Freeware for Mac OS X

Found a bad link? I'm not surprised. Most of this software is old, old, old. If you find a bad link and know of a good one, please let me know. Otherwise, I probably don't have time to fix all of these myself. If the link's broken, try Google or MacUpdate, but chances are the software is outdated and gone by now.

Programs that we use every day are featured with red stars ([star]).
These are the freewares we like best!


  • AppSwitcher -- Switch between recently used programs.
  • BBEdit Lite 6.1 -- Powerful text editor with loads of great features, now carbonized.
  • Budget -- personal finance software.
  • Chandler -- Personal Information Manager (PIM) that is too big for me to download on a modem (over 44 MB). That doesn't mean you folks with DSL or cable modems shouldn't give it a shot!
  • Economix -- Personal finance program.
  • MagiCal -- A calendar and clock that live in your menu bar.
  • NotePad 2.0 -- Brings back the classic Apple notepad.
  • NP Grade -- A gradebook program for teachers.
  • PandoCalendar [star] -- Another update for our favorite calendar program.
  • Slides -- Easy to use image viewer with full-screen mode.
  • Smell-o-mints -- A detailed copy of the Periodic Table.

Games (TOP)

  • Boycott Advance -- An emulator for Nintendo's portable video game system. It works with a game copier so you can copy your own GameBoy Advance games and play them on your computer. You can also use the regular Boycott for regular GameBoy games.
  • CocoaPoker -- A video poker game with a slick interface.
  • Colors -- Puzzle game like Columns for Sega.
  • GoBan -- Based on the board game, Go!
  • GL Tron -- The game based on the lame Disney movie gets updated.
  • Handy -- Emulator for the Atari Lynx portable game unit.
  • MacMAME -- Fresh out of beta with a number large enough to make you step back and say "whoa!" This program plays all your favorite classic arcade games on your computer for free—no quarters required!
  • Maelstrom -- Like the Asteroids game from the 1980s.
  • MO5/Mac OS -- Emulator for a "Thomson MO5," a machine I have never even heard of.
  • RockNES -- Another update that resolves most of the freeze/defrost glitches. They still occur occasionally, but won't ruin your gameplay.
  • SNES9X [star] -- Play Super NES games on your Mac, complete with support for USB game controllers.
  • Tux Racer -- Slide down mountains as that insipid penguin in this 3D racing game.
  • UAE -- An Amiga emulator that I have never gotten working.
  • Unscrambler -- Use this to solve that "Jumble" puzzle in the newspaper.
  • vMac [star] -- Run MacPaint on Mac OS X? You sure can. Use this emulator to play old Mac games you can download here.
  • Frozen Bubble -- Slick puzzle game like Snood or Bust a Move. You can get the source code and versions for other platforms here.
  • DX2 (Descent 2) -- Space game. Never tried it.
  • Pac the Man 2 -- Pac Man clone.
  • VisualBoyAdvance -- GBA emulator. I can't try it out because I don't have any GBA ROMs.

Internet (TOP)

  • Adium [star] -- Free AIM chat program.
  • AcqLite -- Acquisition used to be free. Now it costs $15. Screw that--use AcqLite instead!
  • Carracho -- Server-client chat, messageboard, and file-downloading software.
  • Chain Communicator -- Chat program for Mac users.
  • Chessic -- Play chess on the Internet.
  • -- Connect to several different Instant Messanging services at one, such as ICQ, AOL Instant Messanger, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Jabber, and others.
  • Firefox -- A very nice web browser based on Mozilla, it incorporates just about every feature I like from both Internet Explorer and Safari. Give it a try!
  • GNU Mail -- A clone of Apple's program.
  • iWarning -- Alerts you when you receive new e-mail. Supports multiple accounts.
  • LifTP -- Simple FTP client with multi-pane graphic interface.
  • Limewire -- A Mac OS X version of the Gnutella client.
  • MacDICT X -- A Mac OS X version of that great online dictionary program.
  • NetDICT -- Online dictionary program.
  • Radio Free -- Records Internet radio.
  • RBrowserLite -- Free version of the popular FTP client and file manager.
  • Safari Bookmark Exporter -- Want to give Safari a whirl, but want to make sure you can use your bookmarks later if you decide you don't like it? Grab this little app!
  • Safari Enhancer -- Unlock secret features in Safari, like the ability to (gasp! shock! horrors!) IMPORT BOOKMARKS!! (What an innovative concept, Apple! Maybe you ought to think about adding that little feature to you damn web browser!)
  • Soja -- Hotline compatible server with quotas, permabans, bandwidth limits and more.
  • TGEmu -- An emulator for the NEC PC Engine video game system. I think in North America this was called "Neo Geo".
  • Thunderbird -- E-mail client derived from the Mozilla codebase. I haven't tried it yet, but don't let that stop you.

System Utilities (TOP)

  • ChangeFileFolderProps -- Allows you to change the attributes of files and folders with a graphical interface instead of the Terminal.
  • Duality -- Theme and icon switcher.
  • DropInfo -- Change the type/creator codes from a user-editable list.
  • FileMonitor -- Watches files and alerts you if they change. Handy for keeping an eye on log files.
  • InforMac -- Like system profiler, only with more information.
  • MacTracker -- Detailed information on every Mac ever made.
  • OnyX -- Has special tools to customize Mac OS X.
  • TinkerTool 2 -- Unlock many of Mac OS X's features with this peference panel.
  • XLocate -- Quick search tool.
  • MacJanitor -- Run UNIX maintenance scripts.
  • Metamorph X -- Switch between different themes or create your own with the Developer Edition! Apple is not going to like this!
  • HexEdit -- For all you hackers out there, this little gem lets you edit the data and resource forks of a file. Don't know what those are? Then you probably don't want to mess with this sucker.
  • Tinkertool -- Yee-ha! Configure "secret" settings in Mac OS X.
  • ShellShell -- Use terminal commands with a graphic console. Simple!
  • Son of Weather Grok -- Get the current weather.
  • XRG -- Monitor all loads of stuff, from CPU loads to the weather to the stock market, in a single window. Whew!
  • X-Assist -- Add useful features from Mac OS 9 into Mac OS X, like a control strip, application menu, and more!

Audio (TOP)

  • Audacity -- Sound editing program.
  • AudioX -- Record sound from any source.
  • iTunes -- The best MP3 player we've seen out there!
  • OggDrop -- Encode AIFF files with the new open-source alternative to MP3, Ogg Vorbis.
  • SoundHack -- A sound editing utility lots of people seem to like.
  • Volume Dockling -- Keep this in your Dock to change the volume.

DVD Tools

  • DVDbackup -- Copy data from your DVDs.
  • OSEx -- A new DVD extractor for OS X. Includes decryption, demuxing, and even AC-3 to MP3 transcoding. Still early in development, but looking very promising.
  • MacAC3Dec -- Convert the AC3 sound files used on DVDs to AIFF. Has lots of useful options.
  • MacMPEG2Decoder 1.0b7 -- Convert MPEG files extracted from DVD into another video format with Quicktime.

Frisky Freeware