Microsoft Project for Mac OS: Alternatives and Workarounds
It can be quite frustrating when you realize that you can’t download Microsoft Project for Mac OS, But there are still great alternatives you can download to meet your needs.
If you just got a new Mac computer, you might be disappointed to hear that Microsoft Project and Mac OS are incompatible. This can be quite frustrating since it is a well-known project management software, but at the same time, it doesn’t mean you have to get a new Windows PC.
You can go for different alternatives and workarounds instead. Mac users can edit MS Project files and access other productivity tools with suitable alternatives. This is good news, and we’ve put it all together for you in this guide.
Can I Run Microsoft Project on Mac?
No, you can’t run MS Project on Mac computers. Microsoft Project and Mac Operating System are incompatible because they have different structures and designs, so both platforms can’t communicate. Instead, Microsoft Project runs on a Windows OS, so users only own a Windows PC system.
The Microsoft Project Server was designed specifically for the Windows operating system, and Microsoft isn’t showing any interest in making an app for Apple devices.
But, Mac computers are compatible with many other project management software, which are great alternatives to MS Project, which we will get to in a minute. We would also explore how to run Windows apps and use MS Project on a Mac computer.
What Are The Best MS Project Alternatives for Mac?
Here are our top picks for those who need MS Project alternatives on MacOS computers.
Best Overall MS Project Alternative with Seamless User Experience, Easy Navigation, and Free Features
We think Monday.com is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a reliable alternative Microsoft Project for Mac computers. I was specifically impressed by the straightforward interface, third-party apps, and productivity features, many of which you can get with the free plan.Try Monday.com
Monday.com has different features you might have noticed on MS Project, like a Gantt chart and reporting features. Users will benefit significantly from the easy interface and no learning curve, and the entire project management software is easy to customize based on your needs and projects.
Mac users can easily streamline and track their goals, collaborate with others, and centralize all project plans in one place, making it one of the best project management software.
- Similar Functions to MS Project: Some features similar to Microsoft Project include Gantt charts, task lists, posting comments and tagging, timelines, track projects, co-authoring projects at a time, and reporting and analysis features. These offer maximum flexibility as you use Monday.com instead of running Microsoft Project.
- Easy to Customize: Monday.com allows you to customize many of your boards and columns, regardless of the type of data you input. You can also rename the text columns to accommodate the kind of data you’ll prefer.
- Third-Party Integrations: You also get access to a wide range of third-party integrations when using Monday.com on your Mac. These include Microsoft Teams, Google Calendar, Outlook, Slack, LinkedIn, OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Zoom, Gmail, and Adobe Creative Cloud. You get more integrated apps with the paid version.
There is a free plan and a 14-day free trial for the paid plan. With the paid plans, you can use Gnatt charts, multiple project dashboards, and workflow automation features.
Best Budget MS Project Alternative with an Endless List of Tools
We were especially impressed by the pricing plans offered by ClickUp because it manages to be on par with other top project management software while helping you cut down on costs. The platform is especially great for those working in media and marketing, so professionals in these sectors won’t miss Microsoft Project.Try ClickUp
ClickUp is one of the low-cost Microsoft Project alternatives for a Mac user that manages to offer what is expected from the best project management software. It is also media-friendly and comes with a free plan for those who want to use it personally.
Although their expansive list of features might seem all over the place, it’s always great to have more than what you need, and that’s what ClickUp offers.
- Media-Friendly Platform: ClickUp offers a wide range of media-friendly features asides from the basic project management features, making it stand out from MS Project. You can integrate with streaming and video services, record your screen, create interactive maps, and more with your coworkers.
- Extensive List of Productivity Features: You get an endless list of features on this platform, all meant to improve productivity. It might be quite difficult for teams to learn how to use all these features, and you might not need some of them. But, ClickUp ensures you have way more than the essential tools.
- 1000+ Integrations: There are over a thousand third-party integrations on ClickUp, including the free native connections and paid plan with Zapier. Some integrated tools include Dropbox, Zoom, YouTube, Zendesk, Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, Clockify, and more.
If you’re planning to use ClickUp by yourself, the free plan has everything you need to get started. If not, you can use their paid plans tailored based on how large your team is. You can also save up to 45% when you pay yearly.
Best Customizable MS Project Alternative with Focus On Collaboration and Workplace Productivity
What stood out to us concerning Smartsheet was its unique spreadsheet-like design, making it an ideal business app. Companies looking to increase collaboration and project management efficiency will love Smartsheet. Plus, you can start using it any time by importing previous data from Microsoft Project.Try Smartsheet
Smartsheet is a business app compatible with Apple devices that has won multiple awards, so it’s not surprising that it’s this high up on the list. The spreadsheet-like tool is a perfect fit for those who work well with Excel, although Smartsheet is more powerful and allows you to view Microsoft Project files.
Aside from opening MPP files, it also provides customization, whether the project's color theme or the app's setup to meet your needs.
- Easy to Import and Export: If you have MS Project files you want to view in an MPP format, you can easily do so with Smartsheet. It allows for easy importation and exportation and looks so good on MS Project that no one will know you initially used Smartsheet to make the Microsoft Project file.
- Collaboration and Reporting Tools: Smartsheet comes loaded with a full suite of collaboration and reporting tools, all under project management. You can set workflow automation and notifications for the entire team. It allows all team members to get the same alerts, reports, logs, and more. This Microsoft Project for Mac alternative is great for reporting, with a customizable summary report compatible with Excel.
- Third-Party Integrations with Business Apps: You can use other integrated business apps in this project management software, including Jira, Service Now, Box, Salesforce, and Microsoft Office. Users can extend the platform to webhooks or a REST API.
There’s no free plan when using Smartsheet, and the cheapest offer comes at $7 per user per month. But, it makes up for this with a 30-day free trial on each plan. The plans allow a minimum of three users, and larger businesses can contact the service for a price quote.
Best User-Friendly MS Project Alternative Offering Easy Access To All Information In One Place
If you’re having trouble staying organized, we highly recommend Wrike to solve that problem. It offers all the most-needed features found on Microsoft Project and combines it with its squeaky clean interface for easy access. We were also impressed by the personalization and DIY features.Try Wrike
From task management features and reporting templates to offering a Gantt chart view and custom notifications, Wrike comes with all the basic productivity features, making it an excellent alternative to Microsoft Project for Mac.
Its straightforward interface is easily noticed from your personalized dashboard, giving you quick access to all your tasks, inbox, and administrative menu. This project management software is especially recommended for marketing, creative, and service delivery teams, and they can curate their services to meet the needs of these particular teams, unlike MS Project.
- Create DIY Templates: There’s a lot of room for personalization when using Wrike, as it allows project managers to create DIY templates. You can standardize all processes and forms, whether it’s a blueprint or client forms. The DIY feature allows you to create and keep using just one without making a template over again. The feature also prevents data inconsistencies.
- Uncluttered User Interface: Wrike can be criticized for having too many features, but there’s no doubt that the neat design provides no learning curve. But remember that some useful features are buried in the settings and menu, so thoroughly explore them before you start using them.
- Third-Party Apps and MS Project Imports: You can use several third-party apps on Wrike, including Salesforce, Adobe Creative Cloud, Outlook, Dropbox, Box, Slack, Google Drive, and more. You can also import Microsoft Project files into Wrike and work on them.
You can use Wrike for free or pay as low as $9.80 per user per month to get started. The paid plans come with a 14-day free trial and upgraded features like workflow automation, time tracking, and custom schedules. Businesses are welcome to contact Wrike for the Enterprise plan or custom quotes for marketing, creative, and service delivery teams.
Best MS Project Alternative for Collaboration to Increase Accountability and Visibility
Those who want a Mac solution to promote collaboration and cooperation with their team will enjoy using Teamwork. What impressed us with this Microsoft Project for Mac alternative is the board view and inbuilt messaging system allowing co-workers to complete a project online while working from home.Try TeamWork
Teamwork is an all-in-one project management software that provides easy use for businesses and teams. It is especially ideal for small teams that need help in cooperation and productivity as it offers a task setting and Gantt chart.
Mac users can set goals, plan projects, use the integrated smart apps, collaborate, and report portfolios and schedules. It’s a top-quality alternative to Microsoft Project for Mac and offers a free plan.
- Collaborative Features: Teamwork is a project management tool focused on collaboration, so it has an integrated messaging function. Users can send personal and group messages with their team. Teams can also put project information in one folder and add updates for easy access. Project managers can set privacy settings and custom notifications to determine who sees what.
- Easy Project Planning: It is easy to plan projects with Teamwork, as it features Gantt charts and task settings. The project manager can assign tasks to different workers and use milestones to get a clear view of the project's progress. The platform comes with a calendar and templates.
- Board View and Time Tracking: Time management is essential, and Teamwork recognizes it, as it features time tracking for calculating billable hours. With the Board View, users have a complete project viewer to see all the tasks and activities they’re working with.
Teamwork has a free plan for small teams if you want free alternatives to MS Project, but you can get more features when you go for the paid plans. Large businesses will have to contact the service for a quote. If you go for a paid plan, you get to try it for free for 30 days.
Best MS Project Alternative for Workflow Automation and Project Management
Asana is an impressive project management software that easily outperforms other software. It is an excellent alternative to Microsoft Project for Mac, as it is easy to use, offers advanced customization, and is designed in a Kanban style.
It especially stands out with the automation tools, and it is easy to get started with the free or paid plan.
- Different Project Views Available: Asana offers different project viewer versions to see your tasks and schedule in various ways, which is a pretty impressive feature. You can view tasks on Kanban boards, on the calendar, per workload, on lists, in portfolios, or via timelines. All team members can choose what view they want, and there's a lot of room for customization.
- Automation for Repetitive Tasks: Repetitive tasks like alerting the team after a project, checking a task off the list, cascading due dates, assigning tasks to the next member, and more can be automated with Asana. Its graphical workflow builder works for even the most complex tasks.
- Collaborative Tools: Asana also makes it easier for teams to work together, as team members have file-sharing tools for sending documents, viewing each other's schedules, and assigning tasks. The project plan is centralized for all workers, and there are integrated messaging and email tools for proper communication.
Small teams and individuals don’t have to pay to use Asana, although few features are available in the Basic Plan. You can save money when you pay annually instead of monthly and large businesses can request quotes.
Best MS Project Alternative for Accounting and Budgeting Tools
When using Celoxis, you can enjoy many more features offered by Microsoft Project. What makes it even better is the impressive suite of accounting features.
Companies that need help with project budgeting and calculating billable hours will prefer this service.
- Built-in Accounting Tools: Celoxis comes with a wide range of accounting features that don’t require app integrations. The project manager can use it to generate reports for budgets, the profit received, and receivables on all projects. It also handles revenue forecasting, margin tracking, and financial KPIs.
- 400+ Integrations: There are over 400 apps integrated into Celoxis, which makes it easy for you to get a wide range of tasks done. These include Google Docs, Quickbooks Online, Evernote, Zendesk, Trello, MailChimp, MS Excel, Salesforce, and more.
- Project Management on the Go: Celoxis users access a wide range of project management tools, all of which can be used from the phone. This allows employees to operate the app and collaborate while on the go.
Celoxis offers a single-tier pricing plan depending on what you’re looking for and a 30-day free trial. It also provides a free demo for prospective users who want to learn how it works.
Best MS Project Alternative for Project Management Software with Virtual Assistant
Another top Microsoft Project alternative made specially for Mac and iOS devices is Project Plan 365. It is designed very similarly to Microsoft Project and allows Mac users to open and edit MPP files which is the same format that Microsoft Project uses.
If you’ve been using Microsoft before, you can simply transfer your MS Project files and keep on managing projects the same way. You also get basic productivity features for MS Project plans, like a Gantt chart and Task Usage.
- Global Support: Project Plan 365 supports over a hundred currencies and twelve languages, which makes it easy for a remote team to finish a project online. It also features all the basic views for managing tasks, including Gantt charts, Calendar, Resource Management, Network Diagram, Task Usage, and more.
- Virtual Project Management Assistant: This platform provides even more support with Erix, an AI chatbot that assists users. You can turn to Erix for troubleshooting, FAQs, a definitions database, and help on current projects.
- Integrated with Cloud Providers: Asides from saving and viewing MS Project files, Project Plan 365 integrates with major cloud providers. These include iCloud, OneDrive, Dropbox, SharePoint Online, and Box.
Although there are no free plans, Project Plan 365 for Mac features a 30-day free trial and demo version. You can move on to the paid plan if it works best for you.
Best MS Project Alternative for Team Communication
Hive is a feature-packed Microsoft Project for Mac alternative which stands out mainly for its communication feature. It allows a Mac user to use the in-built messaging feature to send and receive messages related to a project.
All of these can be done without leaving the platform. There is also an exhaustive list of project management, task coordination, and collaboration tools.
- Best for Communication: It’s easy to communicate with your team using Hive. You can also send documents by uploading them directly to a task or project. Whenever updates are made, everyone in your team can see them, leading to effortless communication.
- Easy to Import Data: If you’re using Microsoft Project and other project management software besides Hive, you can import MS Project files and continue from where you stopped. You can also import MPP files from some on our list, like Smartsheet and Asana.
- 1000+ Integrations: There are over 1000 integrated apps in Hive, a few of them being OneDrive, Google Drive, Zoom, Salesforce, Box, Dropbox, and Slack.
You can choose to use Hive for free, although more features come with the paid plan. Hive Teams is $4 cheaper when you pay annually, and large businesses need to request a quote. It has a 14-day free trial.
10. Zoho Projects
Best MS Project Alternative for Growing Businesses
Zoho Projects is an award-winning product management software and Microsoft Project alternative for Mac devices from Zoho. It can meet the needs of dynamic and traditional teams, regardless of what you’re looking for.
Zoho Projects is especially recommended for scalability when businesses are expanding their operations. Its major highlights include the in-built chat, Gantt chart, social feed, and kanban board.
- Customizable As Your Business Grows: With Zoho Projects, you can add more features that you need as your business grows. These include software for CRM, IT, sales, and HR. It also has multiple features for a project manager, including task sheet automation, project planning, budgeting features, resource management charts, and more.
- Easy to Use: It is effortless to use and customize Zoho Projects, even when you’re new to them. The platform offers an onboarding process and an online guide for users, and you can adjust visibility to meet your needs.
- Zoho Ecosystem: You can connect Projects with other software in the Zoho ecosystem, including CRM, Finance, and Desk. This gives room for many other third-party integrations.
While there is a free plan, it is limited to only two projects and will come in handy if you’re not planning on using Zoho Projects for a long time. The paid plans are available on multiple projects and become cheaper when you pay yearly, saving up to 20%. There is a 10-day free trial, and you need to pay extra for client users.
How to Trick Your Mac Into Running MS Project
The MS Project for Mac alternatives on our list has similar features to what Microsoft offers. You can open a Microsoft Project file and efficiently manage a project online with them. But, you might be set on using Microsoft Project for Mac either way.
If you want to keep on using what you’re familiar with, you can trick your Mac device and make it run MS Project by getting Windows installed. Many Mac users install a Windows Virtual Machine on their computer instead.
This gives your Mac device the same functionality as a Windows operating system, allowing you to download and use Microsoft Project successfully. Not only this, but you can run Windows apps on Mac computers.
Choosing the best Windows Virtual Machine will make it easy to seamlessly switch between your Mac and the Windows platform when needed and run Microsoft Project. The best virtual machine software to install Windows include Parallels and Virtual Box.
How to Use Parallels
Parallels allow you to use a Windows version on Mac computers effortlessly and is intuitive and easy to use. The virtual machine comes with a 14-day trial, after which you must opt for the paid plans.
Follow the installation process below to run Microsoft Project and other Windows apps on Mac OS with Parallels desktop.
- Simply download it on your Mac computer and install Windows
- Then, run MS Project on the Windows operating system.
- The Parallels desktop would be open in one window, or you can assign a desktop to it.
How to Use Virtual Box
Virtual Box is also highly recommended as a top Windows Virtual Machine. It is free but also tech-savvy, making it difficult for the everyday person to use. The open-source platform has a complicated process to set up as a Windows platform.
Here is the Windows installation process for Microsoft Windows apps.
- You first need to download Virtual Box and OS X Hosts, then follow the steps to install them.
- Then, you need to create your Virtual Machine, allocate storage, and select the location.
- Once you’re done, you can download Microsoft Project on the Windows operating system.
- Start running MS Project on the Windows OS desktop version.