To continue Setapp subscription or not

Looks like most of the apps you are using in Setapp are utility apps. Most of these has major update for at least 2-3 years so you are good to go.

I sign up to Setapp monthly when I need it. There are a couple of apps there that is much cheaper for me to rent from time to time when I have a paying gig that needed it.

Plus, Setapp’s intention is to actually showcase you the apps and they are actually encouraging people from buying directly. There’s also some benefit to some developers, like Yoink which hasn’t had any paid upgrade in the past since it was released. They earn a bit from people who have their app installed on Setapp. I own it through MAS too, but prefer to install the Setapp version just to give more to the developers.

I suggest, buy the apps you used daily. Sign up to Setapp when there is an app you wanted to try or use for short amount of time. Then evaluate again if you need those apps for your daily use.


Keep it!

It is well-worth the $! I love it. I am so glad I have it. It allows me to dabble in trying out new apps. Where else are you going find such a wonderful bargain? Plus the array is of quality apps.

And wired is correct. You can purchase the ones you use daily need be.

It is rewarding particularly to the smaller developers who cannot typically market their apps.

There is no way you are not going to save in the interim. I certainly don’t preclude the setapp producers from doing anything, especially with so many subscriptions out there (my pet peeve).

They are actually providing a service.

I mean, there are hundreds of quality apps available. I have it for $10 per month plus one other device for an additional $2.50. I’ve thought about adding for additional devices just to support these people.

I can think of just one app that I am aware of that put the app out there and then wound up charging way too much. That’s not the sort of people I want to buy from anyway!

And what I am paying? about forty cents per day??

There are at least that many apps that you would have tried, paid full price but didn’t have to do so. Plus if you factor in the apps you have bought that there are sitting on your devices collecting dust.

There is conceivably little way that I am not saving. Besides- it is FUN!


I used SetApp for a while, but settled on just a few apps that I really wanted (like Ulysses and MindNode). Given the additional fees for iOS devices, it was less expensive to subscribe directly and buy the couple of utilities I was using. And the developers get far more money with a direct subscription/purchase so I can better support the apps I actually use regularly.

If you like access to loads of utilities for a fixed fee then it’s a great service, and I found it helpful being able to try out e.g., MindNode vs iThoughtsX.

I found SetApp a bit of a distraction to productivity in the end - a bit like Obsidian where the huge number of plugins led to me constantly trying to evolve the system/workflow - especially since you’re paying for access to a large number of apps.

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Can youtube-dl replace Downie?

Cleanshot you don’t have to pay the annual fee - unless you see a compelling update.

I think look at what you use it’d be better to ditch.

I worked out that it would cost less than a year’s subscription to buy all the apps I used regularly. So, I cancelled and bought the apps directly. It just wasn’t offering me any value long term as I’d tried all the apps that interested me. The extra iOS costs made multi device much more expensive, so I’d have been spending more than just purchasing outright.


That is exactly what I did almost a year ago. I am no longer sold on Setapp… Actually, it is not that cheap when you use those apps on several devices. And when they started recommending stuff and harvesting usage data, it was time to move on. And I never looked back. I prefer supporting the developers directly without Setapp as an intermediate. :slight_smile:


Agree! Trying out new tools in hope to increase your productivity, contra using already owned ones and actually get work done.

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That’s what I ran into as well. Most apps in SetApp are available at reasonable prices from the devs, and dev-direct licenses typically let you run it on somewhere between 2 and 5 computers.

I have my “main” Mac, and a “server” Mac. Do I need to manage files on both with Path Finder? I suppose not. But it’s nice to be able to have the extra tool - and that costs me extra.

Even with their revised pricing, it’s $15 per month for their “power user” plan - which is $180 a year. $180 per year buys A LOT of apps, including the stuff I really found myself using. Some examples:

MarsEdit? $50, but new versions roll out every several years, maximum. It works out to less than $12 a year.
Path Finder? Got the current version on an upgrade discount, but even regular price is $36. And the new once-a-year paid upgrade - if you want the features - is something like $18.
Forklift? $30, but releases every 4-5 years.
Default Folder X? $36, but again - huge spacing between version rollouts and upgrades. And the upgrade fee last time was $15.

And at the end of your year of SetApp, those apps would all stop working if you didn’t pay. If you purchase them outright, they all keep going.

The one thing that made me consider it, honestly, was NotePlan. It’s my favorite task tracker, and it’s subscription only - $60 a year. And $60 a year puts a huge dent in the $180 to SetApp. But even with that “big rock”, I found it made more sense to just buy my apps outright and pay the NotePlan dev directly.

Even if I also used Ulysses, the math would still be pretty close as for buying apps vs. “renting”.

(And yes, as a parenthetical note, I know we all hate subscriptions - but the $60 a year for NotePlan in this case goes to a dev that’s super-active, constantly working on features, replies to emails, etc. IMHO it’s a “subscription done right”).


I have never understood the use of setapp beyond one month except maybe for a student during college… for anyone else, test out all of the apps, buy the ones you will use.


When I add up the apps I am using, many of them subscription apps, I come out ahead using Setapp. Plus, I like trying out apps and this is a great way to sample apps.

On the flip-side of @macsorcery I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t use Setapp. (I mean no ill-will in that statement.)


Unless you use some Bartender-specific feature, I’d recommend Hidden Bar (free).

I used Bartender 1 happily. Then I upgraded to a macOS that no longer supported it, tried Bartender 3 (admittedly not 4), and found it idling at 0.5% to 1% CPU. Not much. But as far as I am concerned, such as utility has no business using any CPU when idle.

Hidden Bar, to my delight, idles at 0.0% CPU, same as my Bartender 1 did, and as it ought to be IMO.

I also tried Vanilla and Dozer (other Bartender alternatives) prior to Hidden Bar being released, but found they too idled at 0.5% to 1% CPU, at least at the time.


I don’t use it but some of the most popular apps on Setapp are subscription-only for like $5-6/mo each. So basically, if you use even one of these, your “Setapp tax” would be halved, and if you use two or more, Setapp would be an outright discount.

Hi, what, pray tell, is MAS?

MAS is the Mac App Store.

So, Web, there is like a limit of one year included of any given app? I thought that as long as you paid the monthly fee you’d have all those apps available to you unless they discontinued their offer.

Let’s see… say I want to use Clean My Mac, after a year I would then have to buy it in order to keep using it?

Or rather you are concluding that it is not worth it because there is a charge that keeps right on going so you would have paid more than the equivalent had you just paid upfront.

I was under the impression that the developers get involved in this package as they come out ahead too.

I suppose I saw all these cool apps and their developers that got together so everyone could come out ahead, including the consumer.

Would you be so kind to elaborate a little?

Maybe it was too good to be true. I use to read ALL contracts.

No, there’s no one-year limit. The thing is though, it’s tempting to price SetApp’s single-year rate against the retail price of apps - and that’s bad math.

I use MarsEdit. $50 app if you pay up-front. It’s very tempting to think “wow, it’s in SetApp! Such a deal!” But that $50 MarsEdit up-front payment - based on historical data - will likely get me 4 years of app license. So split that over 4 years of SetApp, and it’s like $2 a month worth of value.

Or looking at it differently, over that 4 years I’ll have given SetApp $720 ($15/month for the “power user” bundle x 48 months). So my $50 MarsEdit license brings me down to $670.

Or maybe yet another way to look at it. I pay $10 a month for SetApp. I use a dozen apps. In fact, I likely come to rely on the apps in SetApp - possibly overlooking better or less expensive alternatives that aren’t in SetApp. Now I’m in a position where cancelling is a bad idea since licensing fees for every app I use basically have to be paid the month after I cancel SetApp.

If you use enough apps, it may be a good deal - but it’s far, far from a slam dunk. A fair number of people have done the math and figured that they were money ahead by quitting the service. With me, I’ll break even the first year without SetApp if I focus on the apps I really need - and I’ll have app licenses that will last me several more years.


This depends on your app usage. The apps I used in Setapp are still more expensive if I have to buy them individually. Since most of these expensive apps and most are not available for purchase (Hype, Flow, Aeon Timeline, Flinto, Typeface Pro) aren’t something I use all the time, it made sense to just subscribe when I need to. Plus some of the inexpensive apps that can supplement the kind of design work I do like Squash, Photobulk, Capto, CleanShot X, Diagrams, Mockups Studio. Daily driver like Ulysses and Mindnode, I have a separate annual subscription and some of the utility apps like Yoink, Bartender, iStats.

For @sridhar case, It’s better for him to just buy the apps individually baed on his usage.

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That’s really the whole issue. What I wonder though is what percentage of people are using enough apps to make the fees “worth it”.

I would suspect that the number is less than half of their user base - possibly much less.

I pay the “tax” for the simple fact that I don’t have to think about it.

I pulled the plug over a year ago and never looked back - I had used Setapp prior to that for a number of years earlier.

The logic went like this.

  • How many of those app do I actually use?
    I didn’t use that many to be honest, probably 7 or 8 (I made a list before deciding)
  • Is there anything else I own that can do the job (I do own already quite a little bit of software I must say).
    Eg, I didn’t need Ulysses if I have already IAWriter, Drafts and Scrivener
  • Is there anything free that can do the job?
    eg. Downie? I can do that with Jdownloader, windows management with Amethyst or others… etc…

And then… I bought individually the couple of pieces of software that I found useful and couldn’t easily replace (Bartender and PDF squeezer… Even if I could have replaced those two with Dozer and Automator if I really wanted).

I am not suggesting you cancel the subscription, but rather that you always evaluate before renewing.