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. The one thing that would solve many is:
    Please add a good AppleScripts support. This would enable power users too develop a lot of tweaking they could share in user groups.
    One of my first tweak would be to have an entire work-setting called up with a keystroke – with several forklift windows and each with their different directories and view options (the present workspace saving falls far short of this goal). And again instead of you having to add all those bits and pieces lt the power users do it and share. You only have to provide the scripting interface. like e.g. AppleScript. (see what you can all do with simple and AppleScript. That should not be less for Forklift )

  2. 1. Proper support for tags. My extensive use of tags forces me to switch to Finder whenever I need to do anything other than just viewing existing tags on a file. This even includes adding tags since Forklift gives no suggestions while typing. Having to know the exact spelling of every tag you want to add to a file should be a big no for anyone who relies on tags in a systematic way.
    2. AppleScript. Needs no explanation.
    3. Preview for Adobe file formats.
    4. Ability to drag apps/files to the toolbar to make shortcuts, like in Finder.
    5. Cut and paste to move files.

  3. I would love full support of right-click to offer same features that Finder does, currently the “More” menu doesn’t contain Automator workflows, “Share” option is missing to send file through Airdrop etc.

  4. I would love to see an option to set permissions in FTP in bulk, ex :
    Set all folders to 755 and all files to 644 (including one all the files and folders under the current level).

  5. +1 for tags support, please. I’m a writer and use tags extensively for marking draft/publishing status and version control, and constantly have to switch back to Finder just for tag management. Full tags integration would make this a 5-star app for me (it’s already 4.8 stars, I love ForkLift otherwise). Thanks for considering this!

  6. Extensibility via plugins!
    There are many different use-cases for a file manager: web developers might need FTP and other network features. Mobile developers might need another features. Photographers needs easily handle lots of files.
    Support for plugins will make it possible to please everyone.
    Forklift has a large community of developers across its users, who will be happy to develop these plugins.

  7. The ability to compare directories without using sub folders. This come into play in pro audio files for .vst and other plugins types. I think your software could serve a whole other group of users that have pro level home studios. I’ll put in a ticket and show you what I mean.

  8. Not a new feature, per se, but speed and stability remains the most important consideration for me when using this app.

    I love ForkLift, but in recent years I’ve started experiencing more crashes and lag time than ever, to the point where I’ve found myself switching to Finder to complete a task in some cases. Such tasks are usually quite basic as well – simply clicking the breadcrumb to jump to a new directory, or dragging files from one pane to another is enough to bring the whole app crashing down. As others have already mentioned, things like thumbnail generation in a large directory and reading a directory size can be painfully slow as well. I’ve observed these problems across multiple machines now, so I don’t think it’s limited to my specific setup.

    I fully support the thinking behind the ForkLift 4 roadmap and I’m hopeful that the next version will bring a snappier, more stable experience.

      1. I’m very happy to report that after upgrading to macOS 11.6 I have yet to experience any serious issues. Forklift feels much more stable and responsive on my new setup, so it may have been unfair to blame the app for the problems I was experiencing. Looking forward to V4!

  9. I would love to see a Drop Stack feature, similar to what Pathfinder has. A quick and easy place to “store” files when you are trying to find the correct folder to put them in (I am currently using Yoink, but it would be great to have this built into Forklift).

  10. What I would love is the integration of Synology Drive, with the ability to quickly go the NAS page where we can see the old versions

  11. I don’t know if that has been mentioned before, but can we get a reworked “activities” window. If I copy 100 files right now it will show 100 single entries. It is a PITA to cancel a file transfer or see the total progress. It would be nicer if instead (like other file managers) it would show one batch as one entry. Possibly with the option to drill down into individual files.

  12. Hi!

    The one feature I miss from Forklift is MTP Android Phone Support!!

    I hate using MTP Android File Transfer, and there isn’t any comparable app on the market today. Could you please add MTP support? 🙂 So that we can move data to/from our Android phones more easily on the Mac!

  13. Hmm, you could also add a new “search for duplicates” feature, although there is Gemini 2 for that, and it could mean a lot of additional coding… who knows. MTP is more important to me though. 🙂

  14. First, i use Forklift since a couple of yeas and many times per day.
    My key features are simplicity, good performance with huge files/directories and the ability to work only with the keyboard.

    So, thx to Forklift!

    At least features i am missing:
    * sftp keep/sync file permission
    * remote code execution (ssh)
    * copy rel/abs path from remote ( not the URI )

  15. Speed, Speed, Speeeeeed.

    also….. If I start copying a large file from one HD to another, do I have to wait until the transfer is done before I close Forklift? If so…. make the transfer independent of Forklifts On or Off status.

    Don´t bloat this.


    1. Also support for Mega would be great. Considering it’s one of the very few cloud solutions where user has control of their own encryption key…. and thus, more secure.

  16. Concurrent transfers per destination!

    It would be great if Forklift could have an option to specify number of transfers per connection instead of globally.

    At present, if I’m transferring files to multiple servers/destinations then they all sit in the same queue. My local drive is fast and so can handle all together. Ideally, Forklift would have a transfer to each destination active.

  17. I’m a new Forklift 3 owner (coming from Path Finder), so please forgive if some of the following suggestions are already present and I just haven’t found them yet.

    1. An option to override and maintain sort/group by/view by folder.
    2. Cache folder/container sizes (when Calculate All Sizes is enabled) so folder size values aren’t missing initially (sometimes for an extended period) — and refresh them in the background (like it does now). Perhaps show cached sizes in grey until updated/refreshed folder size value is displayed.

  18. Also, what’s with not being able to drag (and create) a URL shortcut (e.g. from a browser’s address bar) into a Forklift 3 window? This is one of my favorite ways to create shortcuts (i.e. save .webloc files), which works in MS Windows, Finder, and Path Finder. (So I was a surprised to see it didn’t work in ForkLift 3!)

  19. Not sure if this is an existing feature. (If it is, I haven’t figured out how to use it).

    I try to keep two of my External Hard Disks in Sync. ForkLift is a great tool for that. However, I would like to exclude certain folders in the Syncing process. I am able to filter Items by Name, Kind, Extension, and File Type – not folder.

  20. A feature that would be useful for many tasks on live systems is atomic upload/update of files.
    Of course the transfer itself can’t be atomic so the file “myfile.ext” would have to be uploaded as “.myfile.ext.[randomchars]” then atomically renamed to “myfile.ext” (as rsync does).
    Obviously this can be done manually but it would be much easier to have a toggle allowing ForkLift to do that for us.
    No small task, I know — but a compelling feature for a major update.
    Thanks for a great product.

  21. Please don’t go subscription based. Pathfinder went subscription and that’s why I’m moving to Forklift. I need to know I have an app to use when I need it. Always working and upgrade it when I can afford it. Paying for the Privilege to use an app is wrong. You buy a hammer to use it when you need it. You don’t rent a hammer.

  22. I’m very ready to move completely from Path Finder to Forklift. I’ve used both for years, but issues with Path Finder are a constant source of pain.

    Unfortunately, I can’t move to Forklift until it provides the ability to retain the tree expansion state for all directories (as Finder and Path Finder do). I have a standard directory which is the home to various projects. Within each project are a couple of directories. I need to always see those directories in a single view whenever I visit the top level directory. It is far too painful to expand everything fresh every time I open the Forklift window or just briefly navigate away and back.

    Your proposed pricing model is the same as Path Finder’s. I have no real objection to that except that critical bugs found in the version someone is running could require that person to buy an upgrade to get them fixed. There is a difference between patches and new features; patches addressing your bugs are your responsibility. But your product is inexpensive and I’ll want your new features anyway.

  23. I would like to see Forklift 4 as a replacement for PathFinder and currently I’m missing the ‘Show object info’ thing where I can see directly under a thumbnail (I prefer the icon view over tree views) the number of objects included in a folder and the size of an item. Maybe just for local filesystems if that would be too much traffic for ftp/remote.

  24. Count me among the users looking to migrate from Path Finder now that that app is going subscription. Your pricing model sounds like a good compromise to me. I think my main feature requests are:
    – Built-in secure delete
    – Equivalent to PF’s Drop Stack (basically the old NeXT Shelf), a place to drop files from multiple locations before moving together to a single location. (Easier for me than using two-pane layout)
    – Ability to put app or file aliases in the toolbar


  25. – Maintain reliability and performance.
    – Provide a drop stack a la Path Finder.
    – Save and recall tree view expansion state.
    – Refrain from pure subscription-based revenue model.
    – Support for 10.12.6 (Sierra). :p

  26. Use Spotlight for search, like Finder.

    And have an option to show file transfers in progress, like Finder.

    These are the only two things I still need to go to Finder for.

  27. preview window at the bottom – or configurable.
    now only preview @ right.. l like it more beneath the browsing panes
    and also.. zoomable previews .. not possible now

  28. Work better with iCloud, Onedrive etc. to show the location status icons (file is local, or the little cloud you can click if its online and you want to download file to local). Looking through my Onedrive folders I cannot tell if the file is local or only online without those little icons

  29. Possibility to set background color for pane per connection/favorite. Optionally in complete with session badges like known from iTerm 3

    Why? It is quite important to have very clear way to FAST and OBVIOUS recognition of the working project, without need to search its name in the head. This is useful for programmers and admins who like to work in the late night and need to recognize fast if, i.e. they are working on production or testing context (which can be quite similar). It helps to avoid i.e. modification in wrong context by mistake, which literally sometimes is just lifesaver 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: