Behavior of Finder when replacing folder - it deletes the old instead of merging!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Glumpfner, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. Glumpfner macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2009
    In Windows I am used to when you have 2 folder with the same name, but different content, and you both put them lets say on the Desktop, a message will pop up saying something like "A Folder with this name already exists, overwrite?" And when you hit Yes, all the files inside the folders will be merged into one.

    But on Mac is seems that the folder that is already on the desktop, will be FULLY deleted and the new one will be placed there.

    My problem is, I have a project folder with about 100 sub folders and each folder contains files 5-100 files.

    Now I received an update from that project folder, but the update only contains files that have been changed. And I really don't want to open up every single folder manually and then copy paste every single item on it's own. That alone is probably a days work.

    So how do I simply migrate 2 folders? Just like on Windows when you put 2 folders with the same name into the same place?

    PS: I think I lost several 1000 files this way when doing my last backup and I thought I was merging the files :(
  2. dazcox5181 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2005
    Essex, UK
    Must be your lucky day!

    Just this morning I wrote about a utility that I created a while back to do just this! It's a common request here,

    The link is where I'll take comments and support questions/development requests,

    or the google code link is

    Source is included - but please don't use it on crucial data without a backup in place!
  3. Glumpfner thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2009
    Thanks a lot, I'll have a look.

    This is so strange that a feature so basic and simple and so often used, is not native in Finder. It's almost like not including Copy Paste in finder. It's things like that, that upset me and want me to use Windows again.

    I just realized I had two Music folder which I thought I merged... it deleted over 30GB on Music :(

    Edit: Wow, that's exactly what I was looking for. Cheers man! Saved my day.
  4. bolen macrumors 6502


    Jul 22, 2008
    Also deleted about that amount of music a couple of months ago, doing the same thing. :) Overwrite = Overwrite, simple as that. ;) Would have been nice to have the merge option by default.

    You can also use rsync in the terminal.
  5. dazcox5181 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2005
    Essex, UK
    Glad it helped.

    Spread the word if you can :) Trying to get my site going should kick start my spare time dev work once more.
  6. Glumpfner thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2009
    Yeah, when the overwrite pop up windows shows up, why not have a little check box "merge files". That would make so many peoples life easier.

    I wonder if a Finder plugin like that would be possible.
  7. Jolly Jimmy macrumors 65816

    Jolly Jimmy

    Dec 13, 2007
    I think moveAddict can do merging. It's a pity you lost data but really you should read the warnings OS X gives when doing stuff like this.
  8. dazcox5181 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2005
    Essex, UK
    If theres any further improvement suggestions let me know on my site if you can.

    Are there any other little OSX niggles like this?
  9. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    Silverkeeper can be set to do merges/sync folders,
    Made by Lacie.
    I have found it to be very useful, and its free.
    Takes some getting used to, but it is very powerful. As always, backup first!
    Until you are sure about what you are doing, the risk of data loss is always there waiting to jump on you!
  10. Glumpfner thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2009
    Cut Paste! But as I can see there are already alternatives for that.

    If somehow you could turn your tool into an addon/plugin for Finder that would be the best.
    Just add a little check box asking to Merge Files, when the Overwrite pop up window shows up.
  11. Caleb531 macrumors 6502


    Oct 17, 2009
    There's a utility bundled with the Developer Tools called FileMerge. With it, you should be able to merge files/folders with it (unless the name is a misnomer).

    The developer tools can be installed from your Mac OS X Applications DVD.

    Attached Files:

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