How To Run Stable Diffusion On Mac [4 Methods]

Stable Diffusion is a popular text-to-image generator that can be installed on your computer and run locally without the need for an Internet connection. 

In this guide, I’ll show you how to run Stable Diffusion on Mac without any complicated setup. This will allow you to use Stable Diffusion for free locally and also avoid paying subscriptions to other alternatives like Midjourney. 

So, without further ado, let’s get started. 

Stable Diffusion Requirements for Mac

Before we begin, let’s discuss the system requirements for running Stable Diffusion on Mac. 

You’ll need an M1 CPU or higher to properly run Stable Diffusion on Mac. This means you can run it on M1, M1 Pro, M2, M2 Pro, and M2 Pro Max. 

The device you use doesn’t matter as long as you have the above CPU in it. So, you can run Stable Diffusion on Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, iMac, or Mac Studio. 

Since Stable Diffusion utilizes RAM when running on a Mac, it’s recommended to have atleast 16GB of RAM on your device. The higher your RAM, the better performance you’ll get when running Stable Diffusion. 

All in all, the key component for achieving good performance in Stable Diffusion on Mac is your CPU and RAM. The integrated GPU of Mac will not be of much use, unlike Windows where the GPU is more important. 

How To Run Stable Diffusion On Mac

There are multiple methods of using Stable Diffusion on Mac and I’ll be covering the best methods here. 

Stability Matrix (Recommended)

The fastest and easiest method for running Stable Diffusion on Mac is by using a software called Stability Matrix. 

This is a one-click installer for Stable Diffusion that lets you install any Stable Diffusion UI such as Automatic1111, ComfyUI, InvokeAI, and more.

The process of installing Stable Diffusion using Stability Matrix is very simple. Check out our video on how to use this software. The video demonstrates how to use Stability Matrix in Windows but the process remains the same. 

Go to the Stability Matrix Github page and download the software for MacOS. 

Stability Matrix - Download

Once downloaded, choose the Stable Diffusion UI you wish to install. I’d recommend Stable Diffusion Web UI by Automatic1111. 

Stability Matrix - Install Automatic1111

Then, you just sit back and relax while Stability Matrix downloads and installs all the dependencies required. 

The process would take around 5-10 minutes and once done, you’ll be able to run Stable Diffusion. 

Stability Matrix - Launch WebUI

If you want the easiest and no-nonsense method of running Stable Diffusion on Mac, then Stability Matrix is the best choice out there. 

You can not only install Stable Diffusion in a matter of clicks but also install different Web UIs using it. 

Moreover, Stability Matrix has other features that let you download and install checkpoint models, browse models from Civitai, and more. 


DiffusionBee is a MacOS application for running Stable Diffusion on Mac. It’s completely free and runs locally on your device without an Internet connection. 

To use DiffusionBee, go to their website and click on the Download button to download the application. 

Run Stable Diffusion on Mac - DiffusionBee

Click on the dmg file of the application and move it to your Applications folder. 

Now, you can run DiffusionBee on Mac just like any other app. You can run it by a spotlight search and DiffusionBee. 

On its first startup, DiffusionBee will install the required models for running Stable Diffusion. 

Once done, you can run Stable Diffusion on Mac with DiffusionBee. The software is very easy to use for beginners. 

DiffusionBee - Text2Image

You can write your prompts, customize the image generation settings, choose your models, and more. It has many Stable Diffusion features such as txt2img, img2img, inpainting, outpainting, upscaling, and more. 

Despite having all these features, DiffusionBee is still lacking in many powerful features of tools like Automatic1111 or ComfyUI. You cannot install extensions or use ControlNet in DiffusionBee. 

Overall, if you want simple software to run Stable Diffusion without the advanced features, DiffusionBee is a good option for you. 


While you can install Automatic1111 using Stability Matrix, I also want to cover the process of directly installing Automatic1111. 

If you’re someone who doesn’t mind using the Terminal on Mac, you might not feel any difficulty installing Automatic1111 on Mac directly. 

First, you’ll need to install Homebrew which is a package manager for Mac. Open your Terminal app and run the following command: 

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"

Next, we’ll install a few necessary Python packages. In your Terminal, run the following command: 

brew install cmake protobuf rust [email protected] git wget

Now, we’ll clone the Automatic1111 repository which will install Stable Diffusion. Run the following command in your Terminal: 

git clone https://github.com/AUTOMATIC1111/stable-diffusion-webui

This will download and install the Stable Diffusion Web UI (Automatic1111) on your Mac. A new folder named stable-diffusion-webui will be created in your home directory. 

Now that Stable Diffusion is successfully installed, we’ll need to download a checkpoint model to generate images. 

Download the official Stable Diffusion 1.5 model by clicking on the button below. 

Once the model is downloaded, place the model file in the following directory: 


This folder will be found in your Stable Diffusion > Models > Stable Diffusion. This is where all Stable Diffusion models are stored. 

Finally, to run Stable Diffusion WebUI, run the following command in your Terminal: 

cd ~/stable-diffusion-webui;./webui.sh --no-half

The process will take some time for the first time since it’ll clone some necessary repositories. 

Once done, the following URL will be displayed on your Terminal:

Copy and paste this URL on your browse and it’ll open Automatic1111. You can now run Stable Diffusion on Mac and start generating images. 

Automatic1111 WebU

In case you want to update Automatic1111 on Mac, simply open your Terminal and enter the following command: 

cd ~/stable-diffusion-webui

Then enter the following command to pull the latest version of Automatic1111: 

git pull

That’s how you can update Stable Diffusion on Mac.

Recommended: Automatic1111 Guide for Beginners

Draw Things

The last method to run Stable Diffusion on Mac is by using the Draw Things app that can be installed on an iPhone, iPad, and Mac. The process of installing the Draw Things app is just like installing any other Mac app. 

Run Stable Diffusion on Mac - DrawThings

The app comes with a lot of models you can use for image generation. You can also customize the image generation parameters such as steps, seed, image size, CFG scale, sampler, and more. 

While this is a very good app for running Stable Diffusion, it’s too basic and limited in the sense that it’s more of an AI image generator tool rather than pure Stable Diffusion. 

The features are very limited and enough to generate pretty pictures using AI. But if you want the raw power of Stable Diffusion, you won’t get that from this app. 

However, I still mentioned this app because it’s free and can run on any Mac or iOS device. 


Here are some frequently asked questions about running Stable Diffusion on Mac: 

Q. Can I run SDXL on Mac? 

Yes, you can run SDXL on Mac in Automatic1111 or any other Stable Diffusion UI like ComfyUI or InvokeAI. To use SDXL models, you’ll need the latest version of Automatic1111 and the SDXL model. 

Q. What’s the best Stable Diffusion UI for Mac? 

If you’re a beginner, Automatic1111 and Fooocus are good options. However, if you’re experienced and want the best performance, then you should use ComfyUI. 

Q. How much RAM does Stable Diffusion use on Mac?

You’ll need atleast 16GB RAM to properly run Stable Diffusion to get the best performance out of it. 

Q. Can I run Stable Diffusion on IOS?

You can use an app like Draw Things or similar alternatives to run Stable Diffusion on iOS. However, most of these apps will not have all the features of Stable Diffusion and will be limited to basic image generation functionality. 


Installing Stable Diffusion on a Mac is not that difficult if you follow the methods shared in this guide. My recommendation is to use Stability Matrix as it’s the easiest and fastest way to run Stable Diffusion on Mac. 

Also, if you’re new to Stable Diffusion, check out my guide to Automatic1111 and ComfyUI to learn how to use them to generate images. 

Moreover, if you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments section below.

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