The Sweet Spot Of The Mac Finder

If you have been a Mac user for a while, you are familiar with the macOS Finder. You are well versed in its improvements in the latest versions of the macOS and its lingering shortcomings. I have vacillated between using the Finder exclusively for some of its features like “Stacks” and using something like Path Finder. I think I have finally found a useful compromise between these two positions.

Finder vs. Path Finder

There are several third-party Finder replacement Apps. They have varying features and problems as well. I have always gone to the Path Finder App as my third-party Finder replacement App. Path Finder is a very sophisticated App with all kinds of features. Here is the main window of Path Finder:

I really like the plethora of features in Path Finder including multiple windows and the color icons in the sidebar.

The problem is I really like some features in the macOS Finder App like “Stacks”. I think Stacks is so cool, a very handy feature. After dinking around back and forth with Path Finder and Finder, I came up with a compromise that works for me.

I am leaving the Stacks feature turned on in the Finder App:

To be able to use the Stacks feature you have to not use the Path Finder Desktop. Path Finder can provide its Desktop replacing the Finder Desktop, but if you leave that setting off Path Finder continues to work alongside of Stacks:

In “Path Finder Preferences” you have to leave “Hide Finder’s desktop” turned off.

I have discovered that this setup allows me to use the Finder Desktop with Stacks, but also use the Path Finder App with all its coolness. By the way, the Path Finder people at Cocoatech are working on Path Finder version 10 which I am sure will be upcoming in macOS Big Sur. The current version of Path Finder is version 9.


If you are on the lookout for a Finder workflow that works for you, then you might consider my setup using Path Finder alongside the macOS Finder App.