- Video guide on how to merge folders.
- How to merge similar folders on a Mac.
- How to merge any folders on a Mac.
- Preferences of the “Merge Folders” option.
- Merging folders with files stored in iCloud.
Video Guide: How to merge similar folders on Mac
How to merge similar folders with Duplicate Finder
Use this step-by-step guide if you want to merge similar folders on your Mac. Similar folders are the folders that contain duplicate and unique content.
- Open Duplicate File Finder.
- Add folders you want to scan and click Find duplicates.
- Switch to the Similar Folders tab and click the Merge Folders button, or directly go to the Merge Folders section.
- You will see a dialog window, which displays the folders for merging. Here you can change the merge direction as well as indicate which folders’ files would be copied to another folder.
- Once you select the source and destination folders to be merged, click Review & Merge.
- Click the Merge button to proceed and confirm the operation.
- If you want to change the Preferences of merging folders or cancel the operation, click on Back.
How to merge any folders with Duplicate File Finder
With Duplicate File Finder, you can merge any folders on your Mac without scanning them for duplicate content. Here is how:
- Open Duplicate File Finder.
- Switch to the Merge folders section in the sidebar.
- Choose the folders you want to scan. For this, click Choose folder or drag and drop folders right to this window.
- Click Review.
- Select the destination folder – a folder where all files from another folder will be moved or copied. You can also select a new empty folder.
- Click Review & Merge and confirm the action.
Preferences of the “Merge Folders” option
Note that when merging folders with Duplicate File Finder, you can choose how to do this:
- Move files to a destination folder
- Copy files to a destination folder
- Add a color tag to merged files
To change the ‘Merge” preferences, click the Settings icon in the top-right corner of the “Merge Folders” window of the applications or go to the Duplicate File Finder menu and select Preferences → Merge tab.
Let’s take a closer look at each option:
- Copy files to a destination folder – the unique files from one folder will be copied to another folder. As a result, the destination folder will contain all the files from the source folder and its own unique files if it has them. Later you can remove the source folder which has only duplicate content.
- Move files to a destination folder – the unique files from one folder will be moved to another folder. Duplicate files from the source folder will be removed. As a result, you get the folder containing all the files from the initial folders.
Please note that, when you move unique files, the source folder will be removed automatically.
- Set the Finder color tag to merged files – select the tag color and, after the folders are merged, the files will be marked with this color in the Finder.
Examples of merging folders
If you have files with identical titles in folders you are going to merge, you can get several results after merging:
- You have two duplicate files with the same name, size, and content in the source and destination folders. After merging folders, you will have only one file in the destination folder.
- You have two different files with the same name in the source and destination folders. After merging, you will have both files in the destination folder. The one file will have the same name, while the other file will get the number index to its title, so you can easily identify it and rename, for instance.
- You have two duplicate files with the same size and content but with different names in the source and destination folders. After merging, you will have both duplicate files with different names, as the app cannot decide which file to delete. You will have to remove unneeded duplicate after merging.
Merging folders with files stored in iCloud
In our previous article, you can learn how to delete duplicate photos in iCloud. If you need to merge folders that might contain files stored in iCloud, follow the guide below.
Please note, Duplicate File Finder compares files from iCloud that are locally stored on Mac’s hard drive. Before you begin merging similar folders which contain files stored in iCloud, make sure that your iCloud files are downloaded to your Mac. If your files are stored in iCloud, Duplicate File Finder will skip checking them for duplicates and notify you with the following message:
Here is how to download iCloud files to Mac:
- Open System Preferences on your Mac.
- Click Apple ID.
- Go to the iCloud option from the sidebar.
- Enable the option Photos in the “Apps on Mac using iCloud” list.
- Disable the “Optimize Mac Storage” option.
To check whether the files and folders in the iCloud folder are downloaded, look at the icon located on the right of the item in Finder. If you see this icon , the item isn’t downloaded to your Mac.
- Go to your iCloud folder, right-click items you want to download and select Download Now.
Why is it so important to download iCloud files to your Mac when merging folders?
Imagine you are merging folders located in iCloud and on an external drive:
If iCloud files are downloaded on your Mac, Duplicate File Finder will be able to check if their duplicates are in the source folder on your external drive.
If iCloud files are not downloaded on your Mac, Duplicate File Finder will detect them as unique files and, when merging folders, all the potential duplicates from the external drive will be copied (or moved) to your Mac. If a file from iCloud has the same name as its potential duplicate file from a source folder, a copied file will be renamed in a destination folder after the merge. When files on your Mac are synchronized with iCloud these copied and renamed files will be uploaded to iCloud.
Merging similar folders allows you to combine dozens of duplicate files and folders, making the structure pretty much easier. Use the merge option to easily organize your files and don’t leave any duplicate space eaters behind. Keep your Mac clean from useless dupe items with Duplicate File Finder.