Mac users have a love-hate relationship with the native file navigation system i.e. Finder. While there’s no denying that Finder is quite capable, Apple hasn’t been that prompt on adding functionality in a timely fashion. Third-party developers have taken the matter into their own hands and have been pushing out some great Finder replacement apps. So, if you really want your macOS Finder to do more, here are the top 10 Finder alternatives for Mac You can use in 2020.
Best Finder Alternatives in 2020
1. Commander One v2
Commander One v2 is the latest version of the popular Finder alternative Commander One and it’s just great. It is a robust solution for anyone looking for a Finder alternative. It serves a dual-pane file manager for starters, which can make file operations a breeze to perform if you’ve some screen real estate to spare.
Commander One v2 also encourages you to be a keyboard ninja and you can set keyboard shortcuts for pretty much everything you would otherwise do with the trackpad – including but not limited to file operations, selection and navigating through the user interface.
In the customization front, users can choose between ten pre-installed themes. If you are feeling artsy, you can also change the looks of elements individually – including fonts, selection and background colour.
Search is one of the many areas where Commander One really shines. You can not only search by filename but also look inside the contents of a file – even if they are in a compressed ZIP folder. You can also make a case sensitive search.
The Pro version allows you to link your cloud storage services like DropBox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 account along with newly added Box.com account, Backblaze account, andmore. It gives easy access to these cloud accounts so that you don’t have to keep shifting from navigating local storage to cloud storage.
The built-in FTP manager allows you to connect to remote FTP servers. Combined with dual-pane navigation, you no longer have to keep moving to and fro to operate data between your local storage and your cloud storage.
Other new features of Commander One v2 include the ability to open and edit files stored on online connections, ability to open and edit files on MTP and iOS devices, support for Finder Extensions, and more. Commander One v2 can transform the Finder experience on your Mac with its endless list of features. It has a free version too, so there’s no reason not to get it.
2. Path Finder 9
Path Finder has been serving the needs of Mac users for the past seventeen years and their iteration, Path Finder 9 brings several enhancements and mark the beginning of a new era for this software. Path Finder also comes with a dual-pane navigation support, which also gives you access to bookmarks and hidden files. Like Commander One, Path Finder also allows you to create custom keyboard shortcuts for swift navigation.
Path Finder has an innovative feature called “Drop Stack” to copy/move multiple files. It is basically a temporary storage area for your files, which “collects” all the files you need to copy/move and allows you to perform an operation on all of them at once. This is particularly useful when dealing with a large number of files, which are scattered all over your storage area.
Apart from the above-mentioned features, Path Finder bring all the features that you expect from a powerful Finder alternative. It lets you customize the interface, supports cloud storage service (only Dropbox), brings support for custom keyboard shortcuts and more.
All that said, the biggest differentiator for Path Finder has always been modules and Path Finder 9 ports a completely new and flexible modules structure. You can arrange these modules anyway you like and even customize them booth visually and functionally. This makes Path Finder the most versatile finder alternative that you can find.
Path Finder has always been great and the new Path Finder 8 has made this software even better. If you are willing to shell out $39.99, Path Finder is the tool I’d recommend for power users.
Download: Path Finder ($36, 30 days free trial)
3. Forklift 3
Forklift 3 is another great Finder alternative for power users. As with the other two alternatives we’ve seen, it supports dual pane navigation and customizable keyboard shortcuts. It also features breadcrumb navigation like Windows, so you can navigate through your files with breeze.
Forklift 3 can connect to remote FTP, SFTP, SMB servers, so that you can manage your files across servers.
It also includes a centralized place to delete all the applications and leftover data— although macOS Sierra includes this natively now.
Forklift’s search can make it through compressed folders and even files stored on remote servers. It’s pretty powerful. For cloud integration, Forklift supports Amazon S3 and Dropbox. In the previous versions of the software, Dropbox was not supported which was a deal breaker for many users. However, that’s not the case anymore. Simply put, Forklift is a powerful and good replacement for native Finder app.
Download: Forklift ($29.95, 14-day free trial)
If your needs warrant a simple Finder alternative with all the basic features, XtraFinder may be the right application for you. Probably the best part about this macOS file manager is the ability to offer quick access to several functions available in the toolbar, menus, and the contextual menu. So, whether you want to show hidden items, hide desktop, create a symbolic link or even copy path, it can let you get your work done faster.
Another feature that’s worth taking note of is the ability to copy and move files with ease. Perfect for the times where you have to handle a ton of files! Just like Finder, it also offers a convenient way to adjust the width of columns. Thus, you can view complete file names of all files without having to adjust column width manually. Though XtraFinder can’t make a match with Apple’s offering in terms of customization, it’s more than decent in this department.
For example, the custom color aka the light text on the background, the colorful icons in the sidebar, and the option to keep folders above all files can come in more than handy. What’s more, XtraFinder is available for free, which makes it one of the best free Finder alternatives for Mac.
Download: XtraFinder (Free, $4.99)
5. Nimble Commander
If you want a highly efficient Finder alternative for macOS, I would recommend you to give a shot to Nimble Commander. Thanks to a range of proficient tools, the file manager looks primed for power users like IT professionals and software developers. Written mostly in C++, Nimble Commander can make a good match with Finder when it comes to snappier performance. Thus, you can deal with dozens of tabs and windows simultaneously without facing any sluggishness.
Furthermore, the software offers quick keyboard access to file management operations. With the keyboard shortcuts for several common actions, you can carry out several tasks comfortably without having to follow roundabout routes. Features like the handy batch renaming, file viewer, and archives handling help you double down on productivity. Even better, Nimble Commander features an admin mode which offers unrestricted root access so that you can use your Mac without having to use an app under another user.
Download: Nimble Commander (Free, pro version comes at $24.99)
6. CRAX Commander
Yet another dual-pane file manager that can take on Finder is CRAX Commander. With built-in SVN, FTP, and SSH client, the software has got the versatility to enhance productivity. Thus, you can manage both your local and remote files with ease. Thanks to the customizable view like show/hide panels, sidebar, and menubar, you can fine-tune everything in line with your taste. On the customization front, I think CRAX Commander is a touch better than Apple’s offering courtesy the desired flexibility.
Besides, it also allows files and folders coloring as per extensions so that you can keep your files perfectly organized. One of my top picks of this software is the built-in editor that offers a simplified syntax highlighting. Not to mention, it also comes with neat archives handling so that you can keep the clutter at bay. Overall, Crax Commander is a highly proficient Finder replacement software.
Download: CRAX Commander ($19.99)
Simply put, DCommander has got all the essential features to be a notable alternative to the stock file manager for macOS. First and foremost, the software comes with a bunch of productivity defining tools to let you amp up your performance. For example, you can quickly track down a specific file type using the advanced search feature and rename several files at one go by making the most of the batch renaming tool. Second, it comes with native editing tools so that you can edit your files right from inside this file manager. And third, it offers FTP SFTP and SCP connections to let you transfer data to servers smoothly. Considering these notable features, DCommander can safely claim to be a user-friendly Finder substitute.
Download: DCommander ($14.99)
8. Total Finder
Unlike the other three Finder replacements we’ve seen above, Total Finder is not a stand-alone app. Instead, it integrates with the original Finder application on Mac. TotalFinder features Chrome-style tabs and sports a dual pane navigation. As you might have observed, dual pane navigation is pretty much a standard feature in Finder alternatives.
Users moving from Windows should definitely feel at home, as Total Finder adds the Cut-paste functionality to the right-click menu.
Probably, the most innovative feature of Total Finder is the “Visor window“, which allows you to assign a global keyboard shortcut to bring up a sliding Finder window from anywhere. You can perform any operation quickly, press the shortcut again and the “Visor window” slides out of sight.
For everyday users, I’d recommend going with Total Finder as it adds essential functionality to Finder without burning a hole in your pocket.
Download: TotalFinder ($11.99, free 14-day trial)
While FinderPath isn’t as feature-rich as Finder, there is a lot to like in this software. For starters, FinderPath has a pretty neat interface which is way easier to master than that of Apple’s offering. Moreover, you can easily copy/paste file paths and also access hidden files or folders without having to dive deep. Thanks to the file completion and suggestion popups, it makes sure the filesystem navigation remains straightforward. And that too without having to go through any learning curve.
But what makes FinderPath a nice Finder alternative is the ability to add a Windows-style address bar into the Finder application. Just press CMD+G when you’re in a Finder window to open up an address bar. Now, you can easily copy-paste the full address of the file/folder and jump directly to it. Besides, there a super handy search mode that lets you quickly search the current directly. What’s more, you don’t need to shell out any bucks to get the most out of this able Finder alternative for macOS.
Download: FinderPath (Free)
10. HoudahSpot 5
What makes HoudahSpot 5 worth taking a close look is a powerful file search. So, if Finder is unable to meet your requirements, you shouldn’t fail to give it a try. You can use this smart Finder alternative to search several folders at one go. Not just that, it also lets you customize columns in the search results list and filter the results to access only the most relevant items and exclude the ones that are irrelevant. Save it for the times where you need to quickly access certain folders! Moreover, this file manager has a clutter-free interface that ensures all of your important files are easily available.
Download: HoudahSpot 5 ($34 for a single license and $52 for a family license)
Choose the Best Finder Alternatives
That’s pretty much it! As all these third-party file managers are quite user-friendly, it could be pretty tough to choose any one of them. From my personal experience, I’ve grown to love Path Finder. You do not necessarily have to settle for my words. What I’d recommend you is to check out the feature list of these Finder replacement apps and see which features are likely to benefit you.
If you aren’t that much of a power user, I’d recommend going with TotalFinder. It adds all the basic functionality at a minimum cost. If you’re aren’t willing to spend any money, XtraFinder could be a pretty good free alternative, too. As I’ve said, to each its own. I hope you find this list of Finder alternatives useful. Do tell us what Finder alternatives do you use, to enhance your Finder experience?