Best Freeware File Manager with "tree view" or dual window panes

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Libertine Lush, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Hey everyone,

    As a new Apple convert, even after about a month, I still find Finder to be rather cumbersome when trying to organize/move/copy a lot of files to distant locations. Specifically the need to open 2 Finder windows in order to manage files located in 2 different folders that aren't visible in Finder at the same time using just one window. I could drag the file(s) to the folder I wish to move it to, waiting for all the pop-up windows to appear as I locate to desired destination, all the while holding on the mouse button, then drop it in. Then when I have more files to move/copy there, I'd have to do that all again. The easier alternative is to open 2 Finder Windows--one showing the file(s) I want to move and the other the destination folder--but this takes up more desktop space and time.

    I'd like to find a file manager that has a UI either like Windows Explorer where there is a--I don't know the proper terminology--tree-like column on the left window pane that shows a constant view of the entire file structure or a UI with 2 window panes would be fine too, like Path Finder.

    So far I've tried 3 different programs:
    1) Path Finder - Not freeware, so I tried a demo. The best of the one's I've tried. It also appears to be the most recommended in these forums too. No "tree view" on left side showing whole directory structure but has dual window panes. What I like most is that it integrates all of Finder's features, like Quicklook and Preview.
    2) MuCommander - Is freeware and has the tree view and dual window panes, but very slow and does not integrate any of Snow Leopard's Finder features.
    3) Leap. Not freeware, but has dual window panes and a tree-like view, but like MuCommander does not integrate Finder's functionality features.

    So I'd like to ask if there are any freeware file managers that have dual window panes or a "tree view" interface? (Basically a freeware variant of Path Finder would be pretty perfect.)

    Thanks for any tips.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    All of the good ones with the features you want will cost you.
  3. PCforever? macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Are you able to elaborate on "the good ones" that will cost. I don't mind paying, I just want a good file manager.
    Thanks in advance
  4. psid macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2010
    I use ForkLift and find in really good. Especially the new 2.0 Beta version (which can download and use for free until it expires). Here's the link to their site:
  5. MacSignal macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    +1 on not finding any freeware solutions.

    If you want a look at some of the alternatives, search for Finder Replacements. In my opinion and for my purposes, Finder is a huge disappointment compared to Windows Explorer. It is pathetic.
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  7. tinatoerat macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2010
    Still looking for file manager with treeview

    I am currently looking at Forklift and TotalFinder, but I haven't found anything that will display a navigable treeview on one pane, and the files/folders from your current navigation point in the other. Any suggestions?
  8. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
  9. coops macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    I'd recommend taking a look at Totalfinder while it's free:-

    Does NOT have tree view (yet) but it integrates into Finder which is handy with dual pane.

    'Folders on top' only works in list view for now, unfortunately.

    I use Pathfinder, but will be keeping an eye on Totalfinder - looks very promising.


    ps I mostly use and like column view, and have dragged links to the side of my most common used folders for easy access - so the lack of tree view is not too painful.
  10. reptkeu macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2010

    I think the term you look for is "filesystem tree pane".

    I just switched from Win to Mac. Organising files with Finder is my biggest pain in switching to Mac.

    The tree pane like in Win Explorer just makes so much sense, it allows quick/instant access to any file in the system.
    I never realised how relevant it was in Windows. I even never thought it could be a feature actually.

    Why isn't Steve Jobs implementing this feature in Finder? Does Bill Gates own a patent for it?

    Finder makes me loose more than 100% of the productivity that I gained by switching to Mac.
    To give an idea, sorting files on Mac takes me twice the time at least, not nice when you have hundreds of files to sort out.

    Anyway, the best alternative to Windows Explorer on Mac is Macintosh Explorer. See here.
  11. tar-pony macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2010
    Macintosh Explorer caught my eye too after a quick Google search. However, upon further research (the Macintosh Explorer user forum), it appears not quite ready for prime time; too buggy.

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