Path Finder is not able to completely replace the Finder. Path Finder is unable to duplicate some system functionality that is embedded in the Finder, and removing or disabling the Finder will break these functions. Also, a few applications are hard-wired directly to the Finder and are unable to communicate with any other file browser. These applications can relaunch Finder or even fail to work, if Finder is not running.
That said, Path Finder includes a handful of options to help you become less dependent upon the Finder:
- Set Path Finder as the default file viewer – If this option is enabled in Path Finder’s Reveal preferences, applications that include a “Reveal in Finder” function will use Path Finder instead. This option adds a special key to every application’s preferences file requesting that the application recognize Path Finder as its file browser. While this should work in most cases, it is unfortunately only a suggestion and some applications may ignore it. You can read more about this option in this article .
- Launch Path Finder automatically after login – If set in Path Finder’s General preferences, this will start both Path Finder and the Finder upon user login.
- Enable Finder’s ‘Remove from Dock’ – Choose this menu item from Path Finder > Finder to allow the Finder icon to be removed from the dock. Once enabled, right-click or control-click on the Finder icon in the Dock and choose “Remove from Dock.” This will allow the Finder to run silently in the background. The Finder will necessarily reappear in the dock every time you restart your computer.
Finder and Trash icons in the Dock
The Dock Contextual menu, which you can show for each item in the Dock by right-clicking or cmd+left-clicking the item, contains Remove from Dock menu item (in the Options submenu), which enables you to remove specific item from the Dock. This is not the case for Finder and Trash items by default, which have a special treatment. Path Finder has two preferences settings, which enables you to show this menu item even for Finder and Trash. These settings are separate, so Finder and Trash are treated independently and they are located in the Finder tab of Path Finder preferences panel, like shown in the picture below.
It is important to know that Path Finder only enables Remove from Dock menu items to appear for Finder and Trash as well, it does not control or influence actions invoked by those menu items in any way. Those actions are controlled and executed by the Dock itself. Hence, Path Finder cannot control and influence the following:
- Appearance of Finder and Trash icons every time you login to your account or restart your computer even if you removed them before.
- Trash’s menu item Open showing the contents of the trash in Finder instead of Path Finder.
The two above are hard-wired into the Dock behaviour and Path Finder cannot change that. Also, if you decided to quit Apple’s Finder (using Quit Finder button or Quit Finder when Path Finder launches in the picture above), anything you try to do with the Trash icon in the Dock will not work. The Trash icon in the Dock is hard-wired to Finder and it requires it to be running. In such case, you can decide to show Path Finder’s Trash icon in the Desktop (in Path Finder preferences panel select Features tab, section Desktop and check Show desktop trash can checkbox) and use it instead.
Can I use Path Finder to open and save files in other applications?
No, the open and save dialogs are a core part of the operating system and don’t belong to any particular file browser, despite mimicking the appearance of the Finder. Path Finder is unable to control the way in which other applications handle their files.
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