TotalFinder status under OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)


It says here that there might be an attempt to replace the functionality, but the main message seems to indicate that there won’t be. I’m not sure which it is (I suspect the latter), so I’ll just add a vote to work on it. For me, folders on top is worth the price of admission; it is the only real deal-breaker for me. (I can live without colored labels and colored sidebar and I don’t use Visor). I would prefer that dual mode mirror the sidebar, but I think I could even live without that.

Please don’t give up on TotalFinder!


Setting the rootless does make it work! BRAVO!

sudo nvram boot-args="rootless=0"


I agree with @vr8ce - I can live without a lot here, but I really need Folders On Top. I also don’t use colored labels or Visor. I WOULD pay extra for that and hope that you keep working on this. While I am an old Windows veteran, I’ve been a Mac for nearly 10 years but use Windows at work. Folders on top makes navigating and browsing my drives a lot easier.

Thanks for all your hard work. Everything that you and your team do is greatly appreciated.


Another vote for a standalone app or whatever you can do… I made the jump to Mac about six months ago and finder has been sh***ing me to tears since day one, I’m ten days into my TotalFinder trial and it’s just about changed my life. I downloaded it knowing it’s stopped working on 10.11 but I can’t bring myself to shell out for it if it won’t work in a couple of months… I’d rather go back to the nightmare that is Finder than get used to having something that works only to have it taken away from me :frowning:

The only functions I use are Folders On Top and Column Auto-Width… would happily pay for just those two things.

Subscribed to keep an eye on progress :smile:



Actually can anyone running El Capitan tell me a bit about the implications of disabling SIP either through recovery or through the rootless command above? Has it significantly hurt your install in any way (e.g. lost functionality) or has it solely disabled the protection and essentially given you an update to El Capitan but with the security level of Yosemite?

I did a bit of reading on SIP and according to several sources it’s literally there so that uneducated users don’t just bang in their password and give root access to any old thing that pops up. I’m new-ish to mac but not at all new to security on Linux-based machines so I’m comfortable that I can decide when to supply my password, I also have a solid backup regime in case of any issues…

So if disabling SIP is all it takes to keep TotalFinder working then I’d be happy to do that, as long as it doesn’t cause any issues other than reverting me to Yosemite-level security…



Running the rootless=0 bootarg essentially brings you to OS X 10.9 level of security. If you’re an intelligent and scrutinous user, you shouldn’t have an issue running the command safely.


I am also running 1.7.0 without issues rootless=0


I can confirm that TF 1.70 works under OS X 10.11 Public Beta with rootless=0.


I can confirm that TotalFinder 1.6.27 will not launch with the first public beta of El Capitan (15A215h). I didn’t know 1.7 was available but it appears from this discussion that it also doesn’t work. If Apple is indeed writing code to prevent developers from accessing the Finder, I am angered. I am going to send in Feedback about this. If the following is inappropriate here, feel free to delete it.

FYI: After the first part of the El Capitan install, I got a kernel panic upon the restart. I waited it out and the machine rebooted and the install continued successfully. I had a problematic El Capitan initial boot with Mail and Firefox hanging. It was strange that they even launched since I made a point to manually quit all applications before the install. My machine seemed hung at booting until I noticed a gray line at the bottom of the screen. I clicked on it, pulled it up and they were dialog boxes for Mail and Firefox which I was unable to access. When I tried to drag them up, they just bounced back. Since none of the options was highlighted, neither Escape or Return would advance things for me. I dumbed down the screen resolution to 1024 and then I could drag the dialog boxes to the active screen and dismiss them. When I finally got Mail running, it simply would not connect to one of two of my Yahoo email addresses blaming Yahoo for the problem. I compared the setting of both Yahoo accounts and discovered the port 993 missing in the account which wouldn’t connect. If I entered 993, it would not save. I ended up deleting that Yahoo account and making it again and Mail is now working. My thought now? OMG! More Mail issues which didn’t exist before. Ok, back to testing.


I can confirm that v. 1.7 of my beloved Total Finder does not want to launch after installing the first Public Beta of El Capitan (15A215h)). Oh, woe is me! What next? Riots in the street? Only white bread without the crusts? Only instant coffee?! What is the world coming to, Apple?!

In any case, Antonin, many thanks for all you are doing for us to save us from Finder (over)simplicity…


I’ll add my voice here too. I had some problems on DP 1 and fully uninstalled TF, but I’m on DP 3 now, and after running the rootless command, rebooting then installing TF 1.7, all works as expected (minus the features listed at the top on this thread).


I would like to add another vote for a standalone app. I’ll continue to use Mavericks or Yosemite rather than move to El Capitan without TotalFinder.


Hey Antonin, check out the Rootless Toggler app:

Maybe you could reverse engineer what it does (may be the same command that everyone else is running packaged up in an application) or maybe speak to the developers to see how they implemented it.

Either way, there may be another idea that was floating around;

“whether rootless could be enabled by loading / unloading a special kext that restricts write operations on a hardware level”.


@mkormendy This would be an up-hill battle. Although it is possible in betas, Apple clearly doesn’t want simple utils to disable rootless. In retail version you as a user will HAVE to do a restart into Recovery partition to disable it and there will be no way to automate it. This is by design. Having a simple UI toggle for rootless would be nullification of SIP effort. A lot of users would just simply toggle it off without thinking just because some app asked for it - the same way they are willing to give away their root passwords.

  1. If I upgrade to El Capitan (which may not happen since this is the first release in a long time where I am not seeing worthwhile benefits to this version of the operating system) I will always turn rootless off in the future - your application isn’t the only one I have installed that is affected by this change in system protection.
  2. Users that are looking for a better Finder experience, clearly have vested interest (and likely capability) to turning this feature off.
  3. While many may not understand what it takes to get TotalFinder to currently operate on pre-El Capitan, asking the public to educate themselves on the risks and benefits is never something that should hinder your offering - that is what it is - an offering, not a force-feeding - no one has to use this software - it’s their choice.

It’s commendable that you care for the support of the software to the customer, that’s not being questioned here. However, ultimately the user owns their machines and are responsible for installing the software on their computer.

Now I understand that you’re at a stage in your career where you don’t want your business to have to fight the battle any longer - that’s your prerogative. At least, would you consider making the code open source so that others can continue to support what amazing work you’ve achieved thus far?

I have paid for this software to be developed to the current achievements that it has acquired. I am extremely happy with it, and I would never begrudge you for making it open source. Other paying customers, should understand that the money they paid went to the development and support in the past to get it to where it is right now.


@mkormendy Just FYI, (and for others that make it here), the app you posted does in fact use the same nvram command posted above.

do shell script "sudo nvram boot-args='rootless=0';" with administrator privileges
do shell script "sudo nvram boot-args='rootless=1';" with administrator privileges


I can confirm that ‘rootless’ works on El Capitan.

  • Thank you for your input Malong.


I always look forward to the next release of OS X but on this occasion I have lost all interest in El Capitan despite the claimed performance improvements offered. Most of the other benefits are of little value to me though I was keen to try side by side apps.

TotalFinder and Total Spaces are invaluable to me , can’t imagine giving them up for the performance gains. Hard to believe Apple would lock genuine enhancement products with this move given that there are technical options to achieve both.

Sorry Capitan , you are not coming to my Mac’s until I can enjoy the enhancements of your products, going rootless is not a sustainable solution and i doubt Binary Age would be wasting its time finding entry points after each release. Absolutely put me down for a Finder replacement that includes the functinality and looks of TF.


I’ve just upgraded again, now running Developer Beta 4: I can happily report that all continues to work as before. I wasn’t expecting TF to be initially working after such an extensive OS refresh - that I’d maybe need to re-run the rootless command/re-install TF or various combinations - but none of this was necessary. The known issues naturally remain, and there is an overlap of the text and colour icons on the Total Finder tab of Finder Preferences - but this is largely aesthetic and the broad function of TF is in place and working well.

Cheers Darwin, for your solid and irreplaceable software! (and for the beta whist we are still only running DP software…)



I can also confirm that, with Total Finder 1.70 and OS X El Capitan Public Beta 2, everything is working well for me. The issues with the Total Finder beta still exist, but wonderfully, I did not need to disable rootless or perform any type of security modification in order for Total Finder to launch and run well on my Mac.

This is hopeful news, and I hope the developers won’t give up on this great and useful program easily. It seems Apple is listening and open to working with the developers of these types of apps.