Lost Your License Key?

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the system requirements for ForkLift 3?

ForkLift requires macOS 10.12 or later.


ForkLift 3.4.2 is the last version that runs on macOS 10.11.6 too. Click here to download ForkLift 3.4.2.


On macOS 10.14.3 or earlier, please install the Swift 5 Runtime Support for Command Line Tools from from Apple's website.
These additional libraries are needed by the helper tool of ForkLift. ForkLift works without these additional libraries too, only the helper tool needs them. Click here to learn more about this and the helper tool in general.

Is ForkLift Big Sur ready?

Yes, ForkLift is Big Sur ready.

Does ForkLift run on the new Silicon Macs with the M1 chip?

Starting from version 3.5 ForkLift contains the universal binary that runs natively on Silicon Macs with the M1 chip.

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

Our prices are one-time fees. After purchasing ForkLift, license holders are eligible to install all the new maintenance updates to ForkLift 3 at no additional cost.

Can I buy ForkLift 3 in the App Store?

ForkLift 3 isn't available in the App Store, and we don't plan to sell it in the App Store in the future either. The reason for this is that the sandboxing rules of the App Store would seriously impact the usefulness of ForkLift. For example, an App Store version wouldn't be able to open files that aren't in the home folder of the user.
The ForkLift app downloaded from our site is notarized by Apple, which means that Apple checked it for malicious components and has found it to be safe to use. Every new version has to be notarized by Apple. Without notarization, users on new OS versions wouldn't be able to open ForkLift. When you start ForkLift for the first time on macOS 10.14.5 or later, you will see a launch dialog telling you that ForkLift was checked by Apple for malicious software and none was detected.

I bought ForkLift 2 (or ForkLift 1) in the past. Can I get an upgrade discount?

If you already own a ForkLift license, then you are eligible for an upgrade discount. To claim the discount, send an email to support@binarynights.com with the subject MASUPGRADE, and we will get back to you with the instructions.

If you want to upgrade to the Family License, then send an email to support@binarynights.com with the subject FAMILYUPGRADE

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 support@binarynights.com 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.

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 support@binarynights.com, 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 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 3. If it doesn't start with 3, then download ForkLift 3 from our website and register it. If the version number starts with 3 and you can see a license type and a name below it, then you have already registered ForkLift 3.

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.

After updating to ForkLift 3.4 or later, ForkLift doesn't start/crashes on launch/the Activity Monitor shows that ForkLift is not responding. How can I fix this?
  1. On macOS 10.12, 10.13, or 10.14-10.14.3 install the Swift 5 Runtime Support for Command Line Tools from Apple's website, which adds additional libraries to these older OS versions that aren't available in them but are needed by ForkLift. Make sure to update the old helper tool after the installation of the additional libraries if ForkLift prompts you to do so.

  2. On macOS 10.11.6:
    • Make sure that ForkLift is not open
    • Open the Terminal app (Applications > Utilities > Terminal)
    • Run these 3 commands separately, line by line in Terminal. After the first line, Terminal will ask you for your password, enter the password and run the remaining two commands line by line too:
    • sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.binarynights.ForkLiftHelper.plist; sudo rm /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.binarynights.ForkLiftHelper.plist; sudo rm /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/com.binarynights.ForkLiftHelper;
When I run "Check for Update" within ForkLift, the pop-up flashes and nothing happens. I don't receive the update, nor any notice about "You have the most current version. How can I update ForkLift?"

Because of a problem with the application updater, you can update ForkLift 3.5 only manually. Quit ForkLift and move it into the Trash. Download and install the latest version from here. Move ForkLift into the Applications folder.

After installing 3.5 (and then 3.5.1), ForkLift Mini is gone from my menu bar. I also get a "ForkLift Mini has crashed" message on reopening. How can I start ForkLift Mini?

Update to the latest version of ForkLift by selecting ForkLift > Check for Updates from the menu. Unfortunately, you can update version 3.5 only manually. To update manually, quit ForkLift and move it into the Trash. Download and install the latest version from here. Move ForkLift into the Applications folder.

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 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.

Is there an option to view text underneath the icons in the toolbar of ForkLift?

  • From the menu select View > Show Titlebar
  • Right-click on the Toolbar and select Icon and Text

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.

Quick Look doesn't work. Hitting the Space bar just adds other items to my selection. / When I select a file in list view with the mouse, instead of highlighting the box in bright blue as usual, it is selected just as an outline box. Am I doing something wrong?

Go to ForkLift > Preferences > Shortcuts and uncheck "Enable Keyboard Selection" at the bottom of the window. Keyboard selection is not needed to use the keyboard shortcuts, it is a method to select items in ForkLift with the keyboard.

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 ForkLift.app
  • Quit ForkLift, then paste the following command in Terminal and hit Enter:
  • sudo xattr -d -r -s com.apple.quarantine /Applications/ForkLift.app
  • Type your user account password and hit Enter again
  • Re-add ForkLift 3 to your Dock
When I open a favorite connection, I always have to enter my password. Can ForkLift save the password too?

If you save a connection as a Favorite, you can also save the password of that connection.


To add a connection to your favorites:

  • Click the plus sign in the bottom left corner of the sidebar or open the Favorite Manager (Favorites > Show Favorites) and click the plus sign in the bottom left corner of it
  • Select New Favorite from the list and fill in the credentials of the server on the Connect Panel. Enter your password and don't check the Ask checkbox next to it
  • Click Save

To add a password to an existing favorite:

  • Right-click the favorite in the sidebar and select Edit from the context menu
  • Uncheck the Ask checkbox next to the Password text filed and enter your password
  • Click Save
Can I use iCloud to sync my favorites?

Right now, the full synchronization of the favorites is only possible through Dropbox. Dropbox keeps the favorites in sync on all your computers, but there is a workaround that lets you copy your current favorites to a new Mac:

  • In Finder, select Go > Go to Folder from the menu and paste this path into the pop-up: ~/Library/Application Support/ForkLift/Favorites
  • Copy the Favorites.json file from this folder to the same folder on your other computer. (Make sure that ForkLift is not open on your new Mac when you replace the existing Favorites.json file.)

This file doesn't contain the passwords. The passwords are stored in the Keychain. If you sync your Keychain passwords via iCloud, ForkLift will be able to access them also on your other computers.

I had a problem and needed to restore the system from a backup. How can I restore my favorites from the backup?
  • Quit ForkLift
  • The original location of the Favorites.json file which contains the favorites is the following: ~/Library/Application Support/ForkLift/Favorites/Favorites.json - Search for this file in your backup
  • Replace the ~/Library/Application Support/ForkLift/Favorites/Favorites.json file with the backup Favorites.json file

  • This file doesn't contain the passwords. The passwords are stored in the Keychain. If you had enabled the synchronization of your Keychain passwords via iCloud before, then ForkLift will be able to access them also after you have restored your favorites. If you hadn't enabled the sync, then you have to add the passwords to your favorites again. To update a favorite connection:
    • Right-click the favorite in the sidebar and select Edit from the context menu
    • Enter the password into the Password field
    • Click Save
How to connect to SFTP using a passphrase protected private key on macOS 10.12 or later?

If your private key is protected with a passphrase, then open Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal) and run this command to add the passphrase to the ssh-agent: ssh-add -K /path/to/private_key To make this persistent, create a config file (or update the existing file) in your ~/.ssh folder and paste the following lines into the file: Host *
AddKeysToAgent yes
UseKeychain yes

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

Some activities don't start automatically: they are stuck in the Activities window with the status "Waiting" or "Preparing". How can I start these?

On macOS 10.12, 10.13, or 10.14-10.14.3 install the Swift 5 Runtime Support for Command Line Tools from Apple's website that adds additional libraries to these older OS versions that aren't available in them but are needed by ForkLift. Make sure to update the old helper tool after the installation of the additional libraries if ForkLift prompts you to do so.

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?

Currently, it is not possible to connect to Dropbox as a remote server in ForkLift. However, if you install the Dropbox App on your Mac, you can access your Dropbox folder in your home directory inside ForkLift.

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?

Currently, connections to OneDrive as a remote volume is not supported by ForkLift. However, if you install the OneDrive app on your Mac, you will be able to access your OneDrive folder in your home directory inside ForkLift.

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.
If you use macOS version 10.12, 10.13, or 10.14-10.14.3, then please install the Swift 5 Runtime Support for Command Line Tools from Apple's website.
This adds libraries to these older OS versions that aren't available in them but are available in newer OS versions. The helper tool of the latest ForkLift versions works only if these additional libraries are part of the OS.

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

For ideas, suggestions, bug reports, or general questions about ForkLift, please contact us at support@binarynights.com, tweet @BinaryNights.