How To Merge Two Folders On a Mac

Merging two folders can seem difficult or impossible until you learn this trick. While it is easy to drag and drop new files into an existing folder, you'll need to decide which ones to keep and which to replace on a file-by-file basis. However, a hidden feature of the macOS Finder lets you merge the files in folders, keeping the newest versions.


Comments: 7 Responses to “How To Merge Two Folders On a Mac”

    nick
    3 weeks ago

    Great tip Gary, had no idea Merge existed in Finder. On a related note, over the years I learned to take the time to come up with meaningful folder structure and file names, which include modifiers such as, dates, version numbers, etc. That way I know what version I have just by looking at the name. thx

    Eric
    3 weeks ago

    VisualDiffer (https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/visualdiffer/id412386481?mt=12) is your friend for this as the content differences can be inspected before arbitarily getting a file with a more recent time-stamp.

    Still, it is handy to know about the facility described by Gary.

    Rocky
    3 weeks ago

    Excellent tip, Gary! I have needed this SO many times. Thanks!

    Pathy
    3 weeks ago

    Gary, thank you for pointing out these hidden gems! This is so useful and I had no idea this capability was built into MacOS.

    Lawrence Moore
    3 weeks ago

    Does merging work when there are subfolders within the two folders to be merged? Are the latest files retained in the subfolders? Thx.

    Lawrence Moore
    3 weeks ago

    Related topic suggestion: How to merge Photos’ libraries.

    3 weeks ago

    Lawrence: Yes, subfolders are merged too. Try it and see. Photos libraries are a whole different topic. There’s no good way to merge them. You have to take the smaller/older/less important one, export the photos to files, then import them into the main library.

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