screenshot of MacKeeper on laptop screen

MacKeeper is a one-stop shop for optimizing your Apple. It’s an app that automatically cleans your computer, runs anti-virus software, and offers additional services to keep your Mac running efficiently. And with its recent acquisition by Kromtech, MacKeeper has made changes to better serve customers.

 

image of MacKeeper software on Apple laptop
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Best for all-around protection

  • Cleans out junk files
  • Protects from viruses, phishing scams, malware, and more
  • Encrypts data
  • Acts as anti-theft protection
  • Optimizes memory
  • Offers live customer support

What is MacKeeper?

MacKeeper has been on the market since 2010 and offers a comprehensive suite of safety and optimization features. Plus, it boasts 24-hour, Apple-certified customer service. However, it’s impossible to talk about MacKeeper without talking about controversy.  Since its launch, it’s received negative press for aggressive and spam-like advertising practices, the difficulty of removing the app, and a 2014 lawsuit that alleged MacKeeper’s parent company, Zeobit, engaged in false advertising. But since its purchase by Kromtech, MacKeeper has upgraded its services and advertising practices, and many users are now giving it five-star reviews.

The Basics

The app is relatively intuitive—to run it, all you do is install the software, open it in your app menu, and have it scan your Mac. After the scan, the app will give you a list of files that would be good to delete. You can look over the list and choose which files you’d like to delete, and they’ll be completely removed from your hard drive.

Like most optimization apps, you’ll need to sign up for a monthly subscription, and then many of MacKeeper’s functions constantly run in the background of your Mac without you needing to do anything. Some users report an overall slowdown after installing MacKeeper because it embeds itself into multiple libraries in the operating system, but many users don’t have this complaint.

screenshot of MacKeeper in use

MacKeeper Pricing and Features

Basic Plan Standard Plan Premium Plan Premium+ Plan
Subscription Month to month 6 months 12 months 24 months
Price $14.95 $119.28 $95.40 $59.40
Antivirus Protection Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hard Drive Cleanup Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cache Clean Out Yes Yes Yes Yes
File Encryption Yes Yes Yes Yes
Automatic File Backup Yes Yes Yes Yes
Automatic App Updates Yes Yes Yes Yes
Anti-Theft Tracking No Yes Yes Yes
Security Updates No No Yes Yes
Personal Tech Advisor No No Yes Yes
24/7 Expert Support No No Yes Yes

More about Pricing and Plans

We Like

  • Options
    MacKeeper offers four different plans. The main differences are the number of features and the length of your subscription.

We Don’t Like

  • High Prices
    It’s worth noting that there are many free apps that will do basically the same thing as MacKeeper, though they won’t offer customer support. In light of this, the company’s prices can seem steep. And there is no free trial version to help you decide if you want to pay for the service.

Features and Usability

We Like

  • Easy Installation
    The program is super easy to install and use. Plus, it basically runs itself once you’ve set it up.
  • Loads of Features
    MacKeeper claims to be eighteen apps rolled into one, offering everything from file recovery to anti-theft protection.

We Don’t Like

  • May Slow Down Your System
    All the great features the app offers can slow your system down, according to some reviews.
  • Previous Complaints
    Though it now has a new parent company, MacKeeper’s past troubles with poor advertising tactics and bad user experience have somewhat tarnished its reputation.

MacKeeper FAQs

Do I really need an optimization app like MacKeeper for my Mac?
Yes, you probably do. People who only use their computers lightly might be able to get by without an optimization app, but most users, especially those who do a lot online, will benefit from an app that helps clean up their computer.

What are junk files and why do I need to get rid of them?
Computers amass a lot of files, and they aren’t great at cleaning them out on their own. Junk files are simply the things cluttering up your hard drive. They can be anything from files you no longer need to duplicate files or files you didn’t even know you downloaded. Getting rid of them will free up processing space and help your computer run faster.

Some of the ads make MacKeeper look like malware. Is it?
No, it isn’t, but you aren’t alone in your thinking. It’s alright to move cautiously when evaluating this software because of its history, but since the lawsuit was settled in 2015, no further complaints have been filed, so the software should be trustworthy.

How does MacKeeper compare to other apps like CleanMyMac and Disk Clean Pro?
It offers similar services but comes with a slightly higher price tag. MacKeeper is also unique in that it offers 24/7 live assistance and remote assistance for when your Mac is really having trouble. You don’t even have to leave the house to get it fixed. The MacKeeper Premium plan is priced competitively when you consider those features.

The Bottom Line

If you don’t mind paying a monthly fee or shelling out a bit upfront for a multiple-month subscription, MacKeeper can be a good, comprehensive option for keeping your Mac running smoothly and protecting it from online threats. It runs itself and can easily connect you with knowledgeable customer support if you have any problems.

But the company does have a checkered past, and while it has taken some steps to change, it does still engage in advertising practices that are aggressive and fear-based. This leads a lot of people to think of it as malware or to just be generally suspicious of it. Also, when it isn’t a great fit for a user, the app is difficult to remove because it requires you to remove it from each of your individual libraries. Many of its critics say that free apps will be just as effective.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Optimizes your Mac
  • Premium plans offer live assistance

Cons

  • Problematic history
  • High prices
  • Difficult to remove

How We Evaluated MacKeeper

To evaluate MacKeeper, we read through a multitude of online forums debating different app options. We also spent time reading through news articles surrounding the controversies and lawsuit. Finally, we spoke with real Mac users and Mac professionals to get their hands-on experiences with MacKeeper and other Mac optimizing programs. For more information on our evaluation process, see our Methodology.

Written by Laura E. Hilton

Laura is a writer, teacher, and mother based out of Utah. She is passionate about making and maintaining strong, safe, healthy communities. To learn more, visit her website at lauraehilton.com. Learn more

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