Staying on top of your system’s junk can be difficult at the best of times. CleanMyDrive offers a fully automated solution that covers all externally connected drives – USB, Firewire and Thunderbolt – and throws in a few bonus tools along the way.
Once installed, CleanMyDrive resides in your menu bar. Click it to get an at-a-glance view of your drive stats. The first time you launch it, you’ll have to grant access to each of the drives attached to your Mac before it can poll them for information.
Once done, you’ll see a summary of all internal, external and network drive contents appear, complete with a list of free space. The space is colour-coded – roll your mouse over a colour to see what it represents. Click a drive icon to open it in Finder, or click the eject button to safely remove it.
This is where CleanMyDrive’s main limitation comes into play: its cleaning tools only work with externally mounted media – namely, drives attached via USB, Thunderbolt or Firewire. It’s also worth noting that the program will only check drives 64GB or smaller for junk by default – open its preferences via the menu button and use the slider to increase this limit as far as you want.
If the app detects junk files, a red clean button appears underneath the drive in question. And here’s another limitation – you can’t review what files have been found, never mind keep any of them. Once you click the button, they’re removed – whatever they are. Dig deep in the CleanMyDrive website and you'll discover the files it looks for include OS X Service files like .DS_Store, .Spotlight-V100, .TemporaryItems, .fseventsd, Windows Service files (Thumbs.db, RECYCLED, RECYCLER, $RECYCLE.BIN), resource forks like ._MyPhoto.jpeg, and anything in the Trash that hasn't been emptied.
More options for interacting with each drive by clicking the settings button that appears to the left of it: automatically clean the drive every time it’s ejected, prevent it from being ejected, hide it from view and – a scary feature – erase it completely. There’s also an option to change the disk icon, but this involves additional purchases ($2.99 each) for icon sets.
One extra bonus: you can quickly copy files to your external drives by dragging them into the program’s menu bar icon, then dropping them on to the icon of the drive you wish to copy them to.
What's New in Version 2.1.3
With this update CleanMyDrive is completely ready for macOS Sierra.
A handy enough tool for keeping tabs on junk on your external drives – just a shame you don’t get to see exactly what gets cleaned.