Keep a selected window floating above the others, move or resize it from any edge, turn it into an overlay, pin it to the desktop — and more.
Application launcher operated from the menu bar features your choice of icon size, the ability to open files and folders, and categories that can be grouped between separators. Supports hot keys and folder hierarchies.
Delete not only the app, but also all those pesky files that are associated with it.
Stay up to date from one place with all your applications (third-party and Apple), widgets, preference panes and application plugins.
Troubleshoot a Mac even if you can’t load the GUI, or don’t have a startup CD handy. Repair your disk, repair permissions, validate the system’s preference files, and get rid of possibly corrupted cache files.
Easy access to all your apps (and only apps — none of the associated files) from the dock.
When you move an app to the trash, you get a notice listing its associated files and asking whether you want to delete them as well. It could be the most efficient way of all to delete programs.
Display system activity in real-time. In addition to CPU, GPU, VRAM, FPS, disk and network info, atMonitor allows interaction with processes, setting up triggers, logging, purging RAM and more. Three views: menu bar, floating window and top window. Four different themes.
Wrapper application for the powerful Unix rsync tool processes your choice of files to be backed up as copies to your hard drive or to an external storage device. It offers many important options for advanced users.
Clear sensitive information from your Mac with a single click. Black Hole automatically quits applications, removes recent items from menus, empties the trash, deletes logs, clears the clipboard and more.
Set your Mac to stay awake when it’s inconvenient to have it fall asleep, for example if you’re watching a movie or you want to keep AirPort running.
Change the system icons in Mac OS X, including the trash can, volumes, default folder, and more. Due to its uncertain future, CandyBar is now free but unsupported.
Nifty app alerts you when Caps Lock is pressed with a Growl notification. An optional menu bar item also shows the status of Caps Lock. Handy for people find themselves typing in all caps by mistake.
Hold down the Command key for a couple of second and get an overlay with all the shortcuts for the active program. Follow through with the shortcut of your choice or click on the one you want. One of the handiest utilities you’ll ever install.
If QuickSilver seems like overkill for your needs, you might want to give Chuck a try. This fast and light app launcher allows you to create aliases so that typing just a couple of letters will take you straight to the app you want. And if that doesn’t work, you can exclude the ones that are getting in the way.
Virus? What’s that? It’s only a matter of time before OS X is hit by a truly virulent virus, and ClamXav should be able to help you detect it.
Check your caches, logs, trash and downloads for files that don’t need to be there. Decide whether you want to delete them to free up space on your hard drive. Built-in utilities uninstall apps and check on how much space you have. Nice interface if you find Onyx intimidating. “Pro” version also available, but free version provides plenty of functionality.
Copy, transform, paste. Menu bar app keeps track of the text you’re copying and can morph it into lowercase or uppercase, remove line breaks or multiple spaces, and extract URLs or addresses. Add your own “morphlings” in the preferences using the handy link to RegExLib.com. All in all, a clever way to get tedious tasks done automatically.
If you get the jitters when using Terminal, then CLIX may be for you. It has all those bizarre Unix commands built in, so all you have to do is find the right one and click it. And you just might learn a few along the way.
Keep track of all the details of what’s happening with the battery in your portable mac as it happens.
Take hot corners to the next level with the ability to open files, hide applications, open URLs, run AppleScripts and do the usual exposé actions.
Turn your iPod into a recovery and diagnostic tool.
If you can’t get enough of tweaking your Mac, then go deeper and customize the Dock, Finder, Spotlight and login screen, plus make changes to Safari, Mail, QuickTime and iTunes. A personalized login screen might just be what you’re looking for.
Clean up your desktop clutter day by day with this ingenious app. Desktoday puts each day’s detritus into a folder with the day’s date.
Create new documents directly in open folders. With a folder active in Finder, press Control+Option+Command+N to make the palette appear, then select the document type you wish to create.
Easily share files between Macs in a local network. Drag the file over the icon, watch a list of networked Macs appear, then drop the file on the one you want to share with.
Find folders, files and contents without the hassle of indexing. EasyFind is sort of like Spotlight for those who haven’t upgraded to Tiger.
Get instant access to your scripts by keyboard shortcut or menubar. Go beyond the AppleScript menu with many usability improvements and a refined interface.
Lightning-fast, intuitive search finds files across your Mac, external volume or cloud services — including Dropbox, Google Drive/Docs and Gmail. Double-tap the control key and Found slides out. Start typing and get immediate results with preview of files.
Menu bar item lets you know how much memory you have free at any given time. Click on it to get details on used, total, wired and inactive memory. A utility like this is handy if you’re worried that certain apps are pushing your Mac to its performance limitations.
Quickly create disk images using drag and drop.
Individually controls your MacBook or MacBook Pro’s function keys, turning special keys back to regular F-keys, or vice-versa. FunctionFlip is a preference pane found in the “Other” category in System Preferences.
Create custom desktops with time, date, calendar, the weather, to-do lists, system monitors and more. The catch is that you really do have to be a geek to be able to use GeekTool. Luckily there are plenty of examples and tutorials.
Scan your folders to get a colourful view of what is inside them. Then hover with your cursor to see what files are represented. It’s a great way to see what’s taking up all the space. Disk Inventory X does much the same thing.
A super simple way to show and hide system files. Just use the toggle on a semi-transparent bezel.
Preference Pane allows you to sweep any portion of your screen and have it blow up to fill the screen. Both fun and practical.
Yet another backup app getting good reviews is called, in the tradition of the many iApps, iBackup. It gets especially high marks in the ease-of-use department.
Maintenance and optimization tool uses only UNIX built-in system tasks to help your Mac stay running smoothly. Tasks include: running routine scripts, updating prebindings, verifying preference files, repairing permissions, clearing caches, and more.
Quickly search in the nooks and crannies of your Mac where Spotlight fails to shed its light. That includes hidden files, packages content, and bundles content. Filters narrow things down, and boolean operators provide precision.
Menu bar item helps you concentrate by covering up your desktop and all the icons on it, as well as the windows of all your other applications. Options include: hiding the dock, customizing the background, and setting the shortcut key. It’s sort of like sweeping your mess under the rug. For actual cleanup, consider a bulldozer. (Donation requested.)
Imagine Terminal with a slick interface — including split panes, autocomplete, instant replay and Growl support — and you’ve got iTerm2. It is a successor to iTerm.
Wizard takes you step by step through the archiving process, including naming, option for extra compression, password protection, level of encryption, and ability to store and share online at files.com.
Excellent file archiver compresses 7z, Zip, Tar, Gzip, Bzip2, DMG, ISO. It extracts RAR, 7z, Lzma, Zip, Tar, Gzip, Bzip2, ISO, EXE, CAB, PAX, ACE (PPC). Main compression core is p7zip (7-zip port).
Gain control over the backlit light on your PowerBook or MacBook Pro.
Launchpad is a nifty new feature in Lion that displays all your apps in much the same way as Springboard does on an iPad. But if you’ve got a gazillion apps, it can be a pain to wade through them all. Launchpad-Control gets around this by offering a list of all your programs and allowing you check off which are shown and which are not. If you’re not keen on Launchpad, you might find it useful if you pare it down to only the apps you use most frequently.
Customize Mission Control, Dashboard, the login screen, and Launchpad backgrounds. Also change the Finder sidebar and hide Desktop icons. Reset to default with the click of a button.
There’s a lot to like about Lion, but not everything has captured our hearts. Modify it to your satisfaction with the 21 tweaks available in Lion Tweaks. The four the tempt me most: Show the Library folder, remove Reading List icon in Safari, change iCal and Address Book leather to aluminum, and enable repeating keys. (Donation requested.)
There’s maintenance stuff your Unix-based computer does every night, but if you’re like me and turn it off at night, that won’t happen. So get MacJanitor to do it instead, and keep that Mac purring.
Get scads of options for customizing the format and look of the date and time in your menu bar, plus a bonus dropdown calendar that you can flip through.
See if you are running low on RAM with a display of your Mac’s memory allocation.
Keep track of what’s going on in your Mac with MenuMeters — a set of of monitors for CPU system load, disk activity, memory and network throughput. The cool thing is that they all sit on your menu bar.
Claim valuable space on your hard drive by eliminating localization files for languages you never use.
Switch applications from the menubar much like they did in the OS 9 days. Lets you see background processes and assign shortcuts to the first nine entries in the menu. Several other options, settings and rules available.
Rename a list of files quickly and easily — and see the changes as you type. Options for changing names include: replace first occurrence, replace last occurrence, replace all, wildcard, prepend, append, character removal, sequence and date.
Map out your wireless network and set up hotspots to ensure you’re getting good coverage. Walk around your building with a MacBook to set up points on a map, then let the app test the wifi strength in each spot.
Looks like an ordinary folder, but when you open it with a double-click, there is nothing in it. It’s a good way to hide files from people who aren’t savvy enough to know that the trick is to right-click and go to Show Package Contents to see what’s inside.
Verifies the startup disk and the structure of its system files, runs system maintenance, configures some hidden parameters , deletes caches, removes unneeded files and folders, and more.
When you empty the trash on your Mac, you’re simply telling the system to forget about those files. You could go a step further by Command-clicking on the Trash and using Secure Empty, which overwrites the data seven times. If that’s still not good enough, Permanent Eraser will overwrite your data 35 times, scramble the original file name, and truncate the file size to nothing.
Set a time you have to do something and Pester will remind you by bouncing in the dock, playing a system alert, speaking a message (that you create), and displaying a message and the time. Actually, you have a choice — it will do some or all of those things.
Check your preference files for corruption, then give ‘em the treatment if you so desire.
PsyncX allows you to make a backup of either one part of your hard drive or the entire hard drive to another computer. In addition, it allows users to schedule backups.
Go through caches, logs, browsers, downloads, chats and games — check off the cruft you don’t want — then click to move it into the trash. A great way to clean up your Mac. Ignore the Buy button. Purity is now freeware.
Preference pane allows you to set default applications for the Internet, URLs, extensions, MIME types and file types.
When you click on the red button in the top-left of a window on a Mac, it closes the window — but the program keeps running. With this RedQuits, the program quits.
Quickly visualize what a given regular expression will match given a test string. Also points out errors in your regular expression.
Interface allows you to rename files in a variety of ways, including the ability to apply several changes at the same time. A preview of the changes is included.
Autosave your work at time intervals you select. Choose to save the frontmost app or any other that is running.
Utility boosts your Mac’s screen-capture capabilities by giving you a choice of 10 image formats, allowing you to pick where screenshots are saved, and letting you decide on how to prepend the file name.
Schedule the automatic launching of applications, Applescript applets, documents, websites and file downloads at startup time or at a given time and date. There are many other scheduling options.
List all mounted volumes in your menubar, categorized by type. Clicking on a volume menu will unmount/eject that volume. Supports Growl unmount and mount notifications.
If you’re overwhelmed by the number of services you find in your service menu, use this handy utility to scrub out the ones you don’t want. With services at a manageable level, you might actually use them.
An intuitive and easy way to do backups that’s been around for a long time. Apple’s built-in Time Machine is probably easier.
Menu bar app allows you to stop your Mac from sleeping for a set amount of time using a rotary time-setting dial. Prevent computer sleep, display sleep or both simultaneously. Automatic launch at system login available.
Warns you of some ATA hard disk failures before they happen by periodically polling the S.M.A.R.T.-status of your hard disk.
Organize your windows with easy-to-remember keyboard commands. Put them to the left, right, top or bottom. Put them corners. Centre them. Make them go full screen. It’s a great way to make comparisons, and it works in all apps.
If an app hasn’t been used for a certain amount of time (up to 300 seconds — you decide), Spirited Away will hide it. It’s a great way to keep your workspace from becoming cluttered. You can tell it to exclude certain apps and get it to co-operate with iChat.
If you’re confused about which backup utility to use, it’s understandable — there are many to choose from, and each is good in its own way. Recently, though, SuperDuper has risen head and shoulders above the others as the best of the best. The freeware version allows you backup and clone your drive. For extra features, you have to pay.
Sort your files with tagged categories of your own making. Just duplicate the mother tag, drag files onto it and they will all share that category. Open the tag to find files that belong to it. Works great in Tiger. Your mileage may vary with Panther.
Enables multiple Macs to share a single keyboard and mouse over a network. TidBITS review
Decompress several different compression formats, including some of the obscure ones that OS X can’t handle. Interface fits in nicely with the Finder.
Not satisfied with the system preferences Apple gives you access to on your mac? TinkerTool lets you get at that hidden stuff too numerous to mention. If you’re the type who can’t leave well enough alone, then tinker away.
Display your Mac’s folder structure filtered by search criteria to help manage large numbers of files. Smart folders display a hierarchical view. Torch uses Spotlight and MacFUSE behind the scenes.
For those extra pesky files that refuse to be trashed, there’s Trash It! These include files or folders with permissions set incorrectly or locked Trash items. This AppleScript-based app also allows you to securely delete a stuck item or trash items from other partitions.
Expand .rar archives and restore corrupted or missing archives using par2.
Get volumes or disks to show up, more conveniently, in the dock or the menu bar instead of on the desktop.
A bezel for ⌥, ⌘, ⇧ or ⌃ shows up when you press the right key. It’s a little extra help for when you’re trying to figure out keyboard shortcuts.
Add one or more menus to the menu bar for accessing files and data. Pre-set menus include Applications, Developer, Home, Documents and Snippets. Or define your own. (Not a system hack.)
Add new features to Finder, such as tabbed windows, dual panels, cut and paste, and global hotkeys — to name a few. Plus, you can get back colour icons in the sidebar if you miss them.