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Can't add favorites in finder sidebar

19361 Views 37 Replies Latest reply: Apr 8, 2014 10:39 PM by chris.f RSS
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magsls Calculating status...
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Mar 25, 2012 3:26 AM



I added some folders in finder sidebar a while back, and suddenly, they disappeared, such as the documents shortcut. When I try to put them back, finder removes it again.

Also if I go to Finder - Preferences and try to check the documents shortcut to appear in sidebar again, the checkbox doesn't work.


I'm pretty sure this happened after I synchronized my iPhone for the first time.


How can I add favorites to the finder sidebar again?

MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • John Allen2 Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
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    May 12, 2012 11:06 AM (in response to magsls)

    Hi magsls.


    Here is a possible fix:


    Hover your mouse over the word "Favorites" in the OS X Finder and then click on the word "Show" that appears.

    Screen Shot 2012-05-12 at 1.05.21 PM.png

  • captfred Level 7 Level 7 (26,225 points)
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    May 12, 2012 11:11 AM (in response to magsls)

    Hold the CMD key down as you drag them to the sidebar.

  • theregg Calculating status...
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    May 13, 2012 6:03 AM (in response to magsls)

    i have the same problem and non of suggested fixes didn't work :/

    anyone else?

  • dj-ike Calculating status...
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    Aug 2, 2012 10:17 AM (in response to captfred)

    Held down cmd before click n drag. Worked for me.

  • rgharrison Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 31, 2013 1:23 AM (in response to John Allen2)

    The idea doesn't work if for no other reason "Favorites" no longer appears as a header on the sidebar. Only Shared and Devices are visible.


    I amso dependent on this featue that it's taking me forever to find anything.


    The oddity is that when I save any item the window appears and lo and behold all the favorites are displayed in the sidebar of the save selection window. But on any other finder window they have gone missing and as soeone pointed out it's not even possible to select the checkboxes in Finder preferences.


    I've seen suggestions to trash the finder plists in the Library but I have searched and searched the Library Prefernce file and can find no finder-related plist. Is this a hiddne file?

  • rgharrison Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 31, 2013 4:44 PM (in response to magsls)

    Odd, after dropping in here to see if I could find a solution to the missing Favorites on my sidebar and after having fiddled with it for several hours berfore that, after I left my initial message  i opened a new Finder window and voila! Favorites was back with al my folders. Media is still missing but that is of little value to me and if I need those items I can always make them favorites. The only answer I can think of is the ghost of Steve Jobs fixed it.

  • death.ray Calculating status...
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    Feb 5, 2013 2:02 PM (in response to magsls)

    Force quit Finder and relaunch by pressing Cmd-Opt-Esc. That worked for me.

  • JimRCGMO Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 17, 2013 1:01 PM (in response to death.ray)

    Thank you, death.ray!


    I had cloned a drive to a bigger (1TB) one to use in my Mac Mini, and couldn't see any folders in Finder windows, nor could I add any to the sidebar (with or without Cmd-dragging). I was getting quite frustrated about this, until I found this topic (and specifically your suggestion to Force Quit the Finder). I did that, and voilå! There are my favorite folders again.





  • BrianGTBC Calculating status...
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    Mar 1, 2013 5:50 PM (in response to JimRCGMO)

    I'm experiencing the same issue -- can't add my Favorites back into the Sidebar in Finder -- but death.ray's suggestion of Force Quitting Finder hasn't helped.  The only thing I'm able to see on the Sidebar is devices.  Quite frustrating!

  • JimRCGMO Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Mar 2, 2013 8:07 AM (in response to BrianGTBC)

    Brian, try going to Finder -> Preferences  and click on the 'SIdebar' tab at the top of that window. Hopefully, you should be able to add other folders. Also, if you have folders you want to add to the sidebar for Finder windows, first navigate (in an open Finder window) to that folder (and double-click to open it), then click and hold on the folder icon at the top (where the folder's name appears), and while holding down your mouse button, drag it into the sidebar.


    Also, are you using Lion, Mountain Lion, or an earlier OS version (like Snow Leopard)? (Not totally sure, but there might be some differences in 10.7+ vs. 10.6)


    Hope that gets you on the track for what you need.



  • BrianGTBC Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Mar 2, 2013 4:05 PM (in response to JimRCGMO)

    Hi Jim,


    I'm using 10.8.2.  I've tried everything you suggested with no success.  When I try to click the items listed under Favorties in the Sidebar tab of Finder Preferences, the check mark immediately disappears.  Dragging an item over like you suggested, such as Desktop, results in a blue line over Devices, almost like it's trying to add the Favorite above Devices, but it doesn't ever do anything after releasing the click.  See this image:Screen Shot 2013-03-02 at 7.02.04 PM.png

  • gbipot Calculating status...
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    Apr 4, 2013 8:37 AM (in response to magsls)

    I am having EXACTLY the same problem as rgharrison and BrianGTBC. I rely heavily on the Sidebar throughout my day. I find it odd that Apple doesn't address this fix in an update.


    Anyone have any other suggestions?

  • gbipot Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Apr 4, 2013 8:40 AM (in response to gbipot)

    Holy crap! The death.ray fix worked the 2nd time I tried it. Not the first time but I got desperate enough to try it again and it worked. Thanks, man. 

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