DetectX

Previously I have talked about a very excellent adware detection app called Malwarebytes Anti-Malware App. I have discovered another app that performs this functionality and a few other things called DetectX by SQWARQ Software. Lets see what it can do.

 

DetectX

DetectX is kind of a swiss army knife troubleshooting app. It detects adware and junk on your system and alerts you. Here is their description from their website:

– Remove MacKeeper and other apps that can cause unexpected performance problems
– Detect Keyloggers and Adware
– Track changes to your system
– Show/Hide invisible files
– Stay safe: DetectX does not require Admin privileges to install or run

I think you know what Adware is right? It will show a bunch of popups in your Safari browser and sometimes just take over your machine. Keyloggers are malware that log keystrokes. Bad guys use them to get passwords and other important information off your computer.

DetectX is free for home use. Here is the main window when you first boot it up:

If you click on “Home” you are taken to a website that requests a $10 donation. I made the donation because I try to support shareware and donationware as much as possible. However, you can still use the app for free. Once I entered my serial number I was taken to this main screen:

Click on the “Search” button and it searches your Mac for potential bad stuff. I am emphasizing the word potential here, you may not wish to remove everything DetectX finds. Once the search is over it lists the stuff it found:

It did not find too much stuff on my iMac, I am not really having any problems. As you can see you can elect to “Trash All”, but I highly recommend scrolling through that list to make sure you want to delete all the files shown. In my case it listed a bunch of CleanMyMac 3 files. I use CMM3 all the time so I did not delete these files. But, I have not used CMM2 for a while so I deleted that one file listed there. All you have to do is select the file in question and click on the “Show” button. DetectX takes you to the file in question in the Finder and you can delete it from there.

By the way, the view you have seen so far is called Detector View. If you move this small slide down one notch you enter the Inspector View:

This presents tons of information about your Mac, the OS your are running and your Applications. If you move the slider down to the bottom notch you will see History View:

This view lists changes that have been made to your Mac. Be sure and read the whole paragraph which explains everything.

Just want to mention one more feature. One of the worst problems we can have is to have adware popups in Safari. DetectX has a very nice feature that deals with that:

If you click on that small Safari repair icon you will be taken to this window:

Be sure and read all this info. You can remove adware with a “Soft” or “Hard” reset of Safari. A “Hard” reset is pretty drastic so proceed with caution.

DetectX is not for a novice Mac user. You need to know your way around OS X to understand what it is showing you. The DetectX people are very serious about using their app carefully, so much so they provide this warning on their website:

NOTE: Using DetectX’s Inspector and History Views safely and effectively requires the user to have some basic knowledge of how OS X works and how files and folders are organised. If you do not understand what DetectX is showing you, ask someone more knowledgable or seek advice on a technical forum such as Apple Support Communities. On no account should you move or remove files without understanding the consequences of what you are doing nor without a complete backup of your system on an external disk.

Nuff said? Don’t be afraid to download and use this app, but do so with some caution. As in my case, I chose only to remove certain files and not others.

DetectX does not have a builtin scheduling function, but you can do some scheduling using Applescript. I will probably just run it once in a while unless I have obvious adware/malware problems

Conclusion

I recommend DetectX if you are serious about keeping your Mac cleaned up and if you have some OS X/Mac user experience in your background. The price is right and it does what it says it does.