Setapp Review: All Best Mac Apps In One Monthly Bundle

By Tony Tran
Setapp Review

Installing Mac apps to serve your work needs can be costly. In most cases, the price tag of these apps ranges from a few dollars to several hundred dollars per app. So picking which apps to invest in to aid in working more effectively is not always the simplest task. The more apps you need, the more money you have to spend. Besides, you may have to upgrade all of these apps continually over the next 12 to 24 months with additional charges. This only increases the overall amount of money you spend on those apps.

Is there any effective solution to get all the Mac apps that suit most of your needs at an affordable price?

Surely! There is.

MacPaw has a great solution to this dilemma. It is called Setapp, a new subscription-based marketplace for macOS applications. It brings us a whole new service that you may have never seen before. Setapp allows Mac users to access a growing collection of premium apps for a fixed monthly cost. Think of it as the version of Apple Music for Mac apps.

In today's post, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Setapp, and whether you should spend $9.99 every month in their service. The following review is based on our perspective after two months of using the service of Setapp.

We will try to keep this Setapp review brief and get to the point.

What Is Setapp?

Released by MacPaw on January 25, 2017, Setapp follows an entirely new field. This subscription-based service allows Mac users to rent a bundle of apps with a fixed price. Instead of providing hundreds of thousands of apps to choose from, Setapp only contains handpicked apps to cover the needs of its users.

Simply put, it is similar to Apple Music or Spotify, but only for Mac apps, where it requires subscribers to pay a monthly fee to use all the apps that it has. Setapp has no limitation on how many apps you can use. All the 178 Mac apps are ready to install on your Mac, spreading evenly across various categories from multiple developers. Applications include editing tools, writing tools, management tools, education tools, development tools, and so forth.

As long as you keep your Setapp monthly or annual subscription, you can install and use any Mac apps on two Macs. On top of that, all the apps are the premium version. They do not have any advertisements or require you to make any in-app purchases for unlocking premium features.

Setapp Apps

Setapp offers you a library of Mac apps that makes it easy to find the right one for your tasks. From taking a screenshot to editing a video or cleaning up your Mac, as well as a whole lot of other stuff, Setapp provides all the terrific apps and categorizes them tidily for effortless searching. Whatever apps or utilities you need, you will get all the perfect solutions in the Setapp suite.

list of Setapp apps

All the apps have been handpicked carefully and professionally, which means you do not need to go through hundreds of choices, read thousands of reviews, as well as do the price comparisons and many more steps to find the suited application. Instead, you can search for apps you need through the search box based on its features, e.g., screenshot, video editing, task management, duplicate file removal. Setapp will show you a list of potential apps that can help you accomplish your tasks without wasting valuable time and effort. Besides, you can browse categories to find the appropriate apps.

Advantages Of Setapp

The first advantage of Setapp is that it only requires a small flat monthly fee to access 178 handpicked apps in various categories. We put this point on the pros list because many Setapp apps help us to perform tasks, such as Base, Capto, CleanShot, CodeRunner, IM+, Jump Desktop, Pagico, Paw, and XMind. Based on our needs, we only have to spend $9.99 per month to use those apps on two Mac computers. So as you can see, the started price is quite lower, and we can cancel at any time. This is an effective choice for us because if we purchase those apps (or alternatives) separately, we’d surely have to invest a huge of money.

Besides, all the Mac apps that Setapp gives are always the latest version. Therefore, we never have to worry about working with an outdated tool or paying more money to get the upgraded version, as we have often seen in traditional apps. These apps also have no advertisements, in-app promotions, or any other factors that may distract you from performing work tasks. Furthermore, Setapp still keeps seeking new apps to add to its suite. The more apps added, the more benefits you have, while the price remains the same. The apps that you do not use today may come in handy on some other days.

Setapp is working to add more handy Mac apps to its bundle

We have installed and are frequently using 10 Mac apps from the Setapp collection. That means there are still 169 apps available to use whenever we need them. If something unexpected comes along, and we need a new application to perform the task of work, we have an opportunity to get a suitable application from the collection. The great news is that we do not have to spend any additional costs. In general, Setapp is a no-brainer solution that helps us minimize troublesome problems when finding new apps. That means less searching, less worry, and less spending.

You may think that you will never need to use so many apps. But one day, when your hard drive (or solid-state drive) is almost full, you may need CleanMyMac X to clean up temporary files or Gemini to find and remove duplicate files to reclaim storage space. Also, when you get any issues with your wireless network, you could use WiFi Explorer or NetSpot to analyze and troubleshoot. There are also Get Backup Pro or ChronoSync Express that are quite handy in backing up your Mac. Did you accidentally delete a critical file? Disk Drill may help you to recover it.

Just like that, the list goes on. You will gradually find that Setapp is more useful than you think. You will find yourself purchasing fewer apps after subscribing to its service. The entire collection is there for you, including new apps that will be added in the future. Even if you rarely use an application, it is good to know that it’s there whenever you need it and ready to use without paying any extra cent.

Disadvantages Of Setapp

Setapp has done an excellent job so far when it comes to covering different categories of Mac apps. Unfortunately, this business model seems challenging to attract the top developers to get involved. So if you are expecting to find Adobe Photoshop for Mac, Microsoft Excel, or LightWorks, you may be disappointed. Besides, you still pay $9.99 a month, even if you use all the apps or only one. Therefore, it makes sense to take a look at how many Setapp apps you would use before proceeding with the recurring payment.

However, although these apps are not top-notch, they are certainly not bad at all. There are a lot of great, handy, and relevant apps for a regular Mac user. To try out a full list of apps, you can sign up for a trial account to use within a week for free, no credit card required.

Is Setapp Worth It?

At $9.99 a month, this is a reasonable price tag that we think many of you can afford. If you choose the annual subscription, the price is a bit cheaper, which is $8.99 per month. If you are a student, sign up with your .EDU email and get 50% off, making the price roughly $4.99 per month.

Free Trial
  • Sign up for FREE
    No Credit Card required
  • $0
  • /MONTH
  • 50% OFF for students
    Sign up with an .EDU email
  • $4.99
  • /MONTH
  • Click on SIGN UP button below for $9.99/month
    Regular price: $̶1̶4̶.̶9̶9̶
  • $9.99
  • /MONTH
  • Select annual plan to get extra discount
  • $8.99
  • /MONTH

Is this suite worth the price?

Worth it or not, it depends on how many apps you use based on the flat money you spend every month. If you only look for a specific app in the Setapp collection instead of using plenty of them, you should not hop in. Compared with purchasing traditional apps, using Setapp only effective when you plan to use many apps in the suite.

We would recommend analyzing the initial and future costs of using traditional apps. And then compare that with Setapp to see whether it would be cheaper in the long run or not. This analysis might require a bit of calculation, but you need to do it to find out whether it is worth it and effective.

In our case, we frequently use Base, Capto, CleanShot, CodeRunner, IM+, Jump Desktop, Pagico, Paw, and XMind. Less used Mac apps, such as CleanMyMac X, Gemini, and Get Backup Pro, but still a few times a month. Generally, the money we have to spend to purchase traditional apps is higher than using Setapp. So to us, Setapp is worth jumping in.

Does it seem very appealing?

Setapp offers a free week to try without asking for any form of payment. You just need to sign up for an account with basic information and start using it to see whether the apps on the collection are suitable for your needs. Let's discover the Setapp toolset before moving forward.


Setapp is a unique service and is filling a gap that needs to be filled. This is an excellent alternative to the Mac App Store, but with handpicked apps and a whole different term of payment. The Setapp team not only puts a lot of effort into finding more apps but also focuses on carefully evaluating the quality before inclusion. Therefore, the number of quality Mac apps is growing every month, so the value of the collection always gets better over time.

If you are working in a field that requires using a wide range of apps, then Setapp is the right solution. Not all of those apps may suit your specific needs, but you only need to use several of them to get enough value to outweigh the $9.99 monthly cost.

Are you still wondering whether to use Setapp? Check out the full list of apps provided by Setapp or sign up for a free 7-day trial account.

Do you have a different perspective? Let us know your experience to aid us in improving this Setapp review.

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