Fix a Missing Sidebar in Open & Save Dialog Windows of Mac OS X
Some Mac users have discovered the sidebar to be missing in the Open and Save dialog windows that appear throughout Mac OS X. Since the sidebar contains quick access links to various points in the file system, including user directory pictures, documents, the desktop, Macintosh HD, and tags, this can be frustrating and lead to a more difficult file opening and saving process.
Fortunately the missing sidebar in dialog windows is easy to fix, so follow along and you’ll have it back in no time at all.
Do note this is separate from the Mac Finder window sidebar, which is visible and toggled through the View menu option, as that setting has no impact on the sidebar in open and save windows.
How to Show the Missing Sidebar in File Open & Save Dialogs of Mac OS X
The most common reason the sidebar has gone missing in an open or save window is that it has been hidden accidentally. This is easily corrected by clicking on the sidebar button in the upper corner of the window:
Clicking that button shows the sidebar immediately in any open dialog or save window.
If that button is not available, or if the sidebar is still missing, or if select items within the sidebar are missing, you’ll need to go a step further.
Fix a Missing Sidebar or Messed Up Sidebar in Open / Save Windows of Mac OS X
Sometimes a Finder preference file can become corrupted and lead to a missing sidebar, or certain elements missing from the sidebar. This must be fixed by dumping the preference file, then rebooting:
- From the OS X Finder, hit Command+Shift+G to bring up Go To Folder and go to the following path:
- Locate the file named “com.apple.finder.plist” and move it to the Trash
- Reboot the Mac
This causes the com.apple.finder.plist preference file to regenerate, and will restore the default sidebar settings including it’s location references (Pictures, Documents, Macintosh HD, Applications, Desktop, Downloads, Tags, etc), this also makes the sidebar visible again if it was mysteriously hidden.