- Personalized, remote assistance
- Unique optimization tools
- Anti-theft tracking
- Built-in antivirus
- Subscription-based pricing policy
- Life-long refund for software malfunction
- Client with illogical layout
- Limited monthly subscription
- Pay-only remote desktop
Standing out in the Mac optimization software market is never an easy thing, especially since clients always demand the same features: a quick and thorough scan and cleaning with some extras like restore points and backups, privacy management, and file or program deletion. MacKeeper, created by Dubai-based company Kromtech in 2010, is definitely capable of doing all of the above with a unique twist: it provides access to a full, 24/7 live support during any scans and cleaning. Furthermore, MacKeeper also includes the option to allow an Apple certified staff member to remotely check your Mac and perform any necessary system cleaning, which makes this software ideal for less tech-savvy users.
To make things even better, the software is not only available via a convenient subscription-based pricing policy but it also sports additional optimization tools ranging from a file shredder, memory optimizer, and duplicate finder to a built-in antivirus, file recovery tool, data encryption, backup, and program updater.
Although many of the features you would expect to see in any Mac optimizer can be found in MacKeeper, the categorization of these features is not ideal and far from logical. The three categories are Human Assistance, Security and Advanced Tools.
The first tab is definitely the most interesting since it contains Geek on Demand, where you can make use of Apple certified assistance should any technical issue occur. But still, the section users will usually turn to when they want to process a cleaning without interference is Fast Cleanup, and it is filled with many features related to other optimization processes.
However, despite the illogical layout the number of cleaning and optimization features is truly remarkable: aside from the general cleaning you can choose from 14 different processes, containing such rarities as a program updater, built-in antivirus scan, and backup. In addition to that, there is also a default app selector (to specify which program should open certain file types), data encryption, a file finder, and file recovery for preventing accidental, permanent deletion.
There are two options when scanning and cleaning your Mac. The first, Fast Cleanup, removes unwanted files in your binaries, cache, language settings, logs as well eliminates any leftover files too. After this you’re free to decide what should be scanned, view the results of the scan and proceed with the removal – the duration of which depending on how many items are selected to be deleted.
The other option, Find & Fix, is the greatest asset of MacKeeper. First of all, it runs a deep and complete scan, but then it also connects you to an actual Apple certified technical assistant who will evaluate the scan report that is displayed on screen and explains what to do next. Keep in mind, however, that in order to be able to perform a full scan and cleanup you have to create a MacKeeper account and purchase a subscription, otherwise the cleaning process will be interrupted.
The tech assistant may recommend a quick system check that is performed by a ZoomSupport technician who – after taking temporary control of your Mac – will provide you information about the current status of your system, recommend further protection settings, and may offer you a pay-only deep fix.
Aside from the cleaning options mentioned above, it’s possible to choose from a lot of other utilities, like the shredder, a memory optimization solution, and an uninstaller.
However, MacKeeper offers plenty of other features that are not present in most other Mac optimizers, too. This program can back up your files to any selected hard drive – even external ones to prevent any further damage. It also allows users to manually update outdated programs, check disk usage, find and merge duplicates, or decide which program should open certain file types.
And this is just the beginning. MacKeeper is also capable of recovering seemingly lost files, though admittedly the scanning process for this is incredibly slow. Interestingly it can hide selected data from the prying eyes of Finder and Terminal, too.
Still, the most advanced features are related to security, which is why it is located in a separate tab. MacKeeper has a built-in, fully programmable antivirus scanner and quarantine alongside the option to block or whitelist certain websites. Additionally, there is the anti-theft feature (available for subscribed users only) with which a stolen device can be geo-tracked and then be reported to MacKeeper either from another computer or from the dedicated Track My Mac iOS app.
Even though MacKeeper provides a trial version, it is not recommended using it at all because most of the software’s features are only unlocked if you choose a subscription and activate your MacKeeper license. And ‘subscription’ is an important word here: once the fee is paid with Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or PayPal, you’ll get a single license that remains active until the termination of the subscription.
The plans are based on a pricing policy that costs less the longer the service is used. A monthly plan is $14.95 per month but this still lacks many features; to unlock the remaining tools it’s better to opt for the six-month plan at $9.94 per month. To acquire access to absolutely everything – such as security updates or a personal tech advisor that is available 24/7 – then your choices are either the 12-month or 24-month prepaid plans for $7.95 and $4.95 a month respectively. Note, however, that the 24/7 personal assistant support may raise prices significantly: even though advice and minor repairs are provided without charge, the professional and thorough remote-controlled support is only available via a ZoomSupport subscription, which starts at $354 for every six months.
But regardless of the length of the subscription or the chosen extras, in every case a full refund is available in cases of unsolvable software malfunctions – although the refund policy has very strict terms that needs careful studying to avoid any confusion.
We know what you are thinking: ‘The support provided by the technicians is more than enough, why do I need anything else?’ But the reason is simple, these staff members only provide help in keeping Macs clean and so for any other issues you’ll need to turn to the customer support instead. To reach them directly MacKeeper has three channels, a contact form, email, and a 24/7 toll-free phone number available in the U.S., UK, Germany and Australia. No matter which support option is chosen, the answers to your questions are prompt and thorough.
Additionally, there is the option to search for further assistance through the FAQ – or, as they call it, the knowledge base. The company even provides tutorial videos to watch on YouTube and maintains a blog with many articles published either on the MacKeeper website or on Facebook and Twitter.
MacKeeper is definitely an interesting Mac optimization tool since it brings with it many features not present with any of its competitors. Despite these unique solutions, however, the software is not perfect: the client layout is a little illogical, while the subscription model is unfair since it limits the user to a single license as well as only unblocking some of these extra features for those who pay for the longer subscriptions.
However, due to the unique features of the software these negatives can be easily forgiven. The 24/7 human support during the cleaning process – whether performed by yourself or via a ‘geek’ remotely – is a definite strength, especially if we take into consideration the other, more rare optimization options from backups and file recovery to the program updater, data encryption and anti-theft solutions. In other words, MacKeeper is a rough but unique gem ideal for less tech-savvy people who want to delete their Mac’s junk data in a safe and supervised manner.