5 Android Apps That Really Clean Up Your Device (No Placebos!)

Ben Stockton Updated 10-12-2019

Most people only think about cleaning up their phone when something starts to go wrong. Android devices are smart enough that regular maintenance isn’t necessary, but it’s still a good idea to perform a digital tune-up every once in a while. Don’t underestimate the impact of staying digitally organized—it might just keep your phone working for longer.


The trick is finding phone cleaner apps that actually live up to their promises. At best, a bad cleaner app wastes storage space; at worst, it could infect you with malware and spam you with ads. Not all Android cleaner apps are useless, however, so we’re going to help you find the ones worth using.

Here are the best cleaning apps for Android phones and tablets you should try.

1. Droid Optimizer

Droid Optimizer is one of the best-known Android cleaner tools, with over a million downloads on the Google Play Store. It’s simple to use, especially for newbies, with an introduction screen that walks you through permissions and features.

It offers a “ranking system” designed to motivate you to keep your device in tip-top shape. If you don’t mind having your own device shame you into better habits, Droid Optimizer is the best Android cleaner for you.


One tap is all you need to begin a phone cleanup. You’ll see your stats at the top of the screen; free space and RAM show next to your “rank” score, where you receive points for your cleanup actions.

If you’d prefer to set and forget, Droid Optimizer allows you to set up regular, automated cleaning. This auto-cleanup will clean your cache, stop background apps, and delete any unnecessary files. It also comes with a “good night scheduler” to conserve energy, automatically disabling features like your Wi-Fi when it isn’t active.

Droid Optimizer can also mass-delete apps—useful if you’re looking to quickly make some space.

It’s not the most attractive app, but it works. If you’re looking for the best Android phone cleaner app and don’t want to do much of the work yourself, Droid Optimizer should be on your shortlist.


Download: Droid Optimizer (Free, in-app purchases available)

2. CCleaner

The same well-known desktop app for reclaiming disk space is also available on Android. We feel that you should stop using CCleaner on Windows due to it going downhill since Avast acquired the service. And while the Android app isn’t perfect either, it’s better than a lot of the other spammy cleaner apps for Android.

Indeed, CCleaner on Android is a multifunctional app that does its best to analyze and clean up stray files taking up your precious space. The main function is the cleaner feature that can wipe cache data from apps, purge empty folders, and delete various histories.


It also has an App Manager, which offers a simple interface that lets you pick multiple apps for uninstallation. Lastly, the System Info page monitors your phone’s resources (CPU, RAM, device details) so you can see what’s going on at a quick glance.

No root is necessary and it’s free, although you can upgrade to the Pro subscription for a few extras. It may be a bit light on features, but it does the job if all you need is a quick way to reclaim your phone’s storage space.

Download: CCleaner (Free, subscription available)

3. All-in-One Toolbox


Cleaning your phone of unnecessary files is only one part of the task. What about monitoring your battery, or your CPU temperature, or those pesky mobile ads? The appropriately-named All-In-One Toolbox is here to do it all.

It’s capable of cleaning temporary files on your Android device, wiping your cache, and deleting empty folders and orphaned files. It just takes one tap to analyze your device, then another tap to delete, and you’re done. It’s a similar process with other areas of the app, too.

The Boost function cleans your system cache and closes background apps, again with two taps. You can set this automatically with the Boost+ function if you’d prefer, but doing so requires an in-app purchase. If you’re running out of juice, the Battery Saver section is another background task killer (see below for a warning on this), but it also provides your current battery statistics.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a mass app deleter, advanced file cleaning tools, and Wi-Fi analysis. As its name promises, All-In-One Toolbox tries to do it all. Like Droid Optimizer, there’s also a ranking system to encourage regular use.

Download: All-in-One Toolbox (Free, in-app purchases available) |
All-In-One Toolbox Pro ($16)

4. SD Maid

SD Maid claims to be “at your service” as the digital cleaner for your Android phone. It keeps the experience simple—opening up the app gives you four quick action features you can use to “tidy up” your device.

The first, CorpseFinder, searches for and erases any orphaned files or folders left over from deleting an app. SystemCleaner is another search-and-delete tool, this time looking for common files and folders that SD Maid believes it can safely delete.

If you like the sound of this, AppCleaner performs the same action for your apps. If you want to use this feature, however, you’ll need to upgrade SD Maid Pro. There’s also a Databases area to help optimize any app databases in use—in our test, it cleared 40MB from Spotify this way.

There are also tools for storage analysis (to help you find and delete big files) and mass app removal if you’re looking at a bigger phone tune-up.

Download: SD Maid (Free, in-app purchases available) | SD Maid Pro ($4)

5. Norton Clean

Aside than CCleaner (owned by Avast), none of these cleaner apps come from top-tier security firms. The search for the best cleaning app for Android can’t conclude without mentioning Norton Clean, the Android little brother of the famous Norton Antivirus from Symantec.

Norton claims to “remove the clutter” from your Android device. Much like the other entries, it’ll search for and wipe your cache, remove any junk files, and help you quickly remove any unused apps you have installed. The Manage Apps section lists all your apps, letting you sort them by last use, installation date, or how much storage it uses.

The app takes a simple approach. Compared to the other entries, Norton Clean has one of the cleanest, brightest, and most modern-looking user interfaces. Everything you need is one or two taps away, meaning you don’t have to be an Android pro to figure it out.

It’s light on features—it’s only a file cleaner and app deleter, with prominent ads for other Norton apps. If you’re worried about space, however, Norton Clean is easy enough to help you reclaim it.

Download: Norton Clean (Free)

A Warning on Task Killers

A lot of cleaner apps for Android offer RAM boosting and task killing as a feature—even some on this list, like CCleaner. However, this can be counterproductive and task killers can actually harm your device performance Why RAM Boosters and Task Killers Are Bad for Your Android At first glance, RAM boosters and task killers sound incredibly useful, but a closer look shows that they could actually be harming your phone instead. Read More .

On Android, full RAM usage is not necessarily a problem. In fact, Android purposely keeps its RAM usage high to maximize performance. The Android OS is smart enough to know how to juggle its open apps for optimal performance. Interfering with that process can cause Android to work harder than it needs to, which ultimately slows down your device—especially if you’re closing background system apps.

Most modern Android apps shouldn’t impact your battery performance that much either. If they do, Android should alert you to the problem (assuming you have a modern device). You might need to look at how to extend your Android battery life 10 Proven and Tested Tips to Extend Battery Life on Android Suffering from poor battery life on Android? Follow these tips to get more juice out of your Android device's battery. Read More if that’s the case. You can do that by limiting background usage using Android itself—and not by using a task killer or apps with task-killing features.

These apps are useful to remove unused files and wipe cache data, but you should be wary about letting them control apps or services running on your device. The Android landscape has moved on—devices are faster and Android is better at managing system resources.

Keeping Android Clean and Tidy

Regular maintenance isn’t necessary for most Android users, but it can help to keep your device running smoothly. Yes, it’s true—your device should keep running even if you don’t spend time clearing out junk. Most modern Android devices have plenty of RAM and device storage to cope with anything you have installed or saved. You shouldn’t need to spend your days clearing app cache, either.

That said, if you notice there’s a problem with your Android device, an Android cleaner could perk it up a little. If that doesn’t work, it might be time to upgrade to an Android One device The 5 Best Android One Phones for Every Budget Google's Android One program brings a stock Android experience to a variety of smartphones. Which is the best Android One device for you? Read More to get yourself better hardware without the bloatware. And if you’re running low on space, consider getting some cheap cloud storage 8 Cheapest Cloud Storage Providers Looking for the cheapest cloud storage possible? We show you the best budget cloud storage for 100GB, 1TB, and other tiers. Read More for your extra files.

Related topics: Android Apps, Android Tips, CCleaner, Storage, Storage Sense.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Ruslan
    May 26, 2020 at 9:33 am

    I tried a lot of different ones, but only this one really helped me

  2. Alan Trinder
    January 17, 2020 at 1:41 am

    My Huawei (P20 Pro) has a built in optimiser plus a virus scanner, the virus scanner is powered by Avast.
    Both seem to work well but are they up to the task as well as the specific individual apps as featured here?

  3. Esat Da
    January 16, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    SD maid... If anything can do anything, this is it.

  4. David Hinson
    July 8, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    The above information gave Clean Master a top rating. And I just removed it because it clogs up notification with messages to clean, boost and control notifications.
    And this a consistent every 5 minutes .
    I mean WTF? Nothing has been done to require a 29 available gigs of RAM to be cleaned so often.
    I sincerely question the veracity of their claims. They just want to make sure I see their ads.

    • Ali Baba
      January 29, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      I agree. I installed it and uninstalled it soon after. Im still looking but now i just go to my settings/storage/clear cache to clean my phone. Youd be surprised how much cache you delete when you learn 2 do what these apps do.

  5. Yeah
    June 16, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    clean "master" first? HAHAHA! This article is rubbish. Thanks for recommending cheetah bloatware/junkware to clean junkware!

  6. James P
    May 5, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Please update to reflect that "Startup Manager (Free)" has been updated and incorporated into "All-In-One Toolbox (Cleaner)" (AIO). The original program may cease to be supported.

  7. Danny
    April 22, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Weren't you against Cheetah Mobile? Why did you recomend it?

  8. Karen Upson
    January 24, 2017 at 2:25 am


    • Syd Last
      April 16, 2017 at 7:26 am

      This was your chance to off some useful information instead of the rubbish you offered in the self seeking promotion of 'fittness', pure trash
      Keep awsy!

  9. Cdl
    January 17, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    A few apps that are mentioned here according to results show that they're not good at all so I cannot trust the information did I read here

    • Juan Esteban
      July 14, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      You can't even write a coherent response so how can we trust you... comrade?

  10. marilyn
    December 28, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    I am seeking a cleaner that does not load my phone with advertisements. Any suggestions?

  11. Michael Lim
    December 14, 2016 at 3:53 am

    I believe that ccleaner should be on top of the list because first it's ad free,second it's amazing battery efficient and battery saving and also more effective than clean master many times,also a drippler wizard told me to install it.I didn't regret it,it was the right choice and also it's only 3 mbs so ccleaner is the best!!!

    • Brittney
      December 22, 2016 at 5:27 am

      Yes, you are right the authentic junk cleaners are not included in this list.

      IMHO the following five are best cache cleaner:

      Nitro Boost and Cleaner
      Clean Master
      Clean Cache - Optimize by bazinga
      App Cache Cleaner - 1Tap Clean

  12. Hedom
    December 9, 2016 at 6:20 am

    The most stupid writting I ever read about android device cleaner.
    All are fake.

    • xpz
      December 30, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      You wasn't untill you write it.
      Oh my god you save us...

  13. Clavadito
    November 4, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I found AudioCleanup quite useful. The layout is ugly, but it can save some space for those that have an MP3 library on their phone.

  14. Noeh Medina
    October 16, 2016 at 6:43 am


    • CoolFinalFan
      December 8, 2016 at 6:09 am

      Cheetah is based in China

    • Johnson
      May 13, 2017 at 11:29 pm

      I can already tell you're a Trump supporter.

      • Doug
        May 17, 2017 at 11:54 am


  15. mark markin
    October 15, 2016 at 10:59 am

    on my tablet play store and google are gone very slow play store won,t open at all

  16. Krista Betland
    October 5, 2016 at 12:42 am

    I m really pleased with the cleaner app "space cleaner."

  17. Hanan
    September 21, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Clean master is placebo. please show proof if it isnt. I had tried it , and after scanning, It says 60mb space can be cleaned.after I clean it,and rescan, it found another 58 mb. I clean,and run scan again, then this time found 62 MB and so on and so on

    its like everything deleted comeback as soon as possible.this is placebo !

  18. Lance
    September 13, 2016 at 7:13 am

    Cm cleaner is a huge physhing scam. And it does the following.
    This application is spamming email boxes across the world with pork on children's email address's and day trader spam. It has been doing this now for about 18 months and everytime its removed after about 6 weeks it all stops. GOOGLE MAIL and YAHOO email users beware that if you use this application the country that developed this application WILL PUT YOU UNDER CYBER ATTACK.... THE DEVELOPER HAS AN END GAME

    Stop trying to get people to use this. The above has been tried and tested and has been verified 50 times.

  19. Rajesh
    August 30, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Never ever disable all of your startup items. Disable only those 'user' apps which are actually not required - May be restaurant, some payment gateway etc. Others do keep it.

  20. Mona
    August 7, 2016 at 1:21 am

    My android is automatically downloading stuffs on its own..nd it has virus it keep selecting things pn its own...i factory reset it nd nothing changes i did everything google said to do and nothing there anyone who could assist

    • zhiolle
      August 31, 2016 at 4:19 am

      More like trojan, if you still have warranty for you phone, use it.

      but if you no longer have that option.
      install cm security, bit defender and trojan remover.
      root your device if you know how.
      then run those antivirus apps and grant them superuser access if it'll ask.

      if your having trouble sometime clicking it means there's something blocking like invsible app or a glass like app
      covering ur current screen showing what's there but not letting you to click it.
      Just show all opened app, u'll see blank app close it everytime it occurs.

      Good luck.

  21. D. B.
    July 7, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Attn: I want to help others with the nightmare I had recently gone through. My last phone, a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 contracted a virus, called "Stagefright" and between my carrier's "Lookout " security pre-installed on my device)(full version free) & CM, none of them could prevent this.! I did NOTHING to contract this virus, as it sent itself to my device, installed itself quietly and executed malicious code deep in the motherboard on my phone! (Last Oct.) I lost about 2 days trying to fix it..Do Not put CM or CClnr on your phone bc it will add too much other trash, ads, scare tactics that constantly prompt you to download other garbage, making the whole point of putting them on your device moot/pointless. Plus, it caused my phone to overheat, and when I'd been infected with Stage fright virus last Oct., I lost about 2 days trying to fix it... But to no avail. My carrier blamed Samsung, for not releasing the security update, so I called Samsung HQ and they blamed carrier! My carrier only released half the sec. Updates to half of their phone (mine wasn't one) so after wiping device, still had virus. Finally, after carrier reset my contract, sent back device then starting over with a new SS note 5, new email, no backup could be used due to infected contacts, security update finally released from carrier, was I able to be free of this. BTW... The problems began when I downloaded CM! So, until there is actually a really good cleaner/junkjunk file released, I'd avoid any "Free"app even if it has high rating. A lot of people rate apps right after installing, b4 problems begin. Beware!

    • Ka-Sandra Miller
      September 27, 2016 at 12:36 am

      Just to acknowledge you for stepping up, DB!.. In sharing the details of your arduous journey, as I read negative reviews 1st, and then comments of what interests me
      (in this case I'm making a decision for choosing an app for reducing the size of stored memory so the N4 will have room for apps to run).
      I'd been reading reviews on both those, CM & CClnr, I'd seen they are 'loaded.'
      You've saved me time by adding a new expanded dimension of consideration.. seek a paid mobile cleaner. Thank you.

    • Cody
      March 26, 2018 at 6:13 am

      The only app tlyou should have tried was Malwarebytes's does find and kill malware and's amazing EVERYONE DO THE MONTH FREE TRIAL AND DO A SCAN.....IT FOUND 2 types of malware on my note 8 of Wich was having major issues . Malwarebytes foundem and destroyed them after Wich my phone ran like a dream again. I tried 1000s of apps the only one that really worked was Malwarebytes....

  22. James
    June 20, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    SD Maid Pro that's all you need.

    • Mick
      September 10, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Only sensible comment I've seen on here :)

  23. Thesenutzw
    May 26, 2016 at 5:42 am

    i have had the first 2 apps listed on my phones before and they DO NOT clean your phone like it says it does, plus they made my phone start freezeing up on me and running slow. my phone was working great until i download them apps. I have a new phone now and I'm googleing one to put on this one.

  24. ellie
    May 26, 2016 at 12:52 am

    i had Clean master on my tablet. it was great then one day they changed it. It would szy its overheating when id only just turned on the device, and had hardly any apps. It was ridiculous so I deleted it. I told the company but they never replied. Its a con. It warns you but theres nothing wrong... I got sick if it.

  25. AJ
    May 24, 2016 at 2:54 am

    I used to love Clean Master but lately it has become a real nuiscence. It constantly tells me I need things that I don't and I have come to realize it is a ploy to get you to look at their ads. I have used it for a really long time, through three devices and with a heavy sigh I finally uninstalled it today. I know they have to make their money, I don't have a problem with that but lying to me to get those ads seen and interrupting me while trying to open apps as well as it changing my screen view in the process forcing me to answer to it every time I want to open and app and running in the background all the time has irritated me to the point of looking elsewhere for my tablet's needs. Such a shame too, it was a decent app once but with their popularity greed has also taken hold.

  26. Mister Mc
    February 29, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    My phone never overheated until I installed Clean Master. It started getting so hot I feared it would catch fire, so I had to use the cooling function to stop the overheating it caused. I didn't see any performance boost on my Motorola Droid Razr HD (which is basically a piece of crap after the first Android update) and frequently found it smoking hot. I removed Clean Master and tried two other cleaners and guess what? Everytime I install a cleaner my phone overheats. Listen to the Android gurus that say never install a cleaner because they cause far worse problems than they solve. I just wish that Google would quit wrecking phones with updates. This is my second Android phone. Both that I had got worse and worse with each update. Quit fixing it until it doesn't work anymore, please.

  27. kevin
    January 27, 2016 at 9:34 am

    I like ccleaner on my computer but I was so disappointed on their mobile version. it never deleted my history on browsers. I doubt if it did remove my cache too

  28. Jonathan
    January 3, 2016 at 6:30 am

    What is the difference between clean master and clean master lite?

  29. Brooke
    December 11, 2015 at 6:50 am

    No one is mentioning the fact that clean master's back ground features can be shut down via the settings. I do this and I run it when I want to. Works fine.

  30. Sajib Iglesias
    December 11, 2015 at 2:42 am

    CCleaner is great... no backgroung running.. but i don't like clean master.. cause it runs in background and make my phone slower

    • Michael Lim
      December 14, 2016 at 3:54 am


  31. twodustyfeet
    November 21, 2015 at 6:28 am

    This article seems to directly contradict a previous makeusof article warning against task killers and RAM boosters: //

    • Mihir Patkar
      November 22, 2015 at 7:01 am

      Not at all, twodustyfeet. If you read this article, Joel actually points out that RAM boosters and task killers are bad for you. None of the apps suggested here do that. And he has even linked to what you've pasted above in this article itself.

  32. Anonymous
    August 31, 2015 at 2:55 am

    Can anyone give me any advice/comparisons of CC Cleaner and the DU app? From the user comments here it seems like CM Master is pretty much garbage which has made me decide to steer clear of it. So for me my decision will be one of those other two apps.

    I've used CC on past PCs and liked it. Not many users here spoke much if any about this app and when they did they included no details only that it was good. The reviews on Play Store are the best out of all these apps. I like the features and there seems to be some that other apps don't offer. And I really liked the dev feedback on Play Store.

    Aa for DU, I've never personally used any of their software or talked to any friends who have either. The other users here who talked about it seemed to have good things to say for the most part. Their reviews on PS were hit and miss with a lot of good but with a decent amount of bad too and a lot of the good seemed to come from 13 year old with one sentence or shorter comments. The features seem good as well and it even has one or two that CC does not.

    However a big red flag I noticed was with the dev feedback on PS, their feedback contained multiple instances of very poor grammar/grammar mistakes as well as a lot of usage of teen talk/text talk like using the number 4 in place of "for" using the word cuz instead of "because" or even "bc" and frequently using U in place of "you".
    That may not seem like a big issue but all of the other devs for these apps used proper grammar because they realize this is a business and you should carry yourself with professionalism in a business, when a company does not it makes me trust the seriousness less and makes me feel like it's a bunch of unexperienced teenagers running the company which doesn't fill me with much trust and faith in them and make me want to trust them with my system security and stabilization needs.

    So, these are my views on these two apps at the moment but I would very much appreciate other users input on the subject so I can make a better informed decision on which all I use for my android system needs. This is my business phone so this is a very important topic for me as it does affect my ability to earn a living to the best of my ability.

    Sorry for being long-winded I just wanted to be as thorough as possible.
    Thank you all in advance for your time and any help you can give, they're both much appreciated.


  33. Anonymous
    August 17, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Clean Master is becoming too heavy handed and intrusive with the ads,... time to find something else.

  34. Mono
    May 20, 2015 at 3:02 am

    I have clean Master and du booster and they constantly need cleaning, what's the point of cleaning out phone if 5 minutes later i still have the 238mb or so of junk or whatever either one cleaned out? Then when i scan from either one then the other, they show different nimbers of junk after scanning

  35. mistie710
    May 16, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    I've been having DU Speed Booster installed on my tablet without asking my permission recently. I've switched off a few bits this evening having uninstalled it yet again to see if that resolves the problem but it does lead me to wonder if this is a reasonable product (assuming that someone else isn't hiding behind the brand name of a legitimate product). I use CleanMaster on that particular tablet alongside Avast AV and all seems well so far.

  36. ernie
    May 7, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    My old phone came with one clean app manager this app had a privacy section that showed all app permissions and I could turn off the permissions if I wanted is there any app managers now that allow you to turn off app permissions.thanks

  37. Ich
    April 26, 2015 at 7:49 am

    I have S4 initially it worked smoothly then when it began to lag I installed CM but to tell u the truth it makes your phone lag even more, prompting you to run booster then works well for a while after. Then again... Like a vicious cycle. Plus battery started draining even on standby. That's why while searching for some good app for the task I came across this article and what I gather from the info mentioned in article and the comments below is at least CM is no good. Going for DU but do I have to have both the battery saver and booster or any of them can do the job?

  38. Afrikia
    April 22, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    I uninstalled both CleanMaster and CMSecurity; lets check whats happens...

    By the way...what about Greenify ? anyone using it ? Any suggestions ?

  39. Ross
    April 18, 2015 at 5:13 am

    I have a couple of these apps installed and I just force close them after I run them then restart my phone. if you force close they won't run in the background. my battery last long

  40. eric
    April 17, 2015 at 9:50 am

    I had clean master in the past I was somewhat satisfied but I would like to know is apus du battery saver or hola is good for me to use in my android phone or is it not

  41. Pulkit
    April 5, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Is UClean a Good cleaner..?
    Can you suggest me a Good cleaner and small in size too..!

    • Anonymous
      July 6, 2016 at 8:49 am

      Try All-In-One Toolbox. Do everything that Clean master do but much smaller in size.

  42. Hammer78Red ????
    March 22, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    I Have clean master on my phone and 360 on my tablet, I like both but cm is always popping up with an ad for its own apps, this is a real pain as it has a good few apps and I don't want to fill my phone with them all. But one thing I would like to ask is can I ran both apps on my phone or tablet (ie clean master and 360?)

    • Joel
      March 22, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Yeah, CM's self-promoting ads can be a bit obnoxious. You should be able to run both CM and 360 without issue (if I'm wrong, someone please correct me). As far as I know, they fulfill two separate purposes.

  43. jspring
    March 5, 2015 at 3:07 am

    i had two clean master products. i googled best droid cleaner or something like that because my device was becoming increasingly unstable... slow... apps closing and restarting, etc... came across this article. as i was reading it, i decided to uninstall the cleanmaster products. restarted my phone. the damn thing is like brand new again. fast as ever. i don't know why i even downloaded them to begin with. felt i needed some security in my new phone. but, regular history deletions and cache cleans are all the maintenance i ever used before. so, i am now officially old school again and have been loving it so far.... about 30 minutes. ;)

  44. Tdono
    February 23, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    The easiest way to tell that CM is more of an ad company and extremely misleading is to run the "anti virus" no matter what device it is installed on and regardless of what your other anti virus programs say. CM will tell you there is a virus on your device that is an exploit that can allow hackers to get inside your phone/tablet- blah blah. And the only way to "solve" this exploit and prevent all your private info from being sold on the black market while you're asleep is of course to download and run CM's highly praised (and sadly actually very good and high scoring) actual anti virus app. It's a shame because almost all of the apps the company makes are great, but they are so full of pushy rating requests and offers/scare tactics to download another app by them that before you know it if you believe they're apps you will have an extra 10 or so CM apps on your device. Again it's a shame because the launcher and browser etc they make are nice small fast apps, but it's almost like voluntary installation of permanent ads etc. (Even the news alerts they provide are great aside from more than half of them sounding like a good vs evil situation happening on your device that can be solved with the instillation of one of the heroic apps from CM. And never overlook what permissions an app requests, comparing similar apps from known companies vs CM makes you very curious why company xyz123 only needs a few permissions yet somehow CM needs access to damn near your whole phone to do the same thing.

  45. Robbie
    January 26, 2015 at 8:45 am

    I was excited by the seeming potential of CleanMaster when I first came across it. For the first week or so, it was very satisfying to "recapture" all that space and speed. I started getting a lot of "rate this app " requests, so I gave it a good review, which I came to regret. My battery had begun to drain at an alarming rate; tried & true apps like Lookout were being accused of using too much power, leading to overheating ; there were those interminable recommendations to install other apps in the suite. Finally, I just thought, "Hey, what's going on here? Is CleanMaster causing these problems in order to look like it's solving them so dramatically?" It was easy enough to check: I uninstalled CleanMaster and my battery life immediately went back to normal and the other things resolved themselves as well. I don't have the technical knowledge to explain what might have been going on; I just know what I empirically experienced. Since then, I have been very happy using SDMaid & CCleaner for maintenance and things are going smoothly. Oh, I have a Galaxy S4.

  46. Ankit
    January 12, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Which is better CLean Master or Du speed booster??

  47. Ankit
    January 12, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Clean master vs du speed booster. What's your openion??

    • Joel Lee
      January 18, 2015 at 12:22 am

      I haven't tested DU Speed Booster yet but according to our reader comments, it seems DU Speed Booster might actually be better. Give it a try and tell us how it goes for you!

  48. Anonymous
    January 11, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I was running both clean master and du speed booster for a while. My battery life kept decreasing. I uninstalled du and it didn't help. I then removed clean master and reinstalled du. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Now my battery lasts all day again and there is no lag time. The best feature is blocking items from automatically starting, or at least that seems to have helped my phone the most.

    • Joel Lee
      January 18, 2015 at 12:22 am

      A lot of folks are recommending DU Speed Booster. Sounds like it's a good one! Thanks for sharing your experience. It's always great to have corroborative anecdotes. :)

    • Karl
      April 23, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Advice please .. how did you uninstall DU speed booster ? I canot work out how to do it .. no remove functions , I can only disable it .

  49. w3Ar3l3gI0n
    January 10, 2015 at 3:38 am

    ES File explorer is free, has zero ads, a start up manager for root users, and a crap load of features. Most of which the average user will never use.

    That being said, Clean Master is a very good app as well

    • Joel Lee
      January 10, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      Thank you for the suggestion. I haven't used ES File Explorer yet but my first impression is that it looks good (as long as it isn't TOO bloated). I'll give it a try. :)

  50. robh
    January 8, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Any opinions of "360 security" (4.5 star rating but only 3.5m downloads)

    • Joel Lee
      January 10, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      360 Security is good. It's one of the apps recommended in our Android anti-malware piece. :)

  51. Clanee
    January 8, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    SDMaid the best ;-)

  52. Anonymous
    January 8, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    You forgat to mention 360 safe

  53. Pramod
    January 8, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Why is DU Speed Booster not mentioned here?

    • Lily
      April 8, 2015 at 5:04 am

      If that's the same as a RAM booster, he said the above comments that using those can actually harm your phone . If it's not the same, sorry just trying to help. ????

  54. das
    January 8, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    I use Contacts+ to manage dialer, sms and find too duplicate contacts.

  55. vidapura
    January 8, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Anyone able to suggest something that deletes photos/videos that have been synced to google+ photos ?

    • ozzie
      April 18, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      Delete the google+ account. And all the info will be erase

    • Vida
      April 20, 2015 at 8:44 am

      Oh sorry, I meant that it would just delete photos off the phone once they have been safely uploaded to google+.
      The idea is that they are just taking up space on the phone unnecessarily if they are backed up onto the google+ account.

      • Anonymous
        June 17, 2015 at 7:14 am

        From your phone... Go to Settings. Under Accounts, choose Google.
        Choose the account that you wanted to remove the Google+ Photos from your phone.
        Un-check the Google+ Photos.
        That should do it. Hope it helps.

  56. jena
    January 8, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Nice article :)
    What got me attracted was mentioning of placebo in the title. I use Assistant for Android (by Aaron) to clean my cache as my Xcover2 has quite small internal storage (Samsung divided it in a very stupid way imho). AfA does that quite painlessly, however he fails to clear cache of certain apps (like Dropbox for example, which can be huge). So back to the placebo - did you check that those apps above really clean all cache?

    Thanks for any helpful comment.


    • Joel Lee
      January 10, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Hi jena. I did check that these apps actually clear junk cache files, but I can't say for 100% certain that it will clear ALL cache files for EVERY single app out there. I don't have enough space on my phone to install every single app in the Play Store, haha. Still, I found that these apps did what they claimed, so I have no reason to believe that they rely on the placebo effect.

      If you do find that a particular app's cache isn't being cleared, you should notify the developer. It may just be a bug.

  57. Vampie
    January 8, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Now Startup Manager is something I just needed.

    Thank you for the list. :)

    • Joel Lee
      January 10, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      Great! Glad you found it helpful. :)

  58. Kim
    January 8, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Isn't Clean Master a RAM booster too?

    • Joel Lee
      January 10, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      The "bad" kind of RAM boosters and task killers are those that constantly kill apps in the background. Clean Master will analyze your system for abnormalities (like excessive CPU usage) but the actual app killing is manual.

  59. greg
    January 8, 2015 at 12:34 am

    Im happy with DUspeed booster/cleaner,does what it says on the tin,sorted.

  60. RaveRepeat
    January 8, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Until we can properly control permissions, I'm leery of installing anything. I think paid for apps are more trustworthy than anything which is provided "free".

    • Joel Lee
      January 10, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      That's a reasonable stance, if you ask me. You'll miss out on some cool stuff but if it gives you peace of mind and you're willing to live without, go for it! The beauty of apps is that you can choose which ones to use or ignore. :)

  61. Gm
    January 8, 2015 at 12:15 am

    "Does your device overheat? Use the Device Cooler that kills apps that are using too much CPU and draining your battery. "

    "None of these apps fall under the category of RAM Boosters andTask Killers"


    • Joel Lee
      January 10, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      Sorry I didn't make it clear. The Device Cooler is not an automated task killer. It detects high CPU temps and asks if you want to kill apps that are using an inordinate amount of CPU. This is distinctly different from RAM boosters and task killers, which **perpetually** kill apps in the background.

  62. Mike_M
    January 8, 2015 at 12:04 am

    I liked cleanmaster for what it did but, it's always popping up and telling me to download more apps that then pop up and tell me to download more apps that then..... I'm not talking about ads. I can deal with ads. If I'm using a "free" product then I gladly accept ads. However, when I'm using an app because I'm concerned about performance and wasted space the last thing I want to see in that app is a constant in-your-face presentation.

    "Android is smart enough to know how to juggle its open apps for optimal performance"
    Yeahhhhh... I have always heard that line about unix/linux/android before. Yet, taskkiller apps still have a market because users are unhappy with performance. The argument usually boils down to "you need new hardware" which sounds more like a Windows problem.

    • Camille
      January 8, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      I agree with this. Also, some websites I've visited have popups trying to tell me to install cleanmaster. I know the way Android handles apps makes it fairly secure, but it still makes me wonder about the motive of the software...

    • Joel Lee
      January 10, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      I can sympathize with your dislike of Clean Master's constant nagging and promotion. A lot of the reminders can be disabled in the Settings but I think there are a couple notifications/popups that don't have a workaround, which is unfortunate.

      And yeah, optimal performance does not necessarily mean good performance. If you have an old device with last-gen hardware, Android may not be as smooth as intended -- but using an automated task killer won't help either. In most cases, it's little more than the placebo effect.

    • John
      May 18, 2015 at 9:33 am

      I have Clean Master running on my Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2. I have to say - I'm not comfortable with it.

      It constantly tells me that apps are draining my battery life - and I should close them. It tells me that the games I'm playing are causing my device to overheat and are using too much RAM (Hay Day and Boom Beach). And then, having persuaded me to close various apps, it recommends that I INSTALL more apps (which seems a contradiction in terms).

      It's constant naggings and warnings are making the use of my Samsung tablet a somewhat unpleasant experience. (I have a couple of the latest iPads which I also use..... and nothing of this kind ever happens on my iPads.... never any alarms, warnings, threats... just a smooth, buttery experience).

      I have to say I wrote feedback to Cheetah (Clean Master), thanking them for the constant warnings and telling them that I was going to follow their implied criticisms by avoiding purchasing either Samsung or Android tablets in the future.

      And I have to say.... for me, this is probably going to be a very real consequence of the constant, repeated battering I'm getting at CM's hands. I really have lost confidence in Android's ability as an OS to manage itself.

    • John
      May 18, 2015 at 9:36 am

      Sorry about the typo above: "Its constant naggings and warnings" NOT "It's constant warnings and naggings"

  63. Yoav
    January 7, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    You haven't mentioned here the best app in my opinion: SDMaid. Just try it - it does what every other contender does - and better.

    • Joel Lee
      January 8, 2015 at 2:31 am

      Thanks. SDMaid is good and I agree that it's worth a try. It even has a few features not covered by the apps in the list! Nice.

  64. SpoonmanWoS
    January 7, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    "The 19 million votes giving this app a fantastic 4.5-star rating should speak enough about Clean Master."

    Yup, it tells me 19 million people gave it an average rating of 4.5 stars. Unfortunately, that tells me absolutely nothing about how well it works.

    • Doc
      January 7, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Funny, it tells me that well over 19 million people downloaded the app, and *at least* 19 million cared enough (read: liked it enough; most users don't even bother to rate an app) to give it a rating, most of which were 5 stars.

    • Joel Lee
      January 8, 2015 at 2:29 am

      All rating systems are flawed in that much detail is lost when boiling down one's view into a single number. However, as more ratings are collected, you can get a more accurate sense of the general feel that users have regarding that app. If 19 million votes average out to be 4.5 stars, you can at least be sure that lots of people are satisfied with the app. If you want specifics, you should read reviews, not ratings.

  65. Vyom
    January 7, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Since task killers is a bad idea, I wonder whether the "Greenify" app that I installed is any good for my device. I have noticed no battery improvement since configuring the app and think it maybe harming the device more than actually claiming any battery.
    Or does Greenify app works best if the device is rooted?

    • Brady
      January 7, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Greenfiy works well IF you have apps running in the background that are draining your battery. If not, it doesn't do much to help.

      A lot of the apps listed above are about freeing RAM. Doesn't that go against the entire architecture of Android? With Android you want your RAM filled with the apps you use most, that way the system runs more efficiently.

    • Joel Lee
      January 8, 2015 at 2:27 am

      @Vyom: Like Brady said, Greenify can be hit-or-miss depending on what's using up all of your battery life. If you don't see any extended battery duration when using Greenify, you should just uninstall it.

      @Brady: Clean Master and CCleaner are the only two apps that have a RAM freeing feature and both of them are manual. As long as you don't use an automatic RAM booster / automatic task killer, it shouldn't interfere with Android's handling of its own RAM.

  66. Marek Lukáš
    January 7, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    How about some simple working ones like SDMaid? All of the apps you chose are so bloated we could call them malware ;-)

    • Joel Lee
      January 8, 2015 at 2:24 am

      I wouldn't call the apps in the list "bloatware". Other than Clean Master, the apps each have a pretty narrow focus on what they seek to accomplish. In fact, while SDMaid is a nice tool for sure, it takes the all-in-one approach and comes with a lot of features that users may or may not use. Some would consider that "bloaty".