Getting started with Setapp

5 min read

Setapp has more than 150 apps and all of them belong to you now. As Setapp creators, we know how to make the most out of it. Once you read this guide, you will know too.

Before we start, a short intro: Setapp is available in monthly and yearly plans. It also has offers for big families and Mac lovers. For instance, Setapp can be used on 1 Mac but if you own more, you're welcome to buy additional seats. And, you can share an account with your dearest — get a Family plan and invite up to 5 people. If you're a student or an educator, you're eligible for our student discount.

Meet Setapp, your Google for apps

Each time you have anything you need to do on Mac, like converting a file, writing an article, or cleaning up space on hard drive — open Setapp and type it in. The app understands your queries and will suggest apps that fit them, just like Google.

Search on Setapp

Setapp apps are not installed by default, to save your disk space. So you can install the ones you like and use right away. But before you start discovering, let’s get you set up.

Install Setapp

To get your hands on Setapp, install the desktop app. Once you sign up, the installer will be downloaded to your Mac in a zip. Double-click on “” to extract it. This will take you to “” – double-click and the app will be saved to the Applications folder.

Open the app and click on Launch to get access to the Setapp collection.

Setapp launch

Start using the apps

Your first stop in Setapp is the Explorer with personalized suggestions as well as recently added and newly updated apps. You can stay here or navigate to the full list of apps sorted by categories.

Search for Setapp via Spotlight

Searching the right fit

You don’t need to know the name of the app, it’s enough to describe what you want to do. While Setapp is available from the menu bar, you don’t even have to open the app every time you want to look for something – press Ctrl-Shift-Space and access the search field from anywhere.

Search for apps from your menu bar

If you want to explore apps across categories, here are some simple tips:

  • Click on All Apps to see the full list of options. Be ready for a deep scroll – the collection covers 150+ apps for now, and it’s growing fast.
  • Switch between categories by clicking on their names to see curated collections aligned with specific jobs.
  • Return to previous screen just as you do in your browser on Mac – using the arrows in the upper left corner.
  • Preview apps to learn more. If you click on any app, you’ll see its detailed preview along with screenshots on the right side of the screen.
  • Install by clicking the install button in the preview menu or under the app name in the list.
  • Click On This Mac to see all Setapp apps currently installed on your computer.
  • Open the app if it hasn’t been launched automatically. Once the app is installed, the Install button will be replaced by Open.
Note:You can disable the option of opening apps on the install if you go to Preferences > uncheck “Open automatically after installation.”

Adding to favorites

Whether you add apps from preview, the All Apps list, or categories, you’ll see the heart button next to each app. Click on it if you’re in love – with the app, of course. These apps will appear in your Favorites list. The beautiful thing is you can get all of them in one pack via the Install all button.

Add apps to favorites

Manage payments

Once your trial is over, you’ll have to provide your payment details to continue using Setapp. To do so, access your personal account at or click on the account icon in the top right corner of the app window to get there.

Manage payments

Select the Payment details tab and fill in your credit card information. The full list of acceptable options includes MasterCard, Maestro, AmEx, JCD, Discover, and Visa. You can also go to the PayPal tab and pay with your PayPal account. Check the box next to Invoicing information if you want receive invoices.

In the Receipts tab, you can track the history of your payments as well as download invoices to Mac or send to email.

Every month, you’ll be charged on the same day once your billing cycle is over. If there are any issues with your card and we can’t process your payment, you’ll be given a grace period of 14 days for you to update your payment information or add money to your PayPal. Otherwise, your account will be suspended.

Invite friends and extend your free trial

Every time you invite a friend and they sign up with your link, you get another free month of Setapp. You can invite up to 6 people which will give you half year of free Setapp. Here’s how you send an invite:

  1. Click on Friends program in your Setapp account.
  2. Copy an invite link.
    Invite link
  3. Send a link directly to your friend or use the social media buttons to share on Twitter or Facebook.

Uninstall Setapp apps

You can drag Setapp apps to Trash, just as you do with any other unwanted apps on your Mac. There’s also an easy way to uninstall apps from Setapp. If you go to On This Mac, open the app preview and then click on the disclosure triangle next to Open, you’ll see the Uninstall button.

Uninstall apps from Setapp

If you’re switching to a new Mac and want to keep your Setapp pack of installed apps, or vice verca – if you want to uninstall all apps at one go, navigate to Setapp Help > Uninstall and choose what you want to do.

Uninstall Setapp completely

Switch between subscription plans

Setapp offers Monthly, Annual, and Family plans as well as edu discount. If at some point you decide to change your current plan, here’s a short guide:

  1. Go to your Setapp account and select Subscription.
  2. Click Change Plan.
  3. Select a plan you want to switch to and click Change Plan.
Note:You’ll be charged for a new plan at the beginning of the next billing period. Free trial is not provided.

Install Mac essentials

They are the apps that you’ll find useful regardless of what you do.

iStat Menus

Lives in your menu bar, displays hours of battery life, weather, CPU load, memory load and tons of other vital stats about your Mac.

Install best apps via Setapp

CleanMyMac X

Cleans up your drive, deletes caches and old files, uninstalls apps, monitors your Mac’s health.

Use CleanMyMac


Rolls up extra menu bar icons in one item, so they don’t occupy so much space.

Bartender app

Discover new apps

Setapp is a growing collection and we want to give you as many tools for as many tasks as possible. We’re not sure how many apps is enough, maybe when Setapp hits 300 we’ll slow down the app-adding locomotive.

Discover new apps

Until then, make sure to check out our emails so we can send you a heads-up in our monthly digest. You can also view the new arrivals in the mainSetapp Desktop app, together with your personal app recommendations.

Let Setapp surprise you

A lot of apps on Setapp cover tasks you didn’t expect to be covered. For instance, there’s Noizio that makes beautiful ambient sounds of nature and helps you better focus on work. There are smart work time trackers (Timing), and even an app that resurrects deleted files (Disk Drill).

In other words, make yourself a cuppa and scroll through the list. After all, this box of gems is all yours now, might as well know what you have.

Get 210+ Mac apps for any job

Sign up to Setapp and try them for free.