CleanMyPC calls itself “Essential PC cleaning software” and aims to improve your computer’s performance by freeing up disk space and cleaning the registry. Like with antivirus software, there are many pieces of software that aim to improve PC performance, and it’s not always obvious which one’s are legit and which one’s are fakes that only pretend to be doing anything useful.
To help you decide whether you should get CleanMyPC, in this review I’ll download, test and review the software, and give you my honest take on how useful it actually is. Click here to skip to my verdict or continue reading to read my full thoughts on it.
I’ll begin by introducing the company behind CleanMyPC before showing the software in action on my own laptop.
Who built CleanMyPC?
CleanMyPC was developed by a company called MacPaw, which has developed a fair bit of software including a VPN (ClearVPN), a file encryption app (Encrypto), an external drive cleaner (CleanMyDrive 2), a Mac app finder (Setapp) and more.
MacPaw was founded in 2008, is based in Ukraine, has around 200 employees now and apparently had over $23 million in revenue in 2018 (source) with “one in five Macs around the world” running CleanMyMac. I can’t verify those numbers for sure, but MacPaw is definitely a real and legitimate company. It’s clear from looking at CleanMyMac reviews on the app store (1.9K ratings at the time of writing, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5), for example, that their products have at least some use and traction.
Go to the CleanMyPC page on MacPaw.com and click the green “Free Download” button. At the time of writing, the current version of CleanMyPC was just under 28MB. Upon opening the .exe installer, there’s a simple install process:
Then when opening the software for the first time, you’re presented with these 3 options:
Click on one of the menu options on the left like “My Computer Cleanup” or “Registry Maintenance” and you can run scans. I’ll go over each of the options in CleanMyPC below.
My Computer Cleanup
Simply scans for files that can probably be deleted, such as temporary files, caches (especially browser caches), logs and so on. On my laptop, this scan only took a couple of minutes, and found just over 1GB of files that could probably be deleted (my laptop is only a few months old, so if you’re using CleanMyPC on an old PC it’ll probably find a lot more):
I was a bit surprised here to see all the rubbish that had accumulated from Google Chrome here. After doing a scan, you can do a clean where CleanMyPC will remove the files automatically, or remove them manually yourself.
This one may take a few minutes. Here’s what it looked like on my laptop:
When using this, it won’t necessarily be clear what the registry items CleanMyPC recommends fixing are, or whether they definitely need to be fixed. Here’s an example of some of the registry items CleanMyPC identified as “Incorrect and Expired Automation Objects,” for example:
Allows you to uninstall multiple programs at once:
This may be somewhat useful if you have a lot of programs from one vendor that you all want to get rid of quickly, but otherwise uninstalling software one at a time within Windows itself is of course very easy.
Designed mainly for laptops, hibernation stores all information about the state of your computer (such as open files and current activities) in a file and then turns off your computer completely. This is different to the sleep mode in Windows which holds the current state of your computer in RAM and doesn’t completely turn off your computer. The Hibernation mode in CleanMyPC, therefore, may be useful if you are running something on a laptop and have to leave the laptop without it using any power at all. If you have your laptop plugged in though you don’t really need this feature.
Shows you a list of extensions you may have installed, and lets you remove them if you want:
With browser extensions (such as Chrome extensions as shown in the above screenshot), you can of course remove them in the browser itself rather than having to use CleanMyPC, so I’m not sure what the need is for using CleanMyPC to remove them.
Shows you which programs run on startup, and lets you stop them running on startup:
It’s useful to be able to do this given how many programs annoyingly run on startup by default, but like with many other features in CleanMyPC, you don’t need CleanMyPC to do this. It’s easy to do it in Windows 10, for example, without using any external software.
Let’s you remove all browser caches, history, cookies and more:
It is definitely useful to be able to do all of this in 1 click. You can still remove cookies and history in browsers, but it takes some time and can be a bit of a convoluted process, especially if you use multiple browsers and you’re doing it browser-by-browser.
Allows you to remove files so they can’t be recovered at all:
You may be wondering how this is different to deleting a file normally, then deleting it from the Recycle Bin. In these cases, data recovery tools can still potentially recover the file. See for example my Disk Drill review (Disk Drill is a data recovery tool designed exactly for cases like these) where it recovered a file that had been deleted and removed from the recycle bin.
Is there a torrent/crack/activation code for CleanMyPC?
No, and as always, we don’t condone stealing software. There are however frequent discount codes…
Are there any coupons or discount codes for CleanMyPC?
Yes. Use the code RVTDEAL to get major discounts on all MacPaw products (working at the time of writing), e.g.:
To enter this, go to https://macpaw.com/store, scroll to the bottom and click the “Already have a coupon code?” box.
As MacPaw often uses different coupon codes, we can’t guarantee that this code will work for you when you try it. If it doesn’t, there may still be other coupon codes and promotions running on the website that will be listed here.
Is CleanMyPC safe?
CleanMyPC is safe in that it won’t deliberately try to destroy your computer. However, there are a couple of concerns that should be addressed:
- CleanMyPC does not have a feature to backup your registry before fixing it
When it comes to fixing your registry, it’s very important not to delete anything crucial. Unfortunately, CleanMyPC’s Registry Maintenance feature (shown above) doesn’t give a backup option — it just identifies registry items that it thinks are redundant and can be removed to clean up your registry, but IF it deletes something that’s actually needed, you’re in for a potential major hassle. And as shown above, it’s not at all obvious to the tech-illiterate user whether the registry items CleanMyPC identifies are important or not.
- CleanMyPC may be identified as a virus on Windows 10 when you download it
This is what happened to me when I downloaded CleanMyPC:
However, this is not a fair categorization in my view. CleanMyPC is not a virus that has any malicious intent. The more specific categorization that Windows puts CleanMyPC into (I’m not sure why this falls under “viruses”) is Misleading: Win32/Lodi, which Windows attributes to programs that make “misleading or fraudulent claims about the files, registry entries, or other items on your PC.” I’m not sure why CleanMyPC is considered to do this, given it’s not a virus scanner that tries to scare you into thinking your computer is infected with malware when it isn’t — it merely scans your computer for things that definitely exist (actual files and registry entries) that could be removed to make your PC run faster.
NB: While I don’t consider CleanMyPC from MacPaw a virus of any kind, there is another program called CleanMyPC by an unknown, unaffiliated company that has a questionable reputation, and it’s possible the criticism and for CleanMyPC from MacPaw is being confused for criticism about this other program called CleanMyPC. See this thread on Malwarebytes that labels CleanMyPC (the non-MacPaw version, completely different to the CleanMyPC software we’re reviewing here) as a fake registry cleaner. You can see from the screenshots there that it’s obviously a completely different piece of software. Unfortunately, this software is all over the internet and has no doubt caused a lot of confusion.
What are the alternatives to CleanMyPC?
There are a many tools that advertise they can clean your PC, but the big 3 competitors to CleanMyPC (and the most trustworthy) are the following:
- Advanced SystemCare
- Glary Utilities
CleanMyPC vs CCleaner: CCleaner is probably the biggest player in this space and it’s a very good tool. The main advantage CleanMyPC has over it is that CCleaner is it’s dead-easy to use — you can fix issues in 1 or 2 clicks, and there’s no options to fret over (CCleaner itself isn’t hard to use, just harder in comparison to CleanMyPC). CCleaner does a bit more, but it’s also a more complicated program, so beginners would probably prefer CleanMyPC for its simplicity. One advantage CCleaner has over CleanMyPC is that it has an option to backup your registry before fixing anything.
CleanMyPC vs Advanced SystemCare: Advanced SystemCare, like CCleaner, has some more features than CleanMyPC (RAM cleaner, deleted file recovery, antivirus/firewall protection and more), but like CCleaner, it’s also not as simple as CleanMyPC. Still, it’s an excellent product that’s updated frequently and worth trying. I also recently just published an Advanced SystemCare review with more information about AdvancedSystemCare, so read that for more information on it.
CleanMyPC vs Glary Utilities: Glary Utilities, like CCleaner and Advanced SystemCare, is a quality piece of software that I can recommend — but just like these other 2 tools it’s again more complicated than CleanMyPC.
My verdict on CleanMyPC
CleanMyPC is legitimate software and it does what it advertises. There’s a good chance it’ll improve your PC if it’s running slow. However, as listed above, there are other tools that have more features, and so it’s worth looking at the alternatives to see if there’s something more suited to your needs. I recommend CleanMyPC if you’re completely non-technical and want the simplest, easiest-to-use PC cleaner there is.