As Apple has tweaked and improved its Mac operating system, the need for third-party utilities just shifted—it never went away. A lot of the fiddly missing stuff we used to need an app for is built in, but Apple aims for the simplest experience for the most people, which leaves more advanced users or those that want a choice of how they carry out a task looking for alternatives.
I’ve used many hundreds of Mac utilities over decades, and still rely on them to make my computing life better. Here’s the top 10 I recommend, a mix of free software, donationware, and inexpensive paid products. (I’ve cheated a little; I list more than 10 as I offer a couple of alternatives.)
Some of the paid products might seem pricey on their own, and the price tag altogether may be too much for many people’s budget to buy all at once: it’s over $300 if you purchase all my main recommendations. Opt for alternative recommendations of utilities below and omit a couple you don’t need, like file-transfer software, and the price tag comes down closer to $100. (Always look for discounts on the more expensive products: some appear regularly in charity and seasonal bundles, and some Apple-oriented sites offer significant membership discounts on popular software.