The best free apps and tools for macOS in 2021

We bring you a list of the best free apps and tools for macOS in 202, where we are going to propose both classic and essential applications as well as others that are new or less known. We have tried to get a varied list, so that everyone can find one to suit you.

We are going to show you the applications in a list in which they are arranged in alphabetical order, and where we will briefly tell you about them and what they offer us. The idea is that if you buy a Mac today, you can find in this list the most essential tools today, but also some new proposals that we have found curious or worthy of a chance.

And as we always say in Technoeager, if there is an application or program that you think should have appeared on the list but it is not, we invite you to leave us your proposals in the comments section, so that other users can benefit from the knowledge of our large community.

Amphetamin

Amphetamine
Amphetamine

This application has long been one of the best tools for the macOS menu bar, which is why we have included it in the list for another year. It allows you to prevent your Mac from going to sleep when you have not used it for a while, being able to configure to keep the screen of the Mac or the computer itself activated, and turn it on or off automatically or by pressing a button.

This tool allows you to establish a period of hours and minutes in which you want the Mac to never be at rest, something useful for when you are working in front of the computer and you start to do something else but without wanting it to go to sleep. There are also other options, such as setting it to never go to sleep when you use a certain application, changing its icon, setting wallpapers or a shortcut to launch it if you don’t want it to start with macOS.

Any.Do

Any.Do
Any.Do

Any.do is another of those veteran applications that has long been an essential for any macOS user. It is designed to help you with task management, allowing you to organize what you have to do or create lists and set reminders, all with a simple and easy-to-use interface.

In addition, it has applications for other devices, which helps you always have it with you wherever you are. You can also see the progress of your tasks in a calendar section, and its reminders can be smart to avoid forgetting. All this with synchronization in the cloud and the possibility of sharing some of your tasks with other people.

AppCleaner

AppCleaner
AppCleaner

Removing apps on macOS is a fairly straightforward process, but it’s not always totally clean. Sometimes there can be remains of an application scattered around the hard drive, and that is where this application comes in, helping you to uninstall applications on macOS.

What it does is search and delete the files that each application distributes on the hard drive when it is installed, and it does so by offering you an extremely simple interface. It only shows you a window and you have to drag the application to it.

Audacity

Audacity
Audacity

One of the best known and most used free software applications in the world, and no list of best applications is complete without it. It is a tool for recording and editing audio tracks on any operating system, and there are few that can be compared to it for editing, recording, effect creation or audio conversion work.

You can use Audacity for free on macOS, but also on Windows and GNU / Linux, and it is open to other developers with its support for plugins with which to improve it. It also has 16, 24 and 32 bit sound quality, and allows you to import, edit and combine different audio files. You can even export your recordings in various types of formats, including being able to export multiple files at the same time.

Blender

Blender
Blender

Another application that already combs some gray hair, but which is essential to have on such a list. It’s one of the best out there for creating 3D graphics, modeling, VFX, animation, drawing, and more. It is completely free and open source, and it is available for both macOS and Windows and GNU / Linux.

This program offers you rendering, modeling and animation options, and also includes tools for video editing. To give you an idea of ​​its power, it has enough tools so that you can create a whole video game with it, all with a customizable interface that you can adapt to your liking.

Caliber

Caliber
Caliber

The question is simple: if you have an e-book reader you need to install Caliber on your computer. It’s that simple, regardless of whether it is a Kindle reader or another from other brands, this is the best e-book library manager. It will allow you to have your PC books organized, pass them to your reader, and convert books in different formats, such as PDF to Kindle format.

It also allows you to download newspapers, your favourite websites or read from the same application. You can do dictionary searches, view the books on your PC or the connected eBook, read random books, have your books synchronized in the cloud, make format conversions or edit the metadata of the electronic books you have. All this available for Windows, macOS and GNU / Linux.

CleanMyMac X

This is a paid application, but it has a limited free version that can help you get out of trouble. And we are talking about one of the best applications out there to clean your Mac from the inside, at least at the software level, eliminating the remains of uninstalled apps and freeing up space.

Craft

Craft
Craft

It is a kind of hybrid between IA Writer and Notion, in a way that allows you to take notes and write things but with a powerful organization system. One of its advantages is that it is also multiplatform, having versions for macOS and for iOS, so that what you write you can always take with you.

Unlike Notion, the synchronization speed is excellent, and it is nice to see how what we have done on the Mac adapts to our iPhone or iPad. It also has a wide collection of keyboard shortcuts, while maintaining its commitment to the content block system. It’s perfect for starting long texts on one device and picking them up on others.

Darktable

Darktable
Darktable

DarkTable is for a large number of users one of the free tools that is closest to what professional paid programs like Lightroom offer. It is an open source application for the photography workflow, which offers options such as the development of RAW files, as well as photo editing or retouching. It is cross-platform, so in addition to macOS it is also available for Windows and GNU / Linux.

DaVinci Resolve

Best free apps for macOS, DaVinci Resolve
DaVinci Resolve

If you are looking for free video editors, one of the most essential for a long time is DaVinci Resolve. It is a paid program that costs more than 250 euros, but it has a free version with tools for editing processes, visual effects, graphic animations, color grading and audio post-production in a single application.

For the paid version, there are very advanced options such as its neural engine, collaboration options, stereoscopic tools, dozens of ResolveFX and FairlightFX plugins, HDR grading, and graininess, blur and fog effects. They are tools more designed for professionals, so for your small editions the free version will be more than enough.

DeepL

DeepL is a translator launched in 2017, and since it took its first steps it showed that it could expose the Google translator. It has continued to evolve, and has an installable application for macOS, which means that you do not depend on having to enter its website to use it.

The DeepL application is integrated into the system and can be used in any other app you have installed. If you select the text of any program and click twice on Control + C, you will see a translation that you can copy or insert directly into the text. It is a free application, although there is a paid version with even more options.

Discord

Although it was born focusing as a tool for communication between players while playing video games, Discord has managed to grow and evolve to become one of the main group- oriented messaging applications that you have available, as well as one of the most complete that there is..

The idea of ​​Discord is that you can create your own chat server, and in it add different channels according to your needs. It’s like being able to set up your own Slack or your own IRC, and includes the ability to make voice calls and video calls between users.

Flume

Flume
Flume

In general, we all use social networks with their official applications, simply because they try to avoid quality competition, or this competition is not up to par. This is why Flume is a small rarity, an excellent client for Instagram with a lot of options available.

It is one of those applications that have a free version, but then a paid one with extra functions. Perhaps his great sin is not allowing you to post from the program or use other accounts, but in addition to interacting with your followers and the accounts you follow, he also has direct messages

An Instagram client for macOS with a lot of options. The application is paid if you want to be able to use all its tools, but it has a free version that, although it lacks some options such as being able to publish from the app and use multiple accounts, it has functions such as statistics on your posts and followers , in addition to direct messages, activity indicators, advanced search engine, gestures, translations and integrations with other applications such as Apple Maps or the macOS file sharing system.

GIMP

GIMP
GIMP

Another application that can never be missing from these lists is GIMP, which is a simplified and free Photoshop alternative. And is that not everyone wants to pay for the full version of the almighty Photoshop, especially when you have alternatives as powerful and completely free as this one. GIMP is like Photoshop, but free.

The application is open source, and has versions for all operating systems. Editing of images, layers, masks, multiple selections, channels, automations and, if you don’t have enough, the possibility of adding scripts and plugins to improve their functions.

IINA

IINA
IINA

IINA is a highly recommended application for playing multimedia files, so much so that it is a serious competitor to giants like VLC, although with an excellent design and a more attractive appearance. In addition, it has advantages such as the PiP mode, which allows you to see the video on a small screen that stays in the foreground while you do other things.

It is an application that tells you that it gives you the peace of mind of all the tools that are free and open source, so that no surprises are hidden. It also offers online subtitle search, dark mode, 4K video playback from YouTube, and integration with the Touch Bar with the trackpad through gestures.

jDownloader

jDownloader
jDownloader

jDownloader is the best application for direct download management. The program will have access to your clipboard, and when you save a link, it will automatically load it into its grabber. And then, of the captured files, you can load as many as you want so that they go down to the folder you have assigned.

This can be used to download YouTube videos, downloading the video, audio, and cover image. But it also allows you to download practically everything. It also allows you to manage your accounts for download services, so that if you have Mega or some other alternative, you can download quickly. You can practically download videos and photos from anywhere, which is why it is an almost essential application.

Jiffy

Jiffy
Jiffy

It is an application that can be used to search for GIFs that you can use in whatever application you are using. Many programs on your Mac may already have a search engine for these types of images, but in those that do not, Jiffi can be a key tool to help.

In addition to this, you will have the possibility of creating a keyboard shortcut to open Jiffy quickly without having to search for it. And what is even easier, when you select a word in another application, you will have the possibility to search GIFs using that selected word quickly to insert them.

Kodi

If you want to turn your computer into a multimedia center, then Kodi is an essential application to achieve it. It is open source, and has versions for practically any operating system, both desktop and mobile. Its interface is clean, but fully customizable with its themes.

In addition, it is a totally modular program, and you can install different types of accessories depending on the functionalities you want to have, and the tasks you want to guide it to. You can use it to connect to services like Plex, SoundCloud or YouTube. but also to access DTT channels over the Internet, listen to the radio, manage your clouds or manage your library of photos or videos.

Martha

Maratha
Maratha

It is a small application that offers you an alternative file explorer, which has the peculiarity of having two columns with which to browse your files. This allows you to be in a different folder in each column, and move files between folders very easily. It is an application that is still in full development, and has not even reached version 1.0, so you must have some patience with its possible errors.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge has become a powerful browser capable of facing Google Chrome, and causing many users to end up switching from Chrome to Edge . It shares the same base as Chrome , the open source Chromium browser , so all Chrome extensions are available in Edge. If Safari does not convince you and you have tired of Chrome , this is possibly one of the most solid alternatives that you will find.

In addition, you have the Microsoft Authenticator password manager integrated , which you can download your mobiles or integrate in Chrome with its extension to have your passwords synchronized. You also have functions such as its collections, which allows you to save links and add notes to have organized research you are doing, reading lists, and many other functions.

Mimestream

Mimestream
Mimestream

There are two types of Gmail user, those who use the official website of the service or those who synchronize it in a third-party email client to use it outside of Google. If you are one of the second, Mimestream is a new macOS application that may interest you.

It is a program that seeks to be a client that mixes the way of using the Gmail web with the optimized performance of the Mac, an adaptation of Mail to the Gmail customs: in the sidebar we see the main directories of our account, but we went from seeing folders to seeing labels. It is an application that will be free for the duration of its beta phase, it is still in development, so it may not appear on next year’s list.

NightOwl

NightOwl
NightOwl

NightOwl is an application that has been designed for the latest versions of the Apple operating system. It is free, and allows you to switch between dark and normal mode at the time, being able to also configure which one to activate at specific times.

It has three modes. The first is a manual mode with two buttons with which to choose whether you want to use light or dark mode. It also has a sunrise / sunset mode that activates one and the other depending on the time of day, and a programming mode in which you can set specific hours to activate the dark and light mode.

OBS Studio

OBS Studio
OBS Studio

OBS Studio is the most popular tool to broadcast your games on Twitch or any other platform, or simply broadcast yourself speaking. All because you can add different input sources, such as your webcam or what is seen on the screen or a specific application, and order them correctly to leave it as you want it.

In addition to streaming, it is also used for video editing. In this context, you will be able to create scenes with multiple sources, such as texts, images, video captures or browser windows. You can also create an unlimited number of these scenes to alternate, it includes an audio mixer and is very easy to configure, with specific options for streaming.

Pasta

Pasta
Pasta

Pasta is an application that allows you to add a clipboard history to macOS similar to that of operating systems such as Windows. Its free version remembers the last 20 items that you have copied to the clipboard, and it also allows you to organize the content stored in it by categories, even showing you a preview of the content in a beautiful interface.

Plex

Plex is one of the best applications to turn your computer into a multimedia center. You can consider it as an alternative to Kodi, although the truth is that you will also be able to make both work together. In any case, Plex offers many options separately, recognizing all the multimedia files that you have hosted in the source folder, and organizing them with different sections so that you have them sorted.

You will also be able to add podcasts, news feeds, or access to some third-party services. Of course, being a free application, you will have to pay to have some advanced options that allow you to use your computer files on any other device. With this, you could create your own Netflix or your own Spotify.

qBittorrent

qBittorrent
qBittorrent

In Windows you have a large number of BitTorrent clients to download all kinds of files. However, for many years qBittorret has been one of the most complete. You can activate your own torrent file search engine, to which you can also add the sources you want by hand to search more and better.

It also allows you to make several simultaneous downloads, and has the classic options to pause, resume or delete the downloads. The application allows you to preview some files such as videos before finishing the download, opens by default the Magnet links, and supports DHT, IPv6, Proxies, RSS and protocol encryption.

Service Station

Service Station
Service Station

This is a useful application that allows you to edit the contextual menu that opens when you right-click on a Mac element, being able to add your own elements or scripts. It also has script support, so customization is maximum.

It must be made clear that the complete application is paid, although it has a free mode in which you can edit up to four rules without any additional payment. It is perfect for those things that you usually do on a recurring basis, and you want them to be perfectly accessible from the context menu.

Simplenote

Simplenote is a small application, but very effective. No matter how you write, it is a note app that promises to be able to adapt to your way of working, with its organization and synchronization systems, in a light and highly visual interface. The notes you take will be synchronized on all your devices, and it has a system of tags and pins that will make it easy for you.

Simple Recorder

Simple Recorder
Simple Recorder

And if instead of written notes you are one of those people who usually use voice notes a lot to write things down without having to write, Simple Recorder is a simple and very functional tool. Its objective is to allow you to take voice notes quickly and without having to look at menus or open complex applications.

It is simply an application that will put its icon on the right side of the menu bar. Then, you click on it to display its intuitive menu, and you can start recording directly with one more click. You can also have its icon in the Dock bar. A simple recorder, as its own name has already indicated.

SoundSorce

SoundSorce
SoundSorce

SoundSorce is an advanced computer sound manager, in which you have full control over what sounds your Mac plays and what the sources are. You can, for example, lower or raise the volume of only one element of the internal sound of the Mac, and also manage the volumes of the different websites or installed applications.

For each sound, you will be able to choose a different source, being able to reproduce some in the internal sound source, others in speakers that you connect, and so on. In addition, it also has an equalizer and allows you to add different types of sound effects. It has a paid version with better sound quality, but the free one will help you to know to what extent these controls are worth it.

Steam Link

Steam Link
Steam Link

It has been done to beg, but Steam Link has finally reached the Mac App Store. This means that after taking time on iOS, iPadOS and tvOS, you can finally also use your Mac to interact with games that run on another computer, playing them remotely without having to install them on the Mac as well.

Imagine that in your house you have two computers, a PC in a room and a Mac from which you work. Well, from now on, with having your favorite game installed on the PC, you will be able to play it remotely from the Mac. The game will be running on the PC at all times, from the Mac you are only connecting remotely.

Telegram

Telegram is one of the most versatile messaging apps out there. It started as an alternative to WhatsApp, but as it does not stand out in its privacy, it is trying to do so by offering all the options you may need and more, from being able to be used on more than one device with a separate app, to shipping messages to yourself, being able to send files from your mobile to your PC and vice versa.

Telegram also allows you to create groups and has a sticker system, but it also allows you to create broadcast channels or synchronize websites with IFTTT so that each of the new news they publish reaches you. All this without forgetting all the messaging options you may need, and that make it superior to WhatsApp in many aspects.

Ueli

If you are a fan of doing everything from the keyboard using the mouse as little as possible, Ueli is a launcher for macOS and Windows that may interest you. It is extensible, free and open source, and you can use it from the desktop to run applications, search for files, and even perform certain operations without having to use the mouse.

Ueli has almost twenty functions in Windows, among which are searching and running applications, doing mathematical calculations from the launcher, converting colors, using the command line, searching system directories or searching the web. And if you don’t have enough, it also has a plugin system to add new functionalities created by the community.

Unarchiver

Unarchiver is the best option to unzip all kinds of files on your Mac. MacOS can take care of ZIP files, but for everything else, Unarchiver.

It is a program that has a clear functionality: allow you to decompress the main compression formats that you will find, from Rar files to gzip, bin, zip, 7z, and so on. You just have to install it, choose the compressed file types you want it to deal with, and voila.

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