Relatively new to the Mac world, I still find the 'Finder' not really that user friendly.

What free alternatives to Finder exist?

*I mean really file browsers, not application launchers like Quicksilver, Launchy etc..

  • 1
    I like Path Finder, but it's not free :-( Dec 14, 2010 at 11:57
  • 3
    Not free either, but I also recommend Total Finder: totalfinder.binaryage.com. It is a Finder plugin, rather than a standalone program like PathFinder (and it's very lightweight compared to it). Mainly it adds tabs, dual pane view and cut and paste. Dec 15, 2010 at 18:16
  • 4
    What's not "friendly" about finder? That'll be a much simpler problem to fix
    – Alexander
    May 30, 2012 at 0:28
  • 4
    Its not intuitive. I cannot enter folders by pressing Enter, cannot delete them by pressing Delete. Cannot easily rename files. Cannot easily move files. Cannot easily connect to remote server. Even if I choose the certain type of the tree structure, it keeps changing after clicking from another application. For fun it is just good, for working purposes not.
    – Perlnika
    Sep 15, 2013 at 20:32
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    No! Don't do it! Stop closing useful questions. This is a perfect question for this site. Many will read, the best alternatives will be presented, voting will bring the best ones to the surface. Where else is there such machinery? Operators, you should be changing your rulebook rather than hitting people with it.
    – P i
    Nov 25, 2015 at 15:56

6 Answers 6


muCommander is a free Finder alternative, if that type of application suites you. (Dual-pane Norton Commander like).

  • 2
    It's also java based, so performance is.... mediocre.
    – Fake Name
    May 30, 2012 at 7:46
  • Could be worse, but it's not as fast as a native app. If you use multiple OSes you can "enjoy" the "write once, run everywhere™" (sorry, I'm laughing) ;) - On the other hand, I think finder in lion is acceptable (but still lame) and that Total Finder is a good replacement. Not free, but also decent. The less I have to use a file manager, the merrier for me. May 30, 2012 at 11:56

I don't know the good free alternatives, but PathFinder is the best file manager I have ever used, and probably one of the best desktop apps I've ever used. The features I use most

  • Bookmarks and multiple tabs
  • Multiple panes
  • Side panes with folder shortcuts
  • Drop stack

Most importantly, it's not clunky (relatively) and is very reliable. It was worth every cent I paid for it.

  • 1
    Path Finder is great and I've been using it since version 4, but the last couple of major versions have had problems with PF freezing the whole machine for minutes at a time. The problem is better in version 7, but it does this every time I launch PF and then try to open a folder. This does not happen on every machine for me. It happens on my Mac Pro(2009), Mac Book Pro Retina (2013), but not on my 2012 MacBook Air. All three machines are running the same latest OS.
    – Ɱark Ƭ
    Mar 24, 2015 at 12:11

Here's some free alternatives

Xfolders and MuCommander are free.


Another free alternative is xtrafinder http://www.trankynam.com/xtrafinder/


Moroshka file manager (free) - in beta, however, but it may suit your needs:

I have not yet used it, so offered under advisement (no reflection on product, though!)


Finder uses spaces and sub-spaces to organize our information. An alternative or a complementarity would be the use of TIME to organize our information. Here is a video presentation : hipSpace

Edit: ok, I am the developer of hipSpace, but my app really answers to that question. Just "Save as…" your files in the "hipSpace" folder, that all ! When there are too much files in the space, Release them. It will be easy to retrieve them using the Time navigation (rather than the space navigation of the Finder).

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