ForkLift 3, the perfect file management for macOS

It was the year 2010 when I first tried Forklift 1.0, a new software that aimed to offer a better efficiency in file management than the Mac OS X Finder. It was not the first of its kind, there were and still exist at least two other rather well-known, but Forklift immediately became my favorite thanks to a complete interface and rather consistent with the system at the time: the legendary Snow Leopard. Since that time I have always used and recommended Forklift, also trying the next version 2.

Forklift 3 it has been massively reviewed in the UI, which now appears more modern and free of frills, in perfect MacOS Sierra style. The upper image also shows one of the most welcome news for me, namely the Dark Mode – which I use on all Macs since it is available and I tend to prefer even in productivity apps. There are some big news everywhere in the app, so I will try to show you the functions that I think are most interesting, rather than making the differences. In the first place this comes with a sidebar and two main navigation areas, which are very useful during the copying and synchronization phases. It always reminds me of the old Norton Commander on DOS and remains a very good way to comfortably manage files. You can also activate a panel with the

As main sources we obviously have physical drives connected to our Mac, but we can also access all the network resources. In the favorites area, however, we can add shortcuts to the destinations we use most often, naturally including those of cloud services like Dropbox or iCloud Drive. In the favorites we can also create folders and for data sources the choice is very wide: SFTP, FTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, Rackspace, AFP, SMB, NFS, VNC (the latter opens the integrated viewer in macOS). It is therefore interesting to underline that Forklift is in effect also an FTP client, one that, on the other, allows you to connect to two different servers to do a cross upload FXP without the file from the local computer (the function must be supported by server).

Returning to the files (and reactivating the clear interface to show them both), navigation can be done in a list view, columns or icons. Also wanting with different ways between the left and right windows. Note that Forklift supports both the tabs and the execution of multiple instances, so we can create the first with ⌘T and new windows with ⌘N, managing to manage and manage even complex situations without any limit. Here is also a small tip, which is to activate in the Preferences (⌘,) the scheme of keyboard combinations of macOS, so we can use the same key shortcuts of the Finder.

Having an open folder on Forklift is not like having it in the Finder. The possibilities here are many more and simpler. For example there is a quick selection function (⌘S), thanks to which we can tell the application to select only some file types for us. Then the renaming functions are more complete than the native ones of macOS, allowing us to work on several methods and correlating them in cascade.

ForkLift 3

We can of course activate the display of hidden files, open those compressed as folders or decompress them. As for Zip files it is important to note that creating them from Forklift and not from the Finder will not take them garbage filesmacOS (the various “.namefile.extension” or “.DS_store”), obtaining more clean and suitable folders for the exchange. The amount of features in Forklift 3 is really exterminated, I can list just some other as the complete uninstall of the app, the saving of different workspace, Git support for the file history, the ability to define an editor for each extension, to store custom commands based on bash scripts that can be created from within the app and then find it useful for synchronization. Meanwhile, because with the double window on source path and destination allows us to activate Sync Browsing, so when we enter a subfolder on one side, he automatically enters the other, giving us the opportunity to make a quick visual check. In addition to this, there is precisely a very advanced synchronization function, which can go either way or work by summation, analyzing files by size or modification date, including invisible files, subfolders and even providing customizable filters.

Another element not to be overlooked is ForkLift Mini, which is the icon that you can activate in the menu bar, thanks to which you get two really useful features. The first is to mount any sharing, whether local or remote, such as a disk drive on the Mac (complete with an icon on the desktop). This operation is done with one click and only requires that Fuse be pre-installed for macOS (the app will guide us in the installation if we do not already have it). The second thing is the one I find personally more useful and is the Droplet. I often have to send a file to the NAS, maybe on a specific folder. Normally I should mount the exact network path or go to browse the file system until I find it and then copy the file. Activating the Droplet instead, I just drag the file icon from”


ForkLift 3 fully confirm the reasons why I have always loved and used this software. I have been in the restricted circle of apps that I consider essential and which I install in the first few minutes on every Mac. I do not consider it as a substitute for the Finder, because to open a file or for basic actions I tend to prefer the native app for immediacy macOS, but there is not a single day when I do not use ForkLift. This is because it is superior to the Finder in a thousand different ways and is much more efficient and convenient to administer even in simple copying operations, for which I now use only and only him. I think it’s an essential tool for every Mac user, also because it includes many others. The nice thing, then, is that already in itself is offered at an honest price of $29.95, also from the Mac App Store, while this third version came out to offer more features because of the known limitations on the File System imposed by Apple. Apparently they will make a specific version for MAS later, but it will certainly be forced, so I suggest you take the complete one directly from the BinaryNights website.


  • File manager efficient and practical
  • Advanced synchronization functions
  • Full FTP / SFTP client with support for FXP
  • Uninstall applications
  • Powerful Batch Renamer
  • Quick document previews
  • New dark interface
  • Supports both tabs and multi-windows
  • Quick menu with Droplet and Disklet
  • Excellent quality / price ratio


  • Nothing really

AH Sagar

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