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St Clair Software Default Folder X 4.0 review

The one add-on for Mac OS X that you can’t live without

Default Folder has been around for years, powering up Open and Save dialogs

Our Verdict

One of the few totally and utterly essential add-ons for Mac OS X. Buy it right now


  • Speeds up opening and saving files
  • Stable and configurable
  • Hot-key access to folders and options
  • Integrated Spotlight comments
  • Hierarchical folder navigation Good preview options in Open dialogs


  • Some may consider it a bit pricey

Usually, our reviews explore functionality, new features and pros and cons before arriving at a conclusion, but this time we'll make an exception: buy Default Folder X 4.0 now, because it's brilliant. Still with us? Okay, maybe a little more information is required for you die-hards...

Default Folder has been around for years, powering up Open and Save dialogs, which, despite Mac OS X being on its fifth major incarnation, are still limited. It doesn't sound exciting, but once you start using it, you'll wonder how you did without it.

Neat new interface

The updated interface for version 4.0 uses a semi-transparent HUD-style display that surrounds Open and Save dialogs, but the familiar toolbar is still present. This provides access to mounted volumes, user-definable favourite folders and open Finder windows (which can also be focused by clicking on them in the background).

Via a second pane, integration with Finder and Spotlight components enables you to manipulate file properties from within a dialog, add Spotlight comments, and access item previews that stretch to the available space on your display. And although it's not new, one of Default Folder X's features has suddenly become borderline essential. Via the menu bar or Dock item, you can navigate your hard drive and folders, which should calm Mac users angry at Apple dropping said functionality in favour of Stacks.

We can't think of anything negative to say about Default Folder X 4.0. Version 3 was already excellent, but this is even better, and although it's one of the pricier add-ons out there, it's worth every penny.