and some other sites with people claiming its not easy to uninstall or calling it malware etc. I like Clean my mac better. If you still want to give mackeeper a try, you can download the free trial here.