Setapp Review (May, 2024) – Services, Pricing, Pros & Cons

Apple’s lineup of Mac computers enjoys immense popularity among consumers, particularly in the business and educational sectors.

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Last Updated: May 22, 2024


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Given this significant user base, developers naturally prioritize creating specialized Mac apps that offer substantial value to users.

Determining which Mac apps to invest in for a more streamlined computing experience can be a somewhat intricate decision-making process.

However, MacPaw has introduced an exceptional solution to this predicament with their Setapp subscription service.

Designed for Mac users, Setapp provides access to numerous premium apps at an affordable monthly cost, akin to “Netflix” for Mac apps.

For the purpose of evaluation, we were granted a Setapp subscription, and the subsequent review reflects our personal usage of the service over a six-month period.

It’s important to note that this review is entirely independent and not influenced by any form of sponsorship from MacPaw or Setapp.

All opinions expressed herein are based solely on our own firsthand experience.

Pros of Setapp

A Diverse Selection Of Mac Apps

Setapp offers an extensive range of Mac apps, encompassing nearly every category imaginable, from blogging tools to design management software.

You’ll never find yourself without an application, and this comprehensive availability is highly regarded by Setapp users.

All-In-One Subscription Model

Gone are the days of individually purchasing apps with one-time fees.

Setapp simplifies the payment process by consolidating all costs into a single monthly fee of $9.99.

Users appreciate the convenience of having everything accessible in one place.

No Hidden Or Recurring Charges

Unlike many other Mac apps that come with additional premiums or hidden fees, Setapp ensures a transparent and all-inclusive subscription experience.

Rest assured, there are no unexpected or extra charges associated with using the service.

Continuous Expansion Of The App Library

As more Mac app developers embrace the Setapp model, the platform’s collection of apps continues to grow.

Over the past year alone, Setapp has expanded its library by over 100 apps, including popular tools such as 2Do and Ulysses.

This trend of ongoing expansion promises an even broader selection for users in the future.

setapp review - comparewise

Cons of Setapp

Some Apps Lack Usefulness

It’s worth noting that certain apps within Setapp’s extensive library might be less useful or cater to niche requirements, and their quality can vary.

Unless you regularly utilize a handful of apps, it may be more practical to purchase individual apps that specifically meet your needs.

A smaller selection of higher-quality apps would greatly enhance the service. Additionally, customer support is occasionally unhelpful.

A Plethora Of Applications Are At Your Disposal

While you might not find yourself using all 120+ Mac apps offered by Setapp, the sheer abundance can make it challenging to discover the ideal application for your needs.

We recommend thoroughly exploring the Setapp toolset before committing to the service.

$9.99 Monthly Subscription Fee

With Setapp, the monthly cost remains fixed at $9.99, regardless of whether you fully utilize or underutilize the available apps.

Therefore, it is advisable to evaluate the number of apps you anticipate using before committing to the monthly payment plan.

What is Setapp?

In simple terms, Setapp is a subscription-based service provided by MacPaw, a renowned company known for developing the popular Mac optimization software called CleanMyMac X.

By establishing licensing agreements with various app developers, MacPaw offers users access to a wide range of premium applications at an affordable monthly price.

This legitimate service empowers consumers, allowing them to determine the value they derive from their monthly subscription, whether it’s substantial or minimal.

A brief overview of SetApp

Setapp was officially launched in January 2017, marking its first stable release.

Since then, it has garnered a massive user base, with tens of thousands of subscribers taking advantage of the subscription model.

The attractiveness of Setapp is further enhanced by its 7-day free trial, which has attracted over 200,000 users who can participate without the need for credit card information.

How does Setapp work?

Becoming a Setapp member is a simple process. All you need to do is sign up and commence paying the monthly fee.

The user interface is intuitive, resembling the familiar Apple Store, ensuring a seamless experience for users.

Once you are a member, you can explore the extensive collection of apps.

There are no limitations on the number of apps you can install, and all the downloaded apps can be accessed through a single login.

Additionally, if your plan permits, you can synchronize your apps across multiple devices, such as desktops, laptops, and phones.

Each app available on Setapp is carefully curated and added to the platform through contractual agreements with its creators.

Furthermore, new apps are consistently introduced, ensuring there is always something fresh to discover and explore.

Benefits or advantages of Setapp

The true advantage of Setapp lies in its ability to grant you access to a multitude of applications on a single platform.

Here are the actual advantages of Setapp.

1. Get the Apps You Need

Currently, Setapp boasts a collection of 230+ apps, and continuous efforts are being made by the developer to expand this selection.

What’s remarkable is that these apps come at an affordable price. Subscribing individually to these apps would cost you over $5,000.

With such an extensive array of applications, you will inevitably discover several apps that cater to your daily or occasional needs. In essence, you can find apps from every category.

2. Cost-Effective with Minimal Upfront and Upgrade Expenses

Setapp is priced at a mere $9.99 per month, providing you with access to a diverse range of apps from various companies.

This entry cost is lower compared to alternative platforms. Moreover, if you were to purchase these apps individually, the expenses would be significantly higher.

Additionally, Setapp’s pricing remains unchanged even with the addition of more applications.

3. Time-Saving

Setapp saves you considerable time when searching for a specific tool.

Suppose an unforeseen requirement arises, and you need an application promptly.

By launching Setapp, you can readily find it without any additional charges.

This alleviates concerns, minimizes the need for extensive searching, and reduces spending.

4. Thoughtfully Curated App Selection

Setapp’s objective revolves around sourcing the finest applications for your tasks.

The Mac App Store boasts an overwhelming two million apps, making it arduous to identify the most suitable one.

 You would need to sift through numerous options, potentially incurring costs along the way.

5. User-Friendly Interface

Thanks to its unique arrangement and categorization, Setapp offers a remarkably intuitive experience when searching for the desired software.

The following features assist you in locating applications of interest:


Utilize keywords to search for specific apps. Simply type your keyword in the search bar, click or tap the search icon, and unveil the application.

The search function is particularly vigilant, as it scans the app’s title and description for the keyword.


Setapp organizes apps into distinct categories, such as lifestyle, developer tools, task management, and more. This simplifies the process of locating apps.


Each app is accompanied by a clear explanation and screenshots.

These features collectively facilitate effortless discovery of any application within Setapp.

Performance and functionality

The performance of Setapp depends on the individual applications it offers.

 Nonetheless, Setapp remains highly reliable by providing expertly vetted apps through a centralized platform.

Comprehensive and supportive assistance

Setapp’s website hosts a comprehensive knowledge base and FAQs, aiding users in navigating the system.

Additionally, users can submit questions via an online form.

Licensing and pricing options

When Setapp initially launched, they introduced a special offer for an annual subscription starting at $69 per year. The current pricing structure for Setapp is as follows:

  • A complimentary 7-day trial period is available, and no credit card information is required for sign-up.
  • A monthly subscription fee of $9.99 is charged with no long-term commitment.
  • An annual subscription costs $107.88, which amounts to $8.99 per month.
  • Students who can provide proof of eligibility receive a 50% discount, resulting in a monthly fee of $4.99.
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) is applicable to customers in certain countries but does not apply to US customers.
  • All subscription prices include usage on two Macs, with educational plans only supporting one Mac.
  • Additional Macs can be added to an account for $4.99 per month (plus VAT) each, with a maximum of three additional Apple computers.

According to Setapp’s website, they are developing a business plan; however, specific details have not been publicly disclosed. For more information regarding pricing, availability, and other details, it is advisable to contact Setapp directly. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide insights into Setapp’s business plan as we have not tested it.

How does the free trial work?

As mentioned, MacPaw offers a free 7-day trial for Setapp subscriptions.

During the trial period, Setapp’s entire library of apps can be used without any restrictions. Unlike the free trial of CleanMyMac X, there are no firm limitations imposed.

Justifying the subscription cost

While $9.99 per month may not appear to be a substantial amount for a monthly service (equivalent to approximately 33 cents per day), some individuals may require further clarification regarding the value of Setapp.

Considering the extensive range of apps available within the service, with new additions each month, it is impractical to individually assess the cost of each application.

Instead, we will examine five premium software components for Mac that are included in Setapp, demonstrating the value of this service:

  • CleanMyMac X: $39.99 per year
  • Gemini 2: $19.99 per year
  • Disk Drill: $39.99
  • Coderunner 3: $19.99
  • iThoughtsX: $49.99

The total cost of purchasing these five popular apps individually from the Mac App Store is $169.95.

Total cost of a 12-month Setapp membership: $119.88

Please note that the aforementioned calculations are based on just five Mac apps out of the numerous offerings provided by Setapp.

Additionally, certain apps, like CleanMyMac X, often entail upgrade fees when transitioning to newer versions.

Setapp subscribers, on the other hand, enjoy access to the latest software versions without any hidden costs.

To gain a better understanding of the value provided by the included apps, you can explore the “apps” page on Setapp’s website or utilize the free 7-day trial.

Setapp app library and selection

The Setapp platform offers a wide array of apps that are too numerous to mention in this article.

Allow me to provide you with an overview of the different app categories available on Setapp and highlight the ones I find most valuable.

1. Lifestyle Category

This category encompasses apps related to news, email, instant messaging, YouTube, and more.

2. Creativity Category

Here, you’ll find apps tailored for screen recording, photo editing, Instagram uploading, and other creative endeavors.

3. Developer Tools Category

Specifically catering to the coding community, this category offers web editors, database managers, website builders, API tools, and programming editors.

4. Productivity Category

In this category, you’ll discover software designed to enhance productivity, including timers, to-do lists, task managers, file managers, and mind-mapping tools.

5. Mac Hacks Category

This category is dedicated to useful tools and tweaks for macOS that can boost productivity and streamline the user interface.

6. Writing & Blogging Category

These apps assist writers and bloggers in staying focused and simplifying their creative processes.

7. Education & Research Category

Here, you’ll find practical applications for visual brainstorming, e-reading, math computation, and more.

8. Maintenance Category

This category features applications aimed at improving the speed, optimization, and overall performance lifespan of your Mac computer.

9. Task Management Category

Overlapping with the productivity section, this category encompasses applications for outlines, task managers, calendars, and other management-related functions.

10. Personal finance category

Although brief, this section provides software to help organize bills, invoices, inventory, personal finances, and cryptocurrency investments.

Is it easy to add or remove an app on Setapp?

Prospective Setapp subscribers may have concerns regarding the ease of use. However, MacPaw has made the process straightforward. Here’s how you can install and remove apps through Setapp:

How to install an app through Setapp

  1. Open Setapp.
  2. Navigate to the desired application.
  3. Click on the “Install” button.
  4. Wait for the installation to complete.
  5. Access your application without restrictions by using Finder or browsing your application folder.

How to remove an installed app through Setapp

  1. Locate the Setapp application corresponding to the app you wish to uninstall.
  2. Click the dropdown menu below the “Open” button.
  3. Select ‘Uninstall.’
  4. Choose either “Uninstall Completely” or “Remove Application.”

Who can benefit from Setapp?

So, who would find Setapp suitable? Our recommendation is to assess the number of paid Mac applications you currently use, consider future expenses, and determine if Setapp would be a more cost-effective option in the long run.

This may require a bit of calculation, but investing time in this analysis is worthwhile.

Now, let’s explore a few professional profiles that would find Setapp useful.


For beginners and freelancers seeking a convenient toolkit with access to a wide range of major applications, the Setapp marketplace should sufficiently meet your needs.


For teams aiming to avoid individual license fees, Setapp offers an option for teams that allows for a bulk license covering all Mac devices used by the team.

Alternatives to Setapp

The Mac App Store

While not a subscription service, the Mac App Store provides a selection of software in a user-friendly interface.

The vast number of apps available offers more choices but also makes it more challenging to discover suitable options.

Microsoft and Adobe subscriptions

Some companies offer subscriptions for their software products.

Although they may not provide as extensive a software library as Setapp, these subscriptions might cater precisely to your requirements.

However, subscriptions from these companies tend to be pricier.

Mac Bundles

Bundles are an alternative method to acquire a variety of software at a discounted price.

However, bundled apps might lack certain features, and the overall bundle price can still be relatively high.

Setapp review conclusion

The last two categories, namely Task Management and Personal Finance apps, do not introduce any new apps that haven’t already been mentioned in the previous categories. Therefore, you won’t find them listed above.

Setapp is priced at $9.99 per month. If you opt for the annual subscription, you’ll save $12 for the year. Additionally, there’s a family subscription available, allowing Setapp to be installed on up to 4 machines.

This option can be useful if you own more than 2 Macs. For individuals with two Macs, an additional $2.49 per month is required for the second Mac. Adding an iOS device costs $2.49 per month.


Give Setapp a try for one month and assess which apps you find useful.

Then, calculate if the subscription would save you money over a couple of years. Personally, the apps I utilize would cost me hundreds of dollars, making it worthwhile to pay for 2 Macs and one iPad.

Setapp would present a better offer if the $19.99 per month family deal extended to both Macs and iOS devices.

In that case, I would purchase it and install apps on my 2 Macs, iPhone, and iPad.

I appreciate that Setapp consistently adds new apps every month or two, enhancing its value.

It would be great to have video demonstrations of the apps within Setapp.

Nonetheless, the apps do include a link to the developer’s website, which typically provides more comprehensive information compared to what you find within Setapp.

Thanks for checking out our Setapp review!

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FAQs about our Setapp review

How to uninstall Setapp

Below are the steps to uninstall Setapp and its associated applications: Open Setapp and click on the Help menu. Navigate to the Uninstall option. If you want to remove Setapp along with all the third-party apps, select the Uninstall Completely option. However, if you prefer to keep the applications, choose the "Keep Applications" option. During the process, you may be prompted to enter your password. Wait until the uninstallation process is finished. Please note that even after uninstalling Setapp, your subscription will remain active. To avoid being charged, it is necessary to cancel your subscription.

Is Setapp safe?

Indeed, Setapp is considered safe to use. MacPaw ensures security by establishing licensing agreements with app developers, who receive royalties based on usage. Setapp operates within the legal framework, allowing users to efficiently manage content and obtain more value for their money. A dedicated review team meticulously evaluates third-party applications to ensure they meet the company's high standards in terms of quality, security, performance, and reliability. All products available on Setapp have received numerous positive reviews and have provided satisfactory user experiences.

Is Setapp legit?

Yes, Setapp is a real program. It functions inside the legal framework, providing a platform for consumers to easily access and administer multiple apps.

How to delete Setapp from Mac

Follow these procedures to remove Setapp from your Mac:

  1. Launch Setapp.
  2. Navigate to the "Help" menu.
  3. Choose "Uninstall" from the menu.
  4. Select "Uninstall Completely" if you wish to get rid of Setapp and all its linked programs.
  5. Select the "Keep Applications" option if you want to retain the applications.
Please keep in mind that you may be asked for your password in order to finish the uninstalling procedure. Allow the uninstallation to complete.

May 13, 2023
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