Getting started with Setapp

5 min read

Setapp is on a mission to make you the most productive version of yourself. To achieve this, you should start focusing on tasks rather than apps that solve those tasks. Here’s how Setapp can help you with that. 

Before we start, a short intro: Setapp is available in monthly and yearly plans. It also has offers for families and teams. With a personal plan, you can use Setapp on 1 Mac, but if you own more, you're welcome to buy additional seats. Want to share your account with your loved ones? Get a Family plan and invite up to 3 people. Want to share Setapp with your team? Get Setapp for Teams.

You have tasks, Setapp has apps

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

Setapp is an ever-growing collection of Mac and iOS apps

Setapp apps are not installed by default, to save your disk space. So you can install the ones you like and uninstall them easily. 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 wait a few seconds for the download to complete. 

Setapp installer

Get used to searching for solutions, not apps

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

personalized suggestions

Search 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

If you want to explore apps by functions, here are some tips:

  • Click on All Apps to see all the apps available. Be ready for a long scroll — the collection covers 210+ apps for now, and it’s growing fast.

  • Switch between categories geared towards specific jobs, such as development, writing, etc. 

  • Return to the previous screen just as you do in your browser on Mac – using the arrows in the upper left corner.

  • Preview apps. If you click on any app, you’ll see its detailed preview with screenshots and key features. 

  • Install by clicking the install button in the preview menu or under the app name in the list.

  • Some apps can be installed on both Mac and iPhone — look for the “iOS app” button on the app preview page. 

  • 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.”

Add to favorites

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


Solve complex tasks with collections 

Collections is where Setapp apps join forces to help you solve problems and hit new milestones. Get a collection of apps that accelerate routine tasks, a screen capturing toolkit, a shortcut for developers, apps that help update macOS, etc. You’ll find Collections in the left sidebar, above app categories. 

Setapp apps collections

Manage payments

Once your trial is over, you’ll be asked to provide your payment details to continue using Setapp. Or, if you’ve provided payment info before, you’ll be charged automatically. Track your payments at (click on the account icon in the top right corner of the app window to get there). 

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 pay with your PayPal account. Check the box next to Invoicing information if you want to receive invoices.

In the Receipts tab, you can track the history of your payments as well as download invoices on 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 use Setapp for free

Every time you invite someone and they sign up with your link, both of you get a free month of Setapp. You can invite as many people as you like. If you nail lots of successful referrals, you might as well end up using free Setapp forever — we don’t mind. Here’s how you send an invite:

  1. In your Setapp account, go to “Earn rewards”

  2. Copy an invite link and send it directly to a person or use the social media buttons to share on Twitter or Facebook

  3. Alternatively, send an invite by email.

Invite friends and use Setapp for free

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 Setapp apps

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

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

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).

Make sure to check out our emails so we can send you a heads-up on the new apps in our monthly digest. You can also view the new arrivals in the main Setapp Desktop app, together with your personal app recommendations. 

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 230+ Mac apps for any job

Sign up to Setapp and try them for free.