Get Personal Folders Back in Mac OS X Desktop Window Sidebar
The desktop in latter versions of Mac OS X has simplified the Finder window sidebars by showing just a few choices, with the emphasis on the ‘All My Files’ directory rather than individually pointing to your Pictures and Documents folders. If you prefer to see more options from the Finder and Desktop window sidebars, you can customize what is shown in that Finder window sidebar quite easily.
How to Add Personal Folders to Mac Finder Sidebar
Here’s what you’ll want to do add personal file directories back to the Mac Finder sidebars:
- Pull down the Finder menu and select “Preferences” (or just hit Command+,)
- Click on the “Sidebar” icon
- Select the checkboxes next to items you want to appear in your desktop window sidebars
For reference, the defaults prior to Mac OS X 10.7 were to show most of the personal folders, like Movies, Music, Downloads, Documents, Pictures, Applications, and the user home folder. Newer versions of Mac OS X are less aggressive at hiding these folders, but even Mavericks still defaults to hiding some of the individual media directories that Mac users may want easy access to. This change has persisted through all modern versions of Mac OS X, from 10.9, 10.10.x, 10.12, 10.1*, etc.
If you’re taking the time to customize the sidebar preferences, make changes depending on how you use the Finder and based upon what files you access and folders you use most often. For example, if you never use the “Movies” folder, you’ll probably want to keep that hidden, but perhaps you use the “Desktop” or “Documents” folders often, in which case those belong. You’ll be able to reduce sidebar clutter and be more productive, and that’s a win-win for any Mac user.