Q&A: Cleaning cleaners – getting rid of unwanted utilities

Q When cleaning my Mac to improve its performance, I saw in the Console logs that CleanMyMac and Reduce The Lag are still active, even though I tried to uninstall them. How can I get rid of them completely?

A Some apps are tenacious, resisting all attempts at removal.

MacPaw provides detailed workthrough information for removing CleanMyMac version 2 and version 3.

If you wish to uninstall CleanMyMac manually, trash its app from the Applications folder, remove the CleanMyMac folders located in ~/Library/Application Support and /Library/Application Support, trash the property list files with names starting in com.macpaw.CleanMyMac. from ~/Library/LaunchAgents, and that named com.macpaw.CleanMyMac.plist from ~/Library/Preferences. Empty the trash and restart.

Eradicating Reduce The Lag requires a little work in Terminal’s command line, as its files are stored in hidden folders. Drag the app reducethelag from Applications to the trash. Then open Terminal, and type the following from an admin account, giving the password when prompted:
sudo launchctl remove reducethelag
sudo rm -fvR /tmp/reducethelag.log /etc/reducethelag

Empty the trash, and when you restart it should have disappeared. Although there are some exceptions, it is probably best not to install apps with names including words like ‘clean’, ‘tidy’, ‘protect’, and ‘virus’, as they often install services that are hard to remove.

Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 29 issue 5, 2013.