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Question: Bizarre sidebar behavior/hangs in High Sierra

Since upgrading to High Sierra, I've seen very odd behavior and hangs related to the sidebar in the Finder and File Open/Save dialogs. Below is a video showing this behavior. I've documented more about this in another post, but it is a system-wide issue and I wanted to know if anyone else was seeing this sort of problem. My question is, what system process/extension/plugins control the sidebar and what can I do to troubleshoot this?


In the video you will see me making a "figure 8" with the mouse. That means it is beachballing. This issue is NOT specific to this application (Base) but occurs in the Finder and every application that uses a file open/save dialog. Sometimes it can take up to 30 seconds for the window to populate with my Favorites and other normal con


High Sierra Sidebar Weirdness - YouTube

iMac Pro, macOS High Sierra (10.13.3)

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In case anyone else is experiencing this issue, it is caused by setting LSSharedFileList defaults which control Recent Items (for example "defaults write com.apple.Preview.LSSharedFileList" etc). These commands worked fine in Sierra; in High Sierra, apparently, they create this sidebar hang issue. It took me 40 hours of troubleshooting to run this down. None of the above procedures were helpful. If you set any defaults for a particular application, this nightmare can be cured by running "defaults delete <com.vendor.app>.LSSharedFileList" (where <com.vendor.app> is your app).

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Mar 14, 2018 7:34 PM in response to prohtex2 In response to prohtex2

Here's another video showing this happening in the Finder. Sometimes windows open with the sidebar completely empty, and that can take 20 seconds or more. As you can see in the video, the contents of the sidebar are changing rapidly for no reason that I can tell.


High Sierra Sidebar *** - YouTube


User uploaded file

Mar 14, 2018 7:34 PM

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Mar 14, 2018 7:38 PM in response to prohtex2 In response to prohtex2

A Troubleshooting Procedure that may Fix Problems with macOS El Capitan or Later

You should try each, one at a time, then test to see if the problem is fixed before going on to the next.


Be sure to backup your files before proceeding if possible.


  1. Shutdown the computer, wait 30 seconds, restart the computer.
  2. Disconnect all third-party peripherals.
  3. Resetting your Mac’s PRAM and NVRAM
  4. Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)
  5. Reset your Startup Disk and Sound preferences.
  6. Start the computer in Safe Mode. Test in safe mode to see if the problem persists, then restart normally.
  7. Use Apple Hardware Test to see if there is any hardware malfunction.
  8. Repair the disk by booting from the Recovery HD. Immediately after the chime hold down the Command and R keys until the Utility Menu appears. Choose Disk Utility and click on the Continue button. Select the indented (usually, Macintosh HD) volume entry from the side list. Click on the First Aid button in the toolbar. Wait for the Done button to appear. Quit Disk Utility and return to the Utility Menu. Restart the computer from the Apple Menu.
  9. Repair permissions on the Home folder: Resolve issues caused by changing the permissions of items in your home folder.
  10. Create a New User Account Open Users & Groups preferences. Click on the lock icon and enter your Admin password when prompted. On the left under Current User click on the Add [+] button under Login Options. Setup a new Admin user account. Upon completion log out of your current account then log into the new account. If your problems cease, then consider switching to the new account and transferring your files to it - Transferring files from one User Account to another.
  11. Download and install the OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 Combo Update or 10.12.6 Combo Update or Download macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 Combo Update as needed.
  12. Reinstall OS X by booting from the Recovery HD using the Command and R keys. When the Utility Menu appears select Reinstall OS X then click on the Continue button.
  13. Erase and Install OS X Restart the computer. Immediately after the chime hold down the Command and R keys until the Apple logo appears. When the Utility Menu appears:
  1. Select Disk Utility from the Utility Menu and click on Continue button.
  2. When Disk Utility loads select the drive (out-dented entry) from the Device list.
  3. Click on the Erase icon in Disk Utility's toolbar. A panel will drop down.
  4. Set the Format type to APFS (for SSDs only) or Mac OS Extended (Journaled.)
  5. Click on the Apply button, then wait for the Done button to activate and click on it.
  6. Quit Disk Utility and return to the Utility Menu.
  7. Select Reinstall OS X and click on the Continue button.

If none of the above helps then make an appointment at the Apple Genius Bar for service. If you need to find an Apple Store - Find a Store - Apple.


Mar 14, 2018 7:38 PM

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Mar 14, 2018 7:43 PM in response to Kappy In response to Kappy

Hi, I'm a software developer and I've been through these steps already. I'm looking to see if anyone has specific knowledge of com.apple.LSSharedFileList.FavoriteVolumes and what the Finder is doing when it loads the sidebar, or what system extensions might modify the sidebar.

Mar 14, 2018 7:43 PM

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Mar 14, 2018 8:08 PM in response to prohtex2 In response to prohtex2

Please post in the proper forum. Your topic does not belong in this forum. I have asked the moderators to move it to a correct forum. Please read Writing an effective Apple Support Communities question and Apple Support Communities - Terms of Use.

Mar 14, 2018 8:08 PM

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Mar 14, 2018 11:57 PM in response to prohtex2 In response to prohtex2

I've gone through the arduous process of recreating the user account, only to have this issue start again. Has anyone else seen anything like this? I'm going nuts with frustration. I've now completely reinstalled the OS and recreated the user account, only to have this start happening again. The system is beachballing constantly trying to load any window with a favorites sidebar.


If anyone has any experience with this issue in High Sierra, I'd really love to hear about it. Thanks.

Mar 14, 2018 11:57 PM

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Mar 15, 2018 12:24 AM in response to prohtex2 In response to prohtex2

Logging out of iCloud also completely resolves this (although this is not a real solution for me).

Mar 15, 2018 12:24 AM

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Question marked as Solved

Mar 15, 2018 5:04 AM in response to prohtex2 In response to prohtex2

In case anyone else is experiencing this issue, it is caused by setting LSSharedFileList defaults which control Recent Items (for example "defaults write com.apple.Preview.LSSharedFileList" etc). These commands worked fine in Sierra; in High Sierra, apparently, they create this sidebar hang issue. It took me 40 hours of troubleshooting to run this down. None of the above procedures were helpful. If you set any defaults for a particular application, this nightmare can be cured by running "defaults delete <com.vendor.app>.LSSharedFileList" (where <com.vendor.app> is your app).

Mar 15, 2018 5:04 AM

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Question: Bizarre sidebar behavior/hangs in High Sierra