5 Alternatives to the OS X Finder

The Finder is an excellent file browser that keeps getting better and better with every new version of OS X. However, many Mac users find OS X’s default file browser to be lacking in a few essential features like tabs, a dual window view, fast loading image previews, etc. As a result, several third party file browsers have sprung up bringing a lot of innovation to the table.

This article will briefly introduce five alternatives to the Finder. I’ll go over each app’s unique features and shortcomings so you can decide which solution works best for you.

Xfolders

If you’ve ever used a Mac FTP client like Transmit or Captain FTP, you’ll feel right at home with Xfolders. The dual window interface allows you to easily move and copy files from one place to another. There are also keyboard shortcuts and dedicated buttons for functions like copy, move, new folder, delete, and rename along with a menu for quickly accessing system utilities. Xfolders contains a built-in image browser and terminal port as well.

XFolders

XFolders

Feature Rundown from Developer Site:

  • Full integration of the Finder, thus support of all file operations from and to the Finder.
  • Drag & Drop between both filelists and the Finder.
  • Support for all important file operations.
  • Info dialoge for simply changing the file and folder attributes.
  • Intelligent path navigators for both file lists.
  • Bookmarks & manager for folders.
  • Direct access to importend system utilities.
  • Navigation with the keyboard ala Norton Commander.
  • Integrated, detailed Spotlight search.
  • Integrated image browser.
  • Integrated terminal.
  • Versatile search and compare possibilities.
  • Zip archive support.

Verdict

The dual window system is definitely a handy feature, though tabs would be nice. Most of the rest of the features (like keyboard shorcuts and image viewing) are already present in the Finder where, in my opinion, they are much more user friendly and “Mac like”.

As a graphic designer, I was particularly annoyed at how the image browser is a separate function contained in a different window. Leopard’s integration of images through large icon previews, quicklook, and coverflow is simply a much better system for browsing lots of images. Since it’s a free app, it’s definitely worth downloading to see if it functions for your particular workflow.

Price: Free
Developer: Kai-Heitkamp
Requires: Mac OS 10.4 or later

muCommander

muCommander’s interface is very similar to that of Xfolders. Strips of buttons run along the top and bottom of a dual panel window. However, muCommander takes this idea a bit farther by adding buttons/keyboard shortcuts for features like setting bookmarks, emailing files, showing a particular file in the Finder, etc.

muCommander

muCommander

Feature Rundown from Developer Site:

  • Virtual filesystem with local volumes, FTP, SFTP, SMB, NFS, HTTP and Bonjour support
  • Quickly copy, move, rename files, create directories, email files…
  • Browse, create and uncompress ZIP, RAR, TAR, GZip, BZip2, ISO/NRG, AR/Deb and LST archives
  • ZIP files can be modified on-the-fly, without having to recompress the whole archive
  • Universal bookmarks and credentials manager
  • Multiple windows support
  • Full keyboard access
  • Highly configurable

Verdict

Though very similar in concept to Xfolders, I found muCommander to be a bit more enjoyable to use. The feature set seems a bit fuller and the interface is a little brighter. However, most of the shortcomings I listed for Xfolders still apply. Since this app is also a free download I encourage you to give it a shot and tell us what you think.

Price: Free
Developer: Maxence Bernard
Requires: Mac OS 10.3 or later

Disk Order

Disk Order is a dual window file browser/FTP client with strips of buttons for basic features running along the top and bottom (sound familiar?). Just like the two previous apps there is support for single image viewing, file archiving, file compression/decompression, Terminal commands, and just about every basic Finder feature (copy, move, etc).

Disk Order does bring some innovation to the table though with an integrated iPod browser (although it doesn’t seem to support my iPod Touch) and a plugin system that leaves room for useful third party add-ons. My favorite feature is the ability to have multiple tabs. Dual windows is nice, but I always find myself opening ten different finder windows and shuffling them around my screen. Like in Safari, the use of tabs takes all this clutter and contains it in a compact and easily accessible area.

DiskOrder

DiskOrder

Feature Rundown from Developer Site:

  • Tabbed interface
  • Copy/Move/Delete/Link operations
  • Built-in Viewer (viewing html, rtf, mov, mp3, jpg, gif, tiff etc.)
  • Built-in Editor
  • Built-in FTP-client (create, upload, download, CHMOD, transfer mode, encodings, viewing files and so on…)
  • Multi-Rename Tool
  • Archives support (tar, gz, tgz, bz, bz2, tbz, zip)
  • Sophisticated Drag’n-Drop
  • Color Marking support
  • System Index Utilizing Search
  • Command Line
  • Plug-in architecture (Terminal window, Burn CDs, Zip, Unzip, Untar etc.)
  • Very usable interface (Eject buttons by volume names and FTP sessions, customizable toolbar, Drives panel)
  • Customizable main menu shortcuts
  • Two file selection modes (Mac native and Norton-Commander-like)
  • Compare Directories, wildcard selection

Verdict

Disk Order provides a decent all-in-one solution for file browsing. Though not drastically different from the previous apps, it has just enough unique features to set it apart from the others. However, at just shy of $30, you might be better off with one of the free alternatives if you’re on a budget.

Price: $29.95
Developer: LikeMac Group
Requires: Mac OS 10.3 or later

FileBrowse

File Browse is drastically different from the previously mentioned applications. In sharp contrast to the formal tech-ish look of Xfiles, muCommander, and Disk Order, File Browse’s interface is friendly, lighthearted and fun with unique graphics and nifty animations for every click. File Browse also shows you previews for image files (including PDF’s) at lightning fast speeds rivaling that of the Finder.

FileBrowse

FileBrowse

Feature Rundown from Developer Site:

  • 3D Icons/Thumbnails
  • Large In-Context Previews
  • Powerful Grouping and Sorting

Watch this video for more!

Verdict

I was skeptical about File Browse’s seemingly goofy interface. However, after I dug in and used the app for a while I really liked it. It’s definitely not for everyone but if you have $25 just lying around and you don’t like the Finder, you should give it a go.

Price: $25.00
Developer: Kai-R Green Blue
Requires: Mac OS 10.4 or later

Path Finder

Path Finder borrows its interface directly from the Finder. In fact, it feels more like a serious Finder upgrade or plugin than a separate application. Path Finder seamlessly integrates tabs and a dual window interface (only if you choose) into the normal Finder GUI. One of Path Finder’s most innovative features is “Drop Stack”, which allows you to grab files and throw them in a holding area while you navigate to the folder you want to put them into.

PathFinder

PathFinder

Feature Rundown from Developer Site:

  • Dual Pane File Browser
  • Drop Stack
  • Tabs & Bookmarks
  • Command Line tools
  • “QuickLook” support
  • Use Path Finder as your “Default File viewer”
  • Subversion plugin
  • Application Launcher
  • Size browser
  • Selection tools
  • File list filters
  • Integrated Stuffit Engine
  • Create and Convert Disk Images
  • Customize menu keyboard shortcuts
  • Smart Sorting

Verdict

This is where you’ll have to excuse my blatant favoring of one app over the others because in my opinion Path Finder puts all the rest to shame (including the Finder!). I see Path Finder as an open letter to Apple containing everything that the Finder should be. The folks over at Cocoatech have really done an amazing job creating an unmatched Mac file browsing experience that actually adds functionality as opposed to rearranging existing features.

Granted, $40 is a lot to pay, but if these features alone were integrated into a new version of OS X I dare say many of us would fork out the $40 without a second thought. There are a ton more features than those I’ve mentioned here. Do yourself a favor and watch this screencast so you can marvel at the goodness of a file browser that truly gets the job done.

Price: $39.95
Developer: Cocoatech
Requires: Mac OS 10.4 or later

Conclusion

So there you have it. I would like to stress one final time that your choice of file browser depends almost entirely upon your particular workflow. Web programmers have different needs than graphic designers, who in turn have different needs than multimedia (music/video) junkies. I encourage you to challenge my conclusions and tell us what you use, why you like it, and what you spend most of your time on a Mac doing.

One final note regarding a fantastic file browser that I intentionally left out. Adobe Bridge is unrivaled for viewing folders full of graphics files (jpg, png, psd, ai, pdf, etc.). Previous versions of Bridge have been painfully slow but the app has seen remarkable improvement over the past few years and I now use it daily.

The downside is Bridge is only available as a part of the greater Adobe Creative Suite. If you’re not making money with these applications, it’s not easy to shell out the $1,800+ to get them so I recommend Bridge only to those graphics professionals who currently have the app sitting in their applications folder but have never really given it a fair chance.


  • http://spiffingapps.com Nick

    I’ve been using Path Finder for many months now and couldn’t do without it; it really is a seamless experience that outdoes the Finder in many ways. Tabs are the main pull for me, though the Drop Stack and power features are a definite plus once you learn your way around them.

    It also complements ExpanDrive very nicely indeed — you can effortlessly browse remote drives, change permissions, and bring up a Terminal window in the remote folder you’re browsing in one click.

    It will be interesting to see whether BumpTop makes its way over to the Mac. It might be a little gimmicky, but I think it has great potential to change the way people work.

  • dixhuit

    Loving Path Finder these days. Dual pane view, tabs and decent breadcrumbs are all must haves for me as a developer. Tabs are default for modern web browsers – why can’t they be for modern file browsers too (I’m looking at you too Microsoft)?

    I do wish that Path Finder would start up a little quicker and with that, somehow replace Finder as a default rather than running as an additional app.

    Having said all that, I’d gladly stick to the Apple Finder if an additional suite of features could be enabled for more confident users (assuming that they’re keeping it simple to not scare off beginners). Maybe we’ll see this in OS X 10.7 ‘Stray Tabby’.

  • http://maccoterie.com/ maccoterie

    I just tried FileBrowse, and now I can’t understand why you picked up this app as an alternative of Finder. I completely agree that FileBrowse looks cool. But that’s all. This app have no abilities without browsing files or foders. An alternative of Finder? Very funny!

  • SzZ

    just a mention: forklift

    i tried somo of above, but forklift is the really best

    http://www.binarynights.com/forklift

    • http://www.twitter.com/secondfret Joshua Johnson

      I started researching Forklift after I wrote the article. It’s a really great app and definitely deserves mentioning. I was having trouble deciding what to include because of the blurry line that separates FTP clients from file browsers. For instance, Transmit is a great FTP client… but has file browsing capabilities (though I can’t imagine using it for that). Forklift was in my mind an FTP application. I didn’t realize that it worked so well as a file browser.

    • http://maccoterie.com/ maccoterie

      +1 I agree SzZ. Unfortunately, These apps are not competition with Forklift except PathFinder. If they were at least $15 or less each, I would buy one of them…

    • http://www.mathieulecrivain.fr Mathieu L.

      +1 I agree SzZ. Unfortunately

      • SzZ

        unfortunetly?
        why?

    • http://twitter.com/sulcalibur Sulcalibur

      Forklift is the best option for me. The added FTP functionality is brilliant too, but even if you didn’t need that it’s still a superb file browser with great features, such as Dual pane Tabs, Folder Synchronization, Batch Renaming, Archive handling, Application deleter, editing files over remote connections and many more.

      Awesome app!

  • http://aplus.rs/ Aleksandar

    Using ForkLift, as it’s closest I could find to the God of 2-pane file manager – Total Commander. When I tried PathFinder it did not have 2 panels, will need to revisit.

    • http://aplus.rs/ Aleksandar

      Beh…a file manager in version 5.x with barely mentionable keyboard shortcut support. Too bad – PF really has some killer features, but 90% of what I would be using it is file shuffling, where my own custom key mapping is mandatory.

  • http://thomasmaier.me/ Thomas Maier

    Why should I exchange my Finder with one of these ugly overloaded Finder “alternatives”? I find my files and that is all what I want.
    And in 10.6 the Finder is even better! #cocoa #features

    • ixxx69

      The number one problem with Finder is that you can’t cut and paste folders and files. If you could, I probably would have stuck with Finder.

      I switched to PathFinder for that reason alone, but now I can’t live without tabs either.

      But it’s not for everyone… if after taking a look at the feature list of PathFinder, you don’t see the point, then don’t bother. If you’re trying to convince everyone else that they really don’t need an alt to Finder, then don’t bother.

      • Cereal Killer

        can’t cut and paste folders and files ???
        Are you using an iPhone?

        I have been cutting and pasting folders and files since 10.5
        (since I switched to )

        I don’t really see the point unless your coming from Linux and just cant get use to it.

        maybe I wrong but there is really no need to change something that works as good as Finder.

        there is alot of hidden tricks to the finder it just takes learning.

      • http://www.mepem.com Pem

        Cereal Killer, he means to copy / paste / edit the file path… The file path is a string that references the location of the folder/files.

      • Tim

        There are FREE contextual menu items and Finder Services that you can download to do this. Try sourceforge first:
        http://roro01.users.sourceforge.net/

        However the poster above did not say cut and past paths, he said files and folders. You could do that for a very long time.

  • Gregory

    forklift is the way

  • EGY

    I like Forklift a lot.

  • http://www.suberapps.com Ben

    The difference between Forklift and Pathfinder is that Forklift comes with FTP built in and also have a much lower memory footprint, though it doesn’t have covetflow unlike Pathfinder.

    I prefer Forklift as I need FTP more than anything.

    • http://www.moosedesign.com MooseDesign

      I know it wasn’t deliberate, but I would jump on that product and URL if it hasn’t already been taken: CovetFlow. ;)

  • Jayson

    Path Finder is running a promotion right now for students. You can get it for $25 with a .edu email address. That was what finally pushed me into a finder replacement, and I couldn’t be happier.

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  • http://bardo.in Sathish

    Forklift of course, simple, clean and lean!

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  • InXone

    Long time ago I started with the original Norton Commander under DOS. I used it even in Win95. Later I bought a licence of TotalCommander (aka WindowsCommander) which was a brilliant successor of the NC for Windows (which was slow as hell). Now I am on MacOS and installed the NC Clones XFolders and muCommander but I don’t fell the need for heavy file management under MacOS like I did under Windows.

    Since Forklift gives me “Full Keyboard Control” like the old Norton did and these “orthodox commander-style shortcuts are hotwired in my carpal muscles” I will try Forklift.

    Btw.: nothing is faster then Keyboard Controlled File Management ;-D

    • http://www.transformation.dk/ Henrik

      I just downloaded ForkLift, but it does not feel like Tot.Cmd. In T.C. when I want to see the content of a folder, I just move the cursor down on it and hit Enter. Here I have to use the strange key combination Cmd-ArrowDown.

      • http://www.transformation.dk/ Henrik

        Oops! I oversaw this:
        Preferences-Shortcuts-Key binding set: Commander!

        But I still miss having ‘up-dir’ as the first item in the pane/window!

        • http://globalocal.blogspot.com Eurobubba

          Inside each important folder, put an alias to its parent folder and name it ‘[space]..’ .

  • http://imawebdev.com Johnathan Barrett

    Path Finder looks awesome. But is there anyway to hid the Finder icon in the the dock so I can just have Path Finder there?

    • Dave Barnes

      YES.
      Visit the forum at CocoaTech.

  • http://www.nouveller.com/ Benjamin Reid

    Great write up. I think the Finder still cuts it for me though. ;)

  • goldfish300

    great apps over there thank you very much ^_^

  • ServerGenius

    Another big vote for pathfinder…….and really $40 is peanuts for the product that you get!

  • Zsola

    None of these come close to Forklift!

  • Guillermo

    I tried both Path Finder and Forklift. I found PF to be slow and laggy and with a huge memory footprint. The interface is nice, but it’s too clutered and slow as hell. Forklift beats it, hands down.

  • twomaze

    I can really recommend using finder in combination with overflow (from stunt software).

  • Ian

    Forklift is definitely first a file manager, then an FTP client; so really should have been included in this test.

    I used to use muCommander, which is the best free option, but when forklift first came out, I hit the betas and never looked back. The developers of forklift are very friendly and open to suggestions.

    Path Finder is very sluggish and fat, forklift loads instantly and is much leaner. It has a core set of very useful functionality. I much prefer dual-panes for management so path finder also gets a big fail there.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/12739382@N04/3816496164/sizes/o/in/set-72157617780381352/ Simon Strandgaard

    I’m looking for a Total Commander clone as well.

    Path Finder is pretty, but it’s far off from a commander. PageUp, PageDown, Home, End, TAB, Enter, Backspace are broken. No jump to parent-dir row. Making it useless despite having has a lot of features. It’s too unresponsive. It seems impossible to use without a mouse.

    muCommander gets the keyboard shortcuts right. It feels somewhat java’ish and it needs much better integration with Mac OS X. Otherwise it’s pretty fast.

    I have tried about 16 different commander clones for Mac, but for some reason most of them gets the basic shortcuts for navigation wrong. Lots of them suffer from beachballs and crashes if you visit folder such as “/net” or “/usr/share/man/man3″. There is a long way to go before having anything like a Total Commander for Mac.

    Because of all this I have recently started coding on my own Commander clone for Mac. I will see if I can announce it together with version 1.3.0 of my other program.
    http://graphicdesignertoolbox.com/
    It’s can’t do much, but at least it has the navigation that I’m wishing for.

  • http://siliconshovel.com Marc

    Shame there’s no mention of tagging in any of these apps.
    Maybe 10.6 will bring us a much better finder….

  • http://www.davidchinphoto.com/ David Chin

    This is the first time I’m seeing so many recommendations for Forklift – other Mac sites tend to have users talking up Transmit.

    I’m about to buy my Forklift license – as many have said, it’s a stunner in terms of features. For me, its local remote sync, batch file renaming, and app removal capabilities is God-sent.

  • http://www.ejenks.com Erik Jenkins

    I would get Pathfinder if it had support for FTP/SFTP.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/12739382@N04/3816496164/sizes/o/in/set-72157617780381352/ Simon Strandgaard

    @Erik Jenkins
    You can use SFTP by installing MacFusion, it’s free.
    http://www.macfusionapp.org/

  • Liam

    Has anyone tried leap?

    • Liam

      You can find leap at…
      http://www.ironicsoftware.com/leap/

      • iyyy69

        As of this writing, they do an absolutely horrible job of “selling” the product on their website. No screen shots (except for a single blurry thumbnail), no videos, very little in the way of specifics… and a $60 price tag to boot.

  • Sajdak

    I like PathFinder though I know it has some tweaks and weaknesses. I cannot work without it.

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  • mike

    I’m an old Total Commander man myself. Liked Norton Commander in the old days of DOS as well. This is the ONLY reason I would go back to a PC. The OSX Finder is ideal for Repetitive strain injury. I hate the mouse. I can only drag several actions, the context menu is NOT accessible with the keyboard (hello????) No file size sort on a search, No batch rename, you see folders and files thrown together…Mind you, for the average Joe it’s perfect! It’s a mess for a power user. Even the evenly much hated windows explorer is a ton better at it then the finder. Coverflow? looking at folder icons all the time? who needs coverflow with Quicklook?

    I now have Crossover to use my beloved Total Commander in OSX! cool, but not cool.
    I used Xfolders, Pathfinder, Mucommander (pretty nice, but slow), I bought Disk order (forget it, russian no support dead project, had potential though) and a whole lot more weird apps to skip on finder. Now I saw Pathfinder 5 again: great improvement! and finally 2 windows! very cool app….look at the video at:

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.cocoatech.com/PF5OverviewSmall.mov

    mouse clicking all the way thru! you can use the keyboard, but the forum indicates several problems in that sense.

    And then forklift: ok. uhum. cool. and then;

    Preferences-Shortcuts-Key binding set:Commander!

    yeah!! like inXone said:
    “orthodox commander-style shortcuts are hotwired in my carpal muscles”

    Forklift is now my new TC. not the real thing, but the BEST so far! looked for it for YEARS…
    gonna buy. cheers, Mike

  • http://graphicdesignertoolbox.com/ Simon Strandgaard

    Hello again.. I have put together a big comparison of file managers where I look at how well files are copied and the result is somewhat scary. Take a look at this comparison matrix.
    http://gdtoolbox.com/comparison.jpg

    The Mac OS X Finder completes 58% of these tests.

    You can run these tests and see for yourself (it’s open source)
    http://github.com/neoneye/AnalyzeCopy

    Note: My own total commander clone is not yet finished and is the only one that completes 100% of the tests.

    Happy new year!

    • Lars Smith-Hansen

      Hi Simon
      Greath input on a greath tread.
      Your app. sounds interessting.
      How is your work progressing. A sound and reliable filemanager is much needed for Mac. I am going crazy from the shortcommings of finder and is realy missing my dear TC.
      While I waith I will try out Forklift or TotalFinder that seems like the best available alternatives.

  • Nick

    Path Finder (version 5.5.5) and Forklift (1.7.8) both support tabs and keyboard control in much the same way. In fact, they look remarkably similar.

    Forklift seems to use a bit less memory, Path Finder seems a bit faster.

    PathFinder seems more stable and more features, though many of them maybe not so often used. However, those extra features are well placed so as not to clutter the user experience. The drawers feature (left, bottom, right) and the many tool modules (iTunes browser, folder browser, process viewer, SVN, integrated console) are very useful once you clue into them.

    Drop Stack, a temporary holding place, is great for collecting stuff before moving. And I like that all folders are expandable in Path Finder (like in regular finder in single pane list), and you can browse in the same 3 modes as regular finder (icon, list, 3-pane). ForkLift doesn’t do that. Path Finder also has a nifty bookmark bar (similar to web browsers), and extreme customization of many other elements of the base UI. In many ways Path Finder has the feel of an IDE. Now if only they had a GIT module…

    And Forklift has some great features that Path Finder doesn’t: merge folders on copy and move actions, as well as a sync tool, bulk rename, ftp, file split/merge, and Application deletion. These are, in fact, all features I really want and need. It’s surprising Path Finder doesn’t have them. Actually, it has ftp, but it’s limited. Sync is available as a beta module, but it looks awkward. It’s another window that your drag your folders to. Why do that if you have a two pane browser?

    Both are intuitive and nice to use. I did not find either cluttered- both are well designed. I actually like the Path Finder look better- it’s more compressed and makes better use of space.

    In the end, I may get both. I feel I move files faster in Path Finder, but I like the unique features in ForkLift. I plan on starting with Fork Lift. Sync and move with merge are huge for me right now, and close the deal for me if basic navigation/tabs/etc. are close. I’m also interested in App Deletion, and, I had been using Automator for bulk renames, but it’s quicker via ForkLift.

    I will keepPath Finder in mind if ForkLift isn’t doing as well at the basics. Did I mention I needed merge and sync?

    And do yourself a favour- try both and get one. They both rock.

  • http://www.m65jacket.com m65

    thanks for this list of alternatives

  • rtud

    Thanks 4 this post.. I’ve been looking for an article about file managers like this one for a loong time..

    Cheers!

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  • http://www.remoteone.com.au Remoteone

    No mouse driven CUT operation in Finder ?! Even windoze Explorer has that!
    No intuitive folder file replace functionality. When Pasting a folder and its contents to an existing folder of the same name, the destination folder and contents is deleted first, then overwritten !!!!!!!!! WTF? Windows Explorer, even Ubuntu-Desktop is much much better than mac Finder.
    Cant understand why Apple have released such a useless File Manager?

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  • Felix Weiss

    Hey guys, 2 years ago I tried them all, but none of them served the purpose and I didn’t get the same feeling as with Total Commander in Windows. But then I found a real good alternative, you don’t see listed above: ForkLift – this one is the best one!

    http://www.binarynights.com/forklift

  • Simon

    I use Default Folder and Pathfinder. This is a killer, yet expensive combination. I installed Forklift but it doesn’t work with Default Folder. Hot keys in Default Folder make it extremely quick to get around various projects and they work well in PF.

    I agree with what Nick describes above. Merge Folders is very much needed in Pathfinder. I can get away using Name Mangler for batch renames but it is nice that it’s right there in Forklift.

    I’ll stick with that combination.

    Nice write up – kudos to the author.

  • http://planmysite.com Tomasz Banas

    I’m also trying to make decision.

    My choice would be:
    1) PathFinder + Transmit
    or
    2) Forklift

    So far, I noticed that Forklift opens a little faster and eats less memory, but:
    - Places that are created in Finder or Pathfinder don’t show up in ForkLift. So even if you create places in ForkLift they won’t show up in Finder
    - There is no Dropbox menu if you right click on files in Public Folder (to copy public link) or any other Dropbox folder.
    - No SVN support, PathFinder does have it, not too advanced but it works.
    - ForkLift doesn’t have BURN feature

    I guess that’s all for now.

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  • insanedreamer

    Forklift all the way for me. Tabs, FTP integration (incl. public key authentication), folder syncing, calculate sizes and batch renaming make it a winner.

  • Zimmen

    First: The Mother of all dual pane file managers is not totalcommander! It’s Norton Commander! And if it would work on OS X in the terminal i would still use it today :(

    Well back to this list, this list is simply incomplete without Forklift (Not a glorified FTP app at all but a true dual pane filemanager). Another good addition is TotalFinder. Building upon the standard finder it adds dual pane capability, Tabs, Sorting options (folders first and stuff) and more!

    My filemanager of choice is Forklift. I hope they’ll be in the appstore asap!

  • ansis

    I love how “Xfiles” have managed to slip in this review haha
    Didn’t you mean “Xfolders”? (Ctrl+F)
    Very nice article!

  • http://jpc-design.com James

    I love TotalFinder: http://totalfinder.binaryage.com/ Finder but with added goodness, such as tabs and a dual view. Possibly not as fully featured as some of the programs mentioned, but it saves having another app.

  • ChrisH

    XTree Gold! mmmmmmmmm

    • Otis

      Yesssssssssssssssssssss

    • http://www.ChrisConlee.com Chris Conlee

      Absolutely! And how many remember Dir Opus on the Amiga? That was so cool they actually ported it to Windows for a while.

  • Frederick Malouf

    Hi,

    Was recommended Total finder. Really easy app to use. Love the ‘visor’ feature. Not sure if PF or Forklift have that. Will play with these and see how I go. One really added bonus with any of the FTP solutions is to add bluetooth connections. LiFTP does that. Fantastic.

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  • Nikita

    Sorry guys, but none of these recommendations (especially not Forklift) even comes close to behaving like Total Commander in the area of keyboard navigation. I just don’t understand why nobody bothers to try to copy this simplest feature.

  • mdique

    Cool list of file managers :) one thing though, for the apps that are open source, I feel it’s more appropriate to mention that it’s ‘open source’ and not just ‘free’. Many people get comfort from the fact that it’s open source and would be more inclined to check our the link. I nearly skipped over them thinking they were free locked in apps.

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  • JFG

    I know its an old post but I hope somebody still takes a look at it!

    I’m coming from Windows, where I used SpeedCommander. One of the best file manager I ever used. I can live without some of its features but one thing I really can’t live without is the ability to set a “base folder” for tabs. What this does is that I can have 5 tabs open, each with a “base “folder” associated with it like for instance “documents”, “downloads”, “home folder”… and I can browse with any of them but as soon I leave one of these tabs and come back to it, it reverts automatically to its base folder, not the folder I was previously in. For example, I always know that going to my second tab on the left is going to bring up my downloads folder.

    Switching to Mac OS X made me realized that I’m really addicted to this workflow. Do you guys know any file manager for Mac that supports this? Or maybe a tweak or plugin for Finder?

    Thanks!

  • http://www.blogfeuer.de Alexander Becker

    Fell on my butt, when using pathfinder “WERE DID SOME FILES GO”………. yeah.. a folder with content was replaced with blank……….. zero………….

    great..

    and no, pathfinder cant do merge. so there is a NO GO for me there! I will use finder ( can do merge!) …..

  • alex

    My perfect browser is Nautilus, and my requirements in Mac would be:
    1) Must be free
    2) Full path on address bar, which can be copied and pasted
    3) Tabs
    4) Ctrl+x/v on files working all the time
    I agree with maccoterie, Path Finder is a just a fancier version and not analternative (ops, this Freudian slip says it all) to Finder.

  • jsherk

    Don’t forget to check out TotalFinder … it’s cheaper than Path Finder but still offers some really good features, my favorite being the Folders On Top (a la Windows Explorer).

  • http://www.abdelhaksalim.com peintre

    Thank You.

  • Pkiula

    PathFinder is nice, but doesn’t support Dropbox. WTF? I like TotalFinder, it has everything I need including folder paths btw.

  • http://www.lebeglutenfrei.de Alexander from lebeglutenfrei.de

    using totalfinder now!

  • ArtySin

    None of the alternatives (unless I’ve missed it completely) give you a tree pane type view just like Windows Explorer. I then found Macintosh Explorer which does exactly that and has tabs and command line too. Full cutomisation with cut, copy and paste icons plus loads more all for £17.95 If you remember XTree Gold from years back in the DOS days you’ll love Mac Explorer.

  • T-Low

    Wanna say THX for all informations here!!!

  • Spingerfitz

    I like TotalFinder: Is an extension of Finder with tabs, dual mode, dropbox contextual menu, folders always on top and more..

    http://totalfinder.binaryage.com/

  • Marko
  • http://frungi.livejournal.com/profile Samuel Martin

    Scrolling through the list, my immediate reaction on seeing the FileBrowse screenshot, without thinking about it, was “Eugh.”

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