TotalFinder alternatives

Since TotalFinder does not launch with System Integrity Protection under El Capitan.
I decided to compile a list of alternatives for users who are looking for a replacement.

The direct alternative XtraFinder has the same problem as TotalFinder. It won’t run without SIP disabled.

I came across this brand new file manager Commander One, which looks promising, give it a try!

:gift: An offer for TotalFinder users: 50% Off on Commander One PRO Pack

Then we have traditional apps which are full Finder replacements: PathFinder, ForkLift and DiskOrder.

EDIT: Other users kindly suggested Transmit, Unclutter, DCommander, CRAX Commander and Files for OSX.

CRAX Commander is also offering 50% off to TotalFinder users.

Path Finder is 50% OFF for TotalFinder users
The promotion works by entering the coupon code TOTALFINDER at their online store: Available until the end of October 2015.

I plan to update this post with more alternatives. Please don’t be shy and propose your own tips.


Really really sad that you are kinda being “forced” to stop TotalFinder. It is really essential for me and my Mac – the last few years I can’t use a Mac if it doesn’t have TotalFinder installed.

The key positive about TotalFinder (there are several great features)-- but the key is being able to join two tabs - that is essential for me I use it 5-25 times each day – or more! I don’t think 10.11 wlll have that feature, or??

Again, I think without TotalFinder it will seem like going from a Mac to a PC — ahhhhh! HELP!

Hope you can reconsider or talk with Apple or encourage them to offer your features or ??? I just don’t know. I like colored folders and Unsanity helped me for years-- but not in the past 3.

Using Mac only since 1989 — this is not good news about Totalfinder… But thanks for the info and good luck! Again, hopefully you can get a fix or a cooperative agreement - maybe encourage Apple to have TF’s features?!

Best regards,

Steve Schulte
Monday 28 September 2015


The biggest features I think most Switchers will need are

  1. Better tabs and tabbing system that regular Finder
  2. Folders On Top
  3. Cut/ Copy/ Paste Shortcuts in Context Menus

Everything else, truly, if you think about it is gravy. However, it was worth the price of admission… the 4-5 times I paid for it (on that many Macs…)

Its depressing that TotalFinder has succumbed to this problem, but I also think you’ve correctly diagnosed the situation and the eventual outcome. At some point, we’re going to have to move on… It sucks, but I think you’re likely right. I was actually hoping that Apple might see TotalFinder as an asset and buy the rights to the app so it could incorporate the features into Finder so I wouldn’t have to move on; but I guess I’m wishing for something unlikely to happen…


I appreciate the list, but it just indicates how much we will miss Total Finder. Disk Order doesn’t list compatibility beyond 10.9 and doesn’t appear to have been updated in quite sometime. Pathfinder does not mention El Capitan support, although it was updated about 5 months ago. So not sure of their development plans. Forklift doesn’t discuss El Capitan either, but does seem to be undergoing some upgrades. So… not sure we will have any alternatives soon.

Thanks for all your hard work! Add my voice to those wishing Apple would just acquire your program and integrate it into Finder.

I’ve been using PathFinder without any issues. Per the dev on the forums, “Path Finder will be compatible with El Capitan.” Forklift seems to work AFAIK.

Haven’t been able to get XtraFinder to work at all.

Really bummed though about Total Finder.

Been doing further investigation and testing this evening. I did see the post you mentioned on the Path Finder pages. And it sounds like from your testing the update required may be minimal.

Worked with Commander One for a bit. Not to my liking as it uses some non standard shortcuts for things like Quickview (space bar does not work for me). Also, I prefer a side bar which I couldn’t find a way to enable. The ability to view processes is nice, but only of minimal utility. It doesn’t give any information so I am not sure how you would decide to kill a process.

I hadn’t focused on Forklift as a Finder replacement - I had only used it for ftp and sftp. But this evening I used it exclusively and found it meets my needs. Standard shortcuts, single or full pane, tabs, Quickview, customizable menu bar, folders sorted on top, etc. I wish I could get some service extensions (like copy/paste file) but can live with what is provided.

All said though, I will really miss Total Finder and its integration with Finder!

For the Visor window, people might take a look at an app called Unclutter. I’ve been using it for a while, and actually like its implementation better than TotalFinder’s.

Forklift has a pretty good “dual pane” mode, but not as good (IMO) as TotalFinder.

The things I will miss (and seek to replace somehow):

  • Colored labels
  • Show System Files (I know this can be done in several utility apps, but I often want to turn it on for just a minute or two, and TF’s version was extremely handy)
  • Progress Bar in Dock
  • Cut/Paste in contextual menus (LOVE THIS!
  • Dual Finder Panes – (Forklift)

I hate being that freetard guy, but if you’re dropping the product entirely and could ever see fit to release the source (even as CC BY-ND-NC?), I’m sure there would be enough people willing to continue to maintain it. It doesn’t have to be the end, especially if you’ll no longer be taking in new revenue from it.


@theodric: Frankly, I don’t believe there would be anyone willing to maintain it for free more actively than I will do. Because it is quite a lot of work to reverse-engineer Finder and maintain multiple code-paths for different OS versions / revisions. Also my concern with open-sourcing existing codebase is that it would potentially make it easier to exploit potential security issues. TotalFinder does not talk over the network except for Sparkle, but you can be never sure. That said I don’t see much benefit for me open-sourcing it. If there is anyone really interested in taking over the project please drop me an email to We can talk. But at this point I’m not comfortable open-sourcing it.

DefaultFolder was suffering from SIP too. For the next version they decided to implement the functionality using alternative methods that do not violate SIP. Is there any thought on that route for TotalFinder?

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Hi, is it possible you to make Visor only app? Thats the most wanted feature I will be missing. If you can make an app that brings the default El Capitan Finder visible (and hides) with keyboard shortcut like Visor did in TotalFinder I would be really happy! And Folders on top… but I think that is something that cannot be done without disabling the SIP.

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I just found out about this today. I’m not at all happy about it. I had to uninstall TotalFinder because I was unable to get SIP to disable. I ran the command as printed on the page (csrutil enable --without debug) in the Recovery Screen’s terminal, but the system would never restart and I’d have to power it down hard and reboot. Then it’d come right back up and say SIP was enabled. I’m pretty pissed at Apple right now. I’m wishing at this point that I hadn’t upgraded to El Capitan. I absolutely LOVED TotalFinder and giving it up is not cool.

I purposely did not upgrade to El Capitan because I need TotalFinder on my Mac. I wrote to Commander One and they say they do not exhibit side panels – so I will try it but likely not the solution for me… I use the linking of tabs 5 to 25 times per day! I thought we could get SIP to disable-- but if not it may be a long time before I move to 10.11. Thanks for your post.

I sure hope Default folder will work on 10.11 – I use that and TextExpander and DragThing every minute on my Mac!

Thanks for your post.

So sad!! Thank you for your hard work all these years. Apple really should fold your features into finder. I guess I’m off to try and find a replacement. :cry:

Just the following features are really important to me:
-folders on top(!!!)
-show hidden files

To be honest the native tabs are enough for me and I never used the visor or split-panes, so I disabled everything else and those are the only features I really need. For copying paths there is a new option in El Capitan (right-click, then hold the Option key to see “Copy … as Pathname”), and cutting/pasting is possible by using Cmd-C followed by Cmd-Option-V, so that’s not an issue.

In fact, for showing hidden files, on the rare occasions I need it I can always type a command into the Terminal (

So to be honest the only thing I really, really miss is putting folders on top. I know there’s a way to get them on top when sorting by kind, but I want them purely alphabetical and on top, just like they are in Windows.

What’s the feasibility of implementing just some very basic, non-intrusive features such as these under El Capitan? I would probably pay $5 for the folders-on-top feature alone.


I’ve used TotalFinder for years. Most used feature is definitely Folders On Top

I’m with kleinmi…would love to see this as a standalone add-in. I’m so used to having this feature that it feels weird without it.

Kleinmi, thanks for the 10.11 tip on Pathname and Cut-Paste :grinning:

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This is a disaster. Anytime I use a Mac of colleagues, I shout’em: “where’s totalfinder?!” - I’m completely addicted. I use visor with keyboard shortcut million times per day… tabs, folders on top… cut… split… so obvious features for an OS. TotalDisaster.

Hope they can buy you as soon as possible, making you rich.

That’s a shame, but we have to deal with the world the way it is…

Maybe it’s an idea to approach PATH FINDER to see if they’re willing to offer
a nice discount for former TotalFinder users?



Sad future.
The thing I absolutely can’t live without is the visor-like system-wide key-combination that brings the finder right were you are without changing desktop.
Except for xtrafinder, with which it doesn’t work anymore either, I don’t think any proposed alternative offers this feature.
I hope someone will prove me wrong and propose an alternative with this feature.

In the meantime, I’ll deactivate SIP…