The best free and essential Mac software

The best free and essential Mac software

Although Macs are natively well equipped in software and applications, it is not always possible to do what you want by content with programs integrated into Apple computers. Limitation in the playback of audio and video formats, or incompatibility of FaceTime with competing devices of the brand, find a list of the best free and essential software to install on your Mac.

Surf the Web

macOS natively embeds Apple's web browser, Safari. Connect your iCloud account, it easily synchronizes your data between all your devices. However, its ergonomics may not be suitable for all.

Fortunately, it is possible to turn to other solutions such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. In one case as in the other, few surprises concerning these gloves of navigation whose reputation is no longer to do. The many options they include include multi-tab support, private browsing and a stock of extensions to customize your browser and optimize your web sessions.

If you are reluctant to browse the web through any of the aforementioned programs, you can opt for Opera. Based on the Chromium rendering engine, the Norwegian browser has everything and has advanced features such as multi-tab management, grouping the home page of the most visited sites, or acceleration of navigation thanks to the compression of the pages which pass through the servers of the Opera foundation.

Younger but just as ambitious as its competitors, Vivaldi is aimed primarily at power users, that is to say intensive and experienced users. Its advantages lie in its pure and modular interface since it is possible to move most of the elements such as the search field or the toolbars and menus. The grouping of tabs offers a real plus for those who want to prioritize open web pages, and quick customizable commands increase browsing experience.

Download Firefox for Mac (Free)Download Chrome for Mac (Free)Download Opera for Mac (Free)Download Vivaldi for Mac (Free)

Check your emails

Macs integrate automatically into email Mail, an ultra-complete email client with its own editing tools. Everything you need to send, receive and personalize messages is available at your fingertips.

However, if you want to twist your arm at Apple's well-established circuit, you can turn to other customers who promise to do just as good a job. This is the case of Thunderbird, free inbox and instant messaging distributed by the Mozilla Foundation. Light, fast and extensible, the client aims for efficiency and adapts to your needs thanks to extensions. The multi-account support facilitates the passage from one address to another without prior disconnection.

More regarded as a multifunctional communication tool, Waveboxes take advantage of very efficient email support. Compatible with Gmail, Outlook or Google Inbox, the tool synchronizes all the inboxes, send, spam, but also the different labels to allow you to access all your messages from a single interface. Its extension management makes it a practical tool, adjusted to the most specific needs.

Polymail is more productivity oriented. Compatible with most existing mail services, this simplified client incorporates some surprising options. It is possible to know when a sent email has been read by the recipient, to use a snooze function to postpone the reading of emails later or to cancel the sending of a message for a few seconds after having clicked on the send button. Another interesting feature: an integrated option facilitates the process of immediately unsubscribing from newsletters that you no longer wish to receive.

Download Thunderbird for Mac (Free)Download Wavebox for Mac (Free)Download Polymail for Mac (Free)

To work

When you buy a Mac and start it for the first time, you have everything you need to work thanks iWork. The office suite brings together three tools: word processing Pages, the spreadsheet Numbers and the presentation tool Keynote. If they miss the call on your machine, you can always download them for free.

It is obviously possible to use other tools than those provided by Apple. In 2010, faced with the difficulties encountered by Oracle after the acquisition of Sun Microsystme, part of the OpenOffice.org community detached itself from the initial project and created the independent foundation The Document Foundation in order to continue the development of its own solution: LibreOffice. Besides the traditional word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software, the suite includes a drawing tool, a database application and a math formula editor.

Intuitive text editor, SimpleNote is primarily intended for minds overflowing with ideas. You create memos on the fly that you can tag. Synchronization support allows you to find your notes on all your devices, all operating systems combined. Tourists and the most disorganized also find their account with the management of reminders and ordered lists of tasks to be carried out.

Use iWork for iCloud (Free)Download Pages for Mac (Free)Download Numbers for Mac (Free)Download Keynote for Mac (Free) Download LibreOffice for Mac (Free)Download SimpleNote for Mac (Free)

Maintain and optimize your Mac

Legend has it that uninstalling software on a Mac is as simple as moving the program to the trash before emptying it. This action effectively removes the application from the source directory. But in reality, everything else attached to the application continues to pollute your Mac.

To properly uninstall the apps from your machine, it is strongly recommended to use tools such as AppCleaner. Nothing very complicated in the handling of this program which recovers all the folders and hidden files of the apps that you drag and drop into its main window before getting rid of it. Clean and final deletion guaranteed.

Regarding the optimization of the Mac, Onyx is a reference. The utility allows you to check the state of the hard drive and perform maintenance or cleaning of the system, as well as activate hidden functions of macOS.

For general maintenance of the system, you can count on CCleaner whose mission is to improve the performance of your machine. In addition to deleting residual, temporary, obsolete or unnecessary files, the program deletes the content of your web history and your browsing data, erasing cookies, saved identifiers and pre-filled forms.

While purists support the inviolability of Mac security, the more cautious and the hot find comfort in Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Antivirus software said by the specialized company Malwarebytes, this anti-malware and anti-adware tracks and removes until last the malicious programs monopolizing the resources of your machine and slowing down its use.

Download AppCleaner for Mac (Free)Download OnyX for Mac (Free)Download CCleaner for Mac (Free)Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac (Free)

Monitor Mac performance

Once your Mac gets rid of unnecessary programs and files, you should keep an eye on its performance to keep it in good shape every day. iStat Menus and CoconutBattery are deployed in perfectly viable solutions with their respective widgets. Accessible from the menu bar, the two applications provide information concerning the current state of the battery, the maximum charge capacity and the number of cycles hitherto completed.

Functional on machines equipped with a second generation Intel Core processor or later, Intel Power Gadget traces in real time the use of your Mac in the form of graphics. You quickly learn about the power consumption of the processor, its operating frequency as well as the temperature of the computer during its use.

Download iStat Menus for Mac (Free)Download CoconutBattery for Mac (Free)Download Intel Power Gadget for Mac (Free)

Decompress files

macOS can natively manage compressed files in ZIP format. For everything else, there is The Unarchiver. Indeed, other compression formats such as RAR or more unusual extensions are not supported by the Apple operating system. The Unarchiver is a universal solution, obviously compatible with ZIP files, also taking into account the archive types RAR, 7-ZIP, TAR, GZIP, and granting older formats like DiskDoubler, LZH, ARJ and ARC.

Even easier to use, UnRarX offers an open source decompression solution that is as efficient as it is fast. Just drag and drop your archives into the application window so that the files they contain are automatically extracted and restored in the event of corruption. Please note: as the name suggests, the tool is only compatible with RAR archives.

Download The Unarchiver for Mac (Free)Download UnRarX for Mac (Free)

Keeping in touch with loved ones

Macs natively integrate FaceTime, a video conferencing service, and Messages, an instant messaging service. It should be remembered here that these two applications only work with Apple products.

To communicate with relatives using other operating systems than macOS and iOS, choose the reference Skype. This cross-platform audio and video call software allows communication with contacts who themselves have a Microsoft account while allowing calls to be made to landlines and mobile lines.

Initially available on mobile media, WhatsApp now has its desktop client to communicate with your contacts from your Mac. In its web style, this desktop version implies that your smartphone is connected to the Internet. You must then scan the QR code displayed on the screen to access all of your conversations and start changing with your loved ones. Unlike the mobile app, the desktop app does not handle video or audio calls.

Franz brings together all of your messaging services in a single interface, helping you juggle between different customers. Among the compatible platforms, we find Slack, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, or Discord. Each account is configurable independently of the others, which allows you to activate notifications and sound alerts for certain services only. We also appreciate multi-client management for each service, which allows you to switch from one profile to another without prior disconnection.

Download Skype for Mac (Free)Download WhatsApp for Mac (Free)Download Franz for Mac (Free)

Access to social networks

Accessible through the browser, social networks benefit from unofficial customers who allow you to take advantage of them directly from the office. Go for Facebook encapsulates the web and mobile versions of Facebook, letting you choose between the two types of displays. All of the service's features are available without exceptions, with notifications and messages popping up in the macOS notification center.

With Tweeten, you benefit from a client optimized for Twitter. The organization of the interface in several panels allows you to view at a glance the different categories specific to the service, namely reception, notifications module, private messaging and activities of the accounts you follow. It is possible to add columns to see the priority display of tweets from a particular user or containing specific keywords. As a bonus, multi-account support allows you to manage several profiles at the same time.

Instagram posted on the desktop with Viewed, an intuitive application with the most important options of the social network. Thread of publications, activities of your contacts, navigation among the albums of the community, direct messaging, uploading of your photos, everything is done to offer you a pleasant user experience.

Download Go for Facebook for Mac (Free) Download Tweeten for Mac (Free) Download Vu for Mac (Free)

listen to music

Because it allows the synchronization of all your Apple products, iTunes has long benefited from lexclusivit on Mac.

Today, it is possible to do without this multimedia player and turn to lighter software, with target properties, capable of reading all formats. This is the case of Vox, a reader without pretension but with powerful functionalities. You can play FLAC like WMA, and read the whole of your iTunes library to enjoy your playlists.

Streaming followers turn to Spotify or Deezer which offer the freedom to listen for free and legally to millions of tracks without downloading anything, as well as to take your playlists everywhere provided you benefit from an internet connection.

Finally, if you want to find all your pieces stored locally or online with the same client, choose Tomahawk. The application probes your hard drive and your different music streaming accounts to play the desired song. Compatible with many services like YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, Deezer and even Google Music, the player integrates a social dimension that allows you to share your current cost with your friends, as well as access their libraries and personal playlists.

Download iTunes for Mac (Free) Tdownload Vox for Mac (Free)Download Spotify for Mac (Free)Download Deezer for Mac (Free)Download TomaHawk for Mac (Free)

Watch videos

Native application, QuickTime should of course simulate as the ideal solution for watching videos on Mac. However, the software does not support all video formats. To remedy the problem, turn to VLC, reference video player capable of supporting all video codecs, playing all media and streaming.

Supporter of open source, you can also count on IINA. This reader intends to revolutionize your user experience through the integration of interactive modules and customizable gesture controls. The quality of display and distribution allows you to take full advantage of the Retina screens and the support of Picture-in-Picture (PiP) minimizes the media being played to give you the freedom to navigate in the software without cutting the video.

To watch TV programs live or in replay from your Mac, think Molotov. In its free version, the service gives you access to the high definition TNT channels. Depending on the agreements made between the service and the channels available, you can restart a program from the start even if it is still being broadcast. No need to wait for the replay!

Download VLC for Mac (Free)Download IINA for Mac (Free)Download Molotov for Mac (Free)

Save documents online

Regarding the backup of your data online, Apple provides you with the service iCloud, limit 5 GB of free storage.

Direct competitor, Google simplifies access to its various tools with Backup and Synchronization, Merger of former Drive and Google Photos desktop clients. Tripling Apple's offer, the service allocates its users 15 GB of free storage space which they share between Gmail, Drive and Photos.

In addition, you can also turn to onedrive and Dropbox, two multi-platform online backup services recognized for their storage capacities of 5 GB and 2 GB respectively and for sharing, as well as for their seriousness regarding data security.

If you have your own remote servers, FileZilla and Cyberduck help you manage the content you want to save online. Both clients manage the FTP (S) and SFTP protocols, guaranteeing the security of your transfers. Depending on how you want to use it, it’s good to know that FileZilla manage multiple connections thanks to multitab. Otherwise, Cyberduck stands out with the support for connecting to online storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Amazon S3 and Azure, for example.

Cozy Drive centralize the connections to your different accounts and cloud platforms, grouping all your dematerialized documents in a single space. Most online services are compatible with this digital safe which automatically synchronizes and organizes your important files. Ideal for quickly finding your last three pay slips, your rent receipt, the January bank statement or your proof of reimbursement of social security.

Download Backup and Sync for Mac (Free) Download OneDrive for Mac (Free) Download Dropbox for Mac (Free)Download FileZilla for Mac (Free)Download Cyberduck for Mac (Free)Download Cozy Drive for Mac (Free)

Edit photos

To edit images and work on complex compositions, it is better to have a good graphic editor on hand. But there is no need to break the bank since there are effective and free solutions developed by the free community.

This is the case of GIMP whose features offer multiple possibilities. Its customizable interface adapts to the way you work and provides you with numerous filters and editing tools aimed at improving the quality of your images. The support for layers gives the software a professional status which is ideal for the most experienced users.

Apparently complex, Fotor Photo Editor ultimately turns out to be intuitive to use. Some basic options allow you to crop, resize, and reorient your images. We appreciate the integration of more extensive tools but never too complicated to take in hand like the magic brush thanks to which you keep only certain elements chosen on the photo.

Amateur and professional photographers can also head to RawTherapee. Free digital photo processing software, the program supports raw formats and minimizes loss of quality during operation. Inspired by DCRaw concerning the management of image formats, it uses its own algorithms in terms of processing.

Download GIMP for Mac (Free) Download Fotor Photo Editor for Mac (Free)Download RawTherapee for Mac (Free)

Optimizing the Mac interface

Although Apple products are renowned for their ergonomics, interface optimization tools find their audience among those who love personalization. Alfred don't do things in half. This modern application launcher integrates a clipboard manager with double entry history, a multi-location search engine, local disk, remote server, web, calculator, dictionary, contact manager, password manager and a simplified ordering system.

Count on Itsycal to manage your calendar as it should. This calendar finds its place in the menu bar, discreetly displaying the date. Events, appointments and reminders appear clearly on the day and time scheduled with the possibility of making the program a companion to the native calendar on your Mac.

Computers and eyeballs rarely do a good job. The aggressive brightness of the screen quickly tires the best-caught eyes. flux correct too sharp contrasts between real light and that of your screen depending on the time of day. The warm tones ideal for the night give way to the brightness adapted to the day, synchronizing at best the luminous intensity of the screen with that of natural lighting in real time.

XtraFinder increases the Finder functions tenfold. Lightweight, the tool offers many customization options which allow you to add tab support to the different windows open on the desktop, to split the interface of a program into two separate and independent panels, or to create a history of open tabs to find them. in one click the next time you use the application concerns.

More simply, Show provides ingenious keyboard shortcuts to quickly reposition open windows. You can present them side by side, send them on different screens, refocus them or adjust them to the lower / upper, right / left corners of the desk.

Download Alfred for Mac (Free) Download Itsycal for Mac (Free) Download f.lux for Mac (Free) Download XtraFinder for Mac (Free) Download Show for Mac (Free)

Access your multimedia library

It is often necessary to go through different applications to take advantage of its media content: photo viewer, audio player or video player. Summary of all of these programs, Kodi supports most multimedia formats. Its main advantage lies in the possibility of configuring several virtual sources. You therefore access your stored content online or on the local network.

Plex Media Server plays a similar role, indexing all of your multimedia content in one place. All information related to your files is retrieved from regularly updated online databases. The organization of your photos, videos and music benefits from an attractive visual display, favoring navigation and the search for specific content.

Download Kodi for Mac (Free) Download Plex Media Server for Mac (Free)