Is MacKeeper Good for Your Mac? — Features Roundup & How to Uninstall Tips
Before jumping into its features, let’s figure out what MacKeeper is. MacKeeper is paid utility kit for Mac that claims to combine 17 performance tune-up apps in 1. That definitely sounds good on paper, however there is so much controversy around MacKeeper online that you can’t help but doubt the usefulness of what the kit it has to offer.
If that controversy hasn’t scared you off by now and you are willing to give MacKeeper a benefit of the doubt, then this is the review you need. Let’s get into it and see if MacKeeper is worth the money.
How Does MacKeeper Work?
MacKeeper has a rich selection of features that you can access by committing to a whopping €15 a month (or €5 a month if you cash out for €120 bill and prepay 24-months at once). Right away, it’s a tough sell and it’s not surprising that at this point you are asking yourself — ‘Do I need this at €15 a month?’.
According to MacKeeper you’re getting 17 essential (they only come bundled after all) apps to keep your Mac clean, but do you actually want all of these?
Tools You Don’t Need
Let’s take a look at Data Encryptor, Files Finder, Login Items, Disk Usage, Default Apps, Update Tracker, Backup, Anti-Theft tools for example. There is one huge downside to all 8 of them — these apps are alternatives to macOS built-in utilities offered by Apple for free (some are just reskinned settings available in System Preferences). Features provided by Apple require no additional installation or configuration, and it’s not like they don’t do their job well enough.
If you were to count 8 of these out from MacKeeper’s unique package of tools, then it only leaves 9 out of 17 apps to consider.
On the up side, if you are using all of these features on the daily (which unfortunately most users don’t), it may be useful for you to have access to all of them from within the same app. Is it worth €15 a month? — well, it is for you to decide.
Utilities with Little to No Benefits
Next up are the tools that show promise, but don’t prove to have much use on the daily — Internet Security, Adware Cleaner, Memory Cleaner, and Geek on Demand.
- • Internet Security sounds like a big deal, as, sure, there is Mac malware out there. However, it is not necessary. Majority of malware is picked up due to insecurity of Java, which was removed from macOS for that exact reason. So Java vulnerability is not going to cause trouble on your Mac. Phishing is your concern? Most big browsers like Safari, Chrome, Firefox have built-in anti-phishing features. On top of that enabling Mac’s Gatekeeper in System Preferences under Security & Privacy will add an extra layer of protection. This really leaves little to no use of MacKeeper’s Internet Security app. If you are really concerned with the security of your Mac, then opt for an app that places its main emphasis on protection from threats and malware.
- • Adware cleaner promises to find and remove malicious software that displays irritating ads, which is quite ironic considering ZeoBit’s (creator of MacKeeper) notorious marketing techniques. Regardless, this particular utility has very little use if you stay away from downloading pirated software (which you should avoid doing).
- • Memory Cleaner removes apps from your RAM and supposedly makes your computer run faster. Sure, it does the job and will have its use if you are bad at quitting apps yourself and have under 4 gigs of RAM. Plus, if you take a few moments to figure out your way around Activity Monitor, you will be able to select and close and of resource-consuming apps yourself.
- • Geek on Demand feature lets you contact a technician from within the MacKeeper app. It is unclear why you would prefer to pay for MacKeeper’s Geek instead of referring directly to Certified Apple Support for free.
If these features are of little importance to you, which they probably are, then you are left with 5 out of 17 features only.
Cleanup Assistance Apps
Finally, here are the core apps that come in the package:
- • Smart Uninstaller, which removes the apps along with (some) supplementary files.
- • Files Recovery capable of restoring (some) deleted files.
- • Fast Cleanup, that erases caches, logs, unneeded languages from apps etc.
- • Duplicates Finder app to help you locate duplicated copies on your
- • Shredder which will allow to fully delete files from your Mac and make them non-recoverable
Considering the functionality of these features, it is unlikely that you will need to run these often, but at least they do what they promise for the most part.
Is MacKeeper Safe for Your Mac?
When researching ZeoBit’s MacKeeper online you will quickly run into articles and forum posts that call it malicious and not safe to use. Even real users on Apple forums testify against it, calling MacKeeper a ‘highly invasive malware’. The product is free to download, and when installed, it plants its roots so deep in the OS that it takes a dedicated step-by-step guide to remove all files and folders scattered around your Mac. ZeoBit has also been called out by legit sources for neglecting marketing ethics and committing to sneaky ‘pop-under’ web ads and other shady tactics to get users to install their app. They explained, that those were overzealous affiliate marketers who opted for such strategy. Affiliate marketers or not, you can’t help but wonder who came up with the questionable idea of having a bot send you up to 10 messages after you have scanned your Mac.
Regardless, the fact is that MacKeeper is extremely hard to remove and runs intrusive programs like MacKeeper Helper on your Mac doesn’t create a good impression of a ‘tune-up’ software. Some users have also claimed to experience performance issues after installing MacKeeper.
How to Uninstall MacKeeper?
Unfortunately, you can’t uninstall MacKeeper simply by dragging it to Trash like most other apps on Mac. Even before attempting to completely delete MacKeeper from your Mac you will have to do the following:
- • Remove all Trash, if you have anything in the bin
- • Eject all external disks from your Mac before getting to removal process
- • If you were using MacKeeper’s encryption feature, make sure to unblock all encrypted files before uninstalling the app. Check for personal files in /Documents /MacKeeper Backups
Once all the preparations are done, here is how to get rid of MacKeeper.
Quit MacKeeper, if you have it running, and delete the app itself by going to Finder > Applications > MacKeeper. Click and drag it to Trash. Next, open Finder> hit Go in Menu Bar > Go to Folder … and start going through the following directories and removing every file and folder that has MacKeeper name in it:
- ~Library/Application Support/MacKeeper
- ~Library/Application Support/com.mackeeper.MacKeeper
- ~Library/Application Support/com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.Helper
- ~Library/Application Support/com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.MKCleanService
- ~Library/Saved Application State/com.mackeeper.MacKeeper.savedState
- ~/MacKeeper Backups
After completing the process head to Applications > Utilities > Keychain Access and make sure nothing with MacKeeper is listed. If you find anything saved — delete it too.
You will also need to check Login Items in System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items menu. If MacKeeper is still on the list, hit ‘—‘ to remove it.
To complete the process, head over to Trash and click Empty Trash. It is advised you restart your Mac afterwards.
Note: If you still get MacKeeper pop-ups, then clear your browser caches.
The Bottom Line
MacKeeper may no longer be as malicious as it used to, however it is still frustrating to deal with. Only a few of the features offered within the app have practical use, which at this price point, is not enough to contest with most competitors. All in all, your Mac (and your wallet) are better off without MacKeeper.