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Apps to install when you got the new Mac

Calvin Nguyen
Software Engineer
Updated on ・4 min read

A guide to set up your Mac and improve your programming experience to another level with Vim/Zsh/Tmux, macOS Apps, Extensions for high productive development


Whenever I got a new laptop, it usually takes me up to 2 hours to re-setup everything again, and I start getting tired and annoyed. Every time I set up my Mac again, I learned something new and cool things that improve my programming experience better.

So, I make a collection of setup and apps to share with you my personal guide of setting up a new Mac for software development.

1. System Preferences

Alt Text

  • System Preferences > Trackpad/Keyboard > set up as above images
  • iCloud > login to your account
  • Filevault: On
  • Disable Ask Siri
  • Location Services: On (Limited)
  • Check software updates
  • Messages app > add your Number + email
  • App Store > install previously installed applications

2. Terminal


  • It’s a replacement to Spotlight because it’s way much faster when it comes to search any files: brew cask install alfred


  • Install Xcode: $ xcode-select --install

  • Install Homebrew: $ /bin/bash -e "$(curl -fsSL"

  • brew cask install to install an application


Optional: ZSH/Tmux/Vim*Y7MmBIs_8Xfx76MQOSfbiA.png

3. Git

Git has become one of the main tools that every developer should know how to use it. The new Mac usually comes with Git pre-installed.

  • Install git: brew install git

  • Config git:

$ git config --global "Your Name"
$ git config --global ""

You will constantly be using Git daily, and SSH will allow you to pull and push to git without re-entering email and password every single time.

4. Install Mac Apps with command line

If you’re a fan of command-line, and you don’t want to install apps by going through each of them on Chrome. then you should try mas

  • Install mas for quick setup: $ brew install mas

  • Search for your app: $ mas search XCode . You will find the app ID for each app

  • Copy the App ID into 1 command line: $ mas install <app_id1> <app_id1> <app_id3>

Note: If these apps below don’t have an app ID, then you have to install it from the browser. (Links included)


  1. XCode: 497799835
  2. The Unarchiver: 425424353
  3. Microsoft Word: 462054704
  4. Excel: 462058435
  5. PowerPoint: 462062816
  6. VSCode
  7. Postman
  8. Docker


  1. Slack: 803453959
  2. Notions: 974929595
  3. Zoom: 884018914


  1. Messenger: 1480068668
  2. WeChat: 836500024
  3. Line: 539883307
  4. Chrome
  5. Viber
  6. Spotify
  7. Open Spotify: This website lets you listen to Spotify music with NO Ads

5. Chrome Extension

You don’t want to install many Chrome extensions unless you want it to “eat” a lot of your RAM or unless you have a powerful computer.

Here are the TOP 6 that I used daily:

  1. Adblock Plus: Block all the ads
  2. Grammarly: Used to check my grammar when I write essays, blogs, etc.
  3. Honey: To find me the best deals
  4. Rakuten: Give me cash back when I shop online
  5. Redux Dev Tool: For debugging with React
  6. JSON View: View JSON on the web browser prettier

6. VSCode Extension

  1. Prettier
  2. AutoClose Tag
  3. Auto Rename Tag
  4. Better Comments
  5. Debugger for Chrome
  6. ESLint
  7. Gittens
  8. Go
  9. HTML Snippets
  10. Javascript (ES6)
  11. code snippets
  12. Python
  13. Turbo Console.log
  14. dotENV
  15. npm Intellisense
  16. Path Intellisense
  17. Live Server
  18. Color Highlight

Discussion (5)

ginomempin profile image
Gino Mempin • Edited

I know this post is more about setting-up a Mac, but I just want to share that for VS Code, I recommend using the Settings Sync extension for setting-up VS Code on a brand new machine.

On an old/previous machine, just upload your settings (will include installed extensions). Then in the new machine, first install Settings Sync, then download all your settings (will also install extensions). This way, you don't have to remember which extensions to install and which settings to configure.

I think VS Code is making this a built-in feature but I haven't tried it yet.

calvinqc profile image
Calvin Nguyen Author

Nice, that's a great feature. I used it as well. I listed them all to help newbies as well, but definitely try to put it in the post

cocoonkid profile image

look into ansible and automate the whole thing.. Wasting 2 hours is way too much, also dump a brew file.

alandbh profile image
Alan Vasconcelos

Thanks for the post!
However, I'd like to suggest to move from Postman to Insomnia.

It's cleaner, faster, open source, and it has a pretty UI. 🙂

calvinqc profile image
Calvin Nguyen Author

Nice, it looks awesome, definitely give it a try tonight, I also use swaggerUI before, but don't like it that much (maybe because I use Postman daily and get used to it).