8 Best IRC Clients for Mac Users in 2023

You’ve come to the right place if you’re a Mac user who loves real-time text-based communication. IRC (Internet Relay Chat) clients offer a unique and interactive way to connect with like-minded individuals, share ideas, and engage in lively conversations. This article explores the top 10 IRC clients for Mac users that will enhance your chat experience. Say goodbye to dull conversations and discover the perfect IRC client to elevate your chatting game.

Let’s jump right in! But before going ahead with our best IRC clients list for Mac, let’s understand what an IRC client is & the use case of it.

What Do You Mean by The Term ‘IRC Client’?

IRC is a text-based chat protocol that was created in 1988. It is still in use today, although its popularity has declined recently. IRC (Internet Relay Chat) clients are the go-to tools for engaging and interactive chat experiences. These software applications allow users to connect to IRC servers and participate in chat rooms or channels.

IRC clients provide a graphical or command-line interface to interact with the IRC network. They typically allow users to join different channels, send and receive messages, and perform various actions such as changing nicknames, setting status messages, and managing user preferences. IRC clients come in various forms, including desktop applications, web-based clients, and mobile apps.

IRC clients can be a great way to connect with others who share your interests. They are also valuable tools for technical support, collaboration, and networking.

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What is IRC Client Used For?

IRC clients are still in use in 2023. While its popularity has declined in recent years, it is still used by several people and organizations for various purposes.

Here are some examples of where IRC clients are still used:

  • Open Source Communities: Many open source communities use IRC clients to communicate with each other and collaborate on projects. For example, the Linux kernel development community uses IRC to discuss and coordinate changes to the kernel.
  • Technical Support: Some technical support teams use IRC clients to support customers. For example, the Mozilla Firefox support team uses IRC to answer user questions about the browser.
  • Gaming: Some gamers use IRC clients to communicate during online games. For example, many World of Warcraft players use IRC to coordinate raids and other activities.
  • Live Events: IRC clients can also support live events, such as concerts, conferences, and sporting events. For example, the organizers of the DEFCON security conference use IRC to provide information and support to attendees.
  • Disaster Relief: IRC clients can be used for disaster relief efforts. For example, the Red Cross used IRC to communicate with volunteers and coordinate relief efforts during the Haiti earthquake 2010.

Overall, IRC clients are still a valuable tool for communication and collaboration. While they may not be as popular as they once were, they are still used by several people and organizations for various purposes.

10 Best IRC Clients For Mac

1. Textual


Let’s start our list with Textual, a sleek and intuitive IRC client designed specifically for macOS. With its clean interface and powerful features, Textual ensures you stay effortlessly connected. Customize themes, secure direct message encryption, and embrace a chat experience tailored to your preferences. It is a paid IRC client for macOS. It is also well-supported by the developer, who quickly responds to bug reports and feature requests.

It is available for macOS 10.10 or later for $7.99.

Get Textual

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2. LimeChat


If you prefer an IRC client that is lightweight and user-friendly, LimeChat is your go-to choice. LimeChat is a free and open-source IRC client for macOS known for its ease of use and modern interface? Designed with simplicity, LimeChat offers an elegant interface that allows you to navigate IRC channels effortlessly. Embrace customization with various themes and plugins, making LimeChat the perfect fit for Mac users seeking an enjoyable chat experience.

LimeChat is available for macOS 10.10 or later.

Get LimeChat

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3. WeeChat


WeeChat is a highly customizable, command-line-based IRC client available for various operating systems, including Mac. It is designed to provide a lightweight and efficient IRC experience while offering a wide range of features and flexibility. WeeChat offers a wide range of customization options, allowing users to change the look and feel of the client to their liking. WeeChat supports a wide range of plugins that enhance its functionality.

WeeChat is a free and open-source IRC client.

Get WeeChat

4. HexChat


HexChat is a popular cross-platform IRC client also available for Mac users. It offers a user-friendly graphical interface and a wide range of features, making it a versatile choice for IRC communication. You can add multiple servers and manage your connections efficiently. HexChat provides a convenient way to manage channels and private messages. Like other IRC clients, HexChat supports scripting using popular languages like Python and Perl.

HexChat is a free and open-source IRC client.

Get HexChat

5. Irssi


Irssi is a powerful and highly customizable IRC client primarily command-line based. While it may not have a graphical user interface (GUI) like other IRC clients, it offers a rich set of features and flexibility, making it a popular choice among advanced users. irssi has a powerful scripting language that allows users to automate tasks and create custom commands. A wide range of plugins are available for irssi, which add new features and functionality.

Irssi is a free and open-source IRC client.

Get Irssi

6. XChat Azure

XChat Azure

XChat Azure IRC client is a free and open-source IRC client based on the XChat codebase. It is a native macOS front-end for XChat, a popular IRC client for Linux. XChat Azure offers several features that make it a good choice for macOS users. With its user-friendly interface, connection management capabilities, channel, and private message management tools, customization options, and file transfer support, XChat Azure provides a comprehensive IRC experience for Mac users.

Get XChat Azure

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7. Smuxi


Smuxi is a free and open-source IRC (Internet Relay Chat) client designed to be user-friendly and feature-rich. It provides a graphical interface for connecting to and participating in IRC networks. Smuxi supports multiple tabs and windows, allowing you to join multiple channels and chat rooms simultaneously. Smuxi is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it accessible on various operating systems. It can synchronize the IRC message history with the server, allowing you to view past messages even when disconnected from the channel.

Get Smuxi

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8. Colloquy


Colloquy is a popular IRC client for macOS and iOS devices. It provides a sleek and intuitive interface for connecting to and interacting with IRC networks. It includes a number of powerful features, such as support for multiple servers, channels, and accounts, as well as support for plugins, macros, and scripts. Colloquy is a stable and performant client unlikely to crash or slow down your system. It is a free and open-source client.

Get Colloquy

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Best IRC Clients for Mac

Whether you’re a seasoned IRC user or just starting your journey into the world of real-time text-based communication, these top 8 IRC clients for Mac users have got you covered. From sleek and minimalist designs to feature-rich powerhouses, these clients offer diverse options to suit every preference. So, go ahead, choose your favorite IRC client, and embark on exciting conversations with like-minded individuals.

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