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Compare Folders is a powerful utility designed to compare two folders and tell you which files and folders are the same, which are new, and which have been modified. This saves you the effort of reading through lists in the Finder and using Get Info to sort it all out.

Compare Folder's comparison engine is threaded to work efficiently and allows you to use the Comparison Selector Sheet to customize which attributes to compare or ignore. Features such as: a clean, intuitive, Aqua interface with robust drag and drop support, Item Actions (Open, Reveal in Finder, Get Info, Delete, Rename, Lock/Unlock, Inspect, Copy To..., more...

What's New

Version 3.4.3:


  • User editable difference ranges for criteria
    • Size, date created, and date modified can be specified

UI Enhancements

  • Duplicate Items includes Folder One and Folder Two result lists



Mac OS X 10.4 or later

*Previously available here

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Compare Folders User Discussion

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Bigboysdad Member IconReview+492

I have a need for this kind of software. As part of my backup routine, all files that have been changed or deleted from my disk since the last backup are archived to a second separate backup disk. As this separate backup disk was the only disk where my archives were kept, my archives were essentially dependant on the health of the disk. To avert this risk, I backed up these archives by copying them to another third disk. To make sure everything was copied over, I decided to use Compare Folders, the ideal software for this task you would think. Unfortunately, tasked with comparing two folders 107 GB in size on separate disks, Compare Folders froze, again and again. It wasn't the only software of this type to fail the task and clearly there seems to be a need in the Mac software market for something that can handle this kind of capability.

Reply0 replies
Version 3.4.3
Charles Miller Member IconComment+34
Charles Miller

It's only first time around the block test drive, but it doesn't seen accurate to say it doesn't look inside sub-folders. I used two copies of a small website, and it seemed to look inside all the folders. For example, all the files inside the "engine" sub-fol;der were in the listing.

And I could double click on a sub-folder to open it in a separate window. On both sides.

Seems promising to me. Though the price is high enough that for now, click on "email me when discounted on MacUpdate" is enough for now.

Also tried Juxtapose. Free. Didn't look inside sub-folders. Didn't seem as helpful. YMMV.

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Version 3.4.1
Charles Miller Member IconComment+34
Charles Miller

My main use for this would be to compare one copy of a website to another - either locally or hopefully between a local copy and an uploaded copy.

If it doesn't look inside the CSS, Javascript, etc. folders in that site, then it loses more than half its appeal, for me.

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Version 3.4.1
Schoschie Member IconReview+36

I need to compare folders often, and a tool like this is very useful for me. However, at this stage, I think Compare Folders needs a lot of polish, and comparing it with other Shareware products in the same price range, the price for Compare Folders is way too high.

The app has a number of drawbacks that turn out to be quite irritating if you happen to really USE this tool often.

1. It doesn't do recursive compares (looking into folders and subfolders). You would have to compare each subfolder manually. When comparing a large hierarchy of files, this becomes unusable and defies the purpose of a compare tool.

2. It is very slow. I'm not sure if the unnecessary transition "effects" between the tabs make it so slow. But it's so sluggish it feels like its wading through thick slime.

3. There is no way to control the priority of compare properties. If you have timestamp turned on, files will always be compared according to their timestamp first, which in my view is not very clever. Particulary when working with fileservers, you often have the case that there are two identical files with differing timestamps. Compare Folders will mark these as "similar" instead of doing a filesize check first and then letting you choose if you want to ignore the differing timestamp.

4. There is no content (byte per byte) comparison feature. Compare Folders uses only the filesystem info, but not the actual content, to compare the files. There are very rare cases where you have files with identical meta-info but differing contents. But more importantly, if you're paranoid and want to make REALLY sure you have two identical copies of a file before deleting the dupe, you want to do a byte per byte comparison. Compare Folders does not offer this feature.

5. You cannot control what columns will be diplayed in the file info tables. For instance, if I'm not interested in the "Extension" and "Type" info, there is no way to make them disappear. With all the info in it, the tables get very wide and you need to scroll around a lot to get everything into view. The stacked display is a good solution, but it makes it harder to compare the info line per line.
(A nifty feature would be if the table columns would autoresize to fit in the largest cell)

6. It would be much easier to have to drop boxes where you can just drag&drop the two folders to be compared. It's no fun having to click through a file open dialog when you have the folders already open in the finder.

That's a lot of criticism. I think Compare Folders could become a serious workhorse, but at the moment there are too many issues.

Bottom line, calling it "demo" and asking $25 for it is just inappropriate. People (including me) will use this until the "demo" comparisons run out, and then they will trash the app, not buy it, and go look for something else.

Reply2 replies
Version 2.6

...does v3.1 fix these issues/shortcomings?

Infinite Nexus (Developer)

Several of the noted issues are already in our feature request queue and we consider these for each release.

With regards to a couple of these:

2. A preference for controlling the animations was made available in Preferences -> Appearance to disable this was added in 3.0. In addition, the engine itself was substantially improved in the 3.x series.

6. According to the readme and version history Compare Folders' folder icons have supported drag and drop since v1.1. The application icon also supports drag and drop (since 1.0/1.1)

iRideSnow Member IconReview+2

Comparing the contents of folders is not something that most people need to do very often, and that includes me. However, when you need to, there's usually a very good reason and having a tool like this makes the job infinitely easier.

I've only had to use this app a few times, but I'm very glad I have it and was happy to pay for it. It's very well done and the developer continues to improve it.


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Version 2.5beta3
Anonymous Member IconReview

A real handy application to see if my client has changed any files on sites I maintain. (I mirror download the site & compare it to my local version).

Well done!

Reply1 reply
Version 2.0.1

use folder actions instead to notify you when there is a change!

Anonymous Member IconReview

Hey, great idea and useful program. I love the user interface... slick.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.0
There are no Ratings for this App yet.
> 2 5


Current Version (3.x)


Downloads 27,206
Version Downloads 7,462
License Shareware
Date 15 Dec 2010
Platform OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32
Price $24.95