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OS X TotalFinder Alternatives

[ TotalFinder ] For years, I enjoyed the advanced Finder functionality provided by BinaryAge’s excellent app, TotalFinder. Mac’s native Finder enables users to navigate and manage their files, similar in concept to Windows File Explorer. Unfortunately, as explained in my rant about things that suck about Mac, TotalFinder no longer is compatible with Mac 10.11+. Fortunately there are plenty of decent alternatives to TotalFinder, even if you’re running the latest version of Mac OS X.

Running TotalFinder on OS X 10.11

Okay so first, technically TotalFinder will work on OS X 10.11 (aka, El Capitan), but only after disabling OS X’s built-in System Integrity Protection:

System Integrity Protection (SIP) is a new security feature introduced by Apple. That’s good, but unfortunately it prevents TotalFinder from augmenting Finder.

In other words: El Capitan’s SIP breaks TotalFinder. So to run TotalFinder on Mac OS X, you need to disable SIP, which obviously is not recommended by Apple. Personally, I don’t mind hacking stuff, but these days there just isn’t enough time to fiddle with OS mods, especially where potential security implications are concerned.

TotalFinder Alternatives

So several months ago, I bit the bullet, removed TotalFinder, and began searching for a suitable replacement. As mentioned, the good news is that there is no shortage of decent alternatives to TotalFinder. The not-so-good news is that none of them, in my opinion, are as refined and intuitive as the one and only TotalFinder.

That said, here is my growing list of apps that enhance and extend Mac’s native Finder functionality (presented in alphabetical order).

  • Commander One – Free (Pro version available from $29.95)
  • CRAX Commander – Free Demo (purchase for $19.99)
  • DCommander – Free Trial (purchase from $19.95)
  • Disk Order – Free Trial (purchase from $24.95)
  • Files for OS X – Free “lite” version (purchase full from $24.99)
  • ForkLift 2 – Free Trial (purchase from $29.95)
  • Path Finder – Free Trial (purchase from $36, see Update below*)
  • Unclutter – Purchase for $5.99

The degree of extra functionality provided by each of these apps varies, but hopefully the list will enable you to “find” an ideal replacement for TotalFinder.

My choice (for now)..

Of these apps, I’ve already grabbed a copy of Path Finder (see Update below*) and Unclutter. And so far, both are very promising. It took awhile to learn all of the settings provided by Path Finder, but I think it’s gonna be sufficient going forward. Unclutter turned out to be something altogether different than what I was expecting, but it’s still pretty cool so I’ll leave it on the list.

*Update: I used path finder app for quite awhile, but ended up ditching it due to completely terrible support. I mean, they literally ignored and even deleted my posts asking for help.. on multiple occasions. And I was a paying customer! So just based on the way they treat their own customers, not to mention all of the quirky weird bugs and having to pay for the app more than once (like with almost every upgrade), I can no longer recommend Path Finder. “Find” something better, you’ll be better off for it.

Wrap up

What did I miss? Drop a comment if you know of any other good Finder-fixer-uppers, and feel free to share your experience with any of the apps listed above.

Jeff Starr
About the Author
Jeff Starr = Fullstack Developer. Book Author. Teacher. Human Being.
The Tao of WordPress: Master the art of WordPress.

4 responses to “OS X TotalFinder Alternatives”

  1. Nice article. I use forklift for many years on my mac and always happy with it. Best finder and ftp client I have found over the last years. Best support as well.

    • Avatar photo
      Jeff Starr 2016/04/24 9:22 am

      Thanks for the feedback, kai. I do have to disagree about Panic support, however, for reasons I explain in this post. Otherwise forklift does look promising as a paid alternative to Finder.

      • Panic made Transmit and is not related to Forklift afaIk. Forklift is made by BinaryNights.

      • Avatar photo

        Ah, my mistake. Must have been thinking about Transmit. Thanks for clarifying.

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