This Combo Cleaner review gives informative insights into the app’s Mac optimization and antivirus features while singling out its main pros and cons.
Update: February 2024
Clutter-free and ever-secure Mac is wishful thinking rather than the objective reality. In fact, tons of duplicates, application leftovers, long-forgotten large files and browser cache can take up gigabytes of drive space and prevent the computer from performing at its peak. Plus, Mac malware is on the rise, scouring the Internet for new victims.
The Combo Cleaner utility by Lithuania-based RCS LT company purports to keep all of these problems at bay. It goes equipped with a disk cleanup feature, big files and duplicates finder, app uninstaller, antivirus, and privacy scanner. Such a fusion of services fine-tuned for Mac is definitely welcome these days. However, there are quite a few other solutions that make similar, if not identical, claims but hardly meet the challenge. Does Combo Cleaner actually do what it says? I’m going to put it through extensive testing to answer that question. So here we go.
Is Combo Cleaner safe and legitimate?
Of course, it is. It easily detects Mac viruses thrown at it, moreover, it was certified by OPSWAT Labs (Gold award) in the anti-malware category. The merits of Combo Cleaner additionally include the Checkmark certification by West Coast Labs and a status of Virus Bulletin’s VB100 certified product. The app also boasts recognition by such reputable resources as CNET, Cult of Mac, and FileHorse.
Combo Cleaner supports OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) and later versions of the macOS platform (El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, and Monterey). Its stub installer can be downloaded from the vendor’s official site as well as the Mac App Store. It is a DMG file sized 8.7 MB that’s specifically tailored to make the setup process smooth and intuitive.
Before I proceed, let’s get one important aspect straight. Some users have a misconception that Combo Cleaner is freeware. In fact, it does go equipped with a few free features, such as the Disk Cleaner, Big Files Finder, and Duplicates Scanner. However, if you’d like to benefit from the app’s Antivirus, Privacy Scanner, and Uninstaller modules, you’ll have to enter activation key and upgrade to premium.
In other words, it won’t charge you for scanning your Mac for all kinds of viruses, malware and privacy issues, but the removal functionality will only become available on a paid subscription basis.
When it comes to the licensing, things are quite clear-cut. There are two plans: single user for 1 Mac ($39.95 for 6 months) and office / family for up to 5 Macs ($69.95 for semi-annual subscription). This isn’t the cheapest offer across the board, but the deal should be worth it as long as the application does a good job protecting and optimizing your Mac.
The installation routine is nothing out of the ordinary: you launch the setup assistant and click through a few garden-variety dialogs to get Combo Cleaner up and running. From where I stand, the app’s GUI makes a great first impression. It’s user-friendly and sleek, with every icon saying precisely what it does. The design and color scheme are undoubtedly on the plus side of the program. Fans of Dark Mode like myself, though, may get upset to discover that the app doesn’t support it – for some odd reason, Combo Cleaner developers have thus far ignored this truly awesome appearance feature.
From the get-go, Combo Cleaner performs an assessment of your Mac’s health and welcomes you with the dashboard whose upper section reflects the amount of available disk space, free memory, and current CPU load. Down below are the scan results for each one of the above-mentioned areas covered by the software. This pane is a one-stop system status information that includes both the security and performance essentials.
The solution runs fairly fast and has a moderate system footprint. The first full scan took less than 30 minutes to complete, and the app only added an extra couple of seconds to Mac startup time. Of course, the scan duration is a variable that depends on the size of your disk, but it won’t exceed any reasonable benchmarks whatsoever.
Combo Cleaner features
The feature set of this program aligns with the best practices of delivering Mac maintenance and security services. It should meet the average user’s expectations without encumbering the experience with anything redundant. Here’s the lowdown on the main features of Combo Cleaner.
Disk Cleaner is exactly what it sounds like. It evaluates the contents of your hard disk and advises on the amount of memory that’s safe to remove. This module spots and obliterates unnecessary application caches, downloads, app logs, and allows for emptying the Trash folder in one click. This functionality is entirely free to use.
Big Files Finder is pretty self-explanatory, too. It checks your local and external storage media for items that take up much disk space and may no longer belong on your Mac. The default preset looks for files larger than 100 MB, but you can easily customize this parameter by indicating a smaller value.
It’s also quite handy that Combo Cleaner breaks down the detected objects by the following size criteria: up to 1 GB, 1 GB to 5 GB, and more than 5 GB. Furthermore, you can easily sort these likely-unneeded entities by date. Importantly, this feature doesn’t require any payment to use either.
Duplicate Files Finder is yet another feature falling into the disk cleanup category whose logic comes down to spotting identical copies or similar matches of the same file. This is particularly relevant for photos, audio files and videos – the types of data people often download repeatedly. The obvious action to take in regard to these items is removal, which is what the app can do in the blink of an eye. Moreover, the software won’t charge you a penny for this.
Antivirus is one of the fundamental components of Combo Cleaner. In fact, lots of users actually install this application to remove malicious code from their Macs in the first place. In case you still think Mac malware is a myth, just look up “Download Valley” on search engines. It is a huge syndicate coining adware that targets macOS alongside other platforms. The Genieo and Weknow.ac infections are some of the most notorious examples plaguing Apple computers for years.
Back to the point, this particular feature is definitely praiseworthy as it identifies Mac adware (including browser hijackers, popup viruses and ad-injecting threats) and other types of malware with an excellent detection rate. It finds and deletes malicious LaunchAgents, LaunchDaemons, as well as configuration profiles and hidden files spawned by viruses. These are items that usually hamper effective manual removal, so the use of Combo Cleaner provides a benefit that truly makes a difference. The virus database is updated on an hourly basis to ensure protection against new and emerging menaces. Keep in mind, though, that you need to purchase the product’s license to unlock the virus removal functionality. Meanwhile, the scan is free.
Another interesting hallmark is that although the module is tailored for Mac, it can also find Windows malware and therefore keeps you from accidentally or unknowingly sending any pests to other people who use PCs. That’s something I haven’t seen in any competing security solutions.
Privacy Scanner is one more feature that’s a prerogative of premium subscription only. It focuses on analyzing the installed web browsers and email clients for “breadcrumbs” that may disclose your personal data and thus pose risk to your identity. These verbose objects include cookies, browsing and search history logs, cache, saved forms, bookmarks, as well as potentially unwanted browser extensions.
At the end of the day, not only does this module take care of sneaky threats to your online privacy, but it also boosts browser performance by removing the above-mentioned junk.
At first sight, it may appear that the Uninstaller feature does the same as the Mac native app removal mechanism. However, it’s got a game-changing advantage over the latter. Here’s the thing – even after you remove a program from your Mac the regular way, its leftovers may persevere in the system and take up disk space. Also, there are stubborn apps that simply prevent you from removing them.
Combo Cleaner can locate obfuscated fragments of previously uninstalled software and force-remove apps that exhibit adverse persistence. Plus it provides an all-in-one list of your installed applications with a quick preview option. The only caveat is that you cannot use this functionality unless you are a premium user.
Tech support is probably the weakest link in the whole user experience chain delivered by Combo Cleaner. While the vendor does provide a way for customers to get assistance, the choice is pretty much restricted to submitting a ticket, period. There is no live chat with company reps, nor is there a phone number to dial. What’s more, I couldn’t find any product knowledgebase or FAQs on the publisher’s website.
The only offset for this scarceness of support channels is that the app actually runs smoothly, detects and removes Mac malware, finds and wipes unnecessary files, and generally copes with the cleanup task immaculately. At least, I didn’t run into a single issue during the test. Furthermore, the support agents claim to be available 24/7 and respond to tickets quite fast. One way or another, I hope the vendor will expand the range of their support services in the near future.
Combo Cleaner – pros and cons
- Detects and removes Mac malware flawlessly
- Hourly virus definition updates
- Recovers disk space without deleting anything important
- Basic optimization features are free to use
- User-friendly GUI
- Effective privacy scanner built in
- Meager support options
- Quite expensive
- No startup optimization feature
- Lacks Dark Mode support
Combo Cleaner combines Mac maintenance and security features under the same hood. Whilst this is a common practice for quite a few software publishers out there, the efficiency of these modules is what really matters. Speaking of which, the app in question can take care of nearly any Mac malware issue – be it a browser redirect or popup ads virus, a rogue system optimizer, spyware, or ransomware. It also has enough optimization power to speed up your machine considerably.
The biggest quirk that makes me frown is the support section on the product’s website, which boils down to filling out a form. This is the tradeoff that will hopefully vanish sometime soon. Plus, the user interface – albeit incredibly intuitive and minimalist in a good way – has stuck with basically the same design for years and could use an overhaul.
Overall, Combo Cleaner is a worthwhile application. It does all the tedious work for you to make your Mac experience hassle-free and secure.
Absolutely. Its Mac optimization and antivirus capabilities have been verified by a number of authoritative software evaluation services, including OPSWAT and CNET. The former awarded the tool with bronze certification in the Mac anti-malware category. Furthermore, it got positive feedback and endorsements from Cult of Mac, FileHorse, and Soft32 portals. All in all, Combo Cleaner is definitely legit, and in our experience, it proved to be effective in identifying and removing all mainstream Mac viruses. Its performance boosting potential is commendable as well.
Combo Cleaner won’t charge you for scanning your Mac. Moreover, its optimization toolkit is completely free to use, so you can fully benefit from the Disk Cleaner, Big Files Finder, and Duplicates Finder modules without having to purchase a license. Keep in mind, though, that the security-related pool of features is paid. It means that the Antivirus, Privacy Scanner, and Uninstaller functions can be used without limitations on a subscription basis only. Again, you can have your Mac scanned for free, but in case Combo Cleaner detects malware or potential privacy risks and you would like to address them, then you will have to buy the full version of the program.
When Combo Cleaner is first launched, it runs a thorough scan of your Mac to assess the use of disk space and check the machine for known viruses. When the scan is completed, the app will provide the results on its Dashboard pane. You can additionally select any specific feature in the left-hand section of the GUI if you like. In order to fix the reported issues, all you need to do is click the appropriate button that says “Remove” or “Remove Selected Items” in the area of interest. Every scan report allows you to deselect the items you want to keep on your computer – make sure you do it prior to the cleanup. Be advised that the Antivirus, Privacy Scanner, and Uninstaller features are paid. The Antivirus module provides three scan options to choose from: Quick Scan (default one), Full Scan, and Custom Scan. The Quick mode is accurate enough to rely on for everyday protection. To the developers’ credit, all controls are intuitive and include concise explanations of what the features do.
Contrary to a common opinion, Macs aren’t flawless when it comes to self-optimization. You need to do quite a bit of the tedious cleaning work literally by hand to make sure the system runs smooth at all times. Therefore, a third-party app that automates the process of releasing disk space and boosting the Mac’s performance is more than welcome.
If you would like to uninstall Combo Cleaner from your Mac for whatever reason, the procedure is a no-brainer. In fact, the app is just like any other regular macOS software in this regard. Just open your Finder and select ‘Applications’ in the left-hand navigation menu. Scroll down the list of installed applications, find the Combo Cleaner icon, and drag it to the Trash. That’s it.