Best Instant Messaging Client for Mac: Adium

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Adium is a free and fast instant messaging client for Mac which supports many popular chat networks. Adium allows you to connect with Google Talk, FaceBook, Novell Groupwise, AIM, MySpaceIM, MobileMe, Xmpp, Twitter, MSN, ICQ, Jabber, Yahoo! Japan, Yahoo!, Lotus Sametime, IRC, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, and SIP/SIMPLE. So in a nutshell it does support most of the popular instant messaging protocols.

Their are many instant messaging clients for  Mac OS X. I think that Adium is the best instant messenger for this platform, its fast, free, and open source.

adium interface screenshot

If you search for best instant messenger for Mac on Google, Adium will come up in the first page. This show how popular Adium is amongst the Mac OS X users. Adium looks amazing as shown in the screenshot above; I have changed the theme and enabled the transparency feature according to my taste. So don’t worry if your window does not show up like mine.

This instant messenger for Mac has an awesome minimalistic interface and is completely free. The tabbed messaging feature makes it really easy to juggle through multiple chats. This application is highly themeable which lets you change the way the buddy list, chat window, etc. look, also you can add custom sound sets.

There are backdraws to this application: Adium does not support video or voice chat, this is sort of frustrating.The good thing about this application is that it is light weight, fast, and a superb multi protocol messenger for Mac OS X. While using this application I did not encounter any hiccups, slowdowns or errors. This application has bee created for simple chatting across multiple IM platform and it is darn good at it.

If you have a Windows computer as well, you can try Digby or Trillian Astra.

How to install Adium Free Instant Messenger for Mac:

To start with the installation click here, this will redirect you to there homepage from where you can download the Adium for Mac OS X. Now find the downloaded file and double click on it. After this is done a window should pop-up as shown in the screenshot below. To install the application just drag the Adium icon into the Application folder as described by the installer.

how to install adium

How to configure Adium:

To start using Adium just find it in the application folder and click on it. This will bring up the window, here you are supposed to add the accounts that you would like use through this instant messenger. So go on start adding them, get over with this boring part and start chatting with friends and family as soon as you are done with this part. To start chatting just click on the person you would like to chat with out of the list and it will bring up a chat window as shown in the first screenshot below.

Features of Adium:

  • The best feature of this application is that it supports almost every type of IM account you can think of. These include: Google Talk, FaceBook, Novell Groupwise, AIM, MySpaceIM, MobileMe, Xmpp, Twitter, MSN, ICQ, Jabber, Yahoo! Japan, Yahoo!, Lotus Sametime, Internet Relay Chat, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, SIP/SIMPLE.Adium supported chat networks
  • The application shows, a notification as seen in the screen shot below, whenever a person contacts you or comes online. I really love this feature. I just leave the application running in the background; whenever a person of interest comes up, I chat him/her up and I don’t have to keep looking through the list to find a out who came online after a while.Adium notifications
  • The amount of plugins are amazing, this lets you customize Adium according to your need and taste. There is a section called Xtras Manager, these include third-partly extras. Anyway there is a whole site dedicated to Adium Xtras click here to view it. You will be amazed by the amount of customizability of this application.
  • The application supports the ability to transfer files across computers. But not having voice and video chat is a bummer, hope they include this feature in the future. Because when I have to do so, I end up opening some other official client for this task.
  • Adium lets you set status from within the application. Any IM that supports this feature automatically gets updated, so that you don’t have to set them up individually. One thing I love about this application is the ability to set your current status based on the current music playing in iTunes; this is really cool.statusbar adium interface


This application is the best free all-in-one multi protocol messenger for Mac. If you want a simple and central solution for your messaging needs then this is the best solution for available for free. Adium offers a simple, fast, and effect way of  managing your IM networks. But inability to support voice and video chats are a little disappointing, anyway this application excels in most of the features that are implemented compared to other alternatives. I would highly recommend this application for any one how is using a Mac.

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Works With: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later
Free/Paid: Free

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