thriftmac

Download the best free Mac apps

AdwareMedic

Remove all known adware from your Mac in less than a minute. Just click the Scan for Adware button, and remove anything that is detected. Includes the ability to take a system snapshot that can help find possible sources for the problem. Created by The Safe Mac, a long-time Mac security advocate.

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aLaunch

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.

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Alfred

Quick-launch app saves you time when searching your computer or the web. Launch apps with shortcuts, get quick access to web searches and bookmarks.

Download site Comment

Amphetamine

An alternative to Caffeine, this menu bar app overrides energy saver settings to keep your Mac awake. This one has more features and is being actively developed.

Download site Comment

AppTrap

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.

Download site Comment

atMonitor

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.

Download site Comment

Backuplist

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.

Download site Comment

Black Hole

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.

Download site Comment

Caffeine

Set your Mac to stay awake when it’s inconvenient to have it fall asleep, for example if you’re watching a movie. A must-have here at thriftmac HQ.

Download site Comment

CandyBar

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.

Download site Comment

Capster

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.

Download site Comment

CheatSheet

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.

Download site Comment

Chuck

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.

Download site Comment

ClipMorpher

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.

Download site Comment

CLIX

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.

Download site Comment

Deeper

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.

Download site Comment

DropCopy

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.

Download site Comment

EasyFind

Finds files and folders by name or content using advanced Boolean operators, wildcards, and phrases. It does not require indexing, is fast, and uses very little memory. Also shows previews.

Download site Comment

EtreCheck

Display details of your system configuration that can be copied to the clipboard. The information can be used at Apple support communities so people can help you with troubleshooting your Mac. Personal identification is automatically removed.

Download site Comment

FastScripts

Get instant access to your scripts by keyboard shortcut or menubar. Go beyond the AppleScript menu with many usability improvements and a refined interface. First 10 shortcuts are free.

Download site Comment

Flashlight

Make Spotlight do more than you ever dreamed possible with a set of plug-ins that covers web searches, creating notes and reminders, sending messages, plus hundreds of other things.

Download site Comment

Found

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.

Download site Comment

FunctionFlip

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.

Download site Comment

Grand Perspective

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.

Download site Comment

Hocus Focus

Automatically hides application windows that have been inactive for a certain period of time (you decide how long), leaving only the apps you’re using visible. Keeps your screens clutter free and your mind focused.

Download site Comment

iBackup

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.

Download site Comment

IceClean

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.

Download site Comment

iFileX

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.

Download site Comment

Isolator

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.)

Download site Comment

iTerm2

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.

Download site Comment

Itsycal

Easy access from the menu bar to a calendar for the current month and a listing of appointments and events imported from the Calendar app that comes with your Mac. Unpinning allows you to move it around the screen.

Download site Comment

iZip

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.

Download site Comment

Keka

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).

Download site Comment

Launcher

Quicksilver is still alive and kicking, but Launcher provides a slick alternative. It launches programs, sends web queries to a number of search engines, creates custom commands, looks up word definitions, gives fast access to files, folders and URLs, executes shell commands, and has a built-in advanced calculator.

Download site Comment

MagiCal

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.

Download site Comment

MenuMeters

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.

Download site Comment

MultiXFinder

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.

Download site Comment

NameChanger

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.

Download site Comment

NetSpot

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.

Download site Comment

Onyx

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.

Download site Comment

Permanent Eraser

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.

Download site Comment

Pester

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.

Download site Comment

PsyncX

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.

Download site Comment

Pushbullet

Exchange notes and files between your iPhone and Mac. Also universal copy and paste — select some text on your Mac, copy it, and it will appear in your iPhone’s clipboard.

Download site Comment

RedQuits

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.

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Rename

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.

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Scheduler

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.

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SelfControl

Block access to distracting websites, mail servers or anything else on the Internet for any period of time you like. They stay block until the time is up — even if you restart your computer or delete the application.

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Semulov

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.

Download site Comment

Service Scrubber

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. For OS X 10.5 or older.

Download site Comment

ShotBox

Use the normal Mac keyboard combinations for creating screenshots, and get the added option of sharing and markup in a little popup window.

Download site Comment

Spectacle

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.

Download site Comment

SuperDuper

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.

Download site Comment

Tags

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.

Download site Comment

Teleport

Use a single mouse and keyboard to control several Macs. Simply reach an edge of your screen, and your mouse teleports to your nearby Mac, which also becomes controlled by your keyboard. The pasteboard can be synchronized, and you can drag and drop files between Macs.

Download site Comment

TinkerTool

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.

Download site Comment

TorchFS

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.

Download site Comment

Trash It!

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.

Download site Comment

Twitch

Assign letters to your favourite apps, files and scripts, then launch them with a keyboard combo. No need to search or look through a list.

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Xmenu

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.)

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XtraFinder

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.

Download site Comment

ShotBox

Use the normal Mac keyboard combinations for creating screenshots, and get the added option of sharing and markup in a little popup window.

Download site Comment

Amphetamine

An alternative to Caffeine, this menu bar app overrides energy saver settings to keep your Mac awake. This one has more features and is being actively developed.

Download site Comment

Pushbullet

Exchange notes and files between your iPhone and Mac. Also universal copy and paste — select some text on your Mac, copy it, and it will appear in your iPhone’s clipboard.

Download site Comment

Flashlight

Make Spotlight do more than you ever dreamed possible with a set of plug-ins that covers web searches, creating notes and reminders, sending messages, plus hundreds of other things.

Download site Comment

AdwareMedic

Remove all known adware from your Mac in less than a minute. Just click the Scan for Adware button, and remove anything that is detected. Includes the ability to take a system snapshot that can help find possible sources for the problem. Created by The Safe Mac, a long-time Mac security advocate.

Download site Comment

Twitch

Assign letters to your favourite apps, files and scripts, then launch them with a keyboard combo. No need to search or look through a list.

Download site Comment

Itsycal

Easy access from the menu bar to a calendar for the current month and a listing of appointments and events imported from the Calendar app that comes with your Mac. Unpinning allows you to move it around the screen.

Download site Comment

EtreCheck

Display details of your system configuration that can be copied to the clipboard. The information can be used at Apple support communities so people can help you with troubleshooting your Mac. Personal identification is automatically removed.

Download site Comment

SelfControl

Block access to distracting websites, mail servers or anything else on the Internet for any period of time you like. They stay block until the time is up — even if you restart your computer or delete the application.

Download site Comment

RedQuits

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.

Download site Comment

XtraFinder

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.

Download site Comment

CandyBar

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.

Download site Comment

Keka

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).

Download site Comment

Deeper

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.

Download site Comment

NameChanger

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.

Download site Comment

Found

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.

Download site Comment

CheatSheet

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.

Download site Comment

Spectacle

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.

Download site Comment

iFileX

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.

Download site Comment

NetSpot

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.

Download site Comment

Hocus Focus

Automatically hides application windows that have been inactive for a certain period of time (you decide how long), leaving only the apps you’re using visible. Keeps your screens clutter free and your mind focused.

Download site Comment

DropCopy

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.

Download site Comment

Launcher

Quicksilver is still alive and kicking, but Launcher provides a slick alternative. It launches programs, sends web queries to a number of search engines, creates custom commands, looks up word definitions, gives fast access to files, folders and URLs, executes shell commands, and has a built-in advanced calculator.

Download site Comment

MagiCal

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.

Download site Comment

Trash It!

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.

Download site Comment

Chuck

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.

Download site Comment

ClipMorpher

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.

Download site Comment

FunctionFlip

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.

Download site Comment

Isolator

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.)

Download site Comment

Capster

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.

Download site Comment

iZip

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.

Download site Comment

Rename

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.

Download site Comment

Black Hole

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.

Download site Comment

TorchFS

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.

Download site Comment

IceClean

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.

Download site Comment

Permanent Eraser

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.

Download site Comment

Pester

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.

Download site Comment

aLaunch

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.

Download site Comment

AppTrap

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.

Download site Comment

Alfred

Quick-launch app saves you time when searching your computer or the web. Launch apps with shortcuts, get quick access to web searches and bookmarks.

Download site Comment

atMonitor

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.

Download site Comment

Backuplist

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.

Download site Comment

Xmenu

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.)

Download site Comment

MultiXFinder

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.

Download site Comment

Scheduler

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.

Download site Comment

Semulov

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.

Download site Comment

Tags

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.

Download site Comment

Teleport

Use a single mouse and keyboard to control several Macs. Simply reach an edge of your screen, and your mouse teleports to your nearby Mac, which also becomes controlled by your keyboard. The pasteboard can be synchronized, and you can drag and drop files between Macs.

Download site Comment

Caffeine

Set your Mac to stay awake when it’s inconvenient to have it fall asleep, for example if you’re watching a movie. A must-have here at thriftmac HQ.

Download site Comment

iTerm2

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.

Download site Comment

FastScripts

Get instant access to your scripts by keyboard shortcut or menubar. Go beyond the AppleScript menu with many usability improvements and a refined interface. First 10 shortcuts are free.

Download site Comment

SuperDuper

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.

Download site Comment

Service Scrubber

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. For OS X 10.5 or older.

Download site Comment

Grand Perspective

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.

Download site Comment

TinkerTool

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.

Download site Comment

MenuMeters

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.

Download site Comment

PsyncX

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.

Download site Comment

Onyx

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.

Download site Comment

iBackup

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.

Download site Comment

EasyFind

Finds files and folders by name or content using advanced Boolean operators, wildcards, and phrases. It does not require indexing, is fast, and uses very little memory. Also shows previews.

Download site Comment

CLIX

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.

Download site Comment

Alerts

AdwareMedic

Remove all known adware from your Mac in less than a minute. Just click the Scan for Adware button, and remove anything that is detected. Includes the ability to take a system snapshot that can help find possible sources for the problem. Created by The Safe Mac, a long-time Mac security advocate.

Download site

Capster

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.

Download site

Deletion

AppTrap

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.

Download site

Black Hole

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.

Download site

Permanent Eraser

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.

Download site

Trash It!

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.

Download site

Backup

Backuplist

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.

Download site

iBackup

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.

Download site

PsyncX

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.

Download site

SuperDuper

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.

Download site

Compression

iZip

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.

Download site

Keka

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).

Download site

The Unarchiver

Decompress several different compression formats, including some of the obscure ones that OS X can’t handle. Interface fits in nicely with the Finder.

Download site

Functionality

Afloat

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.

Download site

Arranger

Neatly arrange Finder or application windows into splits or corners. Handy feature is that you can split Finder windows while in an application.

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CheatSheet

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.

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CornerClick

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.

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DropCopy

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.

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FastScripts

Get instant access to your scripts by keyboard shortcut or menubar. Go beyond the AppleScript menu with many usability improvements and a refined interface. First 10 shortcuts are free.

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FreshBatch

Batch rename files and extensions — just tell it what folder you want to modify, what about the filename you need to change, and what you want to change it to.

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FunctionFlip

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.

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NameChanger

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.

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RedQuits

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.

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Remote Mouse

Turn your iPhone, iPad or iPod into a wireless remote control for your Mac or PC — just like working with a real mouse and keyboard. Useful for presentations.

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Rename

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.

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SelfControl

Block access to distracting websites, mail servers or anything else on the Internet for any period of time you like. They stay block until the time is up — even if you restart your computer or delete the application.

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Service Scrubber

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. For OS X 10.5 or older.

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Spectacle

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.

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Teleport

Use a single mouse and keyboard to control several Macs. Simply reach an edge of your screen, and your mouse teleports to your nearby Mac, which also becomes controlled by your keyboard. The pasteboard can be synchronized, and you can drag and drop files between Macs.

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XtraFinder

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.

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Launchers

aLaunch

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.

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Alfred

Quick-launch app saves you time when searching your computer or the web. Launch apps with shortcuts, get quick access to web searches and bookmarks.

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Chuck

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.

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Launcher

Quicksilver is still alive and kicking, but Launcher provides a slick alternative. It launches programs, sends web queries to a number of search engines, creates custom commands, looks up word definitions, gives fast access to files, folders and URLs, executes shell commands, and has a built-in advanced calculator.

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Scheduler

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.

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Twitch

Assign letters to your favourite apps, files and scripts, then launch them with a keyboard combo. No need to search or look through a list.

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Maintenance

EtreCheck

Display details of your system configuration that can be copied to the clipboard. The information can be used at Apple support communities so people can help you with troubleshooting your Mac. Personal identification is automatically removed.

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Grand Perspective

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.

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IceClean

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.

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Onyx

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.

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TinkerTool

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.

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Menu bar

Amphetamine

An alternative to Caffeine, this menu bar app overrides energy saver settings to keep your Mac awake. This one has more features and is being actively developed.

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Caffeine

Set your Mac to stay awake when it’s inconvenient to have it fall asleep, for example if you’re watching a movie. A must-have here at thriftmac HQ.

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ClipMorpher

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.

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Day-O

A simple menu bar clock replacement with a simple calendar for your Mac. Installed on all Macs at thriftmac headquarters.

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Desktoday

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.

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Hocus Focus

Automatically hides application windows that have been inactive for a certain period of time (you decide how long), leaving only the apps you’re using visible. Keeps your screens clutter free and your mind focused.

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Isolator

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.)

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Itsycal

Easy access from the menu bar to a calendar for the current month and a listing of appointments and events imported from the Calendar app that comes with your Mac. Unpinning allows you to move it around the screen.

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MagiCal

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.

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MultiXFinder

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.

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Semulov

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.

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ShotBox

Use the normal Mac keyboard combinations for creating screenshots, and get the added option of sharing and markup in a little popup window.

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Xmenu

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.)

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Monitors

atMonitor

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.

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GeekTool

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.

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MenuMeters

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.

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Search

EasyFind

Finds files and folders by name or content using advanced Boolean operators, wildcards, and phrases. It does not require indexing, is fast, and uses very little memory. Also shows previews.

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Flashlight

Make Spotlight do more than you ever dreamed possible with a set of plug-ins that covers web searches, creating notes and reminders, sending messages, plus hundreds of other things.

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Found

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.

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iFileX

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.

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Tags

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.

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TorchFS

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.

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Terminal

CLIX

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.

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Hyper

A beautiful and extensible command-line interface, built on open web standards. Lots of potential for innovative additions.

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iTerm2

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.

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Utilities misc

CandyBar

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.

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Deeper

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.

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Handy Calculator

Calculator with easy-to-see numbers fades from view when not in use. You can input complete formulas, including parentheses, before hitting the equal sign. Handles copy and paste.

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LiteIcon

Change your system icons by dragging new ones onto the ones you want to replace, then click Apply Changes. Restore icons by dragging the new ones out.

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NetSpot

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.

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Pester

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.

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Pushbullet

Exchange notes and files between your iPhone and Mac. Also universal copy and paste — select some text on your Mac, copy it, and it will appear in your iPhone’s clipboard.

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Quitter

Automatically hide or quit apps after periods of inactivity. Minimizes distraction from social apps like Twitter and Slack, news readers, or your email app.

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Reggy

Quickly visualize what a given regular expression will match given a test string. Also points out errors in your regular expression.

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