No matter how much care you take, it’s impossible to avoid data build-up. Preferences for, and aliases to, long-deleted applications, empty folders, corrupted files – you’d be amazed how much disk space you could recover if you got rid of all unnecessary items. Enter Chaos Master.
You may recall Yank Pro, a shareware program from Maui Software – well Radialogic has bought it. Consequently, Chaos Master is the ongoing development of Yank Pro – hence the upgrade offer.
Chaos Master offers 14 features within the one package. Best of all, its Wizard analyses individual volumes – subject to you deciding whether you want to save space, find lost files or check for corrupted files – and takes you through the clean-up procedure as a series of tasks. Individual items can be examined and moved to the trash from each of these, with the Wizard giving suitable advice.
Task 1 allows you to delete unwanted help files – useful, as these can exist either in the System Extensions folder or loose elsewhere. Task 2 looks for duplicate applications – time to get rid of those 58 copies of SimpleText. Empty files and folders are the targets for Tasks 3 and 4 respectively, and cache files are brought to your attention via Task 5. One of the real heavyweights is Task 6: duplicate files. A scan of one partition found 1,058 duplicates, although many of these were the same filters in the Photoshop Plug-ins folder and Illustrator’s Photoshop Effects folder. Task 7 finds compressed files, while Task 8 looks for orphaned text files – those whose file creator doesn’t exist on your computer.
Extreme care is required here. For instance, it brings up all the printer descriptions from the System Extensions, many files from Adobe’s Application Support folder and standard .htm files. It will also show old items that new applications can still use, such as Illustrator 88 files. In other words, no artificial intelligence is applied to search results – all items that match the search criteria are listed. Tasks 9 and 10 handle orphaned aliases and preferences, while Task 11 performs basic tests on files.
Chaos Master’s Advanced section allows you to adjust the criteria for a number of searches, such as specifying the type of compressed file or the application that files should be remapped to. It also has a fat application “slimmer”.
The other two features each get their own section. By linking with versiontracker.com, Chaos Master examines all your applications, advises whether they need updating and then takes you to the relevant page on VersionTracker’s Web site. Excellent.
Finally, Chaos Master offers what the Mac OS should have as standard: an uninstaller. While not as simple as an application’s own uninstaller, should one exist, it’s still useable.
What is most impressive about Chaos Master is the clear manner in which it carries out its tasks. It’s certainly more useable than Spring Cleaning, and the tie-up with VersionTracker is useful. If there is a downside, it’s the lack of advice on the searches’ as noted above. For example, you shouldn’t be advised to delete the System’s Favourites folder just because it’s empty – surely?
That said, if you understand your Mac and want to keep it in good running order, buy Chaos Master.