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

4 Answers 4


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!

  • 2
    I would recommend Meld, you don't have to install Xcode: (yousseb.github.io/meld)
    – Edenshaw
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 13:11
  • I haven't tried it on other versions, but on macOS 10.15.5, the opendiff approach suggested by @user1364368 below allowed me to avoid having to rummage through the Xcode package... Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 5:20
  • Meld doesn't seem to have great support on Mac. It works well on Linux/Ubuntu.
    – Coder
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 18:57

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

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  • 6
    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
    Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 21:37
  • The link also points to unsafe downloads link.
    – Coder
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 19:01
  • The only downside of diffmerge is that it is not able to wrap lines so you have to do a lot of horizontal scrolling. :(
    – minou
    Commented Jul 16, 2023 at 11:07

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. Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 11:47
  • There's a reference to /usr/bin/opendiff from 2011 (stackoverflow.com/a/7251803/446106), so it may have been available then.
    – mwfearnley
    Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 19:02

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
    Commented Feb 16, 2019 at 10:06

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