The Best Free RSS Reader for Mac OS X is NetNewsWire

Sep 24, 2012 - 19 Comments

NewNewsWire RSS Reader for Mac OS X

OS X Mountain Lion may have removed the native ability to subscribe to RSS feeds from Safari in addition to the feed reader in Mail, but that doesn’t mean your RSS feed reading habits are toast on the Mac. Quite on the contrary, there’s a fantastic free RSS reader available to OS X users called NetNewsWire, and not only is it the best free feed reader for the platform, it may be the best RSS reader for Mac in general.

To subscribe to a new feed, just click the big (+) Subscribe button in the top left corner and place in a web address – you don’t even need to directly link to RSS feeds, give it a short name, and click Subscribe again. Naturally, adding should be your first subscription…

NetNewsWire is surprisingly full featured, customizable, and it will even sync with subscriptions stored in your Google Reader account. With OS X Lion onward, you’ll get full screen support as well. There’s even a handy “Send to Instapaper” functionality so you can save feed items to read later on an iPad or iPhone, though it would be nice if adding stories to Pocket was also an option. All in all it’s a fantastic free app and well worth downloading.

We’ve received a fair amount of questions about RSS readers since the release of OS X Mountain Lion, and hopefully NetNewsWire will help to alleviate some of those questions. The app works with OS X 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8 onward. Finally, don’t forget that Safari users can also get a third party extension that adds back the RSS subscription button, making it easy to subscribe to websites feeds right from the browser again.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Markus says:

    I think it’s crap that Apple removed RSS from mail. I only subscribed to a few RSS feeds, OSXDaily being one of them. Now I’m forced to download another app just to be able to read my three RSS subscriptions!?!?!?!

    I wanted to look back at a previous OSXDaily post and couldn’t find it in mail… now I have to search the entire website for what I’m looking for, where I had it marked and easy to find in Mail.

    Not too happy with Mountain Lion. :-/

  2. RickF says:

    NetNewsWire originally came from sources that were for a PC only software called FeedDemon that was originally written by Nick Bradbury.. I was a registered user probably >10 years ago and about 6-7 years ago (give or take) he sold the rights to it as I recall to the company that turned it into NNN and it looks as if it’s been sold again to another company now.. It looks identical to the old PC only FeedDemon product of 10 years ago.. Too bad nobody over there knows how to keep up with technology..

    Also, I’m a paid “Reeder” user and it is OK but is far from my favorite reader — I hate the disappearing scrollbars the most.. Yuck!! I’m looking around for something else — that apparently is NOT in the AppStore! I’ll be trying out Vienna to see how it fares!

  3. Ricardo says:

    Reeder is a really good app! I recommend

  4. tokyojerry says:

    I tried to make NetNewsWire sync with all my RSS feeds in Google Reader. It did not sync any of them for me except for about 6 items from one RSS feed. I must have at least 100 RSS feeds on Google Reader. Just FYI for any one considering to try this application. Reeder (paid version) no problem to sync with the same Google Reader account.

  5. Nilesh Parmar says:

    like like like, thanks for your facebook comment

  6. frin says:

    Personally I used Vienna until I switched to paid Reeder. It’s worth it.

    Never liked NetNewsWire at all. I guess you only tried 1 RSS reader.

  7. tom says:

    I tried netnewswire for a while, didn’t really like it. Currently using gruml. Simpler interface and option for vertical/horizontal partition between post list and article preview. It’s not updated that often too and the latest version sometimes hangs on wake from sleep. Otherwise it works quite well.

    Looking for a better alternative though.

  8. MacDan2004 says:

    I have used NetNewsWire for years. This week I tried Mixtab (on the Mac App Store). It’s a neat, elegant way to read feeds, especially those that contain a image in them. Very visual and fluid. Only thing it lacks for my taste at this point is a search feature to search across all feeds at once.

  9. Elie says:

    While NNN is still decent it havent had an update in months, which is starting to annoy me a bit.
    The main reason I’ve stick with it was for the ability to automatically download attachments into a folder, I have yet to find a functional RSS reader that does that.

  10. Ceveces says:

    They have a good iPad app top. Reeder is also good.

  11. alerm says:

    Netnewswire is really good.
    It SYNCS with google reader and in “combined view” it looks similar to google reader web interface, so you just have to scroll down to go between news. It’s a shame though that it isn’t updated anymore. I prefer it more than reeder which looks really good but is not very functional.

  12. Dave Nottage says:

    “Syncs with Google Reader or runs stand-alone..”

    It was able to read my subscriptions from Google, but it didn’t sync which messages I’ve read/unread, otherwise it’d be a real winner!

  13. Murat Ozgul says:

    My favorite is Vienna. Vienna is the best free alternative. Im using almost 4 years.

  14. Jo says:

    “Vienna” is the free alternative! Open-source. Excelent…

  15. Fischmuetze says:

    No! It isn’t the best … The commercial version was developed since years only in micro steps … always still version 3.x. The free version comes as 4.0 with the last update 18 month old. I have no clue how you could promote this as the best new reader exept you got money for this headline

  16. Kirk Edgar Aplin says:

    I think you ought to mention, right after saying it’s free, that it is supported by ads. And a non-ad-crippled version costs ~$15.

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