Transmission for Mac: a lightweight torrent client

Jan Youngren
Jan Youngren | Chief Editor
Last updated: December 23, 2020
Transmission for Mac: a lightweight torrent client
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There was a time when Mac users’ first choice for torrenting was Transmission. Those days are long gone since Transmission decided to go cross-platform. But we still think Transmission is worth giving a try due to the fame it still has and the features it offers.


People love Transmission for Mac for a very good reason. It is the most “Mac-like” torrent client out there. Mac users consider themselves different from others, and they want their applications to be different as well. Probably this was one of the reasons why Transmission has lost its charm to so many people these days.

Anyways, Transmission is very lightweight and simple. But that doesn’t mean it has less features. The features are quite impressive, we have to concede. The main reason it took a minimalist approach in terms of design is to make sure everyone gets to use it. The application needs little to no configuration.

While some people do prefer such simplicity, there are users who want their torrent client to do more. However, before we give our verdict about Transmission for Mac, let’s see the features it has to offer.

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Basic features

  • Local connected system
  • Tracker editing
  • Exchange peers
  • Download and upload manager
  • Magnet link support

While the basic features might seem quite less compared to the other mac torrent clients available, we do think these features are enough for lightweight users who don’t want to put on too much burden on their computer. To be honest, most of the features of torrent clients are not even used by most users even for once.

How to install Transmission on Mac

Installing Transmission torrent is just as simple as the interface it has. The steps are very simple and easy to follow for anyone who has never used any other torrent client before.

  • Go to, and download the latest version of Transmission torrent.
  • Open the .dmg file
  • Drag Transmission to the Applications folder

Install Transmission on Mac 1

There you go, Transmission is ready to use!

The installation process is this much simple mainly because of the ultimate lightweight nature of the application. Heavier applications usually take longer time to install and also contain more complex steps.

How to download files with Transmission

One major drawback of using such a light torrent client is, you won’t be able to search torrent files directly from the application. You need to download torrent from other third party websites, and then open the torrent with Transmission for downloading the file.

Install Transmission on Mac 2

First, download the torrent of your desired file from a trusted website. Don’t go for any site you see online, as many of them will put malware in your computer. Save the torrent in a relevant folder for starting the file download process.

Now open Transmission torrent, and simply use it to navigate the .torrent file you have downloaded and hit Open.

Install Transmission on Mac 3

This will take you to a confirmation window, where you will be able to see the list of all files you will download as the .torrent file’s part. You can easily discard unwanted files from this list. If you have chosen the files that you want to download with the checkboxes, then you are ready for the download to start. Click Add.

Install Transmission on Mac 4

The download will start immediately, and you will be able to see the file names, download speed and estimated time in your Transmission Mac window. In addition, the information is also available in your Dock, where the Transmission icon is placed. This is a very cool feature, as there is no need to open the entire application window to see the download speed.

You can also choose to limit the download and upload speed according to your convenience. All you have to do is to simply right click over the file that is being downloaded choose your limit.

Things we liked

Here is the list of things we liked about Transmission Mac:

  • Very lightweight and uses minimum resources
  • Very simple and easy download process
  • Easy to install
  • Decent speed
  • Free of any charges

Things we didn’t like

Here are the things that we think lacks in Transmission torrent:

  • No built-in search option
  • Not too many advanced features
  • No media player
  • No super seeding
  • No embedded tracker

Our verdict

Whether you are going to like Transmission torrent or not, totally depends on the preferences and expectations you have from your torrent client. If you are a heavy user and have to download a lot of files every day, then we think one of alternative to Transmission app will be the right choice for you. We would recommend using clients like qTorrent or BitTorrent to heavy users.

But if you are a lightweight user and download a movie or two once in a while, then you can use Transmission torrent any day. Rather it is better to use this client for such users because substantial amount of resources can be saved.

Some users have expressed their concerns about Transmission mac malware issue from time to time, which seemed quite serious to us. While we are still not sure it is the fault of the application itself, it is recommended to use firewall and anti-virus. You can’t be more careful, you know!

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  1. Nathan F

    I actually don’t like transmission. Don’t get me wrong it’s great and it does the job but I feel it’s way too lightweight, the interface is too simple and I feel it’s more like an addon than a real software.

  2. redpillNeo

    I’ve used Transmission for years! there are a few bells and whistles I wish it had, but on the whole, it does the job I need it to. since I only torrent a little bit, there’s no real sense in me needing anything fancy anyway. love Transmission and will continue to use it as long as it’s around!

  3. swiftrider

    Why don’t they have a search option? This would have made things so much easier. Is it so hard to add such a feature? I’m asking because I really don’t know and I actually like Transmission and would like it even more if it did have this feature.

  4. 574Nano

    Mac users have a long history with Transmission, and I think the reason it is still in use is because it has gained entry into the market and it enjoyed early dominance. More so, I love the use of pictures in this post, it helped in illustrating how the platform works.

  5. Refat Eusha

    Brilliant thank you but can i download gta4 through it?

    Thanks again for making this.

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