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How to Move and Merge Folders on Mac

author Carrie Murray
date Sunday, February 11, 2018

Summary: Want to merge multiple folders on Mac? Confused about how to copy only new files to external hard drive for Mac? This post is about how to merge folders on Mac Sierra or El Capitan manually or using Mac folders merging app.

Sometimes when you save, move, or copy a photo or document from one folder to the other, you may be prompted with a window saying that the item already exists. Then you will get three options: Keep Both, Stop, and Replace to deal with the problem. If you move multiple files instead of one of it, the "Skip" option will replace the "Keep Both" option.

Duplicate Files

A window pops up when you copy files from a folder to another

Similarly, if you move or copy a folder into another folder that already has a folder with the same name, you will also see a dialog box pops up, presenting two or three options: Stop, Replace, and Merge.

Duplicate Folder

A window pops up when you copy a folder to another

The "Merge" option will appear only when you hold down the Option key on your keyboard during the drag-and-drop process. It combines the two folders and preserve all the newest version of files.

Duplicate Folder

Hold down the Option key to show "Merge" option

Simply replacing or merging folders may cause data loss in some cases. So it would be feasible to find out the duplicate files from folders at first. Then you can try to delete duplicate files on hard drive and keep the ones you want. If both of the files are important, you are able to keep them by renaming one of the file. However, finding duplicate files is not a simple task and it consumes your time a lot.

# [Two Ways]How to Move and Merge Folder on Mac

Now, let's see how to find duplicate files on Mac before you can correctly merge folders. And there are two methods available for the tasks.

# Method 1: Using Terminal

Gist: Fine duplicate files on Mac using Terminal command. Then delete or rename the items manually. After that, copy or merge the folders on Mac.

You need to be careful when you perform the task using Terminal. When you do something wrong with the Terminal command, you may mess things up. Now, you can follow the steps below to search and find duplicate files on Mac with Terminal command.

Step 1. Enter "Terminal" on Spotlight search box to open the app.

Step 2. Enter cd~/(folder you want to scan) command and tap Enter key to open the folder. For instance, if you want to head to Downloads, you should type cd ~/Downloads command.

Step 3. Continue to enter the below command:

find . -size 20 ! -type d -exec cksum {} ; | sort | tee /tmp/f.tmp | cut -f 1,2 -d ‘ ‘ | uniq -d | grep -hif – /tmp/f.tmp > duplicates.txt

And then press Enter key and you will see the duplicate files listing on a text document.

Find Duplicates with Terminal

Find duplicates with Terminal

Step 4. After you delete or rename the duplicate files on your own, you can move and merge folders on Mac without a prompting dialog box.

Though you can find the duplicate files with Terminal, you should notice that it won't delete those files automatically for you and you should head to the locations they stored in, and then rename or delete the items one by one. It seems to be time-consuming, right? If you want to save your time, you can move to method 2 and check out the solution.

# Method 2: Using A Duplicate File Finder App

Gist: The duplicate file finder app will help you discover and delete duplicate files in several simple clicks. After that, you are able to move and merge the folders smoothly.

FonePaw MacMaster (opens new window) is a best Gemini 2 alternative that will help you easily find duplicate photos, music, apps, documents, and videos, etc. and then clean those items in a click. Now, Just follow the steps to find duplicate files and merge folders on Mac:

Step 1. Download and install MacMaster program on your computer and then launch it!

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Step 2. Go the "Duplicate Finder > Choose Path" to open a source folder. Click the "Scan" button to get it started.

Find Duplicates with Terminal

Scan for duplicate files

Step 3. After the scanning process is done, you can see all of the duplicates are displayed on the interface. Just click "View By" and you are able to view the files by data types.

Sort Duplicates By File Types

Sort duplicates by file types

Step 4. Select the duplicates you want to delete and then click on the "Clean" button.

Step 5. After you remove the duplicates on the Mac folder, you can now move it to the target one and in this way, you can merge folders on Mac smoothly.

That is the whole guide to merge folders on macOS Sierra or El Capitan. If you have any problem about this post, please leave us a message on the comment box below!

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