2 of the Best Hex Editors for Mac: ImHex & Hex Fiend

Jul 3, 2024 - 1 Comment

The best hex editor options for Mac are open source and free to download

Hex editors are software tools that are able to view and edit hex data and raw binary data of files, and can be frequently used by programmers, developers, and reverse engineers, to inspect, debug, and analyze files and software. Some advanced users even rely on hex editors for data recovery and digital forensics, or to perform file format analysis, and some gamers rely on hex editors to modify or hack games to change game data or to enter cheat codes.

We’re going to show you two popular and powerful hex editors for Mac, both are open source (and one is cross-platform compatible so if you want to use the same hex editor not only on a Mac but also Linux and a Windows PC, it’s a great option).

ImHex – the Best Cross-platform Hex Editor for Mac

ImHex is a very powerful hex editor that is available not only for Mac, but also for Windows and Linux, making it the best cross-platform hex editor option available.

ImHex offers advanced data visualization tools, customizable layouts, a great design, file analysis tools, search tools, various editing modes, and much more. It’s quite powerful and if you want an advanced hex editor then it’s a great option.

ImHex hex editor for Mac

ImHex dark mode

ImHex supports both light mode and dark mode too, which is a nice feature that is desirable by many users.

One potential downside for some users for ImHex is that while it’s open source, the developer has not registered with Apple meaning the app is unsigned so to open it you must right-click and choose “Open” to get around Gatekeeper. If you’re not comfortable with that, then Hex Fiend is another option which we’ll cover next.

BTW if you’re unfamiliar with downloading compiled apps from Github, this guide will be useful to you, though if you’re techy enough to be using a hex editor you likely already know how to download apps from Github as well.

Hex Fiend – Fantastic & Friendly Native Mac Hex Editor

Hex Fiend is another hex editor option for Mac that is also open source, but exclusive to MacOS.

It has powerful features for comparison, search and replace, editing, and a simpler Mac-friendly design compared to ImHex.

Hex Fiend for Mac

For more casual users who need a hex editor to perform actions like game mods or file modifications, and they want a more friendly Mac app that does not require bypassing Gatekeeper just to open, Hex Fiend is a fantastic choice.

For super advanced users with complex hex editing needs, or who want cross-platform congruity, ImHex may be a better option.

Additional Hex Editor Options for Mac

Mac users can also edit hex directly in Xcode, but if you only need a simple hex editor and don’t want the giant download and associated tools of Xcode, then Xcode is undoubtedly overkill for your needs, especially when if you just need to perform some file modifications you can do that with much smaller downloads and simpler apps like Hex Fiend or ImHex.

If you’re a savvy command line user, you can also edit and view hex from the command line with the xxd command, or even with vim, as well.

Do you ever have a need to view or edit a files hexadecimal or ASCII? Do you find ImHex and Hex Fiend to be sufficient for your needs, or do you have another option you rely on? Share your thoughts in the comments!


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

One Comment

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  1. WerWolv says:

    Sponsor me if you want ImHex signed and notarized by Apple :)

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