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JonL12345

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 21, 2012
163
20
I've never been that keen on Finder, having been a Windows user for most of my life. I notice there are a few pimped up alternatives to Finder on the market.

What is the best Finder alternative? Are they indeed better than Finder?
 

BayouTiger

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2008
515
274
New Orleans
I've used PathFinder for years. It's had it's ups and downs, but has been good overall. I still do many things in Finder, but Pathfinder adds some nice functions like batch renaming that would be more tedious otherwise.
 
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dwfaust

macrumors 604
Jul 3, 2011
7,695
8,696
I've used PathFinder for years. It's had it's ups and downs, but has been good overall. I still do many things in Finder, but Pathfinder adds some nice functions like batch renaming that would be more tedious otherwise.

Had PathFinder for years, as well... dumped them about a year ago when they totally jacked up the pricing scheme. That pricing scheme was the last straw, as their product seemed to drift in a direction that I didn't like... and their lack of addressing bugs that I kept encountering was obvious.

I switched to ForkLift, and never looked back.

I'm a huge fan of the dual pane interface, and ForkLift has implemented this design very well, and includes options for horizontal or vertical layout.

Most of the programs in this space offer 30 day free trials, so you can find one that works for you.
 
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dwfaust

macrumors 604
Jul 3, 2011
7,695
8,696
@dwfaust Do you find ForkLift much better than Finder? What didn't you like about Finder?

I moved to macOS as my primary computing platform in about 2008... prior to that, I was a Windows user. One of my most favorite utilities in Windows as a program called Total Commander (originally known as Windows Commander until Windows came after them for copyright/trademark issues - another story for another thread)... but it was a dual pane file manager similar to XTree and Norton Tools...

I still use Finder for some things, but for browsing and moving files/folders around, I prefer the dual pane interface. And I don't see it so much as what extra does ForkLift do that Finder doesn't (though there are some things), it's more about how much easier or cleaner some of the functions are done in ForkLift - things like Dropbox support, file transfers and remote server connectivity. It does offer a dual pane interface and included an app deleting function.

Again, the best judge of whether or not ForkLift (or other file managers) is to do the test drive. The 'best' anything is the one that works for you.
 

JonL12345

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 21, 2012
163
20
I notice that it has some good syncing facilities, but the sales page seemed to suggest syncing is done via dropbox. If I don't use dropbox, can I still have it auto-sync say a remote ftp site with a local folder?
 

nothingtoseehere

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2020
415
457
I've never been that keen on Finder, having been a Windows user for most of my life. I notice there are a few pimped up alternatives to Finder on the market.

What is the best Finder alternative? Are they indeed better than Finder?

Coming from Windows years ago, I disliked Finder and used PathFinder. But now, I have learned to appreciate Finder, especially after I discovered the existence of AppleScript. This helped me so solve my issues with Finder - for example, I can now open a Finder window in the precise and never changing size I prefer.

What exactly do you dislike about Finder?
 

tosbsas

macrumors 65816
Nov 22, 2008
1,068
331
Lima, Peru
Coming from Windows years ago, I disliked Finder and used PathFinder. But now, I have learned to appreciate Finder, especially after I discovered the existence of AppleScript. This helped me so solve my issues with Finder - for example, I can now open a Finder window in the precise and never changing size I prefer.

What exactly do you dislike about Finder?

That Sounds interesting. I am also looking for a real Alternative to total Commander but there is none. If y could get Finder to have a real Dual Panel Option I would Never Look back. There was a cool Alternative but it died with catalina

There is a Script for that but it su***s bad. Maybe you got a cool Script Page
 

nothingtoseehere

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2020
415
457
That Sounds interesting. I am also looking for a real Alternative to total Commander but there is none. If y could get Finder to have a real Dual Panel Option I would Never Look back. There was a cool Alternative but it died with catalina

There is a Script for that but it su***s bad. Maybe you got a cool Script Page

There are many script pages around

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/applescript

https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/applescript

https://macscripter.net/
 

JonL12345

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 21, 2012
163
20
What exactly do you dislike about Finder?
A better question would be what do I like about Finder? The answer is little. Windows Explorer is far superior, in my view. I like it in Finder where you can have multiple columns to drill down through the folders. But most of Finder is not very intuitive and seems a very dated system to me. It reminds me of some aspects of Mac that they seem reluctant to improve upon. An example is the two minimise buttons on the Mac, the x and the -. I mean what is that all about?

ForkLift looks interesting, as did Path Finder until I read about numerous bugs with the software.

I like the idea of a tabbed file manager.
 
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nothingtoseehere

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2020
415
457
An example is the two minimise buttons on the Mac, the x and the -. I mean what is that all about?

The red x closes, the yellow - minimises so that it can be opened again.

Personal preferences vary a lot and are up to change... I really loved the "old" Windows Explorer until... Vista? XP? Dunno. Hot it was back then :)

Finder has tabs, I think since Mavericks (not sure either...)
 

dwfaust

macrumors 604
Jul 3, 2011
7,695
8,696
The red x closes, the yellow - minimises so that it can be opened again.

Personal preferences vary a lot and are up to change... I really loved the "old" Windows Explorer until... Vista? XP? Dunno. Hot it was back then :)

Finder has tabs, I think since Mavericks (not sure either...)

True in some cases. For many apps, I don't see an appreciable difference between the effect of the red and yellow stoplights. Some apps will close out with the red button, but many just shrink away into the dock - the exact same function as one gets with the yellow button. YMMV.
 

JonL12345

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 21, 2012
163
20
You can edit the behaviour of the x button with the more recent versions of macOS. But before that, x and - were the same, AFAICT.
 

JonL12345

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 21, 2012
163
20
Oh, and I am trying out Forklift3. Liking it so far! I have an FTP site and OneDrive. Having the convenience of being able to FTP with your file manager is really cool. The two panes also help me drag and drop from the FTP site to the appropriate folder locally. Brilliant!
 
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ignatius345

macrumors 601
Aug 20, 2015
4,513
6,391
You can edit the behaviour of the x button with the more recent versions of macOS.

I'm a bit unclear on what you mean. The X button on any window in MacOS just closes the window in question. If said window happens to contain a document that needs to be saved, you may or may not (depending on the app and the setting in System Preferences > General) get prompted to save changes. In Finder, the window just closes immediately as there's nothing to save.

But before that, x and - were the same, AFAICT.

Unless I'm misunderstanding you, I don't believe this has ever been true. They're different buttons and do different things. Back in Classic MacOS, there was no minimize button (and no dock to minimize a window to), just a white square upper-left that closed the window.

From OS X to present day MacOS, the – button has always functioned to minimize the window in question, parking a thumbnail of it in the dock; and the X button has always functioned to close the window entirely.
 
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allan.nyholm

Contributor
Nov 22, 2007
1,907
1,645
Aalborg, Denmark
XtraFinder and TotalFinder still operates using Catalina(disable SIP) - the former is a free program(wih a trial period which seems to run forever?) while the latter is Shareware and according to TotalFinder's forums there's seemingly a way that Big Sur might also get a taste of TotalFinder. It's unclear. But try reading the TotalFinder's forum.

I too am using ForkLift 3 and I have just recently bought into a software bundle over at bundlehunt.com that allowed for a purchase of Path Finder for around $8 and I took that just because I could.

While I haven't been using it much since the purchase simply because there's just one thing that the developer(s) hasn't been updating since we switched over to a different way of rendering fonts - try activating the Path Finder's Desktop 'takeover' feature and be prepared ... it's not pretty.

Path Finder also doesn't have Stacks for its Desktop and as such I only use PathFinder as a fun app.

I initially wanted Path Finder to be a replacement for the whole of Finder with Desktop and such - that's not going to happen with the version 9 or perhaps ever version 10 of Path Finder.
I've sent my findings to the developer and got a response back with a phrasing that indicated that the developer wouldn't even give this issue the time of day.
At least that's now the understanding from the subsequent updates to Path Finder and from reading comments related to users own bug findings. ForkLift appears to shift development towards version 4 and I'll most likely buy into that too.

ForkLift 3 is the choice over the various other file managers out there. Like Double Commander(it's cross platform and looks like it too) and MuCommander(which I think is Java based?)
Eltima with their Commander One and their Commander One Pro. I don't fully grasp that last one with Eltima and Electronic Team - I feel like they shouldn't be on the Mac App Store with two different names? Are they considered malicious and just haven't been found out yet?
 

HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
3,709
1,335
There are tools which make the Finder even easier to use.

I almost always am using Default Folder X to open my finder windows. Sits in the menu bar and makes folder navigation trivial:

Screen Shot 2020-10-02 at 9.26.04 PM.png
 
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theorist9

macrumors 65816
May 28, 2015
1,369
752
I'm the opposite of you—I have to use both Windows and Mac, and I strongly prefer Finder to Windows Explorer. But that's why it's good the world has both—chacun à son goût.

Having said that, there are at least 15 (!) Finder alternatives available for the Mac:

◦ Commander One
◦ Path Finder
◦ ForkLift
◦ muCommander
◦ HoudahSpot
◦ Fman
◦ Liquifile
◦ Nimble Commander
◦ CRAX Commander
◦ DCommander
◦ Double Commander
◦ TotalFinder
◦ XtraFinder
◦ Finder Path
◦ Transmit 5

Your best bet would be to narrow down the most promising ones, download the free trials, play with them, and see what suits your fancy. Here are three lists, all of which may effectively be advertisements, but are still useful. They give nice pics of all the interfaces—sometimes just by looking at the interface you can tell if you'd like it or not:



[Note that this one is from the maker of Commander One, so it's completely biased.]

Perhaps a bit outdated:

As for reliable reviews of the individual programs, MacWorld is a good resource:


Some have complained that Forklift is no longer well-maintained.
 
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MacGizmo

macrumors 68020
Apr 27, 2003
2,224
1,484
Arizona
All these links are little more than paid reviews/links. I know, because I ran a site and received the same offers from developers to publish lists and reviews.

There are only three "Finder Alternatives" (Pathfinder, Forklift, and Commander One), the rest are simply add-ons that bring a few features to the existing Finder. To me, those are not Finder alternatives because you're just enhancing the existing Finder.

Of the three that actually REPLACE the Apple Finder, Commander One is ok, but very "Windows port" in look and feel. Forklift is probably the most Apple-like of the three, but the support of the app has come under questions as of late. Pathfinder is the most "mature" of the three, but it's almost overkill and tries to do way too much, and doesn't do anything really well.

In my opinion, you're almost better off adding the utilities for the features you want, rather than trying to replace the Finder completely.
 
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MacGizmo

macrumors 68020
Apr 27, 2003
2,224
1,484
Arizona
It should also be noted that a lot of these utilities used to require you to disable SIP to install them, then allow you to re-enable SIP after; now they require you to disable SIP permanently in order to run them (as of Catalina 10.15.4, I believe, due to more heavy security restrictions by Apple).

So it's a trade-off. What you consider more valuable determines if you use the utilities or not.
 
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