Forklift 4 by Binary Nights (Finder alternative)

It looks like the latest version of Forklift (4) will be released very soon. The latest beta version can be downloaded from the Binary Nights web page This version has had a long gestation period. The software has been re- written which highlights the challenges of keeping an app in sync with Mac OS changes and other relevant software enhancements.

The new version looks great. Not all users will be happy though, as with all wholesale makeovers some functionality gets changed or lost.


Quite likely, because of the changed business model:

Buying a license to ForkLift allows you to use ForkLift for as long as you want and to install all minor and major updates for one year. If you wish to install a new version of ForkLift after that, you will need to renew your license. After the renewal, you will have access to free updates for one more year again.


Although the business model change was announced on June 1, 2022.

I for one prefer this model to the subscription model, as I can continue to use the software I paid for after my paid for period ends. And I can decide if the functionality added is of value to me.


Yes good gesture provided subsequent version of macOS does not break something.

But in this case there are two options.

Continue with the current version of macOS and Forklift. Or upgrade macOS and pay for the upgraded version of Forklift. I don’t have a problem with either. In the former I continue to use software I paid for. I the latter I pay for work done the provides me value.

If it was a subscription I’d have to keep paying even if I was staying on the old version of macOS, and in that case paying but potentially not getting any of the updates or enhancements.

Happy that it is included as part of Setapp.


$119.88 vs $19.95.

Just had a look. Apart from Forklift ($19.95, but last time I paid is already some time ago) and MenubarX ($5.99 one time payment for a pro license) there’s nothing of interest to me in the Setapp bundle.

It’s released today:

On the Binarynights blog someone asked if this version (ForkLift 4) will be included on SetApp. Their reply was: “Hopefully, yes. We are working on that.” Keyword is “hopefully”. :grinning:

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I realize this is probably overanalyzing, but I find myself wondering what “hopefully” would be contingent on. :slight_smile:

I don’t know if SetApp has a “standard” contract or if each software developer negotiates their own contract.

I get that - but Forklift 3 is already in SetApp. I just think it’s weird that 4 is “hopefully” rather than just a matter of time. :slight_smile:

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I checked their website and seems Forklift provides extra panes, integration with file providers etc. Any other benefits people came across when using it over Finder?

PS: Provided I have hazel and would prefer to use official file/cloud drive clients

A Forklift 4 review at MacStories

Seems like a write up to me instead of a review.


I use it for FTP/SFTP all the time. I also really like the split view and the fact that I can blend bookmarks between local filesystems and (S)FTP servers. Better rename functionality comes in handy to me all the time as well.

I know I can logically do the same “split view” thing with Finder and two windows, but it’s nice to have it all together in one place.


One thing that gets me is that so many developers choose to be anonymous. With the ForkLift people all we know is:

We are a small group of exceptionally talented people engaged in creating the best possible software for macOS and iOS platforms.

Other benefits???

Well it just depends on you use case and visual preferences.

I have not used Finder for years I think it’s the worse bit of software Apple has produced and I have seen this sentiment expressed by others.

As I understand it ForkLift really started out as a file transfer client. In my case I appreciate the multi pane integrated UI. Standouts for me;

  • how you can curate the favourites bar with groups
  • the workspace function which is the best implementation of this idea I have seen

As for the improvements specific to Version 4 I think the option to save view options for specific folders stands out as being very useful.


I tried watching a few YT vids but didn’t find enough content for Forklift. I’ll try it out I guess. Not sure if I have a use case but in the past I’ve stumbled into apps that changed the way I use my mac like this, so worth a shot I guess

I think “hopefully” may apply to their change with the payment model and how that affects integration with Setapp.