Pathfinder going to a subscription model -- am I out?

Every since I read about Pathfinder in late 2007 (thanks @ace ) I have been using it, and regularly purchasing the updates – despite some hiccups along the way (most notably, dropping support for the Favourites from Pathfinder to show up in the menus for opening or saving files in other apps – that was already almost a deal breaker, and PF support gave only a very poor explanation of why it was “too hard” for them). So I was surprised to see that the next version (11) will only be available as subscription. On principle and for practical reasons I don’t have any subscription SW other than the Office which is forced on me and paid by one of my employers (I detest Word and tolerate Excel, I could do everything with Open or Libre Office if I had no access to Office). So I can keep using my purchased Pathfinder indefinitely, or I can figure out how to use Finder, which is rumoured to be much improved since I last used it 14+ years ago. I am quite used to Pathfinder and use some of its interesting features. It’s their business not mine, so I am not really complaining, but this may well force me off their program and back to Finder, and they will lose my once-every-several-years license update money.

Try the Finder and see how you get on. It does indeed have some neat improvements, and if you can do without Path Finder that’s one less app to maintain.

I happily used Path Finder for some years, but found it buggy at times. Mostly I liked the utilities for, say, calculating checksums, showing paths and creating a new folder from a selected set of files. Some of that stuff is now built into the Finder, while the rest is not too hard to emulate with a bit of scripting.

I’ve tried to use the Finder. But it cannot possibly compare to PathFinder.

My main concern with their subscription model is whether the product is now cloud-based. If I cancel my subscription, do I only lose updates and support, but the product still works? Or is it like Adobe, when you cancel, it won’t even launch? Getting any answers from CocoaTech has proven impossible lately.

I don’t write scripts. I tried to write a script to force Google Voice to stay on Wi-Fi by turning on Airplane Mode when Google Voice launched.

It sort of worked. At least the $50 monthly surprise billing from Google Fi for what should have been free GV calls to the US stopped. But I was forced to keep the Google Voice app active.

Apple won’t fix defective shortcuts. A telephony app does not need to show a screen during a conversation, only when dialing, adding a call, or putting a call on hold.

My script called for turning OFF Airplane Mode when my GV call concluded. But Shortcuts saw the act of pushing GV to the background to be the same as terminating the call.

But the call didn’t terminate, it went right on as I used other apps to look up information I needed to refer to during the call. With the radios back on, GV was now free to use them to reroute my calls to pay by the minute calls.

Google refused to add a preference to use Wi-Fi ONLY.

My solution was to dump Google Voice for

Last week I got a letter from Google Fi that my international roaming service is being turned off even though I pay $10 per GB when buying a local SIM would be only a fraction of that.

So saying goodbye at the end of the month to Google Fi, porting the number to and using the eSIM provider GigSky to give me international data roaming. Only 5 GB per 30 days, prepaid. Global data is $12 per GB, but if I will be in one area of the world for a while, it is cheaper. Like South America is $8 per GB for 30 days, prepaid.

Happy to be rid of Google, a company that has a hard time listening to users and moved their entire support to India, where the people are basically choosing responses from robot screens that listen to the chat and make a list of possible cut and paste responses. They have no power whatsoever to deal with bugs or issue any credits.

Exactly! As soon as I saw this news I wrote to them via their “contacts”, and no answer and no post about this. This is indeed a key issue for my decision.

Some people have suggested Forklift as an alternative. I’m good with plain old Finder…and Alfred.

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I have a licensed copy of Pathfinder. It has a couple of useful features (permissions module) but I use it very rarely.

If it becomes subscription they’ll lose me as a customer. I’ll only ever pay a subscription for an app which is absolutely crucial to me (every day use, critical to what I do).

If subscription’s the path they choose it’s fine, just as it’s fine for me to sever ties with them.

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I rely heavily on Path Finder instead of Finder. I’ve used PF for what seems like ages. Lots of software companies have switched to the subscription route. It’s the sign of the times. Quite frankly, I’m surprised it took Cocoatech this long to follow suit.

I had been considering the purchase of Pathfinder the last few days. They’ve made the decision for me: no.

“It’s the sign of the times.” For you, maybe. Everybody is on facebook–I’m not. Everybody will be tweeting. I don’t. Everybody will (fill in the blank). No, everybody will not.

There’s plenty of good software and developers out there, where I can pay a flat fee for a license…that’s a sign of my times.

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But I still can’t get the answer to a critical question (Cocatech won’t answer my query and I can’t find it on their website): if I buy a subscription for a year and then do not renew, can I continue to use my (now outdated) PF or will it just stop working? I suspect the latter. Like leasing a car – no payment, return the car. Does anyone know the answer? How does it work with other Mac SW that has gone to a subscription model?

I use Path Finder. The latest version appears to be a stand-alone app that is not connected via the internet. I’m not the most technical in this area, but it would seem that in order to keep you from using an app, there would have to be a connection. Of course, you’re out of luck with changes made for an updated OS.


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“Latest” being 10.2 (which I have, and indeed is stand-alone) or 11 (the version to which Cocoatech is bugging me to upgrade – the one with the subscription)?

I’ve been a Pathfinder user and have recommended it to many people for more than a decade, and paid for every update, but I will not convert to a subscription model, so I’m out now, too.

I’ve emailed them to let them know they are losing a customer over this, but have not gotten a response, and I don’t expect to.

Thank you for the suggestion of Forklift. I’ll go check that out.


It’s called 2121 which, I believe is the subscription.
If Wifi is off I can open and use.
I’m sure they’ll figure out how to turn it off - but perhaps they just think people will continue to subscribe for the updates?

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I was willing to buy the subscription, but these people have simply stopped responding to any requests fort support. The new Version 11 would not accept my license key from version 10.

So, I am changing my position. I went back to Version 10 while I still have the chance. I have an actual license that is not a subscription. This will last until the next version of Mac OS. I will set up Little Snitch to totally block all connections to Cocoatech though the app, which should stop update demends or any other sneaky things they will try to make Version 10 stop working.

No customer service, no money from me. I will keep using V 10 until it fails and then find a replacement. Clearly Cocooatech has sold out to vulture capitalists. They were always good of support through their forums, my guess is in addition to moving to subscription, they also got rid of a lot of people and the software engineers are all contract and overseas, not local employees.


There’s a lot of that going on…1Passwords recent and ongoing changes strike me as being from the same root cause.

I, too, have failed to get a single response from Cocoatech—despite multiple emails. As of this morning I have uninstalled Path Finder and switched to ForkLift. I missed the “1-year free upgrade” by 2 days and they won’t even respond to emails. Add to that the new subscription model and the decision became easy… bye bye Path Finder. Sad to see a product I’ve used for so many years go this way.

If anyone from Cocoatech is reading (which I doubt, given their vulture-head-in-the-sand approach), you might want to pay attention as your customers disappear.

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If your current Path Finder license is less than a year old, you can use the new version until it’s been one year.

This is what’s written in the ‘Upgrade’ dialog when starting PF 10.2.

I read it this way: if you purchased PF 10.2 less than a year ago you can get a ‘free’ upgrade to the new version and can use it until 12 months is up. I purchased PF in April 2021 so could use the new PF until April 22 at which stage I can no longer use it.

The fact their support seems to have gone totally mute is not a good sign of their attitude towards custom ers. This alone would have me wary of paying a subscription.

All this confirms my decision to drop PF altogether. I don’t use it much so it won’t have a major effect on me. I would prefer to have access to it but not at the expense of a monthly fee and a non-responsive company.

The fact their support seems to have gone totally mute is not a
good sign of their attitude towards customers. This alone would
have me wary of paying a subscription.

It possible that support going mute has more to do with their support being in the Ukraine than anything else.

I haven’t used Path Finder for many years, but my reading of the issue is that it’s an extremely niche product, very small company (maybe 4 people?), probably losing money as it gets ever more niche, and tried going to subscriptions as a last resort. I understand that it’s upsetting to have a valued product disappear, but I suspect that a good dose of sympathy for them is in order too.


That’s the way I read it too. But if I stick with my current PF license (10) I can use it “forever” until Mac OS changes too much. If I upgrade to 11 I get it free for a year but then it stops working. Can I go back to 10? Maybe.

I use PF a lot, many of its features are second nature to me now. I looked at Forklift’s webpage, it looks like it does many of the same things. Has anyone who was a heavy PF user migrate to Forklift, and if so, did you miss some PF features that you had used? I will try it for myself.

I’ve downloaded the trial of Forklift, it looks like it can easily accomplish those tasks for which I use PF.