Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I can not beleive more people don't have a problem with this. Merge contents in Lion or ML does NOT merge contents if 1 or more of those "contents" is a subfolder

Merge contents of two folders works great if they are files inside the merging folders.. But if they have same named subfolders, the merging folder will REPLACE, not merge the destination's subfolder


Drive1 / Folder1

               - text1.txt
               - text2.txt
               - / subfolder / 
                         - text3.text


Drive2 / Folder1

               - text1.txt
               - text2.txt
               - / subfolder / 
                         - text1.text
                         - text2.text

this should get text3.txt merged into Drive2's subfolder from Drive1's, but instead this subfolder is REPLACED, and NOT MERGED!! The resulting subfolder only contains text3.txt and text1 and text2 have vanished!

Anyone else experiencing this? I can't find any acknowledgement from Apple that this is even an issue.

Anyone shed light on this be appreciated, as well as fix or work-arounds for doing proper merge when (almost identical) subfolders exist

share|improve this question
Check for a really thorough explanation of this and similar problems that began in Lion. – Zo219 Dec 1 '12 at 10:38
You need to use CP on terminal. It's ridiculous, but apple wanted this way. You can feedback to Apple at, said the assistent on the phone. I did it. – Ricardo Martins Apr 25 '13 at 18:43

I use an alternative manager as a workaround.

If you copy folders there, Forklift will ask you if you want to merge them or replace. Replace option works how you would expect.

However, when you move folders, the replace is the only option.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.