Compare two folders with Compare Advance

Keeping multiple copies of critical files and folders is good practice, but it's usually not very long before small differences begin to creep in. If you don't keep them synced, the differences will pile up until there are too many to mess with. Whatever the reasons you might have for wanting to view the differences between two folders, Compare Advance from BauerApps makes the job easy. This free tool analyzes two folders for differences in content and color-codes the results for easy identification. It can also synchronize and back up your folders. It's customizable and also integrates … Read more

New Folder Removal Tool zaps the New Folder virus

If you thought the New Folder virus was an unfortunate tendency to pepper your system with empty New Folders (not to mention New Folder (2), etc.) then you're probably lucky. But if you've got new folders popping up all over the place faster than you can delete them, your system has been infected by the New Folder virus, also called Iddono. Help is available from Security Stronghold's Newfolder Removal Tool. This simple, standalone freeware removes all instances of newfolder.exe and related viruses with a single click. It also immunizes removable drives against the virus, a useful … Read more

OS X Lion Finder bug deletes moved files

When you move files from one location to another in the OS X Finder, if their names are the same as existing files or folders, the system will ask you whether you wish to keep both files, replace the existing file, or cancel the move operation. If you replace the file, then the one you are moving should be the only one left in the new location; however, a bug in the Finder in OS X might result in both files being deleted.

Earlier today, Mac OS X Hints posted steps that show the Finder deleting both the original and … Read more

Moving your home folder in OS X

The home folder in OS X is the default location where your account's settings and data are stored. By default your home folder is located in the Users directory at the root of the main boot drive, will be named the same as your account's short username, and will have a house icon when you are logged into your account.

Having the home directory located on the main boot volume is a convenient option for quick and easy setup; however, there may be instances where you would like to have it on a separate partition, or better yet … Read more

Fix folder changes requiring authentication in the Finder

Creating files and folders in OS X can generally be done without requiring additional steps, but sometimes you may run into situations where the system either claims access is denied or that you first must authenticate to make modifications to the current folder.

This behavior happens because your account does not have proper write access to the folder in which you are working, which may be purposeful in some cases. By default, the permissions in OS X are set to allow you access to your account's resources, but will restrict you from modifying or even reading other resources, including … Read more

Open-and-save convenience

Default Folder X is a system preference pane that can save you a lot of time finding and flipping through folders, especially when opening and saving files.

The primary interface pops up with every open and save dialog, across all your applications, giving you faster access to multiple folders and commands. You can jump to favorite and recently used folders (even by clicking on open windows), enter Spotlight metatags, and manage files and folders right from the dialog--so you don't need to go to the Finder for simple tasks like renaming and deleting.

Default Folder X also lets you &… Read more

Hide and protect files and folders with Easy File Locker

Easy File Locker is a free tool for password-protecting files and folders. With it, others can't open, read, modify, copy, or delete your data without your password. Of course, neither can you, so be sure to take the usual (secure) password precautions. This tool is available in separate downloads for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows, but the installation wizard won't let you install the wrong version. We tried it in 32-bit Vista and Windows 7 as well as 64-bit Windows 7, with success all around.

Easy File Locker has a very simple interface, just a menu bar and toolbar … Read more

Lock up your photos

Lock My Photos offers more functionality than most apps in the category, letting you passcode-protect your images, and also adds several more-unusual things you can do from within the app. To get started, you'll need to create a four-digit passcode using the app's number pad. Once you're in the default folder, you'll be able to add photos from your iPhone library, or snap new pictures you want to keep private.

Lock My Photos offers a few more features than just a locked folder. You also can view your images as a slideshow, and even add transitions, … Read more

Expect frustration from Folder Background Changer

Call us old-fashioned, but we don't typically get into desktop customizations. We're not opposed to tweaks that are useful--or even just plain fun--but it seems that much of the time these programs are more trouble than they're worth. So it goes with Folder Background Changer. This program promises to let users customize the background images within their folders, but it doesn't work reliably.

The program required a registration code during installation, which confused us until we realized that it was contained in a text file that came with the download. Once we had the program installed, … Read more

Q&A: MacFixIt Answers

MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed in by our readers.

This week people wrote in with questions on using Disk Utility from a prior version of OS X, whether or not to repair a broken G5 or upgrade, how to recover a missing Downloads folder on the Dock, and the necessity of the Lion recovery partition. We continually answer e-mail questions, and though we present answers here, we welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your suggestions in the comments.

NOTE: The "contact us" box on the MacFixIt … Read more