BinaryNights Blog

We are postponing the release of ForkLift 4

ForkLift 4 sneak peek

In one of our latest blog posts, we discussed our plans for the new business model for ForkLift 4. The feedback from our users has been overwhelmingly positive, which has strengthened our decision about the new pricing model. In this last post, we also wrote that we were hoping to release ForkLift 4 in the spring of 2021.

We were planning to make fewer significant changes to ForkLift than in the previous major releases. And we certainly didn’t want to completely rewrite the code as we did in the past major versions. That was one of the reasons why we hoped that we could release ForkLift 4 in the spring. However, we are postponing the release of ForkLift 4 because we have decided to make a major overhaul once again.

First and foremost, we want to add more new features to ForkLift 4 than planned so that we can call it a new major version with a clear conscience.

Also, because of the complexity of ForkLift, we need to keep the code of ForkLift clean and sustainable. That is a standard we have set for ourselves. That is good for the developer and the users as well. A maintained, sustainable code is easier to work with, and it allows new functionality to grow. The maintainability of the code will become even more significant now that we are switching to the new model of continuous development.

We want to create a solid foundation that we can later easily build on. If we want the code to stay relevant, then we have to change bigger parts of it, and it is better to change some of the core functions now, before the release, than a few months later on the live code.

There are some new technologies and implementations (for example, SwiftUI) that we want to use in ForkLift 4, which would allow us to build a more robust and future proof app. These new solutions are reducing the complexity of the code too. There is only one thing that can improve the app besides writing code, and that is deleting some unnecessary code. It feels good and liberating to delete something old and unnecessary entirely or replace it with a much simpler solution. But unfortunately, using these modern implementations has its price too, and this price is the compatibility. ForkLift 4 will likely require a recent macOS version, but we hope that by the time ForkLift 4 comes out, this won’t be such a big issue.

Since we had announced that ForkLift 4 might come out in the spring, a lot of people asked if they should purchase ForkLift 3 now or wait until the new version comes out. Users who need or want to buy ForkLift now should buy it now and shouldn’t postpone the purchase. In the past, we always introduced grace periods for the users who had bought ForkLift in the months before the release of the next major version. We will work out a fair concept this time too, where users won’t need to purchase ForkLift twice within a given period. We will make sure that this will be a fair offer.

If you could add ONE feature to ForkLift 4, what would it be? Let us know in the comments which is the one, most important feature you definitely would like to see in ForkLift 4.

120 thoughts on “We are postponing the release of ForkLift 4

  1. Allow the preview tab to be moved to the bottom, with a separate preview tab per pane; or a floating preview

    1. Seconded.
      In vertical view especially, having the preview pane below the other windows would be perfect. The only reason I also have Path Finder is that they allow for this.

      1. I agree. I currently run two vertical panes stacked on the right 1/4 of my screen full time and would love to choose to have the lower pane be a preview pane like pathfinder allows. It is the only reason I ever consider running that dreadful resource hog of a program. That way I can scroll thru a list of pdfs in the upper pane, for example, while the preview of the file appears below with no need to resize or close a popup window. Thx for forklift!!!

    2. Thank you for your input. We will consider making it possible to place the preview pane at the bottom of the window and/or to open the preview in a separate window.

  2. I would love to see the capability of setting different default views per folder/favorite. For instance, a list view for Dropbox, but then a thumbnail view for pictures.

  3. I’d like to see a feature that allows to assign different view settings to certain folders or favorites. This should include at least sort order and view mode (thumbnails/list), but could also control the preview panel and showing/hiding hidden files.

    1. We want to make it possible to save view options for all folders. We will consider saving extended options too.

  4. Two features that I’d find useful are:
    – iCloud drive sync status as part of the icon (similar to what’s shown in Finder)
    – Integrated method to define files with given extensions (.info, .make, etc.) as being valid for Preview. Currently one has to do this manually with the qlstephen package (

  5. 1. Integrated a terminal at the bottom of the forklift 4.
    2. Allow end user add third party file comparison tools.

    1. You can do #2 with FL3 tools and kaleidoscope:

      /opt/homebrew/bin/ksdiff $SOURCE_PATH $TARGET_PATH

    2. We have wanted to add a built-in Terminal for long. Hopefully, it will make its way into ForkLift 4.

      You can add almost every comparison tool to ForkLift in the Tools section of the Preferences but you have to run these as tools. It might be a good idea to add these 3rd party apps as compare tools and that way you could use the compare command to use them the same way as built-in compare tools.

  6. Full iCloud Drive support. Now in FL3 I can see only downloaded items unlike Finder where I can see all the items (with a sub-icon of download state).

    1. We will investigate to what extent iCloud Drive support is possible. It depends on how much info Apple shares with its developers about the ins and outs of iCloud Drive. We will do our best to display the same items and info as Finder.

  7. Oh boy, let’s make Forklift 4 great. I’m a power user. Used to be a Windows guy 10 years ago and since my move to Mac there’s only one piece of software i miss every day. That’s Total Commander. It’s hands down, the best file manager, nothing comes close.
    I’ve tested everything the mac universe had to offer best ones seem to be ForkLift and Eltima’s Commander One. Always ended up using ForkLift because Commander One is still very buggy.

    That being said, here’s what’s very important (for me at least):
    – keep the two panes
    – focus on keyboard usage – ideally power users should be able to use Forklift just by using the keyboard
    – allow the use of function keys in Forklift – without having to change them in system preferences – Eltima’s Commander One does this and love this feature
    – sync FTP accounts via iCloud – iCloud should always be the preferred way for syncing for mac-only apps. Everything else is a bonus.
    – sync preferences as well across devices (including shortcut keys)
    – have the files/folders in multiple columns (a la Total Commander, not the mac way) rather than just a long list of files. Allow the right arrow and left arrow to move between columns, once on the first/last column would move the cursor to the beginning/end of the column
    – backspace – to get out of the current folder
    – ftp connections open up in a floating window rather than a pane – borrow this from total commander

    P.S. Would more than love to help you with suggestions and ideas, if you need any help, please reach out.

  8. Looking forward:)

    -ssh tunneling for sftp connections
    -one drive connection (refuse to install onedrive app)
    -accounts sync (favorites) over icloud

  9. A PahtFinder-hez hasonló állandó preview funkció nagyon jó lenne ide is. Csak ezért nem használom a FolkLift-et pedig megvásároltam.

      1. A két ablak alatt egy előnézeti kép legyen ha egy fájlon vagyok. Ne kelljen külön megnyitni a fájl, hogy lássam a tartalmát. Csak alul megjelenik egy preview ablak és már látom is a fájlt.
        Nekem már csak ez hiányzik 🙂

    1. Would very much like this cut/paste as well.
      My primary issue w/ Forklift is that it can’t be a complete replacement for Finder (i.e. if I doubleclick on a folder that’s on the desktop, would love for Forklift to open) but that’s presumably something MacOS won’t allow.
      Is there was a way to setup a right-mouse menu item in Finder for ‘show in Forklift’ at least?

      1. Also, while I’m on a roll, I’m hoping that the weirdness where forklift and forklift mini appear like they’re two separate applications (I even have to specifically grant full disk access to both of them independently) can be cleaned up.

        Riffing a little bit, and to combine the previous note about Cut&Paste, I’d love to have the menubar icon behave sort of like a mini Dropzone where I can drag a file up there and it’ll be in a holding pattern until I drag it somewhere else. Or, if I happen to Cmd-X to cut a file out of its current location, the mini forklift will be ‘holding’ it until I paste somewhere else.

  10. With the MacOS 11 File Provider API in Big Sur you can neatly address the fans of OneDrive including the ones that don’t want to install the OneDrive app. ExpanDrive has been supporting this in their StrongSync product.

    I think it’s good to delay the product …make it stable so we can just leave it running know its going to be ready and leverage the better APFS sync options in Big Sur and on.

  11. First of all thank you for such a great tool and your efforts to make it even better! I am so excited of the new ForkLift 4 release! Please keep always up your attitude and zeal!
    If you ask me for “the one” feature(s) I really need in ForkLift 4 I need to tell you 2 things.
    I really love to have workspaces. And I am using them extensively. So the first thing I really would love to have is…
    1) customizable keyboard shortcuts for workspaces…
    to switch instantly between them. And the latter one would be an…
    2) Administrator- or Sudo-Mode (you can bind to a workspace?)…
    to be able to read and write ALL locations on the system without the need to get asked for your root credentials.

    Would be so damn great if one (or both) of this requests will someday find a way into ForkLift4!

  12. Something I would want is a drives button on top of each panel (like in Commander One). I don’t like going to the sidebar to change drives. Another one is an option to change fonts and font size.

    I still use Commander One because it has a Total Commander like layout and features. I still use Forklift since Commander One cannot delete on feed list lol, and no still M1 binary.

    Personally, I still think Total Commander has no equivalent… maybe Double Commander (which I use on Linux). If Double Commander is stable/nice looking on macOS i will probaly just use it instead.

    1. cmdr one has apple silicon support as of latest version. i know because i use it for my android file transfer.

  13. OneDrive support is very important to me. I have the OneDrive App installed, but I often have to share links to my documents, so I have to switch to the browser or to another file manager. I’d like to stay with Forklift, but this is a feature I really miss and is the reason why I think of switching to another file manager.

  14. The ability to schedule the saved “sync to” actions! Such a great tool for backing up, when you remember to do it…
    Would also second the motion of adding previews to both panes below the structure views. (Great for visual comparison of images in each pane!)

  15. Forklift is a great piece of software. But coming from Directory Opus on Windows there are some things I really wish I could see in Forklift:

    1. In icons view mode, pressing right arrow when you’re on the last item of a row should move to the first item on the next row.

    2. When opening a folder from Alfred I would like the option of opening it in the current tab, instead of creating a new tab.

    3. Directory Opus has a very nice feature when renaming files inline:
    – Press F2 once to enter renaming mode
    – Then Press down/up arrows to move to previous/next file, without having to press F2 again

    4. Unattended transfer mode: the option to set the overwrite/skip option once per transfer. Then I can just leave my computer without worrying about what happens if there is a file conflict.

    5. In Forklift there is very little visual contrast between active and not-active tabs (the background colors are too similar).

    6. In list mode, it would be useful if there would be more types of columns – for example an image dimensions column.

    7. I would like a path bar, where I could edit the path to go to a new folder.

    In general I think Directory Opus is the gold standard of file managers, it has so many useful features.

  16. Shortcuts to bring up saved folder locations, similar to Directory Opus on Windows. For instance, in that, I hit ‘/’ and enter the first few characters of the folder I want to go to.

    So, basically shortcuts that the user can set up. ie. /home I would set up to go to my user folder, /dev to my development folder. So, completely customisable.

    Having this on my Mac would be wonderful! I do love Directory Opus on Windows 🙂

    1. Isn’t this what ESC key already does? At least that’s how I have my ForkLift setup – most popular folders or FTP accounts I have added, then I simply press ESC to open favourites, type first few letters, ENTER and boom, you are there.

  17. Please have a feature for: Listening to file changes within a specified folder.
    Anything that gets changed would be uploaded to the remote-FTP-folder.
    (As seen on WinSCP)

    Can this be done on Mac?

  18. I’d love to see Dropbox sync icons on folders and files like we get in Finder. Being able to see the sync status, so I know if a file is actually on my local machine or online-only would be tremendously useful.

  19. Full support for AWS S3 Buckets as the current one doesn’t really work.
    “Connecting to a specific bucket with a bucket level only permission is not possible at the moment” –> pls pls fix this. This is issue alone keeps our whole company from using Forklift and forces us to purchase another product, that otherwise is just so much less comfortable. We would love to switch back to Forklift.

    1. +1000000000000

      I have started emailing support about this feature request since early 2020. This is really really vital to our company and has forced us to switch back from Forklift to Cyberduck.

      Please add this to the scope and make this happen.

  20. One feature idea that’s more like a family of features 🙂 – media previewer built into FL that similar to what a tool like Fileloupe does

    * Be able to see thumbnails for all media files inside all subfolders of the current folder. So if I have a dir hierarchy of movie or image files, be able to see all of them in one view without having to go into each child folder. Also be able to choose whether to see images, videos or other media type, or All files (similar to Fileloupe)

    * Thumbnailing options for movies: 1) Define how many seconds into the movie to get thumbnail (ex. 60 would get a thumbnail from 1 minute into the movie) 2) Option to display 4 thumbnails for each movie from based on the seconds setting, so for ex. 30 seconds setting would show 4 little thumbnails for the file from 30, 60, 90, 120 seconds into the movie. The 4 thumbnails would be tiled into 1 preview image for that file to give the user a very good idea of what the file is – a single thumbnail doesn’t always grab an image which shows what the movie contents are.

    * Be able to Quicklook play various types of videos not supported by Quicktime (mkv, avi, etc)

    1. Also –

      * Persistent cache of generated thumbnails to make it very fast to view thumbnails again later

      * Continuous background thumbnail generation without making the user scroll the view. Currently thumbs are only generated for the files currently visible, which means the user has to keep scrolling one page at a time and waiting for the thumbs for that page to generate – makes thumbnails for larger dirs slow and cumbersome to display.

  21. I would like to see a significant improvement in the speed of displaying folder sizes.

    I have switched from Pathfinder to Forklift because Forklift does a slightly faster job of displaying the folder sizes of my drives.

    However, I would benefit from a faster response. I use Forklift all day to organize my files and folders. One of my key organizing needs is to display folders by size. Many times I have to leave the computer to do something else while I wait for the folder sizes to be calculated.

  22. I was going to buy Forklift today and so glad that I didn’t. Please let me know when the “Free Grace” period starts and I’m happy to pay. Otherwise I will wait till you announce. I just got burned by a Mac application that I bought 61 days prior. Osborne Effect in action.

  23. Please give option to move the “breadcrumb” bar or whatever it’s called to the bottom. Would give much cleaner look IMO.

  24. I second @Lou on Dropbox icons for sync status, but the Path Finder developer says he can’t do it because Dropbox doesn’t provide the necessary API support. Prove him wrong!

    In lieu of that, AppleScript support would be helpful in making it easy to get back to the Finder to see the Dropbox sync status. It would be great if the Customize Toolbar allowed dragging an AppleScript app icon to the toolbar so that a one-click action could open the corresponding Finder window without having to make a trip to the Forklift->Services->Open In Finder menu item.

  25. Without question: The ability to ‘right-click’ a file on Google Drive and share it via the Google Drive options (that are already in Finder)

  26. Get rid of the sidebar and instead add a drop-down menu at the top of each of the two file panes showing the same content as the side bar when clicked.

    A sidebar is fine for file managers having only one file pane (like Finder), but for file managers with two file panes (like ForkLift) it’s not a good design decision.

    Please check the free file manager muCommander as a positive example. (muCommander has other flaws, but in this respect it’s great.)

    1. This is my number one issue with Forklift. I cannot count the number of times i changed devices/favorites on the wrong tab! I always have to check which tab I’m on (current tab is also not that obvious) before going to the side bar.

      I would love that sidebar to be a drop-down menu on top of each tab, just like in some other file manager. In commander one for example, it has devices/drives bar and a favorites button on each tab.

      This feature alone would make my life with Forklift much much better.

    1. Isn’t that already possible by pressing ⌘S, entering “.jpg” (for example), and then pressing enter?

  27. google drive integration, the same as with Dropbox so I can share, copy links etc inside a ForkLift a must have feature for me

  28. ForkLift is a fantastic file transfer tool, but it’s missing something I can do in Transmit, which I would love to stop using: remote commands, like unzip. The ability to use Tools remotely, in other words.

  29. Direct connection to Dropbox would be awesome. Plus how great would it be if you could hit delete on your keyboard and delete a file.

  30. Search and rename in the the search folder should take this changes in account right away

    Try to search “xxx”, rename “xxx.pdf” in “yyy.pdf”, try to preview / open “yyy.pdf” -> error

  31. Thanks for your great efforts! I use ForkLife every day.
    But I often switch to TotalCommander because of it’s incredible easy & effective batch renaming (using directory-names, moving files during renaming, history-function…). And please: Implement 1-click-“Extracting to”.

  32. I would like the option that when I (for example) start copy job, let’s say 100GB from HDD to USB, that I just can click close and ForkLift just hide window, and continue to copy in background. Now when I click close, I got warning that there are activities running, and do I want to close and cancel. So I just do CMD+H and hide that window. “Close to hide” would be handy to me.


  33. Support of iCloud files is most import function.
    Now I don’t see all files for example on my desktop. I see only files which are downloaded.

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