- Comprehensive duplicate file finder
- Speedy computer scan
- Easy-to-understand controls
- Clutter alert
- Limited feature set
- Basic user interface
- Unique features don't seem to work
Known and trusted by millions of Windows PC and Android users for its antivirus products, Avast is now looking to conquer new markets by offering a handful of apps optimizing Mac performance, security and privacy. Avast Cleanup Pro seems to be the Mac version of the Cleanup Premium app that is available for Windows users and is part of this new offering specifically developed for the growing market of Mac users that the company sees as an opportunity on which it can capitalize.
The software is available as a free download, but you need to purchase a license to actually make use of the product – though doing so is protected by a 30-day money back guarantee. A yearly subscription license costs $59.99 per Mac, but it can be had for as low as $16.89 for one machine through a special 20% discount offer. But is it time for Mac users to take notice?
Installing Avast Mac Cleanup Pro requires admin privileges, and it takes less than a minute. After that, a clean and easy-to-understand welcome screen appears, informing the user about the software's built-in features and that it is using the scan-only mode. This means that without a valid license the software will only scan the Mac, identify cache files and look for duplicates. To actually free up space you'll need to either enter a license key or, if you somehow managed to obtain an Avast Cleanup Pro installer, purchase one by clicking the “Clean” button.
If your expectations aren't high, then you won't be disappointed. The software's welcome screen displays everything you need, and since the available features are quite limited there is no way you'll miss anything. The features that are here include: Clean Clutter, Find Duplicates and Alert Me (when there's clutter to clean).
By clicking on the green “Clean” button, Avast Mac Cleanup will search the machine for crash reports, junk and temporary files, and log files created by applications, as well as any browser caches, development junk data, and system files that macOS adds to external files that are formatted for other operating systems.
Depending on the Mac's hardware limitations, the scan can be very quick – which we experienced on our test machine – and will display its findings in a pretty basic app window, whose header advises the user as to how much clutter there is on the machine. The different clutter categories appear on the left, and the basic graphics show how much each category takes out of the total amount of junk data. The process of removing the files marked for deletion is fairly self-explanatory, requiring manual reviewing of the files and unchecking of any you don’t want to delete.
At the bottom left of the window the app displays a dropdown list with the recommended selection being the default for clutter. This is how Avast Cleanup Pro allows users to customize the cleaning process. The default setting includes the first three categories: application caches, log files, and trash. The cleanup process can be customized by checking the Downloads folder, and if you happen to be a developer you may be lucky enough to be given the opportunity to test how the development junk feature works, since the category was greyed out during our testing – much like the External Drive Junk.
After reviewing the files, hit “Clean” and then the app will display a message showing how much clutter has been removed. The process is flawless, although the app did crash once during our testing while we were reviewing a file listed in the Downloads folders.
Avast Cleanup Pro's second main feature is its ability to deep scan a targeted folder for duplicates. This includes duplicate documents, pictures, music, videos, folders, and other files. The Duplicate Finder feature allows you to use file size, date, or a preview to decide which clones you need and which to remove from the Mac. The app will scan the Mac user's Home folder by default, but the targeted folder can be changed in the Preferences.
In our testing the Duplicate Finder performed very well, maybe even too well; it identified nearly 20GB of duplicate files in the Mac's home folder, a lot when compared to Gemini's 2GB. The difference between the two results could be due to Avast's deep scanning functionality, so when it comes to pictures, for example, Avast scours through the Photos library and carefully identifies duplicates. It does the same for videos, too, and will identify temporary files if there is a duplicate, so it does a good job here.
Although there are quick removal options – such as “keep newest” or “keep oldest” – reviewing these files is highly recommended.
After hitting the clean button Avast Cleanup Pro removes the files, but they will be deleted forever. This means that they won’t be in the trash, so if you accidentally remove a file (you will have another duplicate remember), then you won't be able to recover it without a Time Machine backup.
Compared to its competitors, Avast Cleanup Pro for Mac is priced high at $59.99 per year for a single Mac license. Luckily Avast doesn’t shy away from discount deals, and therefore grants new users a 20% discount through a special offer, dropping the price for one Mac to $47.99 in the first year. However, we were able to use the same license key on a secondary Mac, which means two things: first, that Avast needs to do its homework when it comes to protecting its products and, second, that the price for one license ultimately drops to at least half when used for two (or more) Macs.
Avast is available as a free download from the support page, but to use its cleaning features you need to purchase a license. The free trial is only for scanning purposes, but a 30-day money back guarantee gives enough time to test the software.
U.S.-based users are offered multiple payment methods, as Avast accepts credit cards from the main payments networks – Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express – as well as PayPal and even wire transfer, an option that isn't available worldwide.
Avast also offers a discount if you opt for three Cleanup Pro for Mac licenses: in this case the price drops to $18.66 per Mac per year when combined with the 20% discount, since the total is only $55.99. There is also a three-year subscription available, which costs $127.99 for one and $151.99 for three Mac licenses.
While the software is activated by default upon purchase, the same cannot be said of the Avast account. You need to register for one if you want to make use of the community support for the software, as the support page gives users very limited information.
Avast, however, enables several channels of communication for its customers. For example, you can send feedback (and hope they will reply) by clicking on the Help section in the app menu bar. But if you want customer support to reply, then head over to the dedicated page and select the category of problem that you are facing. Here you'll be able to either send a message or obtain a phone number through which the company can be contacted.
Avast Cleanup Pro is a newcomer in the industry, and that clearly shows in how the app is presented and the features it carries. When compared to its competitors, Avast Cleanup Pro's feature set is poor for its price. The developer junk and external drive junk cleaning features just didn't work, which makes them useless. At its best, the software may be useful as a thorough and fast duplicate finder, since it was able to find so many more duplicates than its competitors could.
At this stage it’s clear that Avast Cleanup Pro is a clear rookie in this segment, so if you are looking to clean up your Mac of system junk then it’s better to turn to other Mac optimization apps instead of this one. When it comes to cleaning application caches the program is good enough, but that's not satisfactory enough to make it worthwhile when there are tons of other neat optimization solutions for half the price.