Mac Tips: How to edit the Favorites sidebar on Mac

Got an Apple, Mac or iOS tech question? We have the answer. This time we have a reader who wants to know how to customize the Favorites section of the sidebar that appears in Finder windows of OS X. The Favorites section provides a convenient way to access your most-used folders and functions, but it probably isn’t super useful until you populate it with the things you want there. Luckily, it’s easy to do, and we’ll show you how.


How do I add or remove items from the Finder window’s Favorites sidebar in Yosemite?


Adding and removing things from the Favorites sidebar is easy – so easy, in fact, you might not even think to try it. To add an item to the sidebar, all you have to do is click on the original folder and drag it from there to the sidebar. Likewise, to remove an item, all you have to do is click on it in the sidebar and drag it anywhere on the desktop – you’ll see a small gray X appear near your mouse cursor to indicate that it’s going to disappear.

Customize Sidebar

In some older versions of OS X, you may find that you need the hold down the Option key to add or remove Favorites (they felt it was too easy to accidentally remove items), but that isn’t the case with Yosemite (or Mavericks for that matter).

You can make further changes to the Favorites in the sidebar by accessing the Finder preferences from the Finder menu in the upper-left corner. Click on the Sidebar tab and you’ll be able to remove any of the default Favorites by unchecking them, or add them back if you’ve previously removed them.

Customize Sidebar

Also, if your idea of customizing the sidebar means making it go away entirely, you can do that in several different ways: put your cursor on the divider between the sidebar and the rest of the window and drag it to the left; press Command + Option + S; or choose Hide Sidebar from the View menu at the top of the screen.

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