How to Customize the Finder Sidebar on Mac

Apr 24, 2024 - Leave a Comment

How to Customize the Finder Sidebar on Mac

Do you want to change the way the sidebar looks on your Mac when you open a new Finder window? This is done by customizing the Finder Preferences according to your liking. Apple offers several ways to customize the Finder sidebar on macOS computers.

Finder is the default file manager on macOS systems and the first thing you notice once your Mac boots up. Typically, when you want to locate a file that’s stored on your Mac, you’d open a new Finder window and use the sidebar to locate it. The Finder sidebar includes the iCloud Drive contents, Favorite locations, storage drives, connected devices, and tags by default. However, users who’re into heavy customization may want to change the folders and locations that appear here.

Not sure where to get started? We’re here to help you customize the Finder sidebar on your Mac.

How to Customize the Finder Sidebar on Mac

Regardless of the software version that’s currently running on your Mac, you can follow these steps to customize the Finder sidebar. So, without further ado, let’s get started:

  1. Open a new Finder window on your Mac from the Dock.

    How to Customize the Finder Sidebar on Mac
  2. Now, make sure the Finder window is active, and then click on Finder -> Preferences from the menu bar at the top as shown below.

    How to Customize the Finder Sidebar on Mac
  3. This will launch a Finder Preferences window. Head over to the “Sidebar” section. Here, you’ll be able to select or deselect the items that you want to see in the Finder sidebar.

    How to Customize the Finder Sidebar on Mac
  4. If you’ve checked the Recent Tags sidebar item, head over to the “Tags” section from the Finder Preferences menu. In this menu, you can uncheck the tags that you don’t want in the sidebar or rearrange them by dragging them around. Drag and drop the tags you need into the Favorite Tags area as shown below and you’re good to go.

    How to Customize the Finder Sidebar on Mac
  5. You can also rearrange the sidebar items by dragging your mouse.

    How to Customize the Finder Sidebar on Mac
  6. You can add any folder that’s stored on your Mac to the sidebar too. Just drag and drop the folder in between the sidebar items as indicated in the screenshot below.

    How to Customize the Finder Sidebar on Mac

There you go. These are the different ways to fully customize the Finder sidebar on your Mac.

A lot of users seem to overlook the tags in the sidebar. Make no mistake, Finder tags are extremely helpful in keeping your files organized and making them a lot easier to find. You can search for files by their Tag color in the Finder window’s search field.

Apart from the drag and drop method for adding folders, you can use a keyboard shortcut to add items to your sidebar too. However, the keys you need to press depends on the macOS version that’s installed on your computer. You can learn more about adding and removing folders from the sidebar right here.

Likewise, you can also customize the Finder window toolbar on your Mac. You can drag and drop your important folders while pressing the Command key to add them to the toolbar and quickly access them.

Hopefully, you were able to change up the items that show up in your Finder sidebar according to your preferences. How often do you make use of Finder tags to locate files? Have you customized the toolbar as well? Do share your experiences and let us know how Apple can improve Finder in the comments section down below.


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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks

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