Merging Files and Folders in Lion

Lion brings with it two great new features for merging files or folders into a single folder. These can be a big time saver when organizing your files.

Grouping files or folders into a single folder
If you have several files or folders that you’d like to put into a new folder, you can now do this without first creating the folder.

First select the files and folders that you’d like to add to the new folder. Remember that holding ⌘ while clicking will allow you to select muliple items.

Now right click on one of the items you’ve selected, and choose NEW FOLDER FROM SELECTION from the the drop-down list.

A new folder will appear containing the selected items. Just name the folder, and you’re all set.

Merging folders with the same name
In previous versions of OS X, copying a folder to a location that already contained a folder with the same name would result in two options: replace the existing folder, or stop.

Lion added a third option: the ability to merge the contents of the two folders into a single folder with the original name. The trick to this feature, though, is that it doesn’t work if you click and drag the folder to the new location.

First select the folder you wish to copy or move. Now copy the folder by choosing EDIT, COPY from the Finder menu, or by pressing ⌘-c. Now select the new location and choose EDIT, PASTE, or press ⌘-v. Choose MERGE from the dialog that appears, an the contents of both folders will be merged in the exising folder.

This is a copy, not a move, so the folder you copied and all of its contents will still be in its original location as well. Also, remember that this only works if both folders have the exact same names.

Jason Merrill, Mac & iOS Consultant


2 thoughts on “Merging Files and Folders in Lion

  1. Hi, I have OSX 10.8.5 and this is not working for me. It is very frustrating…

  2. Yes, the Merge steps in this post only apply to Lion (10.7). The Merge option disappeared in 10.8, and is still missing in 10.9 and the most recent beta’s of 10.10.

    However, there is a workaround. I’ll be posting a link to a video that shows how to do it shortly. I have tested this workaround in 10.9 and in the betas for 10.10, but I don’t have a Mac running 10.8 to try it on, so you’ll have to let me know if it works for you.

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