I would like to install Filemerge, but can't find where to go to download it. Where can I download it?


FileMerge is part of Xcode 4.x by Apple which you can download from the Mac App Store.

The following is taken from the description:

Xcode is now distributed as an application, rather than as an installer. This change enables Xcode to be updated directly from the Mac App Store.

  • Includes SDKs for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and iOS 5
  • New code signing workflow supports signing OS X apps with Developer ID
  • Adds installation of command-line tools to the Downloads preference pane
  • Open Developer Tool menu launches Instruments, FileMerge, and other tools
  • ARC migration tool converts both retain/release and garbage collected code
  • Additional bug fixes and stability improvements

But FileMerge.app is now embedded inside the Xcode.app package and is not easily accessible as a standalone tool... Unless you do this:

  1. Browse to /Applications/Xcode.app
  2. Right-click -> Show package contents
  3. Contents -> Applications
  4. Right-click FileMerge.app -> Make Alias -> Enter password
  5. Copy the Alias to somewhere, like /Applications
  6. Delete the original Alias

Now you can use as a standalone tool, as before!


Alternatively, if you don't need the entire Xcode distribution, DiffMerge is also very similar and free.

enter image description here

  • 4
    Just wanted to note that DiffMerge is free as in beer, but is not free software. Downloading it requires entering an email address, and distributing it "outside your organization" yourself is prohibited. License Agreement – yoniLavi Feb 16 '15 at 21:37

I made a one-liner to install FileMerge and the other developer tools from Xcode 3.2.6 without installing Xcode itself. Tested on 10.12 and FileMerge still works (although some of the other apps don't). It is easily uninstallable too, just delete /Developer or ~/Developer.

The total install size is 0.3GB, rather than 10GB+ of Xcode.


  • Note that this method requires downloading the "Xcode 3.2.6 and iOS SDK 4.3 for Snow Leopard" file which is 4.1GB – xApple Feb 16 '19 at 10:06

Install XCode and start FileMerge by using the command line tool opendiff.


opendiff file1.txt file2.txt

See also the man page for opendiff.

  • 1
    I think "opendiff" was not available at the time the question was asked. – user1364368 Jun 12 '17 at 11:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .