MacPaw’s free menu bar app gets a welcome overhaul
The second version of free external drive cleaning app CleanMyDrive got its debut in the Mac App Store today.
MacPaw is the same dev team that brought us CleanMyMac 3 and reckons OS X users who work with multiple drives will get a lot more out of this refresh of its free accompanying app.
The update adds to CleanMyDrive 2’s ability to remove hidden junk like service files, resource forks and other trash from external drives. So let’s take a look at what’s new.
The most obvious change in CleanMyDrive 2 is the redesigned interface. Here’s how the menu bar dropdown used to look…
And below is the the new interface. It’s a lot more clean-cut in comparison and fits into El Capitan’s transparent menus seamlessly. The dark menu bar version looks slick in particular…
One of the first things you notice is that the storage bars of mounted drives now use a colour legend to distinguish between the types of files that are taking up space, much like the bars seen in OS X Disk Utility and the storage tab in About This Mac.
It’s a nice summary of data usage and gives you an at-a-glance idea of whether, say, you need to think about sending your media files to the cloud to free up local space.
Hovering your mouse pointer over the bar reveals what kind of data each colour represents and the space being used.
The unobtrusive minimalist feel of the user experience also extends to actions. The previous CleanMyDrive hounded you with unsightly pop-ups whenever you plugged in a new drive, asking if it should clean the drive on eject.
Now it quietly informs you via an OS X notification that the drive has successfully mounted, and remaps the cleaning behaviour query as an inline option when you click the dot next to a drive icon…
Also in the inline drive dropdown is an option to choose a new disk icon. It’s a small addition that will be seen by some as a gimmick, but may satisfy users who like to have visual control over every aspect of their desktop.
To include it as an in-app purchase ($2.99) might seem like a money grab, but to be fair to the developers this is in the context of an entirely free app.
Elsewhere in the dropdown is an option to exclude the drive from Eject All actions (achieved with a click of the top-right eject icon or a custom keyboard shortcut). There’s also a new and potentially very convenient Eject All on System Sleep feature, for times when you need to make a quick getaway, shut the lid on your MacBook and unplug all connections fast.
You also get an Erase disk option and a facility to hide the drive from the CleanMyDrive dropdown list – handy for Boot Camp volumes or drives that you rarely use, like my Yosemite test partition for instance. Selections can be easily reviewed later in the Preferences window.
One of the neatest new features is undoubtedly CleanMyDrive 2’s drag-and-drop copy facility. Just drag a file or folder over the menu bar icon and the dropdown appears for you to select a destination drive – or hold the file over the drive and a Finder window opens for you to pop it in a deeper folder.
It’s a useful option if you’ve got a bunch of windows covering your desktop or you can’t immediately see the device you want in your Finder sidebar.
Overall I’m impressed with what MacPaw has done with CleanMyDrive 2. Aside from the welcome interface changes I’ve found that the new version actually finds junk files on drives that the old app registers as clean.
The app works as a handy desktop drive selector, it feels a lot more integrated into my disk management and workflow, and I can see it becoming a permanent resident in my menu bar.
Overall, this is a tidy little companion to CleanMyMac 3, and a neat standalone utility in its own right. As a peek in Activity Monitor reveals, it’s also super-lightweight. And hey, it’s free! Grab it from the App Store today.