31 Apps to Install on a New Mac – 2020 Edition

If you’ve recently purchased a Mac, this is the list of Apps for you. 31+ “must have” Apps to install on your new Mac, with descriptions and links for each one.

ps. the vast majority of these are free!

apps to install on a new mac

Unless you see a $ next to the App, it’s either free or there’s a free version.


1Password ($2.99/mo) – never worry about remembering secure passwords again
Chrome and/or Firefox and/or Vivaldi – all better than Safari
Cyberduck – sometimes you gotta upload
Dropbox and/or Google Drive – backups made easy
Private Internet Access ($3.33/mo) – if you’re not using a VPN you’re asking for all kinds of trouble
Transmission – download using Bittorrent
Skype – call mom!


Spotify – all you need is music
VLCthe last video player you’ll ever need, and it does audio too
Handbrake – convert video from almost any format to almost any format
Plex – stream your media
Kodi – stream your media pt. 2
Steam – more and more games work on macOS


MacUpdater – keep all your macOS apps up to date
Evernote – take and manage your notes across all your devices
ImageOptim – optimize your images
Skitch – markup your images
Gimp and/or PhotoShop ($20.99/mo) – edit your images and graphics
ThumbsUp – resize your images the easy way (guide)
OpenOffice and/or LibreOffice and/or Microsoft Office ($varies) – work, work, work
Slack – work and chat, chat and work


BetterTouchTool ($7.50) – the Swiss army knife of macOS
coconutBattery – manage your batteries (Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
AppTrap – uninstall your Apps properly
VirtualBox – run other OS’s on your Mac (eg. Windows, Linux etc)
The Unarchiver – extract from .rar files and many others

If you purchased a MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with a smaller SSD hard drive, you may want to consider uninstalling some of the Apps that come pre-loaded with your laptop. For example, I’ve never used Garageband in my life – uninstalling it is an easy way to reclaim 1.44 gigabytes of drive space. If you’re using Office 365, LibreOffice or OpenOffice, you can also reclaim some space by uninstalling Numbers, Keynote and Pages. Finally, if you aren’t planning on doing any video work with iMovie – it’s a whopping 2.82 gigabytes that could be reclaimed.

Don’t forget – all of the above mentioned Apps can be downloaded and reinstalled for free via the App Store at any point in time.

apps in the mac app store

Garageband – 1.44GB
Numbers – 427MB
Pages – 508MB
Keynote – 682MB
iMovie – 2.82GB

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