When it comes to Mac optimization among the most often mentioned freeware is OnyX, software developed by Frenchman Joël Barrière, aka Titanium. Known for its compatibility with both PowerPC and Intel processors, OnyX has been around since 2003, which cannot be said for any of the Mac optimization apps currently on the market.
On the other hand, the Japanese multinational cyber security and defense company Trend Micro was started in 1988 with the aim of developing antivirus software. But it didn't stop there and in 2014 launched a free version of Dr. Cleaner, the company’s Mac optimization software.
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Born out of personal demand, OnyX addresses the various needs that its developer – and by association its users – had when looking for peak performance from their Macs. The powerful software is packed into a pleasant, easy-to-understand graphical user interface that allows for the easy elimination of system, application, internet, and user caches to help clear up space. However, the program does sadly lack the quantification of how much storage space is regained after running its set of maintenance scripts, a core feature of commercial Mac optimization apps that allows users to visualize exactly how much data they are wiping off the Mac.
OnyX provides various other helpful scripts to optimize the Mac, too: it verifies the structure of the system files, runs maintenance scripts (which is important if you recently shut the computer down), and rebuilds various services.
But what makes OnyX appealing to advanced Mac users is the ease of access and configuration of certain hidden system parameters and apps. Consider the screenshot feature, for example, which with OnyX can customize the location and format of the images that the system takes.
Trend Micro's Dr. Cleaner was first launched on the Mac App Store as free software. Since then the feature list has grown, along with the Mac user base and demand; currently the software provides a handful of options presented in a neat GUI, including constant system monitoring. This offers users a great way to keep an eye on their Mac's hardware resources and the apps that are requiring more resources than they might usually need.
What you can't do with OnyX is customize which cache and junk files the software erases, but Dr. Cleaner can. After scouring the user's home folder for junk data, Dr. Cleaner then displays the results in a window and lets users customize which files they want to clear.
Since Dr. Cleaner is a sandboxed app, it cannot access the system cache. This limits the reach of the software but also means better protection for the user’s privacy. The software has two versions, the free version and a paid Pro version that enables more advanced features such as duplicate file scanning and removal, live support, and an app manager as well as further customization options. The Pro version license costs $19.99, but there is also a 30-day trial that can be used first.
The choice of Mac optimization software depends on your personal needs. If you are looking for an app that's able to take out the trash that your apps pile up and is also protective of your privacy in some way but that can also be used as an all-in-one Mac maintenance app, then Dr. Cleaner Pro is probably the tool to address your needs.
Those looking for advanced features such as access to hidden options in the system or who don't mind if the app doesn't display the amount of storage that they will regain by taking out the trash will likely find OnyX that is the best option. In the end, it’s down to you, but by checking out our full reviews of both apps you’ll find more in-depth details to help make that decision.