How to make ForkLift 3 the default file viewer

A few people have asked me whether you can make ForkLift 3 the default application for file management tasks. You can, but the behavior can be inconsistent between different Macs. Changing this setting will cause applications that have a Reveal in Finder or Open in Finder command to redirect those actions to ForkLift. Commands from applications like Alfred and LaunchBar that display results in a Finder window appear in ForkLift instead.

How to make ForkLift 3 the default file viewer

This works for the most part but the behavior isn’t always consistent. Some applications don’t use the operating system default setting and they will continue to do their own thing.

ForkLift’s own Reveal in Finder command becomes redundant after you make this change. A new ForkLift tab appears instead of a Finder window.

Give it a try. If the results aren’t to your liking the change is easy to revert.

To make ForkLift the default file manager

  1. Start Terminal
  2. Paste in the command:
    defaults write -g NSFileViewer -string com.binarynights.ForkLift-3

You’ll need to log out or reboot for the change to take effect.

To restore Finder as the default file manager

Removing the global default will make Finder the default file manager again.

  1. Start Terminal
  2. Paste in the command:
    defaults delete -g NSFileViewer

Log out and log in or reboot again.

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