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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Is MacKeeper worth buying?


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wolfpuppies3

 
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Both Mac Life and Mac World magazines highly recommend Mac Keeper. I use it regularly on two MB Airs and an MBPro. I found their virus checker less than useful and do not use that as it is a continual memory hog but the rest of the program operates well as the magazine tests atest.

I did uninstall it from one machine once in order to reinstall cleanly. No problem at all uninstalling, the program even provides an uninstaller.

If the goal is simply an antivirus, ClamXav is effective and costworthy as well.
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpuppies3 View Post
Both Mac Life and Mac World magazines highly recommend Mac Keeper.
That's hardly a seal of approval. Fact of the matter is… these writers who "review" software like these only get to spend an hour or so fiddling with it in preparation for their article. Half a day perhaps if they have no other work lined up. And many tech writers are just not all that tech savvy.

Quote:
I use it regularly on two MB Airs and an MBPro. I found their virus checker less than useful and do not use that as it is a continual memory hog...
Last time I looked into this thing, their AV component wasn't even Mac-native. It was Windows AV software running under WINE. That is insane. It may well not have even been capable of screening for Mac malware… just Windows malware. Even if it could detect Mac malware… what the heck is the point of actively screening for Windows malware that can't even load? It's utterly moronic.

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I did uninstall it from one machine once in order to reinstall cleanly. No problem at all uninstalling, the program even provides an uninstaller.
Yes.. the uninstaller does a great job of uninstalling MacKeeper. Except for all the MacKeeper files it doesn't remove.
how to uninstall MacKeeper – updated « Phil Stokes


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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Links: Onyx | EasyFind | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | The Safe Mac » Adware Removal Guide | Uninstall MacKeeper
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wolfpuppies3

 
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One man's trash is another's treasure. Works great for me, for the Mac Magazines, and for most others. Sorry about it not working out for you but, as you know, there are many many choices.
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RavingMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpuppies3 View Post
One man's trash is another's treasure. Works great for me, for the Mac Magazines, and for most others. Sorry about it not working out for you but, as you know, there are many many choices.
Don't really understand your need to continually defend this product.

If it isn't causing you any problems, great, keep using it and be happy. But, for the VERY limited value it offers when and if it does work it and the numerous problems it causes when it doesn't, it isn't something we should be recommending.

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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Lifeisabeach

 
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I decided to re-try MacKeeper for kicks. It's been some time since I last tried it, and last I read, the AV component was now "Mac-native" in particular. So maybe they've really tried to improve the software in general.

So anywho… I worked on this from a second installation I have of OS X on my iMac. It's a virgin copy of OS X, fully updated to 10.7.4, with no 3rd party software loading up and only a few utilities on the partition available if I need them. Basically… this is as pristine and untainted an environment as possible to give MK a chance to work well. I do have a single folder at the root level of that partition for temporary use while in my usual primary partition, but that would have no impact on the OS installed there.

Near the end of installation, I got repeated errors that the helper app couldn't be installed, due to maybe a permissions problem. I continued to get the same error every time I re-ran MK. Repairing permissions, running various utilities, all failed to solve this error. I have no idea why I am getting it. I shouldn't be. At all. Like I said, everything on this partition is as kosher as it gets.

So I look over the AV software. It doesn't appear to be running under WINE anymore, so that's something. I haven't delved much further yet, and likely won't. I can't really test its effectiveness anyway without downloading actual malware.

So next I try the file recovery feature. It's supposed to look for files that have been deleted, but may still be recoverable. I copied a video file off my media drive to my Desktop, then trashed the copy from my Desktop and emptied the trash. Then I ran the file recovery module. MacKeeper completely failed to find that file. What it did find were a whole bunch of other videos and some XML files. Of the videos it found, there were a couple dozen that were all exactly 1.9 GB in size… each one. The others were much smaller… something like 35 MB, and all identical. As it turns out, all the 1.9 GB videos were all really the same file… a 720p episode of Walking Dead I had purchased off the iTunes Store some time back and recently replaced with 1080p versions. The old copies were stored temporarily on that partition while I re-downloaded the new ones. The other episodes should have been discoverable if this one was, but they weren't found. These "recovered" videos were unplayable despite recovery, although some metadata was readable.

So next I run a different piece of software… Disk Drill. This piece of software is dedicated to finding deleted files that may be recoverable. It promptly found the movie I had added to the Desktop and subsequently deleted. The one that MacKeeper couldn't find. It's also finding a MASSIVE number of files that may be recoverable (it's still running actually). Not dozens of copies of a single file (that never existed as dozens of copies to begin with) but numerous files of various types and sizes, in folders across the partition. MacKeeper only found 2 videos, listed those repeatedly as separate files, and a couple XML files, which were also listed repeatedly as separate files.

Just to be clear: MacKeeper "found" exactly 4 files, but listed each of those dozens of times with different "generic" names consisting of a series of numbers. The inability to determine the exact name is not unusual, I should add. In other file recovery software, the correct name is typically discoverable only if the file was very recently deleted. Disk Drill found the video that I had deleted off the Desktop, complete with the video's proper name. MK couldn't even find that particular video, which should have been the single most recoverable file.

So in summary:
  • MacKeeper was completely unable to find a video deleted mere minutes before I asked it to look for deleted files. Disk Drill found it immediately.
  • MacKeeper listed a couple different long-deleted videos as recoverable, but listed them a couple dozen times each as if it had found a few dozen different videos. Disk Drill legitimately found dozens of long-deleted videos, and far more other types of files than MacKeeper. A few thousand files in total actually (many of which are log and other temporary files). Disk Drill didn't present me with numerous "copies" of the same file.
  • The videos recovered by MacKeeper aren't even playable. To be fair, I didn't try to recover the files with Disk Drill since I'm running it in trial mode… recovery requires payment and I didn't really need to. I don't realistically expect it could have recovered everything it found… that's just the nature of this type of task. But its hits were more accurate and complete BY FAR!

This is just one of MacKeeper's modules and already it is one huge FAIL! I haven't had a chance to look at any of the other modules more in depth, but it's not looking good at all. Even if some of the other modules do work, MacKeeper is already demonstrably incompetent at least in part, and there's nothing it does that can't be had for less or for free in more competent apps.

EDIT: I'm just going to add some supporting screen caps of my testing. Firstly, here's part of MacKeeper's list. I'm showing the middle of the list, but as can be seen, there are a large number of .mov files that are exactly 1.9 GB in size. All the ones higher in the list are the same size, and apparently the same file judging from a few I recovered. There were actually several dozen copies of this one in total. There were more files below the bottom of the screen cap… all XML files and mostly duplicates of the ones seen. There were a couple other smaller sizes with many duplicates. About 5 unique files in total were really what was found.

MK1.png



This screen cap is of Disk Drill's quick scan. There's only one hit, which is expected. The quick scan only finds very recently deleted files with a matching name. MacKeeper never found this file, which, as I said, should have been the most discoverable and recoverable one. Disk Drill did let me "preview" this file using QuickLook. It is very much intact and recoverable. If MacKeeper had found this file, it should have been sandwiched in the middle of the list in the prior screen shot, which was sorted by file size.

DD-Quick.png



This screen cap shows Disk Drill's deep scan results. It's actually still scanning at this point, so the results aren't complete, but the screen cap speaks for itself. Thousands more files… unique files… and the few I tested with Quick Look showed they were intact and indeed recoverable.

DD-Deep.png


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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Links: Onyx | EasyFind | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | The Safe Mac » Adware Removal Guide | Uninstall MacKeeper
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Slydude

 
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I still find Mac World reviews useful from time to time but I no longer use Mac Life as a guide. I used to follow them regularly but no more.

It seems that the quality of writing (even for reviews) is just not there anymore. I stopped reading when a friend pointed out how many times he had found factual errors that went uncorrected. I realize anyone can make errors in a review but I have not been impressed recently.

Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

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ksabee

 
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ummm why am I seeing advertisements for Mackeeper on this macforums site??
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksabee View Post
ummm why am I seeing advertisements for Mackeeper on this macforums site??
The site admins are aware of them. Unfortunately, they don't have a lot of control over what ads gets displayed. See this discussion about it:
Mackeeper


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Links: Onyx | EasyFind | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | The Safe Mac » Adware Removal Guide | Uninstall MacKeeper
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ksabee

 
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So to any people unaware it could look like this site itself is advertising Ma keeper?? 0_0
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Lifeisabeach

 
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I was toying around the other day with another of MacKeeper's modules. It claims to be able to encrypt and hide files/folders of one's choice. The way it works is you first set a master password for this module in MK. This password is required to hide/unhide anything you add to it. Next, you drag the file/folder into that module in MK. You can OPTIONALLY choose to encrypt it. Otherwise, it will "simply" hide the file/folder. Once done, the file will disappear and can only be unhidden by using MacKeeper and requires the master password you set beforehand.

Now… as I said, encrypting the newly hidden file is optional; unhiding it already requires the master password you set; so it seems pointless to use the encrypt option, which will add yet another password. I'm sure many people may see it that way. The problem is that the way MK "hides" these files is seriously asinine and easily defeated.

Firstly, I found the file by enabling Finder to show hidden files. Where the original file was (a simple jpg image) that I had used in this testing, I found a file whose name was preceded by a period. Adding a period to the front of a name is a quick and dirty method of hiding files in OS X, and OS X does use it extensively, but it's not the only way. Files can simply be "flagged" as hidden.

Secondly… the name of this hidden file initially looked like gobbledygook. In actuality, it was the original name of the original file spelled backwards, with the user name appended and spelled backwards, and "MacKeeper" appended to the name… again backwards. There was no extension, and in fact the original extension (.jpg) was stripped. Adding the extension .jpg didn't work, so clearly this was some other type of file and the contextual menu showed it was a package of some sort. After looking through the package, I thought that the structure looked familiar, so I appended .dmg to the file name and BAM! I had a mountable disk image with my jpg file in it.

So… all MK is doing is putting the original file in a disk image; putting a period in front of the name to "hide" it; and technically keeps the original name but spells it backwards. I should also mention that the original file, once "hidden" by MK, is simply moved to the Trash. Forget to empty the trash, and the file you wanted to hide is still recoverable. Empty the Trash but have access to competent file recovery software? You should be able to recover it. Didn't use the encryption option? The "hidden" file is easily found and recovered. if you do use the encryption option, trying to mount the dmg as I did will result in a prompt for a password. Not MK's master password… the secondary one if you optionally use the encryption option. So it seems they add some degree of value here. Or do they?

Literally, once you take away MK's hokey and easily circumvented system of "hiding" these files, you have a disk image that can be created, with encryption, by a number of other free tools, including what comes with OS X… Disk Utility. I suppose MK's system here is adequate for technical illiterates who don't have a really strong NEED to keep something from prying eyes, and more importantly don't have nosey friends/family who are more technically competent. But for anyone else, relying on this would be foolish.


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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Links: Onyx | EasyFind | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | The Safe Mac » Adware Removal Guide | Uninstall MacKeeper
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksabee View Post
So to any people unaware it could look like this site itself is advertising Ma keeper?? 0_0
As per the thread I linked to, they are well aware of that "perception" and have been trying to work with the partners who serve up those ads to eliminate them.


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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Links: Onyx | EasyFind | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | The Safe Mac » Adware Removal Guide | Uninstall MacKeeper
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ksabee

 
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Yeah read the link......hope you guys get this fixed
Just wondering.......the staff always send a welcome message to new members right?? Why not include things like these in that message,or at least state that they don't control any of the advertisements
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Cyndy-in-VT

 
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I would heartily echo all of the advice to stay away from this software. I spent the money and ended up taking my iMac to the shop for the first time since I mistakenly thought the DVD drive was acting up. The only thing wrong with this wonderful machine was that particular software causing conflicts.
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