Merge folders like in Windows?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Gary King, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Gary King macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2004
    When you drag a folder in Windows to another folder that contains a folder with the same name, it asks if you want to replace any filenames or folders that have the same name. So, in the end, it merges the two folders together.

    Mac OS X, on the other hand, completely replaces them. My question is: How can I merge a folder like in Windows?
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    OSX should ask you whether you want to replace items too. Isn't it doing this for you? :(

    The wording is slightly different for both operating systems, but they act the same to the best of my knowledge (in this respect).
  3. Gary King thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2004
    Nope, no Replace option.



    I would assume Replace means to replace the folder I am moving with the folder I am replacing, completely, entirely.
  4. ero87 macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2006
    New York City
    hmm I think that means "Do you want to replace that particular file." Test it out with something unimportant.
  5. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    The Mac doesn't work the same way as Windows in this respect. I don't know of a way around that, although I suppose it wouldn't be too hard to write an AppleScript to merge two folders.
  6. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    Gary King is correct... when you take a folder, say a folder of music, and drag it to another music folder to add its contents to the other folder, the dragged folder completely overwrites the destination folder- therefore all files in the destination folder are no longer there.

    As far as I know, there's no "merging" option like in Windows (my MacBook Pro is my first Mac, so I completely understand your dilemma, it annoys me as well...)
    But I think it's just a feature of Unix-style OSes... you have to go inside, copy the contents, then go inside the other folder and paste them.
  7. superwoman macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2005
    If you're comfortable with the Terminal, then the command "cp -R" appears to have content merging behavior.
  8. Obewong macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2008
    Merging folders... sucks on a mac

    Trying to install some Eclipse plugins on a mac, which involves merging folders together in the eclipse application root. It seems absurd to me that you can't merge folders with the Mac OSX GUI and you have to resort to using a linux cp command. Though it woks fine, how come the dialog box gives you a 'replace' option but not a 'merge'. How hard could that be to add to the interface? Not hard at all I imagine!
  9. bootedbear macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2004
    Austin, TX
    It's not a "Linux command". cp was around long before Linux.
  10. durija macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008
    I think you mean Unix.

    Anyway, I agree that it would be nice to have a GUI way to merge folders. Former (and concurrent) Windows users could easily lose data. I accidentally lost something this way once and had to go back to the customer (embarrassed) to ask him to send his files again.
  11. pit29 macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2006
    The Golden State
    Actually, I think it'll work. Just try to drag the contents of one folder into the other folder... However, it if contains subfolders, they will be either replaced or not, depending on your choice, but not merged.

  12. Smacky macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2008
    Eh so Finder doesnt merge folders? And I have to use terminal?
    So much for 'just works'

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