Bring Color Icons Back to the Mac OS X Finder Easily with SideEffects

May 22, 2012 - 25 Comments

Color Sidebar icons made easy with SideEffects

If you want color icons back in your OS X Finder window sidebar but don’t want to deal with the existing procedures of manually installing SIMBL and the other components, grab SideEffects instead. SideEffects is a simple package that includes the three necessary components to add color back to Finder sidebar icons; SIMBL, ColorfulSidebar, and RelaunchFinder, all wrapped into a single easy to use installer to shorten the process considerably. Gone will be the drab grayscale icons, welcome back the color.

SideEffects works with OS X 10.7.4 or later including Mountain Lion (supposedly).

For those wondering what is being installed and where it’s going, the files added by SideEffects are as follows:


/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins


Also note that is also added to the active users login items so that the color icons take effect on each reboot or login.

Thanks to Simon for the tip, similar icon colorization is available for iTunes too.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Customize, Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. New version released: SideEffects

    This version includes an updated EasySIMBL (v1.4), automatic permissions repair for colorfulSidebar.bundle and an uninstaller.

    On my system it’s looking good. I’m hoping to be able to remove the “beta” label from this one – holding thumbs..

  2. Asif says:

    Works with Lion 10.8.
    Looks great

  3. To all those experiencing missing icons in Mountain Lion, please see my update for Mountain Lion on my blog:

    Manual installation only, at this stage..

  4. Cäsar says:

    not working with 10.8 Mountain Lion Golden Master. Icons disappear!

  5. Jake says:

    When Lion first launched I was pretty happy with it. Now, a year into it, I find myself squinting at the sidebar trying to find the folder/icon I’m looking for.

    Installed this today and I realize how much we lost with the minimal sidebar Apple foisted on us with Lion.

    Many thanks to the developer. He should have a “Donate” button on his website…

  6. Martin says:

    Hi there,

    Just want to compliment you on this flawless piece of nifty programming! Works like a charm even with Totalfinder! Great job.

  7. LionOS says:

    How to get back the grey icons? I am having problems with crashing Finder as well…
    Does removing what sideeffects installed solved the issue?
    any advice??

  8. Photoman says:

    I installed it and it worked fine with OSX Lion 10.7.4 BUT I also had a few finder crashes and other problems like calling the screen saver from a hot corner ! I removed it, and everything works fluently as normal. too bad, I was happy to retrieve the colours of my icons :-(

  9. nickO says:

    It did not work after a reboot. I had to go in and run the RelaunchFinder.App manually!

  10. s0ulp1xel says:

    How did you get the large finder sidebar icons?

  11. gaansan says:

    Very happy to see color and icons back in 10.7.4
    But no Luck with ML DP3 update.

  12. Katbel says:

    Super great!

  13. MacBodo says:

    It doesn’t work in actually Mountain Lion preview.


  14. Mick says:

    While I totally welcome anything that brings color back to the charred post-apocalyptic blandness that is Lion, I’ve heard not much good about anything that involves SIMBL. I’ve been burned a few times now with SIMBL-based software and my inclination is to avoid this. Shame :-(.

    • Tim says:

      I wasn’t having trouble until 10.7.4. I had not yet installed SIMBL or the colored icons, and then I saw
      SideEffects. SideEffects does appear to properly install everything, and I did get color. But my Finder crashed or froze a few times, and eventually things became unresponsive. I removed SIMBL and the like, and things now run better. I do not blame SideEffects; but I agree, SIMBL might not be for everybody.

  15. bakajiji says:

    Perhaps Mountain Lion will restore the colors? Does anyone know?

  16. Danny says:

    Thats pretty cool! The lost of color was a disappointment for me when I upgraded to Lion!

    Thanks For the tip!

  17. KevRev says:

    Shame its not on all apps though e.g Mail

  18. KevRev says:

    Works great with Lion!! so good to see some colour back!!!

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