In either case, the goal is to unite the two folders so they contain all of the files found in each one. When there are two files with the same name, you want the most recent version to be used, and the older one to be replaced. Of course, there are quite a few third-party utilities that can perform the merge function for you; there are even some Apple utilities that can assist in this undertaking.
The first option is none at all. The default options for merging files conceal a fourth option that can be accessed under certain conditions. When one or more file names in the source folder match one or more file names in the destination folder, then the Finder will present four options in a dialog box for how to merge the files into the destination folder.
How to Copy and Move Files and Folders on Mac OS X Snow Leopard
Keep Both: When a file name matches, both versions are kept in the destination folder, with the file that came from the source folder having a version number appended to its name. As an example, if both the source and destination folder had a file named ExampleFile, then after the move, the destination folder would contain files named ExampleFile and ExampleFile 1.
As the name implies, selecting this merge option halts the merge function entirely; no files will be moved from the source and no files in the destination will be replaced. Selecting the Replace option will cause any file in the destination folder that has the same name to be replaced by the file from the source folder. The Skip option replaces the usual Keep Both button provided there are multiple files being moved and you hold down the option key once the dialog box is presented.
This is the hidden option that can be revealed by holding down the option key when the dialog box is present.
Skip replaces the Keep Both option and allows you to skip over the currently listed file. This is the same as the Stop function, but only applies to the currently listed file in the dialog box.
But there are different options when you find yourself moving folders with identical names into a folder. While there are quite a few syncing apps that can do this for you, the Finder can also take care of this basic task. When you move a folder to a location that contains a folder with the same name, the Finder will present a number of merging options. A dialog box will open, presenting two or three options, depending on the state of the files in each Project X folder:.
This option will combine the contents of both folders, keeping the newest version of files with matching names, and preserving all files with unique names. The end result will be a folder that contains the newest version of each file from the two folders. Merging Subfolders When merging folders, any subfolders will also undergo the merge functions, with this caveat: The Finder only offers the merge option if there are changes in the top-level folders.
In this example, if the Project X folders are identical, with the same names and modification dates, even though there are changes in one or more subfolders, the option to merge will not be presented. Use Ditto to Merge If you find yourself in the situation where only subfolders have changes that need to be merged, you can use the Ditto command from within Terminal.
Ditto will perform a recursive merge, starting at the top level of the folder, merging all the files, and then continuing on to each subfolder it encounters. The end result is that all files and subfolders in the two Project X folders will be merged. The Ditto command can merge folders and all subfolders they may contain.
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An easy way to enter the pathnames is to open a Finder window and navigate to the location of the first folder, and then drag it onto the Terminal window. Terminal will convert the dragged folder into the pathname for you. Press the space key once after you drag the first folder into Terminal, and then repeat the process with the second folder, dragging it onto the Terminal window. Once both folders have been dragged onto the Terminal window, press the return key to execute the Ditto command.
You can view the results in the Finder. We will update once we confirm this tip is compatible with macOS Mojave. Name required.
How to Move Files in Mac OS X – Switching To Mac
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