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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the system requirements for ForkLift 4?

ForkLift 4 requires macOS Monterey (macOS 12) or later.

How should I install ForkLift 4?

Please read our Quick Start Guide on how to start using ForkLift 4 and the basics of using the app.

Do I need to delete ForkLift 3 if I want to install ForkLift 4?

You don't have to delete ForkLift 3 when transitioning to ForkLift 4. Simply move ForkLift 4 into the Applications folder using Finder and choose to "Keep Both" versions if Finder detects a conflict in the file names. If you don't want to keep ForkLift 3, then Replace ForkLift 3 with ForkLift 4.

Avoid using an App Deleter application to uninstall any ForkLift versions, as these applications often remove supporting files for both ForkLift 3 and ForkLift 4, potentially causing the loss of your settings and favorites. If you need to remove one ForkLift version, just move it into the Trash.

Is the ForkLift license a one-time fee, or per year?

The license of ForkLift is a hybrid model between the one-time purchase and the subscription model. With a license of ForkLift, you can use ForkLift for as long as you want and install updates for either 1 or 2 years, depending on your selection. If you wish to install a new update to ForkLift after that, you will need to buy a new license

I recently purchased a ForkLift 3 license, do I need to buy a new license?

If you purchased a ForkLift license within the past year, then your license key is still valid for ForkLift 4. Enter your license key into the Registration Window of ForkLift 4, and ForkLift 4 will display if the license is valid for that version. After you enter a license key, you can check the date of its validity under ForkLift > About ForkLift.

I bought a previous version of ForkLift in the past. Can I get an upgrade discount?

If you already own a ForkLift license, then you are eligible for an upgrade bonus of an additional 100 days of free updates on top of your license and any additional bonuses. To claim the bonus, enter your old license key in our store and buy a new licensese. The additional days will be automatically added to your license. You can check the eligibility of free updates under ForkLift > About ForkLift in the menu of ForkLift.

I already bought ForkLift 4 and there was no option to enter my old license key to claim an upgrade bonus. How can I get the bonus?

When we released ForkLift 4, we didn't offer this upgrade bonus. However, we have listened to the feedback of our long-time users and now offer an update bonus to show our appreciation of their loyalty. We will make it possible that users who have already bought ForkLift 4 can claim the same bonus. We are currently working on the technical part of making that possible. You will be able to enter the license key on our site when that option becomes available, and the 100 days will be added to your license after that. You can read more about this in this blog post.

I bought ForkLift 2 in the Mac App Store and don't have a license key. Can I get the upgrade bonus?

If you purchased ForkLift 2 in the App Store, then you are eligible for the upgrade bonus. To claim the bonus, send an email to with the subject MASUPGRADE, and we will get back to you with the instructions.

I'm a student. Do you offer a student discount?

Students, teachers and lecturers are eligible for an educational discount. To apply, send an email to with the subject Student Discount. Send this email using your educational email address or provide a digital proof of your eligibility (for example Student ID Card, Transcript, etc.) in your email.

Will ForkLift 4 be available through Setapp?

Yes, ForkLift 4 will be available through Setapp soon. We are currently working on the integration.

I bought ForkLift but haven't received my license key. What should I do?

Try to retrieve your license key through our Lost Serial Form on the top of this page. Enter the email address that you used to buy ForkLift and click Resend. If you don't receive an email from us, then contact us at, and we will look up your license key. Send us the email address and name that you used to buy ForkLift and your Order ID if available.

I forgot to import my ForkLift 3 favorites into ForkLift 4 when I first started it. Can I still import them?

Do the following to import your ForkLift 3 favorites into ForkLift 4 after the initial setup:

Step 3 through step 6 are only needed if favorite sync to iCloud was enabled, if it wasn't then after step 2 you can jump to step 7.

  • In ForkLift 4, go to ForkLift > Settings > General > Sync Favorites to iCloud, and make sure that that option is disabled
  • Quit ForkLift 4
  • Choose Apple menu > System Settings > Your Name (Apple ID) at the top of the sidebar, and click iCloud
  • Next to Account Storage, click on Manage…
  • Click ForkLift 4 in the list of apps
  • Click Delete All Data
  • If you want to delete the favorites that are already in ForkLift 4, then in Finder select from the menu: Go > Go to Folder… and paste this path and press Enter: ~/Library/Group Containers/ and delete the entire folder (if you want to keep your ForkLift 4 favorites and import the favorites from ForkLift 3 in addition, then this step is not needed)
  • Open the Terminal app (Applications > Utilities > Terminal) and paste this command and press Enter: defaults delete com.binarynights.ForkLift.plist setupDone
  • Open ForkLift and in the Welcome Window, make sure to import the favorites from ForkLift 3
  • Enable the synchronization of the favorites via iCloud if you want to use that setting

ForkLift 4 didn’t import my multi-rename and sync favorites. How can I fix that?

Multi-rename and sync favorites can’t be imported from ForkLift 3 because those features work differently in the two versions.

I can't find the Purchase menu. Where should I register ForkLift?

The Purchase menu is inside the app: you can find it in the menu bar of ForkLift. If you can't find it, then check the version number under ForkLift > About ForkLift and make sure that it starts with 4. If it doesn't start with 3, then download ForkLift 4 from our website and register it. If the version number starts with 4 and you can see a license type and a name below it, then you have already registered ForkLift 4.

I bought a new Mac. How can I deregister ForkLift on my old Mac and start using it on the new one?

There is no need to deregister or deactivate ForkLift. Just install ForkLift on your new Mac and register it with your license key.

How to set a default column width in List View?

Set a column width you prefer, then choose "Save View Settings as Defaults" from the View menu. In the other pane, choose "Restore Default View Settings" from the View menu to apply.

How to cut and paste files in ForkLift?

Press Command-C to copy then Command-Option-V to move, or choose File > Copy then File > Move Items Here while holding the Option key.

When I click on the column headers to sort, ForkLift does not apply sorting criteria to directories, but only to files. How can I sort folders the same way as files, according to their sizes or dates, etc.?

If you don't want to see the folders always on top or don't want them to be alphabetically sorted, then open the View Options (View > Show View Options) and uncheck the "Always sort alphabetically" and/or the "Show folders on top" settings.

I can't copy my Photos Library on macOS Mojave because it's locked. What should I do?

Grant full disk access to ForkLift at System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy.

There is no Refresh button. I wanted to see if my site backup was ready on my FTP server, but I couldn't hit refresh. I had to quit ForkLift and then reopen it to see the file. What am I doing wrong?

It is possible to refresh the file view in ForkLift in three different ways:

  • Select View > Refresh from the menu
  • Use the Command-R keyboard shortcut
  • Click the Refresh button in the Toolbar. You can add the Refresh button to the toolbar by customizing it:
    • Select View > Customize Toolbar… from the menu or right-click on the toolbar and select Customize Toolbar… from the context menu
    • Drag the Refresh button from the dialog and drop it into the location in the toolbar where you want to place it
I'm getting a read-only update error, and the Dock icon is also gone after a reboot. How can I fix this?

If an app has been started not from the Applications library for the first time, macOS puts the app in quarantine. To fix it, please try the following:

  • Make sure there are no other instances of ForkLift 3 on your Mac
  • ForkLift 3 is in the Applications folder as
  • Quit ForkLift, then paste the following command in Terminal and hit Enter:
  • sudo xattr -d -r -s /Applications/
  • Type your user account password and hit Enter again
  • Re-add ForkLift 3 to your Dock
How can I add iCloud Drive to the sidebar of ForkLift?
  • Press Command-Shift-G or choose Go > Go to Folder from the menu and paste the following path and hit Enter:
    ~/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs
  • Choose Favorites > Add to Favorites from the menu
  • Click Add
Is the S3 connection only to Amazon? Or does it support S3-compatible services like Digital Ocean Spaces? Can I enter my server name, or is it fixed as the Amazon address?

ForkLift can connect to S3 compatible storages like Wasabi or Digital Ocean Spaces. To connect to an S3 compatible service:

  • Open the Connect Panel (Select Go > Connect from the menu)
  • Set the Protocol to Amazon S3
  • Fill in your credentials
  • Click Connect

If I click on some of my favorites, it changes both panels. How do I stop this behavior?
  • Right-click the favorite in the sidebar and click Edit
  • Delete the Local Path
  • Click Save

Can I connect to Dropbox in ForkLift?

Yes, ForkLift 4 supports direct connections to Dropbox.

It seems that Forklift does not work with Dropbox's Smart Sync setting. Will this be fixed?

Unfortunately, there is no API available for this feature, so we can't implement Dropbox Smart Sync in ForkLift.

Can I connect to OneDrive in ForkLift?

Yes, you can connect to OneDrive in ForkLift 4

Whenever I click on an application, ForkLift opens its content instead of opening the application itself as it was doing previously. How can I fix this?

Select View > Show View Options from the menu or press Command-J to open the View Options Panel and deselect Treat packages as folders.

Why does ForkLift want to install a helper tool? Why does the helper tool ask for my password?

By default, applications run as the currently logged-in user. Even if you are an administrator, some tasks require additional, elevated privileges. This means that to protect your system, ForkLift doesn't have the rights to execute some tasks such as creating an item into the Users directory without permission of an administrator. Apple requires to only grant these elevated privileges to an application when and for as long as these are needed. To make this possible, developers are required to create helper tools that manage these elevated privileges. The first time you want to execute an action that needs elevated privileges, ForkLift asks you to install the helper tool, and later on, the helper tool asks for an administrative password every time you want to execute actions that require elevated privileges.

I want to have the remote server in the right-hand pane and browse my local files in the left pane. How can I lock the local pane to the left?

Currently, there is no set location of the remote and local directories. ForkLift always opens the connections/favorites in the active pane. Please make sure that the desired pane is active, before opening a remote server. You can switch between the panes by pressing the Tab key. If you have opened a remote server accidentally on the wrong side, you can swap the two panes with each other at any time by selecting View > Swap Panes from the menu.
As a workaround, you can create workspaces for your connections. When you click on a workspace in the sidebar, it reopens the saved panes and tabs in the same place and order as you saved them in:

  • Open your server in the right pane and one or more local folders is the left pane
  • Select Favorites > Save Workspace
  • Give your Workspace a name and select a favorite group to save your Workspace into
  • Click Add

Where can I contact support?

You can contact support at support [at] binarynights [dot] com

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