How to Replace and Merge Files on Mac.
Have you ever made two folders on your computer that really should be one? If you work with a lot of different files and documents on a daily basis, you have probably come across this problem often.
If you’ve ever found two files on your computer with the same or slightly different names, there are two things you can do to free up space on your Mac One way to do this is to replace one folder with another. If that’s not possible, you need to learn how to merge files on Mac.
Learning these tricks for working with files is a good next step after learning how to move files on your Mac Read on to find out how to merge two folders into one without losing files.
How to replace files on a Mac
If you know that there are two identical files or folders on your computer and you only want to keep one, you can do so by replacing one of them with the other.
- Select the file you want to save.
- Click a file to select it. Then drag it over the file you want to replace.
- When you release it, a pop-up window will appear asking if you want to replace the second file or stop.
If you choose Replace, Finder will delete the second file with all of its contents. Therefore, before doing this, make sure that you have the latest backups of all files so as not to lose important data.
Alternatively, you can select Stop and learn how to merge the two files instead. This way you will be able to store all your files without creating clutter on your computer.
How to merge two folders
If you are not sure if the contents of two folders are the same, you can take the risk of merging them together.
To merge two folders with the same name on Mac, follow these steps.
- Select the final location for the merged folder. This is necessary to decide which of the two folders you will move.
- Select the folder you want to move.
- While holding down the Option (Alt) key, drag the folder you want to get rid of to the folder you want to merge it with.
- While holding down the Option key, release the folder.
- A pop-up window will open with the option to merge files.
Please note that the “Combine” option will only appear if the contents of one of the folders are different from the contents of the other folder. If you have the same items in both of your folders, you only get the same Stop and Replace options.
How to merge two folders on Mac with different names
If the two folders you want to merge have different names, you can simply change the name of one folder to match the other and use the above method to merge them.
Another way to do this is to manually move the contents of one of the folders to another.
- Open the folder you want to get rid of.
- From the top ribbon menu, choose Edit Select All to select all files in the folder. You can also do this with the keyboard shortcut Cmd (Command) + A.
- Drag and drop files to the second folder.
- After moving files, delete the empty folder.
If the two folders you want to merge have files with the same name, you will see a pop-up asking if you want to keep both, stop, or replace the file. Selecting Keep Both will save a copy of the file with the same name and the word â€œcopyâ€ appended to the end.
Use Ditto Terminal Command
For advanced users, there is another way to combine files on Mac. You can use a Terminal command called Ditto.
- Open Spotlight and type “Terminal” into the search bar.
- In Terminal, enter the Ditto command.
The command uses the following syntax:
ditto / source / destination
We have a folder called Test Folder located on the desktop and a folder with the same name stored in Downloads. This is what the ditto command looks like for these two folders:
ditto -V ~ / Desktop / “Test folder” ~ / Downloads / “Test folder”
If your file name contains only one word (for example, “Test”), you do not need to use double quotes in the command.
- Press Enter and the command will overwrite the contents of the target folder with the contents of the source folder.
Mastering the Ditto command can seem a little daunting, especially if you’ve never used Terminal before. However, this is a more complex and efficient way to combine two folders on Mac.
Learn to use your Mac smartly
File handling on Mac can be a little confusing if you don’t know how the system works. However, learning how to work with files is essential if you don’t want to face issues such as running out of space or having trouble finding the file you want in the digital clutter.
Are you suffering from overflowing your computer with duplicate files? How do you usually solve this problem? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.